Take the way home that leads back to Sullivan St.
Cross the water and home through the town
Past the shadows that fall down wherever we meet
Pretty soon I won't come around

I'm almost drowning in her sea
She's nearly fallen to her knees

Take the way home that leads back to Sullivan St.
Where all the bodies hang on the air
If she remembers, she hides it whenever we meet
Either way now, I don't really care

I'm almost drowning in her seas
She's nearly crawling on her knees
She's down on her knees

Take the way home that leads back to Sullivan St.
I'm just another rider burned to the ground

I'm almost drowning in her sea
She's nearly crawling on her knees
It's almost everything I need
I'm down on my knees
I'm down on my knees

Lyrics submitted by dank, edited by DutchCourage

Sullivan Street Lyrics as written by Ben G Mize Adam Fredric Duritz

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sullivan Street song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentI got married for the first time in 1993, less than a year before this came out. I was living in Pittsburgh, and there was this little pizza joint/bar we used to hang out in downtown. There was one night it was getting late and this song came on the jukebox, and I've always associated it with those nights hanging out in the city, wandering through it to bus stops half-drunk with my wife.
    It just makes me think of the frailty of those times, and though I know it's not what the song's about or anything, it just brings back one of the better memories of my early 20s.
    dmtaylor111971on July 22, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThis song is great! I think the first verse is about him breaking up with her and her reaction to it. "Drowning in her sea" is her tears and emotional reaction. Then the next verse is about how the two of them run in the same social circles so "all the bodies hang on the air" are their friends being nosy about how they'll react to being around each other. But he thinks she's still torn up about the break up. So there's more "drowning in her sea". Then the last verse is about how when he has some distance from the break up he realizes how much he regrets letting her go and in turn his heart is broken. He's a rider burned to the ground.
    skydanceron April 22, 2014   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"My last girlfriend, for the first month and a half that we were going out, her mother was living with her, and her mother's very Catholic. We couldn't spend the night together, so I was constantly making these drives in the middle of the night -- very surreal, four in the morning, falling asleep. I really believed in the relationship, but when I was writing this song the lyrics came out: 'Pretty soon I won't come around'. It wasn't what I wanted -- I didn't want it to end -- but there it was. It's about the inevitability of leaving."

    - Adam Duritz
    Shanemarvin1990on July 06, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's amazing how so many years later this song can just absolutely shatter me. The emotional impact of it hasn't lessened any in almost 20 years. Sometimes it puts me in the exact same place as Zenmanship.
    cdconnon October 16, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'd never seen the leaving aspect of it before but i'm not so good at paying attention to the lyrics when it has bits in it like, "I'm almost drowning in her sea, she's nearly fallen to her knees" coz those bits just keep going through my mind. I had this song for ages but never listened to it but now it's one of my favourite songs of theirs.. the emotion in his voice i just love.
    ---twigs---on March 10, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDefinitely one of my favorite Counting Crows songs. Sometimes it just rips me up and i can't listen to it. Sometimes i want to listen to it and wallow in the misery.

    Zenmanshipon May 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is ultimately about leaving. right now this plays so much into what i am dealing with.
    heartbrokenon May 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Take the way home that leads back"...you take the long way home in the early morning after a long night out and you're thinking of him (or her, whatever) and the car just seems to go where it wants to...you don't want to go home, you want to remember...you drive past his house and wonder what he's doing-sleeping, sitting up...is he thinking of you? Is he even there, or is it just the place? Does he ever remember like this? There's a deep choking feeling in your chest-like your lungs are filling with the tears you're holing back-drowning. You don't want to care anymore, but you can't seem to help it. And you know you'll forget eventually...and that's what hurts the most-if you'll forget, so will he-he may have already..."The inevitability of leaving"....that's about right, I guess...anyways, that's what the song means to me.
    StarClaireon July 22, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think this song is about that awkward stage after you break up with somebody....i know that adam said it's about leaving someone but hear me out like after you and your boyfriend are apart and you want to stay away but there's so much there that you can't help but still feel attached and you want to "take the way home that leads back to sullivan street" and "it's almost everything you need" but not quite bc there is something missing which is why you broke up in the first place but inevitably...your feelings for the person won't go away
    yeahyouknowmeon April 19, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI like what tito posted.

    "Take the way home that leads back to Sullivan St.
    Where I'm just another rider burned to the ground
    Come tumbling down "

    That says it all right there. By far, the best song on this album, and possibly the best ouf of all their albums.
    anna118kon May 02, 2004   Link

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