First to Finish Last to Start
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

rain falls - you know it's got to rain.
the sky lifts it up and lets it down again.
and it's alright - you must accept your part,
being the first to finish or the last to start.
and when you meet me on the ledge,
we'll all be singing out again.
and if you must, then jump away.
i'm not afraid - we'll meet another day.
flame burns - it burns its fuel away.
it lights up the dark night and warms the cold cold day.




but if you burn too strong you might expend your heart,
being the first to finish and the last to start.

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of "First to Finish, Last to Start" by Ted Leo and The Pharmacists speak to the struggles of finding one's place in the world and accepting one's unique role in it. The opening lines "rain falls - you know it's got to rain. the sky lifts it up and lets it down again" serve as a metaphor for the cyclical nature of life and the idea that we must accept the things we cannot control. The following lines "and it's alright - you must accept your part, being the first to finish or the last to start" suggest that we each have a specific role to play in the grand scheme of things, whether we are the first to complete a task or the last to begin it. The emphasis here is not on being the best, but on accepting and fulfilling one's unique purpose.


The second verse continues this theme of acceptance, using the metaphor of a flame burning to illustrate the idea that passion and hard work can lead to burnout if pushed too far. "But if you burn too strong you might expend your heart, being the first to finish and the last to start" suggests that while it's important to pursue one's passions, it's equally important to take care of oneself and avoid overextending. The song ends on a note of hope, with the lines "and if you must, then jump away. i'm not afraid - we'll meet another day" suggesting that even in the face of uncertainty and fear, we can trust that we'll find our way and connect with others.


Line by Line Meaning

rain falls - you know it's got to rain.
Rain is a natural phenomenon that can't be avoided or ignored.


the sky lifts it up and lets it down again.
The rain cycle is a continuous process where the water evaporates, forms clouds and ultimately falls back to the ground.


and it's alright - you must accept your part,
It's okay to accept one's own role in life, whether it's as the first to finish or the last to start.


being the first to finish or the last to start.
Sometimes people are naturally inclined to finish things quickly or take their time starting things, but both approaches are valid.


and when you meet me on the ledge,
In difficult situations, it's important to have support from others.


we'll all be singing out again.
In times of triumph or joy, people often express themselves through music or other forms of art.


and if you must, then jump away.
If someone needs to take a leap of faith or risk in order to achieve their goals, they should do so with the support of those around them.


i'm not afraid - we'll meet another day.
Even if someone fails or falls short in their endeavors, there will always be another opportunity to try again.


flame burns - it burns its fuel away.
Fire is a powerful element that can consume everything in its path.


it lights up the dark night and warms the cold cold day.
Even though fire can be dangerous, it can also provide light and warmth in times of darkness and cold.


but if you burn too strong you might expend your heart,
Sometimes when people work too hard or push themselves too far, they can become burned out or lose their passion.


being the first to finish and the last to start.
Just like with rain, some people approach things with intensity and urgency while others take their time, and both approaches have their benefits and drawbacks.




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS

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

More Versions