I picked up my belongings in a nylon carry-all
Heard the porter call

He said "the sky's the limit on this chartered trip away"

I guess I'd better stay

Out there on the desert, I see trees on every wall
Nothing's ever solved

He said "the sky's the limit on this chartered trip away"

I guess I'd better stay away

I thought I owed myself a trip away
I wanted to go to places, I have never been away
I looked at the pictures, imagine where they lay, away
On a beach by the sand, where their clothes all lay away

Clothes, yeah, yeah, free from all the noise, nylon carry-all
Hear the porter call
Horizon is oblivious, chartered trip away
Guess I better stay

Out there on the desert, I see trees on every wall
Nothing's ever solved
Horizon is oblivious, chartered trip away
Guess I better stay away

Aah, aah, to go to places, I have
Places, I have never been away
I looked at the pictures, imagine where they lay, away
On a beach, sand, on a beach, aah, aah, away, away

I picked up my belongings in a nylon carry-all
Heard the porter call
Said "there's no returning, chartered trip away"
I guess I'd better stay

Said "there's no returning, chartered trip away"
Said "there's no returning, chartered trip away"
Said "there's no returning, from this chartered trip away"
Said "no returning"
Said there's no returning
From this chartered trip away
Said there's no returning
From this chartered trip away
Said there's no returning
From this chartered trip away


Lyrics submitted by OwnPersonalDemon, edited by jpaulo

Chartered Trips Lyrics as written by Bob Mould

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Chartered Trips song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment

    Because Zen Arcade is a concept album about a boy who dreams he runs away from home, this would be the part where he takes a bus out of town.

    ZEROpumpkinson December 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    When I was younger I thought this song was about an acid trip. But it's not. Then again, when I was younger, I thought every song was about LSD.

    Anyhow, this song ties in nicely with the Zen Arcade concept of a child running away from home and realizing that its not any better. The chartered trip away is an illusion. No matter where you are - the illusion is that a better place is elsewhere. Go travel my friend.

    TdyYrLoveon October 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I love this song

    ClicheGuevaraon February 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song, as far as i'm concerned, is amazing. i think it's about leaving town and kind of becoming disillusioned with the outside world when you realize it wasn't the answer you thought it would be.

    misirlouon September 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    amazing song

    josinson December 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    My favourite song, the guitar is incredible...

    Pohjolaon July 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This has to be the best song on one of the best albums of all time.

    It's so great. I love the vocal style used in this song, it sounds a bit different than the others. My favorite part is near the end when they repeat "said there's no returning on this chartered trip away" a few times to really emphasize that idea.

    Anyways, I am at a loss as to what "out there on the desert, i see trees on every wall, nothing's ever solved." means. Any idea?

    mtj027on September 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    To expand on the interpretation that this song is about a boy who dreams about running away and taking a bus out of town - which ties into the album's concept - I'd say "Chartered Trips" is about contemplating a "trip away."

    As the saying goes, "the grass is always greener..." and running away to a different town seems like the solution to a problem, but "nothing's ever solved."

    We assume the protagonist takes the "chartered trip away" because by the time we get to "The Biggest Lie" he is considering returning back to his day job, girlfriend, and home town, but is disillusioned with the hypocrisy of it all.

    Regardless of what "Chartered Trips" actually means, it is hands down my favorite Bob Mould penned Hüsker Dü song.

    Bennyshambleson April 25, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It's all about expectation, the beginning of something. It has a nostalgic quality a kind of sadness, I mean, the guitar part isn't happy, but it sounds like the best parts of your past. I mean, yeah, it's about the album's boy, but that's just a template for everything else. I enjoy this song so much, but the vocals always sounded painful to me. Probably my fav in Zen Arcade.

    Bochini 27on June 27, 2020   Link
  • -1
    General Comment

    i've read in an old interview that this song is about a young boy going off to war.

    kissofthecobraon January 23, 2006   Link

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