Paramedics brave and strong
Up before the break of dawn
Putting poker faces on
Broken bodies all day long

The neighbors heard a fight
Someone had a knife
It must have have been the wife
Husband's lost a lot of blood
He wakes up screaming
"Oh my God, am I gonna die?
Am I gonna die?"
As they strapped his arms down to his sides
At times like these they'd been taught to lie
"Buddy just calm down, you'll be alright."

Several friends came to his grave
His children were so well-behaved
As the priest got up to speak
The assembly craved relief
But he himself had given up
So instead he offered them this bitter cup
"You're gonna die, we're all gonna die
Could be twenty years, could be tonight
Lately I have been wondering why
We go to so much trouble to postpone the unavoidable
And prolong the pain of being alive"


Lyrics submitted by orr94

Priests and Paramedics Lyrics as written by David Shannon Bazan

Lyrics © DOMINO PUBLISHING COMPANY

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Priests and Paramedics song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +1
    Song Meaning

    There is a video on YouTube of David Bazan explaining the meaning and inspiration of this song. His uncle was a paramedic for 12 or 15 years. They were told to tell stories of what had happened to family and friends after they got off work. David said most of these were messed up, but funny. Towards the end of his uncle's career as a paramedic, he was also a pastor; starting a church in his home and eventually moving to a big building. The people in the church took care of a meth addict and took him to the hospital frequently. One day, the man's meth lab blew up, burning over 90% of his body. When they put him in the ambulence, he woke up, freaking out and screaming, "Oh my god! Am I gonna die!?" Paramedics are told to just tell people to calm down and avoid the situation, but Bazan's uncle told him, "Yes, you're going to die in about 10 minutes." The man then became silent, and died shortly after.

    Bazan wanted to relay this story as a song. After writing the first verse, he felt this was to be the best song he'd ever written. While writing the song, he felt the events and story were too personal, and came up with what he described as a "cartoony" ending.

    Zeroarmy27on April 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i'll tell you the meaning of this song: david bazan is utterly amazing. i think i will listen to exclusively pedro the lion for the rest of my life. guess i'll have to throw away all other 500 records i have.

    mrsillypantson May 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i second that motion

    DesignedToHideon May 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Yeah...don't worry I'm actually tossing my other cd's like frisbees after hearing that...you are so right..Pedro is amazing..at least he's bringing up topics people shun away and don't want to talk about..this album is very straight forward and VERY real..I LOVE IT. <peace>

    codiac18on May 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Okay. This song totally rocks. But here is what I'm wondering: is David actually saying that we shouldn't try to postpone life?? I'm confused mainly because, to me, it would seem like we might as well just not live ever if thats the case. Could someone explain this to me?

    Grim713on May 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    hey grim, you're halfway there. If all we have going for us is a life that we spend chasing after sex (Rapture, Second Best), material posessions(Indian Summer, Progress), professional success, (Penetration) and comfort (Options, Progress), life isn't worth living. Trying to life a life where we pretend our actions are meaningless, unrelated to anything other than the goal of that specific action, can't work. Actions mean things, life has a purpose by it's very nature. Trying to live like that's not true makes a life that can't give us the happiness we chase, even when we make that the end goal, hence the hopelesness of the last three songs. Ciao! ^_^

    jceon June 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    The tension builds and the rehearsal becomes played out.  The wife does kill her husband.  This song is not about the husband or the wife, but new characters are introduced.  As the title points out, it is about paramedics and a priest.   These characters have much in common.  They have both become apathetic to their jobs.  The paramedics have to put their “poker faces on” to get up in the morning.  As they tell the husband he is going to be all right, they do so apathetically.  They are so numb to death and dying.
    In the same sense, the priest is also aphetic.   He has given up all hope.  The friends of the husband are craving relief.  However, the priest is tired and tragically has put on his poker face.  “You’re gonna die, we’re all gonna die” he says.  He has lost the faith.  He wonders why we “postpone the unavoidable”.  Bazan has never been dishonest about people of faith.  They are also prone to lose hope.  This priest who could have been the shining character in the story is tragically not.  Society has also lost hope.  Bazan is not done, though…
    through.being.coolon June 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    the song is about life without God and how even the priest doesn't understand his faith so they have every right to be depressed and "give up" with out The love of Jesus in thier lives. It also is a great conclusion to the story of the album.

    matty mottoon June 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    it's amazing how something so cynical can be so beautiful. the story of people giving up hope, the people to whom we look to when we ourselves are on the verge of it. it's a great song.

    Dahon July 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is my favorite song, hands down, on Control.

    yourstrulyon July 24, 2002   Link

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