Little Bribes
Death Cab for Cutie Lyrics


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The Eiffel tower built to smaller scale
The freshest oxygen I'd ever inhale
I tapped a bottle against a safety rail, killing time

And you were like a walking compliment
Tall in stature and exceptionally read
In dummy glasses and a cardigan
Oh, come on

And oh so empty were the faces of the dealers And the waitresses around

You said that all these things you've learned to ignore
The hidden cameras on the casino floor
And what gets paid for behind hotel doors
Oh, come on

You pretend every slot machine is a robot amputee waving hello
The people stare into their eyes and they feed them little bribes and then they go

The never-ending twilight
In a basement where the sun has never split
You said that you were lonely
And then we kissed like lonely people do

You said the city has a beating heart
That pushes people down the boulevard
And they're all hoping for a wish fulfilled
In a desert for a dollar bill
Those foolish dreams, you know they plague me still
Oh, come on

And oh so empty were the faces
Of the dealers and the waitresses around
Of the dealers and the waitresses around





They're empty

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Death Cab for Cutie's song Little Bribes are about the empty and lonely feeling that often comes with modern life. The song consists of two verses and a chorus that describe a visit to Paris and a casino. The first verse describes a visit to the Eiffel tower, where the singer contemplates his existence while surrounded by tourists. The second verse describes a casino, where people feed slot machines with little bribes and their faces are empty and lifeless. In the chorus, the singer is kissing someone who feels as lonely as he does, and they both acknowledge the emptiness around them.


The song is a reflection of the modern condition, where people are surrounded by technology and noise, but still feel empty and alone. The singer sees this emptiness in the faces of the dealers and waitresses, as well as in his own existence. He is searching for meaning in a world that often feels meaningless.


Line by Line Meaning

The Eiffel tower built to smaller scale
The replica of the Eiffel Tower is small compared to the actual one in Paris.


The freshest oxygen I'd ever inhale
The air was so pure and fresh that it felt rejuvenating to breathe.


I tapped a bottle against a safety rail, killing time
I did nothing but kill time by aimlessly tapping a bottle against a safety rail.


And you were like a walking compliment
You were so charming that it felt like every word you said was a compliment.


Tall in stature and exceptionally read
You were tall and well-read, a combination that made you all the more impressive.


In dummy glasses and a cardigan
You wore glasses without any prescription and a cardigan, which made you look approachable.


Oh, come on
An expression used to encourage or persuade someone.


And oh so empty were the faces of the dealers
The dealers' faces were devoid of emotions, making them appear blank and hollow.


And the waitresses around
Even the waitresses showed no emotions, further adding to the sense of emptiness in the room.


You said that all these things you've learned to ignore
You had learned to ignore all the negative aspects of the world, including the hidden cameras and shady dealings behind closed doors.


The hidden cameras on the casino floor
There were cameras in the casino, hidden from plain sight.


And what gets paid for behind hotel doors
There were probably illegal or immoral activities taking place behind the closed doors of hotel rooms.


You pretend every slot machine is a robot amputee waving hello
You try to humanize the machines by pretending they are amputees waving hello, instead of just inanimate objects.


The people stare into their eyes and they feed them little bribes and then they go
The gamblers stare at the machines and feed them money in the hopes of winning, and then leave disappointed.


The never-ending twilight
The perpetual state of darkness in a dingy basement.


In a basement where the sun has never split
The sun never reaches the basement, making it feel even more gloomy.


You said that you were lonely
You admitted to feeling lonely while being in such a crowded place.


And then we kissed like lonely people do
Our kiss was borne out of loneliness and a need for connection.


You said the city has a beating heart
The city has an energy and pulse that gives it life.


That pushes people down the boulevard
This energy propels people forward along the streets.


And they're all hoping for a wish fulfilled
Everyone has a wish or a dream that they hope to achieve.


In a desert for a dollar bill
People will do anything to achieve their goals, even if it means being in a barren, isolated place.


Those foolish dreams, you know they plague me still
Even though these dreams might seem foolish, they continue to haunt and bother me.


They're empty
The dealers and waitresses are empty and hollow, just like the rest of the casino.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Written by: Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Mike Walker

This music video is SOOOOOO underrated!!! These visuals are amazing!!!

Jordan Pomeroy

"every slot machine is a robot amputee waving hello" I love Death Cab.

Sally Shaar

Since I found this song, I listen to it everyday, such good vibes.

Daniel Klebingat

I'm so glad that dcfc's video's are unique, pleasing to the eye, clean and fun without any of today's 'need' for flashing lights and half naked girls in the background. :D Great song

CarterWatson Keep on Rockin

First time listening to this band really happy I found out about them

Kristina Salazar

This song is awesome, and the video is really cool.! I wish I knew how to do this. I freaking love this band :D

2good4evil2evil4u

Awesome video and song. I am glad I found this band.

Jon Scott

Never disappoint with their music videos...and this one is hilarious.

uvp5000

The music is brisk and clever, the lyrics delightful and ever-moving; playing and singing this song is a whole lot of fun. The video is like the song - there's never a stop to the action.

carsonkent

i can't imagine how long this video took to create.....yet great art is timeless. i love the perspective they took on Las Vegas.

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