Something You Lost

She’ll never know, when she tells you goodnight,

The fear that you hide, as she lays by your side.

When you stand, all the faults of a man

Etched right in your face, still she lays there in place.

 

How the warmth of the garden you sowed.

Is the stuff of these bones, once broken and cold.

 

And you go home and you sleep in your bed,

Feel like your dancing in sync with the ghosts in your head.

And she wakes. You say, “go back to sleep,”

You dare never say, the greatest secret you keep

 

Is that you might be alone, that you might have to run,

That the rest of your life will be a series of nights

That you spend in your mind

Staring backwards through time

At something you lost.

 

And you’ll never be home. You’ll never be one

Eyes closed in the sun on a warm day in June.

But on the damp dirty floor of your wintry cold room,

You see her face in the dust. How it fills you up.

 

And you say “Hello. Hello.

Please don’t ever leave. Please don’t ever go,

And you can call me a man.

It’s etched right in my face.

But it could never span

the endless expanse of space

all around us

 

alone.

 

And just this one small home,

One brief moment of time,

The only thing I call mine

is this line that we crossed

And how it came at the cost

Of everything that I lost.

This is all so vulgar. You know, the business of music, this business of discussing it — the point at which the dream life of the song butts up against the day-time reality of logic and punctuation and “analysis” (don’t even get me started on “awards”). I don’t like any of it. Because the whole point of the song is to express something that can’t be expressed any other way. That’s why you have to make it in the first place.

I’m glad we get these moments to share our thoughts, you and I. And I’m enormously grateful there are people who will hear these songs. But there’s a contract here that begins and ends in the song. Meaning—I don’t know how to say what I want to say most of the time, except by singing and writing and scoring and recording something. So I’d rather just get out of the way.

There are a lot of big ideas in this song about isolation and fear, about connection and distance, mortality and fate. But if you’re reading this, it probably means you have already figured that out for yourself and with any luck the song has already taken on a life of its own in your own mind. I’d rather my thoughts remain anonymous behind the veil of the song itself here and wish only for you that if you get this song that you are able to hold on tight to what you have and maybe some day a million trillion heartbreakingly endless amount of time in the future—our ashes will commingle on some distant star and we can both know that for a very brief time we were the luckiest bits of dust in all creation.

7 thoughts on “Something You Lost

  1. That was absolutely beautiful. The song, the description, the heaviness and the wispy thread of hope. Thank you for that. All of it.

  2. I don’t normally admit this kind of thing… but the first time I really listened to this song, I got some dust or something in my eyes, sweat maybe, not sure. I was on a long road trip with wife and kids in the truck after having visited family. First visit home to see mom after dad passed away last year. Endless hours on the road can do a thing to a man. It struck me Hard in the feels, and still does. Hard enough to post a comment and jest about how big a sissy I am.

    Anyway, this song Resonates. The entire album is exceptional.

    Thanks guys.

  3. This song just ripped my soul…the loneliness expressed is so real….bravo to the group for such an experience…..WOW

  4. I doubt you will ever see this as it’s coming in very late. I saw you in LA last October. I went alone because my boyfriend was sick. I had waited a long time to see you and there was no way I would have missed it. The lyrics that you write are the most intelligent, moving lyrics out there. The music is equally good. You have achieved greatness and I love every single song.

  5. This song, along with The Thing About Dreams, are my two favorite songs on Dope Machines. My only wish is that the next time I see the band those two songs are played one after another. If I could’ve made the Philly show last September I would’ve won the Shazam contest and had them play these two, willingly of course.

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