The District Sleeps Alone Tonight Lyrics - The Postal Service

Review The Song (35)



Smeared black ink.
Your palms are sweaty,
and I'm barely listening
to last demands.
I'm staring at the asphalt wondering
"What's buried underneath where I am?"
(Where I am)

I'll wear my badge:
a vinyl sticker with big block letters
adhered to my chest
tells your new friends
"I am a visitor here... I am not permanent."
And the only thing keeping me dry is...
(Where I am)

You seem so out of context,
in this gaudy apartment complex.
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A stranger with your door key,
explaining that I'm just visiting.
And I am finally seeing
why I was the one worth leaving.
Why I was the one worth leaving.

D.C. sleeps alone tonight.

(Where I am)
You seem so out of context
in this gaudy apartment complex.
(Where I am)
A stranger with your door key
explaining that I'm just visiting.
(Where I am)
And I am finally seeing
why I was the one worth leaving.
Why I was the one worth leaving.

(Where I am)
The District sleeps alone tonight
after the bars turn out their lights
(Where I am)
and send the autos swerving
into the loneliest evening.
(Where I am)
And I am finally seeing
why I was the one worth leaving.
why I was the one worth leaving.
why I was the one worth leaving.
why I was the one worth leaving.






Click here to submit the Corrections of The District Sleeps Alone Tonight Lyrics
The district sleeps alone tonight opinion | Reviewer: alex.danielday@gmail.com | 4/8/11

in the begging the smeared black ink he might be talking about is the smeared ink from a note that has tears on it, or perhaps hes talking directly to the girl as shes crying with her makeup smearing, listening to her last demands to make the relationship work. Hes staring at the asphalt not hearing or in disbeleif of whats really happening.

the second verse or the song says "I'll wear my badge
A vinyl sticker with big block letters
Adherent to my chest
That tells your new friends
I am a visitor here: I am not permanent
And the only thing keeping me dry is where I am" he talking about how he is sitting in with someone at their (or his) AA meeting (Hello my name is- the adhearant sticker on his chest) the only think keepong him dry(sober) is where he is which is some sort of aa or support group. Thats what i personally got from that particular part of the song, but who knows i could be wrong.

finally when he says you seem so out of context in this gaudy apartment complex, it could relate to the feeling you get when you break up with someone and you go to visit them, and its as if you never happened it seems as if the place she is currently in isnt right that she should be with you anything else just feels out of context.

twards the end hes leaveing a bar most likely after his last encounter with the woman reminicing on why he was the one worth leaveing. and at the end it seems that he came to a self realization.

Im a hudge fan of the postal service, but if they made songs this deep and with this much meaning, i can see why theyre not rushing to make a second album, or even go on tour and sing these songs every night. i would be in a constant state of heartbreak.



What it meant to him | Reviewer: Noone | 10/24/10

It says on Wikipedia that Ben wrote the song after his girlfriend moved to Washington D.C. So I guess it's about his depression and sadness when he visits her and thinks about why she left. He's feeling like a stranger now.



i agree | Reviewer: sara | 7/24/10

when i had first looked at the lyrics of this song i was thinking more along the lines that this guy is a police officer

Smeared black ink.
Your palms are sweaty,
(possibly a rape victum.. most likely a girl black ink representing mascara from crying, and her palms are sweaty..)

and I'm barely listening
to last demands.
(he probably doesnt want to listen to the story anymore.. he is ready to go home)

I'm staring at the asphalt wondering
"What's buried underneath where I am?"
(Where I am)

(he is possible distracting himself)



I'll wear my badge:
a vinyl sticker with big block letters
adhered to my chest
(police officer badge)

tells your new friends
"I am a visitor here... I am not permanent.
(when he has his badge on, it means he cant stay because he has to work instead of being with his wife perhaps)

And the only thing keeping me dry is...
(Where I am)
(its raining..)

You seem so out of context,
in this gaudy apartment complex.
(you are acting weird, and it seems lonely)

A stranger with your door key,
explaining that I'm just visiting.
(maybe a "guy friend" "a stranger with your door key" of her's that is someone she is having an affair with, "im just visiting" )

And I am finally seeing
why I was the one worth leaving.
Why I was the one worth leaving.
(he could never be around for her, so he fehels like he she should of left him)

D.C. sleeps alone tonight.
(he cant make it to work, so everyone is on there own)

(Where I am)
The District sleeps alone tonight
after the bars turn out their lights
(Where I am)
and send the autos swerving
into the loneliest evening.
(he deals with drunk drivers on a nightly basis)
(Where I am)
And I am finally seeing
why I was the one worth leaving.
why I was the one worth leaving.
why I was the one worth leaving.
why I was the one worth leaving.



Alcholic | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/31/09

It's pretty clear to me that this song is about him being an Alcholic and his girlfreind leaving him because of it. The first line of the song: ''Smeared black ink, your palms are sweaty, and I'm barely listening to last demands'' means to me that she has given him an ultimatem to drop his alcholic usage, but he's too drunk to listen to her. The smeared black ink, being her eyeliner.

''I'll wear my badge, a vinyl sticker with big black letters, adhered to my chest. It tells your new freinds; I am a vistor here, I am not permanent''

This is him in rehab; he's trying to get help for his addiction. There's also other references in this song, like auto serving, and closing bars, that further push this subject. The ''I finally understand why I was the one worth leaving'' bit, is he's coming to terms with his addiction after rehab.



Gibbard | Reviewer: Tyler Strilio | 10/29/09

Whether it's in death cab or postal service, Ben Gibbard's lyrics amaze me. His music speaks to people in soo many different ways. He tells stories to be deciphered by his fans. a story that they possibly have experienced themselves. but it's all what a person believes it means to themselves. 2 words, lyrical genius.



D.C. Sleeps Alone Tonight | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/9/09

Personally, the song is about a divorce. About two people that have fallen apart, emotionally, and have finally taken the split hence, "Smeared black ink, Your palms are sweaty... to last demands,"
the last demands being the items they get in the divorce. And Ben, or the main character is wondering what could be worse than losing his love. His ex-wife has made new friends, but she's pretending to be someone she isn't and he can see through it, which is the only thing keeping him from breaking down, "keeping me dry." He realizes that she want's gaudy things, and riches, and it just isn't who he is, and nothing he could ever give her, so he was worth leaving. Then it finally drives him to alcohol, and the song ends with the idea of him driving through the night, aimlessly drunk.

This is just my take on the song, from the lyrics and the ideas I see him trying to create. Take it or leave it :)



My thought | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/27/09

I assume this guy in the song is a police officer, who just got out of a relationship. When he goes to visit her, he realizes how unhappy she is, or.. he sees how happy she is now (it could go either way), and now hes realizing everything, and that he was the one worth leaving. Later in the night, "D.C sleeps alone tonight", and he gives up.



what i think | Reviewer: Ashley | 4/8/09

when i hear this song i think of a guy and girl that have broken up, and he goes to visit her. maybe to get stuff of his that she has. and when he goes to visit her and can tell that she isnt really happy, which explains why he says "stranger with your door key" because shes a stranger to herself because she pretends to be someone she is not. and this can also be preceived by the line "you seem so out of context, in this gaudy apartment complex" because he sees that how she lives now and the friends that she has arent really what she wants. and "i was the one worth leaving" because he sees that their relationship wouldnt last because he really doesnt know who she is after all.



I am not permanent | Reviewer: mOOKa | 11/5/08

I just love the line "I am a vistor here...I am not permanent." It takes something as simple and tactile as a visitor nametag and elevates it to a philosophical level, representing the impermanence of both the failed/failing relationship and existence in general...but not in a cheesy or presumptuous way. It's a repeated theme in their songs...like in "we will become silhouettes". Making something metaphorically new and different out of something we all recognize is the mark of a brilliant lyricist. Amazing.



just life | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/5/08

I think that his girlfriend moved to a new apatment "gaudy apartment complex" with new roommates who are snobes and shes all trying to get him out by saying hes just visiting and hes saying he was the one worth leaving because she likes her new friends better and shes changing




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