I Don't Know How I Survive
Death Cab for Cutie Lyrics


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Listen to the ringing in your ears
The scrambled voices of your fears
Whispering, whispering
Listen to the sound of your heartbeat
Growing louder, gaining speed
You're breathin' out, breathin' in

In these nights
I don't know how I survive

Pacing across the room while she's asleep
Tears raining down her cheeks
Trying to hold, trying to hold on
Praying, even though you don't believe
Just in case they are received
By anyone, anyone

These nights, I don't know how I survive
(These nights, I don't know how I survive)
These nights, I don't know how I survive
(These nights, I don't know how I survive)
These nights, I don't know how I survive
(These nights, I don't know how I survive)
These nights, I don't know how I survive
(These nights, I don't know how I survive)

No, I don't know how I survive
(I don't know how I survive)
No, I don't know how I survive
(I don't know how I survive)

Listen to the ringing in your ears




The scrambled voices of your fears
Whispering, whispering

Overall Meaning

These lyrics from Death Cab for Cutie's song convey a deep sense of emotional turmoil and struggle that the singer is experiencing. The opening lines invite the listener to tune into the cacophony of inner battles and anxieties they are facing. The ringing in the ears and scrambled voices of fears symbolize the overwhelming nature of negative thoughts and uncertainties that haunt the singer. The repeated whispering emphasizes the constant presence and persistence of these internal struggles.


The mention of listening to the sound of the heartbeat growing louder and gaining speed suggests a heightened sense of anxiety and tension building within the singer. The act of breathing in and out reflects a conscious effort to calm oneself in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty. The reference to survival in these moments hints at a desperate need to endure and cope with the overwhelming emotions and challenges that are being faced.


As the lyrics progress, the imagery of pacing across the room while a loved one sleeps with tears raining down her cheeks paints a picture of helplessness and sorrow. The singer is depicted as trying to hold on, both to their own composure and to their hope for better times. The mention of praying, despite disbelief, signifies a clinging to any semblance of comfort or solace, even if it may not be rooted in faith.


The repeated refrain of "These nights, I don't know how I survive" echoes the feeling of being lost in the darkness of despair and uncertainty. The repetition emphasizes the ongoing struggle and the sense of not knowing how to navigate the turbulent emotions and circumstances. The closing lines bring the listener back to the ringing in the ears and scrambled voices, reinforcing the idea of being enveloped in a tumult of fears and anxieties that seem never-ending. Overall, the lyrics capture a poignant and raw exploration of the fragility of human resilience in the face of emotional distress.


Line by Line Meaning

Listen to the ringing in your ears
Pay attention to the constant noise in your head that echoes your doubts and worries


The scrambled voices of your fears
The jumbled thoughts that represent your anxieties and insecurities


Whispering, whispering
Quietly reminding you of your doubts and making them difficult to ignore


Listen to the sound of your heartbeat
Focus on the rhythm of your own life force, which is becoming more noticeable and urgent


Growing louder, gaining speed
Becoming more intense and rapid, reflecting the increasing stress and pressure you feel


You're breathin' out, breathin' in
You're trying to maintain a sense of control and composure, but your breaths show the underlying stress


In these nights
During these difficult times when you feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to cope


I don't know how I survive
Expressing the feeling of being unable to understand how you keep going despite the challenges and struggles




Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Simon

Man this may be one of their best songs ever! Anyone else already listened to this 20 times? lol!

Joe Petronglo

It’s “I Miss Strangers” for me, on repeat

Gerard Gomila

Damn right. It's a masterpiece

Dirceu Pereira

Yes! Didn’t catch my ear at first but then I was like wait a sec the chorus is awesome!

Jakcson

dude he repeats the same thing over and over again, the guitar line is good but chill

Felix De León

100 times now!

3 More Replies...

Dylan Stenglein

Just saw them a week ago...they opened with this song, it was a great show and I can't think of a better opening tune.

La la land

Saw them last night, same opening song. Awesome

Good Ol’ Bread Guy

Saw them yesterday and they opened with this song too

Zach Fisher

Same. What amazed me was how much I liked their newer stuff which I havent really listened to much (last two albums). But honestly I liked thie rnewer stuff even better than their older.

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