We're not the same, dear, as we used to be
The seasons have changed and so have we
There was little we could say, and even less we could do
To stop the ice from getting thinner under me and you

We bury our love in the wintery grave
A lump in the snow was all that remained
But we stayed by its side as the days turned to weeks
And the ice kept getting thinner with every word that we'd speak

And when spring arrived
We were taken by surprise when the floes under our feet bled into the sea
And nothing was left for you and me

We're not the same, dear
And it seems to me
There's nowhere we can go
With nothing underneath
And it saddens me to say
But we both know, well, it's true
That the ice was getting thinner
Under me and you
The ice was getting thinner
Under me and you


Lyrics submitted by TDDx8

The Ice Is Getting Thinner Lyrics as written by Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Ice Is Getting Thinner song meanings
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60 Comments

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  • +5
    My Opinion

    Such a fucking sad song. Crying to it right now.

    PulkPullon September 21, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    A sad, yet beautiful song. About a disintegrating relationship.

    xmakesherflyxon February 27, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    This song has had a very strong personal impact on my life.

    A little over a month ago, I was going through a very tough time with one of my best friends. She is a girl, and I am a guy, and I started being too affectionate with her and made her very uncomfortable. So I told her I would stop, and I did, but things just weren't the same. We were so much more distant than we once were. So one night, we went to the drive-ins with a few other friends. I drove her there and back, and we listened to Narrow Stairs for the trip.

    Even though we had fun at the drive-in, once we got in the car, we could both feel the tension. I would try to make small talk, but it just felt so different. We were nearing her house, and "The Ice is Getting Thinner" turned on. I was genuinely afraid to listen to this song, because I am almost felt like it would confirm what we both knew, that we were drifting further and further apart. We both sat in silence to the song, and it ended right when we got to her house.

    For a week after that, we didn't talk once. But, I decided to text her and it was like nothing happened. We are just as close as ever, and I truly think that wouldn't be so without this song.

    christchin910on August 05, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    It's actually "floes". As in ice floes. Floes of ice. That kind of thing. I agree-the album version is more haunting.

    Nimbyon May 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    This is saying goodbye.. or at least how I'm trying to say goodbye.

    We did bury everything, because we never talked about it. The snow and ice literally crunched under our feet that day in March.

    And now, I'm afraid, it's too late.

    This song explains what I feel right now. It's sad... but there is nothing that can be done.

    xstartstopxon June 28, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    This song haunts me every time I listen to it because it truly is one of those songs that gets it exactly right. Every line and note hit the chords in my heart perfectly. The thing is that I'm not even thinking about a romantic relationship when I hear this song. I actually think back to one of my former best friends and how we grew apart. The falling out was extremely emotional and difficult so the morose mood goes wonderfully with my thoughts. The seasons he speaks of even fit perfectly. It truly is unfortunate but I'm glad I had this song to help me through that time.

    I also agree that it is the best ending to any of their albums.

    Misslexison July 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Beautiful song. The only part of the lyrics I couldn't quite work out was

    "That what flows under our feet bled into the sea"

    But after listening I'm almost sure it's

    "When the flows under our feet bled into the sea".

    Very subtle difference, and to be honest it doesn't make much difference =P

    Oh and TDDx8 - Great job on getting all of these lyrics down, I was going to do it myself but they were already here (still went through the album and worked them out myself though =D).

    Damn, this is a great album, shall have to actually pay for it when it comes out officially ;P

    Phonixfireon May 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Well, first off, let me just say that honest to God this song made me shed a few tears. It's something that happens to a lot of relationships and is happening to one i have right now. It made me realize that my relationship is in poor condition compared to the day it started and the "happier times" of it. Sometimes all you can do is just let go.

    ginajo778on May 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is like my ultimate fear. A relationship falling apart, and there's absolutely nothing you can do to fix it.

    danielle_daBOMBon July 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Agh, what a beautiful song.

    This one is a heart breaker. I think its got something for anyone who still dwells one of their more recent failed relationships.

    One of the things I love most about these lyrics is that unspoken understanding they embody between two people. I'm sure this song in effect, wrote itself. Ben draws in a passage of time that you can feel in his lyrics. It gives this simple song so much depth. And I think the dependent nature of ice on the seasons really gives a person (or in effect, the couple) the feeling of being at mercy of the inevitable.

    Its funny how well it works. That ice that could support the burden of a relationship.. Its as tangible in the song as the 'love' between two people that you may have once felt leave your own failed relationship. A very cool similarity. Both are dependent upon the changing seasons or sways of temperament that meddle with the thing we experience as love.

    This song is special to me- I've certainly got healing to do of my own.(blatantly obvious?) But I believe this song is more than a sad retrospection. It signifies a coming to terms with life and love. Something we all get along to doing as we go on. These lyrics kind of capture the beauty of the ebb and flow of emotion and attachment.

    Big thanks to Death Cab for this one. I look forward to seeing another amazing show at First Avenue in Minneapolis!

    jrockthepartyon February 11, 2009   Link

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