Narrow Stairs

by Death Cab for Cutie

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credits

released May 13, 2008

Death Cab For Cutie are Benjamin Gibbard, Nicholas Harmer, Jason McGerr and Chris Walla

Words by Benjamin Gibbard
Produced by Chris Walla
Recorded by Walla and Wil Markwell at Two Sticks Audio, Seattle, WA; Tiny Telephone, San Francisco, CA; Robert Lang, Seattle, WA; and The Alberta Court, Portland, OR; Except No Sunlight, Mixed at Smart Studios, Madison, WI; and Long Division, mixed by Alex Newport at Metropolitan Sound, Brooklyn, NY
Assisted by Aaron Prellwitz, John Ziemski and Beau Sorenson -- Thank You

Mastered by Roger Seibel at SAE Mastering, Phoenix, AZ
Original artwork and layout by EE Storey
Management: Jordan Kurland / Zeitgeist Artist Management, LTD
Assistance from Ami Spishock, Joe Goldberg, and Yenie Ra
Legal: Gary Gilbert and Steve Butler / Manatt, Phelps, and Phillips, LLP
Business Management: David Rawson, Darlene Johnson / Zeisler, Zeisler & Rawson, LLP
A&R for Atlantic Records: Sam Riback
Extra Support: Mark Duston, Andy Hayward, Jesse Quitslund, Alan Garren, Tom Pisano - Thank You
The bus: Jason Yakel
Jason used Ludwig, Paiste, Remo, Vic Firth, and DW Hardware
Recorded using ATR Magnetics and Radar 24
Centerfold photograph by Eric A. Hegg, 1898, reproduced courtesy of the Eric A. Hegg Collection, University of Alaska Anchorage Consortium Library, Archives and Special Collections Department
Thank you to our families, friends, and everyone who makes this possible

deathcabforcutie.com

Songs by Benjamin Gibbard, C2008 EMI Blackwood Music Incorporated on behalf of itself
Where I'm Calling From Music (BMI), except: "I Will Possess Your Heart", by Benjamin Gibbard, Nicholas Harmer, Jason McGerr and Christopher Walla, C2008 EMI Blackwood Music Incorporated on behalf of itself
Where I'm Calling From Music (BMI)
Shove It Up and "The Ice is Getting Thinner", by Benjamin Gibbard and Christopher Walla, C2008 EMI Blackwood Music Incorporated on behalf of itself
Where I'm Calling From Music (BMI)
Please Pass The Songs (BMI); "Grapevine Fires", by Benjamin Gibbard, Nicholas Harmer and Jason McGerr, C2008 EMI Blackwood Music Incorporated on behalf of itself
Where I'm Calling From Music (BMI)
Shove It Up Your Songs (BMI)
Giant Beat Songs (BMI); "Your New Twin Sized Bed", by Benjamin Gibbard and Nicholas Harmer, C2008 EMI Blackwood Music Incorporated on behalf of itself
Where I'm Calling From Music (BMI)
Shove It Up Your Songs (BMI); and "Long Division", by Benjamin Gibbard, Nicholas Harmer and Christopher Walla, C2008 EMI Blackwood Music Incorporated on behalf of itself
Where I'm Calling From Music (BMI)
Shove It Up Your Songs (BMI)
Please Pass The Songs (BMI)

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Death Cab for Cutie Seattle, Washington

Death Cab for Cutie is an American alternative rock band, formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. The Grammy-nominated band consists of Ben Gibbard (vocals, guitar, piano), Nick Harmer (bass) and Jason McGerr (drums). Their eighth studio album Kintsugi was released on March 31, 2015. ... more

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Track Name: Bixby Canyon Bridge
I descended a dusty, gravel ridge beneath the Bixby Canyon Bridge
Until I eventually arrived at the place where your soul had died
And barefoot in the shallow creek I grabbed some stones from underneath
And waited for you to speak to me

But in the silence it became so very clear that you had long ago disappeared
And I cursed myself for being surprised that this didn’t play like it did in my mind
All the way from San Francisco as I chased the end of your road
‘Cause I’ve still got miles to go

And I want to know my fate if I keep up this way
But it’s hard to want to stay awake
When everyone you meet they all seem to be asleep
And you wonder if you’re missing a dream you just can’t see

Then it started getting dark and I trudged back to where the car was parked
No closer to any kind of truth as I must assume was the case with you
Track Name: I Will Possess Your Heart
How I wish you could see the potential of you and me
It’s like a book elegantly bound but in a language that you can’t read just yet

You gotta spend some time with me and I know that you’ll find love
I will possess your heart

There are days when outside your window I see my reflection as I slowly pass
And I long for this mirrored perspective when we’ll be lovers at last

You gotta spend some time with me and I know that you’ll find love
I will possess your heart

You reject my advances and desperate pleas
I won’t let you let me down so easily
Track Name: No Sunlight
When I was young lying in the grass
I felt so safe in a warming bath of sunlight
The vast open sky could do no harm
Like the embrace of a mother’s arms
In sunlight

But with every year that came to pass
More clouds appeared ‘til the sky went black
And there was no sunlight anymore

And it disappeared at the same speed
As the idealistic things I believed
When the optimist died inside of me

With a man who hides from all that binds in a mess of fading lines
With a tangled thread inside his head with nothing on either end

And I'm a man who hides from all that binds in a mess of fading lines
And there's a tangled thread inside my head with nothing on either end
Track Name: Cath...
Cath, she stands with a well intentioned-man
But she can’t relax with his hand on the small of her back
And as the flashbulbs burst she holds a smile
Like someone would hold a crying child

And soon everybody will ask what became of you
When your heart was dying fast and you didn’t know what to do

Cath, it seems that you live in someone else’s dream
In a hand-me-down wedding dress with the things that could've been all repressed
But you said your vows and you closed the door
On so many men who would’ve loved you more

And soon everybody will ask what became of you
When your heart was dying fast and you didn’t know what to do
The whispers that it won’t last roll up and down the pews
But if their hearts were dying that fast they’d have done the same as you
And I’ve done the same as you
Track Name: Talking Bird
Oh my talking bird though you know so few words
They’re on infinite repeat like your brain can’t keep up with your beak
And you’re kept in an open cage and you’re free to leave or stay
But sometimes you get confused like there’s a hint that I’m trying to give you
And the longer you think the less you know what to do

It’s hard to see your way out when you live in a house in a house
‘Cause you don’t realize that the windows were open the whole time
but oh my talking bird though your feathers are tattered and furled
I’ll love you all your days ‘til the breath leaves your delicate frame
And it’s all here for you as long as you chose to stay
It’s all here for you as long as you don’t fly away
Track Name: You Can Do Better Than Me
I’m starting to feel we stay together out of fear of dying alone
I’ve been slipping through the years and my old clothes don’t fit like they once did
So they hang like ghosts of the people I’ve been

But it’s like my heart can’t be tamed and I fall in love every day and I feel like a fool
And I have to face the truth that no one could ever look at me like you do
Like I’m something worth holding on to

There’s times I think of leaving but it’s something I’ll never do
‘Cause you can do better than me but I can’t do better than you
Track Name: Grapevine Fires
When the wind picked up the fire spread
And the grapevine seemed left for dead
And the northern sky looked like the end of days
A wakeup call to a rented room sounded like an alarm of impending doom
To warn us its only a matter of time
Before we all burn

We bought some wine and some paper cups near your daughter's school
when we picked her up and drove to a cemetery on a hill
Where we watched the plumes paint the sky grey as she laughed and danced
through the field of graves
And there u knew it would be alright
That everything would be alright

The news reports on the radio said it was getting worse as the ocean
air fanned the flames
But I couldn't think of anywhere I would have rather been to watch it
all burn away

The firemen worked in double shifts with prayers for rain on their
lips and they knew it was only a matter if time
Track Name: Your New Twin Sized Bed
You look so defeated lying there in your new twin size bed
With a single pillow underneath your single head
I guess you decided that that old queen was more space than you would need
And now it’s in the alley behind your apartment with a sign that says it’s free
And that I hope you have more luck with this than me

You used to think that someone would come along
And lay beside you in the space that they belonged
But the other side of the mattress and boxspring stayed like new
And what’s the point of holding on to what never gets used
Other than a sick desire for self abuse

I try not to worry but you’ve got me terrified
It’s like you’re in some kind of hurry to say goodbye
Track Name: Long Division
His head was a city of paper buildings and the echoes that remained
Of old friends and lovers their features bleeding together in his
brain
And once it started it was harder to tell them apart
He was always distracted by the very mention of an open door
'Cause he had sworn not to be what he'd been before

To be a remainder `

The television was snowing softly as she hunted for her keys
she said she never envisioned him the type of person capable of such
deceit
And they carried on like long division as it was clear with every page
That they were further away from a solution that would play

Without a remainder

And he had sworn not to be what he'd been before

To be the remainder
Track Name: Pity And Fear
I have such envy for the stranger lying next to me
Who awakes in the night and slips out into the predawn light
With no words: a clean escape, no promises or messes made
And chocks it all up to a mistake

Cause there are no tears just pity and fear
And a vast ravine right in between

A storm at sea
The bow cracked and I was capsizing
And I sunk below where u swore I would never go
'cause when you can't stand in place you can't tell who's walking away
from who remains

Cause there are no tears just pity and fear and a vast ravine right on
between
And there are no tears just pity and fear
And I recall the push more than the fall
Track Name: The Ice Is Getting Thinner
We’re not the same dear as we used to be
The seasons have changed and so have we
And there was little we could say and even less that we could do
To stop the ice from getting thinner under me and you

We buried our love in a wintery grave
A lump in the snow was all that remained
But we stayed by it’s side as the days turned to weeks
As the ice kept getting thinner with every word that we’d speak

And when spring arrived we were taken by surprise
When the floes under our feet bled into the sea
And nothing was left for you and me

We’re not the same dear and it seems to me
There’s nowhere we can go with nothing underneath
And it saddens me to say what we both knew was true
That the ice was getting thinner under me and you