He said what about Los Angeles. She said we never really made it that far west.
We scored big in Denver and we thought it might be best. To go hang around in the upper Midwest.
He said what about New Orleans. She said I don't think you understand what that means.
All those hangers on. The girls lifting up their shirts when the cameras come on.
We were tryna stay away from those kind of scenes.

We didn't go to Dallas. 'Cause Jackie Onassis said that it ain't safe for Catholics yet.
Think about what they pulled on Kennedy.
And then think about his security.
Then think about what they might try to pull on you and me.

Saint Barbara I'm calling your name. Don't let me blow up.
We'll hook it all up. I guess there's fields of speed where there's fields of grain.
Saint Barbara don't let me explode. I can feel the whole scene starting to corrode when we're fooling around on the frontage roads.

He asked what happened to Charlemagne.
She just smiled all polite-like and said something vague.
She said Charlemagne got caught up in some complicated things.
She wiped at her nose and she winked.

Lyrics submitted by nonetospeakof

Don't Let Me Explode Lyrics as written by Franz Nicolay Craig Finn


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Don't Let Me Explode song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentwhere are they coming from?
    Javonathonon April 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSaint Barbara became the patron saint of artillerymen. She is also traditionally the patron of armourers, military engineers, gunsmiths, miners and anyone else who worked with cannon and explosives. She is invoked against thunder and lightning and all accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder. She is venerated by everyone who faces the danger of sudden and violent death in work.
    tubedisasterson May 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, the last line is a reference to "Killer Parties," with the first line, "If they ask about Charlemagne, be polite and say something vague..." Although she doesn't leave much room for interpretation with her body language. I think the idea of "exploding" in this song means both getting in over your head with drugs, or, if the narrator is Craig Finn and not another character in the Hold Steady mythology, he could mean the dangers of dealing with sudden fame.
    I think the whole song relates a lot to "Killer Parties," with this theme of trying to find a better place. In that song, the narrator says to tell "them" they left because they were "young and in love, and I guess we just needed space." It's about trying to find the right place in a country where the dangers seem to just follow you. And, as the song says, it can almost kill you.
    shortinoon February 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"now back home in new york lately i've had a couple of friends tell me i talk too much... well, when pressed, they admitted i talked too much about myself. so, what i'd like to do is tell you a story about someone else... so 300 years after christ lived, in a place called micronesia, lived a woman who's now known as saint barbara. back then she was just named barbara. now saint barbara was the daughter of an aristocrat, and there was a weird thing that happened back then, which is a lot different from what happens now, which was that rich people actually fought wars. so he was away fighting a war, and his daughter saint barbara decided to become a christian. and - being a christian was not 300 years after christ what being a christian is now. like, bible study and safe and youth groups and shit. (audience: it was awesome!) i don't know if it was awesome, because i think it was kinda at moments, not so awesome, i think you're gonna find that out. and so, i think - the one thing i keep saying is maybe back then it was maybe sort of, a modern equivalent would be if you got a facial tattoo. (laughs) you're kind of like, setting yourself apart. alright, so saint barbara's dad comes home from the war. and he finds out she's a christian and he gets pissed. and i bet everyone here has had a dad that's been pissed at them. but, saint barbara's dad was way more pissed than your dad. and here's how i know: cause he ordered her to be executed. and whoever's in charge of that kind of thing in micronesia said, "you know, that's cool, but do you think that's harsh enough? maybe saint barbara's dad, you should do the execution" and he was like "yeah, good idea, i didn't think of that one myself." so they were all there in the town square and saint barbara's dad beheaded his own daughter (crowd boos) boo, that's what i say. but the story doesn't end right there, cause he was walking home to, you know, have some sort of party, whatever you do after you execute your own daughter (audience: killer parties!) killer parties, it was a killer party, and uh, the thing is, a bolt of lightning came from the sky, and hit him, and struck him dead. so if you're ever thinking of executing your daughter, don't even. that said, saint barbara's now the patron saint of landmines... or, more specifically, not stepping on a landmine. and this song's called don't let me explode. they said what about los angeles..." - craig finn discussing the story of saint barbara, october 6, 2006, live at the earl, atlanta, GA.

    i thought it was pretty cool.
    anonymiadon March 02, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis is just my opinion so you can save your rebuttals for something else thank you. "He said what about new orleans she said I don't think you understand what that means all those hangers on the girls lifting up their shirts when the cameras come on" Hangers on means parasite or an unwanted follower. Perhaps Hold Steady is trying to say that about the girls at Mardi Gras. "Yeah we didn't go to dallas yeah 'cause jackie onassis said that it ain't safe for catholics yet think about what they pulled on kennedy And then think about his security. Perhaps this person values his/her own security enough not to go to Dallas and New Orleans because the "hangers on" if around them could comprimise their safety. The "Saint Barbara" line is explained on youtube just search "The Story of Saint Barbara" Nuff said. The line "I guess there's fields of speed where there's fields of grain" by defenition field means space that has been modified. I personaly think they are mentioning the meth manufacturing and or the availabilty of meth in the rural areas in the Midwest. The line "I can feel the whole scene starting to corrode when we're fooling around on the frontage roads" a frontage road is the road that runs along a highway, and sometimes is what's used to get on the highway. Perhaps they are talking about teenagers doing drugs etc. and not preparing themselves for adulthood. The "frontage road" meaning adolesence and "The Highway" Adulthood. As for the last line "She said Charlemagne got caught up in some complicated things she wiped at her nose and she winked" wiping at your nose in conjunction with a wink is referring to coke use or another drug that can be snorted.
    bostonkid9096on June 30, 2008   Link

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