"Condor Ave." as written by Elliott Smith....
She took the Oldsmobile out past condor avenue
And she locked the car and slipped past
Into rhythmic quietude
Lights burning
Voice dry and hoarse
I threw the screen door like a bastard back and forth
The chimes fell over each other
I fell onto my knees
The sound of the car driving off made me feel diseased
A sick shouting like you hear at the fairground
Now I'm picking up to put away anything of yours that's still around
I don't know what to do with your clothes or your letters
It'll make a whisper out of you
She took the Oldsmobile out past condor avenue
The fairground's lit
A drunk man sits by the gate she's driving through
Got his hat tipped bottle back in between his teeth
Looks like he's buried in the sand at the beach
I can't think about you driving off to leave barely awake
To take a little nap while the road is straight
I wish that car had never been discovered
They took away the bottle and the hat he was under
That's the one thing that he could never do
And it'll make a whisper out of you
She took the Oldsmobile out past condor avenue
Cops were running around the scene
Looking for some kind of clue
They never get uptight when a moth gets crushed
Unless a light bulb really loved him very much
I'm lying down
Blowing smoke from my cigarette
Little whisper smoke signs that you'll never get
You're in your Oldsmobile driving by the moon
Headlights burning bright ahead of you
And someone's burning out, out on condor avenue
Trying to make a whisper out of you
What a shitty thing to say
Did you really mean it?
You never said a word to me about what passed between us
So now I'm leaving you alone
You can do whatever the hell you want to
Na, na, na, na, na, na.

Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus, edited by Jate

"Condor Ave." as written by Steven P. Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Condor Ave. song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentOh god I could write volumes about this story. It's such a well thought out fiction about lack of communication. She falls asleep at the wheel after a fight. He's left at home to think. The screen door he slams representing a useless display of emotion. While she slips off into oblivion, and the useless drunk who witnessed the whole deal but was unable to communicate anything about it because of his innebriated state. "Bottle in between his teeth...Buried in the sand at the beach." The cops scrambling for clues but the real reason for the crash is much deeper than just some ordered evidence. The cops again representing order. The moth that is doomed to repeat this self-abusing action of bumping into a light bulb...do you think the light bulb represents him or her? Light bulb, something bright that the moth is constantly attracted to. He loves talking about the moon. It's cycles, how it will follow you around, or in this case, she follows the moon aimlessly and thus crashes. Kinda like the light bulb. He's blowing smoke signs to her, another useless attempt at communication. And then he finally delivers the most biting line of the whole song. "What a shitty thing to say, did you really mean it?" There's so much subdued angst in that line and spiteful indifference in that line. And then finally the resolution where he tells you what the song is about and how he is finally going to deal with their situation. "You never said a word to me about what passed between us." And "Na na na na" Geez man, and he allegedly wrote it in high school!!! unbelievable.
    thagunkon February 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThese are some of my favorite lyrics I've ever heard.

    The story, I guess, is that that he had a huge fight with his girlfriend about something stupid and petty, and she drove away upset, crashed her car and died.

    This is real poetry. It's beautiful.
    sethbrownon October 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthey ever get uptight when a moth gets crushed
    unless a light bulb really loved him very much

    i love that, it's clever
    precipitateon November 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhy this song is KILLING me?....
    SNOWDENon June 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow, i always missed the story in this one when listening to it, but reading the lyrics makes me love it even more. I think this might be a story he heard or something that happened to someone else he knew, i dont recall hearing anything about something like that happening to him. That would make it one of the less autobiographical tracks on this album.. but wow.. i thought lask kiss was a good song about thing, but this one FAR surpasses it.
    lisalynnon February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentabout this*
    lisalynnon February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I think it is about him, or the narrorator, getting into a fight or breaking up with his girlfriend, then she gets killed by a drunk driver (wish that car had never been discovered
    they took away the bottle and the hat he was under), and he tries to forget her and move on, but can't.
    crimpon February 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard in an interview from around 1995 or so that this song was written when he was a teenager and the lyrics were changed several times over the years. In other words, while it may have been semi autobiographical at one time, by the time it was released on Roman Candle, it was different.
    keliokon March 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat a shitty thing to say
    did you really mean it?

    this line really gets to me. it couldn't be more true, could it?
    lost_in_twlighton April 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust noticed, some of these lyrics are a bit off...and am i the only one who loves how Elliott pronounces "condor"? i've always loved his voice and the unique way he annunciates certain things.

    the world's a bit darker now that he's gone...god, i miss him.
    lost_in_twlighton April 11, 2005   Link

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