Codes and Keys
Death Cab for Cutie Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

We won't get far
Flying in circles inside a jar
'Cause the air we breathe
Is thinning with the words that we speak

That we speak
You and me
That we speak
You and me

You're on the floor
Fearful of what's outside your door
But the codes and keys
They can protect you
From the pangs of jealousy

When you scream
Love you see
Like a child
Throwing stones at the sky
When they fall back to earth
As minor chords of major works
Separate rooms of single life
We are one
We are alive

We are alive
We are alive




We are alive
We are alive

Overall Meaning

The song "Codes and Keys" by Death Cab for Cutie featuring Magik*Magik Orchestra is a beautiful commentary on the limitations of human communication and the fragility of our existence. The first verse speaks directly to the difficulty of expressing ourselves through language, as the air we breathe becomes thinner with the words that we speak. Despite our best efforts to connect with each other, we are limited by our own perceptions and biases.


In the second verse, the song's focus shifts to the theme of security and protection. The codes and keys mentioned here may be literal keys to a door or a safe, or they may be metaphorical ways in which we guard ourselves from the world outside. In either case, the song suggests that these protections can be a double-edged sword, shielding us from the pain of jealousy but also trapping us in separate rooms of our own making.


The final lines of the song offer a sense of hope and connectedness, as the repetition of "We are alive" becomes a unifying mantra. Despite our limitations and vulnerabilities, we are all part of the same grand work of life, sharing the same minor chords and major works.


Line by Line Meaning

We won't get far
Our progress will be limited


Flying in circles inside a jar
We're stuck in our own enclosed environment


'Cause the air we breathe
The atmosphere we're in


Is thinning with the words that we speak
Is becoming less substantial as we talk


That we speak
The words we say


You and me
Between us


You're on the floor
You're in a vulnerable position


Fearful of what's outside your door
Frightened of what lies beyond your immediate surroundings


But the codes and keys
Yet the means of access


They can protect you
Will keep you safe


From the pangs of jealousy
Unpleasant feelings of envy


When you scream
Upon expressing


Love you see
The emotion of love comes to light


Like a child
Similar to an innocent young being


Throwing stones at the sky
Casting rocks upward into the heavens


When they fall back to earth
As they land back on the ground


As minor chords of major works
Within great accomplishments, some smaller elements may go unnoticed


Separate rooms of single life
Individual experiences of solitary existence


We are one
We are united


We are alive
We are breathing and vibrant


We are alive
We are thriving


We are alive
We are living


We are alive
We are present




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Written by: BENJAMIN GIBBARD

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

Aditya Mishra

We won't get far
Flying in circles inside a jar
Because the air we breathe
Is thinning with the words that we speak

That we speak
You and me
That we speak
You and me

You're on the floor
Fearful of what's outside your door
But the codes and keys
They can protect you
From the pangs of jealousy

When you scream
Love you see
Like a child
Throwing stones at the sky
When they fall back to earth
As minor chords of major works
Separate rooms of single life
We are one
We are alive

We are alive

We are alive

We are alive

We are alive



All comments from YouTube:

Anabel

I love that violin sound in the background. Not sure if that's the correct instrument but regardless, it sounds so wonderful. This song puts me in a peaceful mood.

Prince Devitt83

I know this band for so Long. One of the most underrated bands ever.

Elias Bartos

Dan Putnam underrated for how good they are

Dan's Drives

I'd hardly call them underrated when their concert tickets are usually $200+ and they have 8 Grammy nominations.

Nero Caesar

I remember faintly, my first girlfriend when I was 16, her laugh, her gorgeous eyes, her scent of vanilla ice cream and strawberries. She would always get me to get out of my "shell". We would stare at the stars, and she asked me to go skinny dipping, I was too nervous never being with a girl, her level of audacity! That was a regret, let me tell you. Seesh, that was decades ago. No idea what she is up to now. I'm now a 62 year old man. Life does really fly, shit. Have fun munchkins! And remember, if you get that pit of nervousness in your stomach but you think something truly good/fun may come out of it, fight the fear, FUCKING do it!

Julia Brito

You made my heart so warm. It's amazing seeing how music can be so magical. You traveled a long time ago just by listening to it, and I'm here, a 28 year old girl with a lot of things going on in life, thinking about a million things and feeling grateful for finding your comment. Thank you. ♥️

buttons :DD

this song and many others off of the codes and keys album reminds me of a time of sadness in my life because this was all i listened to lmao
yet i still listen bc its so... melodic..

iTwerkley

The "we are alive" line gives me so much hope


Honestly I'm clueless as to what the actual meaning is behind this song but that one line gives me hope that I'll be okay when I'm down.

Oneocean

'like a child throwing stones at the sky and when they fall back to earth as minor chords of major works In separate rooms a single life we are one we are alive." My favorite part.

Ash

There are some songs that I wish never end and this is one of them. It's such an awesome, mellow song with a great rhythm.

More Comments

More Versions