Perhaps I am a miscreation
No one knows the truth there is no future here
And you're the DJ speaks to my insomnia
And laughs at all I have to fear
Laughs at all I have to fear
You always play the madmen poets
Vinyl vision grungy bands
You never know who's still awake
You never know who understands and

Are you out there, can you hear this?
Jimmy Olson, Johnny Memphis,
I was out here listening all the time
And though the static walls surround me
You were out there and you found me
I was out here listening all the time

Last night we drank in parking lots
And why do we drink? I guess we do it cause
And when I turned your station on
You sounded more familiar than that party was
You were more familiar than that party
It's the first time I stayed up all night
It's getting light I hear the birds
I'm driving home on empty streets
I think I put my shirt on backwards

Are you out there, can you hear this
Jimmy Olson , Johnny Memphis
I was out here listening all the time
And though the static walls surround me
You were out there and you found me
I was out here listening all the time

And what's the future, who will choose it?
Politics of love and music
Underdogs who turn the tables
Indie versus major labels
There's so much to see through
Like our parents do more drugs than we do
Oh

Corporate parents, corporate towns
I know every TV set that has them lit
They preach that I should save the world
They pray that I won't do a better job of it
Pray that I won't do a better job
So tonight I turned your station on just so I'd be understood
Instead another voice said I was just too late
And just no good

Calling Olson, Calling Memphis
I am calling, can you hear this?
I was out here listening all the time
And I will write this down
And then I will not be alone again yeah
I was out here listening
Oh yeah I was out here listening
Oh yeah I am out here listening all the time


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

Are You Out There Lyrics as written by Dar Williams

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Songtrust Ave

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Are You Out There? song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    this song really touches me. i think it's more than just worshipping the radio gods--it's realizing that you're not the only who feels like you do. you may never meet the people that you identify with, but you can hear them and know they've been where you are. it's all about the power of music and how you can be infinitely closer to the music love than the random people you see.

    belle1313on May 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Worshipping the radio gods...

    sakeboxon April 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    interesting thought.....there are people that influence you that you'll never meet

    I've always found it remarkable that people devote themselves SO much to Prinecss Diana, Mother Theresa, Joe Montana....and they never got the opportunity to meet their heroes/saviors/role models.

    sakeboxon June 14, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I heard an interview last year where Dar said she wrote this song about the radio station WDST, Woodstock, NY. "Underdogs who turn the tables, indie versus major labels..." DST is practically the only station in the area not owned by Clear Channel or the like, and it shows: they're also the only one that plays "madmen poets, vinyl vision grungy bands."

    But also more than that--what Belle1313 said about identifying with the music you hear on the radio and knowing you're not alone.

    gravity_defianton July 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I ♥ Dar Williams for this song. It's among my favorites, because she's so aware of the music industry and manages to do well and still stay real.

    aredridelon June 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I was reading an article in the Arts and Entertainment section of my towns newspaper, the Recorder (out of Greenfield, MA) on 93.9 WRSI The River, a local progressive radio station who is celebrating it's 25th year of broadcasting and I stumbled upon this:

    "In 1997, nationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Dar Williams wrote a hit song about the station called "Are You Out There." ..at the time Dar Williams was a local resident."

    Johnny Olsen used to DJ for the station, and Jimmy Memphis has been the current DJ for quite some time now (and still is), I listen to him most everyday. I thought that this was awesome, and thought I'd share some local history with you all!

    katelynpercapitaon July 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Katelyn is right, (except its Johnny Memphis and Jimmy Olsen) but Dar did basically debut her career in Northampton, MA (so did Winterpills if you guys no them), I'm from Westfield, MA and 93.9 The River is my favorite station, and since Dar is back in town playing a show for New Years, the River was talking to her and she said (to Johnny Memphis, after playing this song), that she couldn't even look at him while she was playing because she was embarrassed. It is about The River, she said. They are the only Indie station in the area too.

    greensongon January 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Does anybody else feel the anger in this song? Doesn't the kid also feel betrayed by these DJ gods? He turns the station on and says he heard another voice say he was "just too late and just no good." And there is a whole angry tone to the music as well. It makes me think that the DJs were trashing his generation, and I think young person feels betrayed by his DJ heroes.

    gnovion September 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I never thought about how this song is similar to "Round the Dial" by the Kinks with the fact that she has "Better Things" on this album.

    DaveB123on March 22, 2023   Link

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