"Last Call" as written by Elliott Smith....
Last Call
He was sick of it all
Asleep at home
Told you off and goodbye

Well you know one day it'll come to haunt you
That you didn't tell him quite the truth
You're a crisis
You're an icicle

You're a tongueless talker
You don't care what you say
You're a jaywalker and you just just walk away
And that's all you do

The clap of the fading out sound of your shoes
Made him wonder who he thought that he knew
Last call
He was sick of it all

The endless stream of reminders
Made him so sick of you sick of you sick of you
Sick of your sound
Sick of you coming around

Trying to crawl under my skin
When I already shed my best defense
It comes out all around that you won
And I think I'm all done

You can switch me off safely
While I'm lying here waiting for sleep to overtake me
Yeah yeah you're still here but just check to make sure
All you aspired to do was endure

You can't ask for more ask for more
Knowing you'll never get that which you ask for
So you cast your shadow everywhere like the man in the moon
You start to drink you just want to continue

It'll all be yester year soon
You start to drink you just want to continue
It'll all be yester year soon
Church bells and now I'm awake and I guess it must be some kind of holiday

I can't seem to join in the celebration
But I'll go to the service
And I'll go to pray
And I'll sing the praises of my maker's name

Like I was as good as she made me
And I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me

I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
I'm lying here waiting for sleep to overtake me


Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus, edited by Jate

"Last Call" as written by Steven P. Smith

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Last Call song meanings
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34 Comments

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  • +4
    General Commentim probably wrong, but in the wholelast verse, i think that elliott's refering to god as a woman, which for me seems like such an elliott thing to do....i dont know, like i said, im probably wrong...
    cyanidebreathminton October 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love this song...makes me feel deppressed and pretty...like a runway model.
    rockstar001on March 17, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthmm...let's see...
    it's about someone having hardships at home, problems with his family. the family is really strict and religious.
    the last repeated lines can have the double meaning of not wanting to be awoken *ever* (desire to be dead) and the purely physical sleep (caused by drinking caused by depression so that we can go back to the wanting to be dead point.)
    you know when you were a teenager and sometimes you didn't want to go to school and would have rather be sleeping (maybe even forever), but your mother woke you up?

    Last Call could be referred to drinks, or to someone calling someone for the last time (in his life) or for the last time (as in, this is the last time! next time don't count on me!)

    So we have the realistic and the symbolic perfectly put together.
    dorareeveron July 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think part of the beauty of this song is how it begins so detached, using third person pronouns ("him") and then midway it becomes more personal using the "i"s. his loneliness becomes so much more clear and tragic.
    eyes like julyon December 29, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentactually its "lying here waiting for sleep to overtake me"
    i really love this song, the way elliott's voice meshes with the rhythm he plays.
    it's just like..
    WOW.

    i kind of get the feeling it's about suicide as well, but jesuisunerockstar makes sense about how it could be a relationship.
    myxangelxelliotton September 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't know guys... I get a different impression of this song. I don't think it's about a break up with a girl. I think it's about a teenager's troubled relationship with his mother. A mother he part loves, part hates, part wishes she would just leave him alone, but who ultimately made him who he is. I don't think this song switches between the "I" and the "You" but still refers to "I" like someone suggested (and you're right that Elliott did do this alot) but I think that in this one all the "You's" refer to his mother and all the "I's" refer to him.

    I think it starts with him having a fight with his mom because she didn't tell him the truth about something and he feels like she is emotionally detached (icicle etc) and that all she does is just walk away. The line with "The clap of the fading out sound of your shoes" definitely reminds me of being a kid and listening to grown women walk down a hall - like knowing the teacher was coming by the sound of her shoes clacking in the hall.

    So he listens to her go and wonders if he ever even knew his mother or if he ever will because she is so detached and because she won't tell the truth (Made him wonder who he thought that he knew).

    Then he starts drinking to try and bury the feelings and his anger. She comes to check and make sure he's okay when he's passed out drunk. She keeps trying to talk to him, but like a teenager, and like someone who's depressed, he gets mad at her for trying (Sick for your sound; Sick of you coming around; Trying to crawl under my skin; When I already shed my best defense). I think he's especially mad because he tried to connect with her at the beginning but got shut out so he doesn't want to open up to her now. He was mad at her before for 'walking away' but now he's mad at her for coming around.

    Also, he feels like she's a hypocrite for trying to talk him out of his lethargy, depression and alcoholism. Like, who are you to talk to me about my stuff when "All you aspired to do was endure; You can't ask for more, ask for none; Knowing you'll never get that which you ask for; So you cast your shadow everywhere; Like the man in the moon; You start to drink, you just want to continue; It'll all be yesteryear soon". He's saying she never tried to do more than endure her life, that she escaped by drinking and by going through life like a shadow, so she shouldn't get on his case for doing the same thing.

    The last verse underscores this previous point. He goes through the motions of going to church with his family, watching other people celebrate but he can't feel it himself. And then he says: "And I'll sing the praises of my maker's name; Like I was as good as she made me". The maker is his mother, not God. He's saying he's just what his mother made him to be - a depressed drunk who doesn't ask for more from life than to endure it, or to sleep it away: "And I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me".

    This last line, if the 'she' is his mother can have multiple meanings. The literal one: 'when i'm passed out in my bedroom trying to sleep away my cares, don't come in and wake me up and try to talk to me - just leave me alone.' The not-so-literal one: She's his mother so she's responsible for him "waking" in the first place, for him being born. So it could mean 'I wish she had never had me if she was just going to bring me into this life'. And it could also mean 'Let me wallow in my depression and sleep though my life if I want to, don't try to wake me up'. Lastly, of course, it could mean 'let me die if I want to. If I want to drink myself into a coma and die, let me. Stop coming to check on me to make sure I'm all right. Don't try to wake me."




    frejaon June 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah elliott tended to do that a lot in his songs, start in third and change it to first, or the other way around, or go back and fourth. He knew how to create a story in your head. This song is beautiful. At first listen i felt it was just anger and wanting to just be left alone to sleep for as long as you want (or to sleep forever). But the alcohol thing makes sense when reading the lyrics. Beautiful damn lyrics too.. I can say that these lines have so much behind them for me..
    I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
    I'm lying here waiting for sleep to over take me
    for me it describes my imsomnia perfectly, i have felt those lines much too much for far to many years. I love this song.
    lisalynnon February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought that Roman Candle was like a story
    and it went through the introduction of the characters background with his relatives (roman candle) and how he was dealing with abuse. and then all the no names are him dealing with his life the best that he can, drive all over town is about him in a cheating relationship. and last call is him just going...fuck this. there is no point. and kiwi maddogg 20/20 is just a set of beautiful closing music. I could be dead wrong in this theory but thats just my opinion
    the_gondola_manon March 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can see that gondola man, good point. i love the "church bells..." section of this, its so existential....he is so detatched from the whole situation and just watching and going along with it despite the fact that it means nothing to him......................RIP
    badgeon May 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt sound to me like his better half is getting the best of him, and he'd rather just have that side he dosen't understand go to sleep and be over with. "I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me." This whole song could be about one huge internal conflict with the sucessfull and sad Elliot Smiths. Thats what I see when I read those lyrics and apply them to my life. So sad... but what an awesome song... what a great gift he had to share with us.
    triciaagogoon August 03, 2005   Link

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