Running down a central reservation.
Last night's red dress
And I can still smell you on my fingers
And taste you on my breath.
Stepping through brilliant shades
Of the color you bring
But this time, this time, this time
Is whatever I want it to mean.

If this is where memories are made,
I'm gonna like what I see.
And everything I ever took for granted,
I'm gonna let it be.
I step through every shade
Of the color you bring
But this time, this time, this time
Is whatever I want it to mean.

And everything and nothing is
As sacred as we want it to be
When it's real. Make it real.,
Compared to what?
Ooh yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah
Ooh yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah

It's like living in the middle of the ocean
With no future, no past,
And everything that's good about now
Might just glide right past.
I'm stepping through brilliant shades
Of the color you bring.
But this time, this time, this time
Is fine just as it is.

And everything is sacred here,
And nothing is as sacred as I want it to be,
When it's real.
Compared to what?
Ooh yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah
Ooh yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah.....
Ba da ba, ba da ba, ba da ba ba ba da ba, yeah yeah.

Lyrics submitted by nicole

Central Reservation Lyrics as written by Beth Orton

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Central Reservation song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentPlus its about life in general any day or situation of the week. Like one of those days where you wake up and say 'today is the day I will stop smoking" :)

    For me whenever I am about to do something after I get ready to face the day or while I'm walking home from seeing my friends, this is what I'm singing. ITs about the moment of clarity and total satisfaction in the turnout of things and things to come. Its almost spiritually cleansing in a way.
    Blackmofasa9on March 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can't remember if it's on a bootleg or if she said this at the show I went to in 2002, but I recall her saying the song is about "going home the next morning with your knickers in your pocket." And it makes may be the best and most beautiful song ever written about a one night stand.
    WalrusOct9on January 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhy hasn't anyone commented?

    This is an amazing song!

    I think its just about life, reminiscing, and dreaming. "Too bad things arent the way i want them to be" kinda thing.
    knights_who_say_neeon May 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about love, dreams, life and memory. I'm not entirely sure what it all means, but here's my go at explaining it. I'd love to hear everyone's comments/alternate theories.

    It starts off with her remembering the night just passed; maybe she's making her way home from her lover's house. She's still feeling that warm fuzzy love feeling that she had the night before ("stepping through brilliant shades/Of the colour you bring.")

    The chorus begins by commenting how reality both heightens and devalues things: "And everything and nothing is/As sacred as we want it to be/When it's real" and ends with deciding that it's better to live in reality, but being uncertain about what the yardstick for reality is ("Make it real/Compared to what?")

    The second are third verses are describing how she feels with her lover: "If this is where memories are made/I'm gonna like what I see" and "It's like living in the middle of the ocean/With no future, no past" -> it's just them two, and everything else is blocked out. She realises that they're so caught up in each other that "everything that's good about now/Might just glide right past" but remembers how she feels when she's with him ("Stepping through brilliant shades/Of the colour you bring") and decides that although she could change it "this time is whatever I want it to mean," she doesn't want to: "this time is fine just as it is."

    The song is just so evocative, emotive and sensuous, I love it!
    bunyipkittyon August 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought it was "today is whatever I want it to mean."
    ApplesInMonoon February 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh I agree with Walrus. It's nice though, like it doesn't seem like she hates herself for being dirty, this is just who she is and how she lives and she is happy. And I respect her for that.
    simsfreqon February 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely about a one-night thing: "It's like living in the middle of the ocean wiith no future, no past", perhaps with an ex-lover, "This time it's what I want it to mean". She's saying this time she won't let herself get hurt, she's just going to take it what it is, without letting feelings getting in the way.

    Amazing song. Just amazing.
    missmeon April 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI also think it's about something like a one-night thing.
    "It's like living in the middle of the ocean
    With no future, no past"
    it describes those moments you spend with someone without worrying about the future or the past even if you don't know if you can trust the other person. When you're not supposed to do something specific or be in some kind of way, but you just let go. Those moments you spend before you get that while you're living those days, there is a countdown or that numbers have started from zero and now you're at ten for example.
    birba.mozzon March 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this was a good song to describe a woman's first time with another woman. She doesn't have to be gay, or even to do it ever again; she just has to be satisfied with both having been brave enough to have the experience, and also to walk away from it to ponder what it means, if anything. Really, though, it could be about ANY first time sexual experience that a person has been reluctant to do (hence the title, "Central Reservation," I should think). I just think it fits a F2F scenario, mainly because of that second line. I have been able to smell and taste female lovers on my fingers and breath before; but she's singing it, and all I can do is relate in that way. Of course, I'm not saying any of this to be a creepy pervert. I think the song is beautiful, and has a sense of relief, self-discovery, freedom, and empowerment...

    ...although, the version I have does seem to have some different lyrics, so I could be way off base--LOL!
    maddpsyintyston April 02, 2019   Link

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