Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes

Album: The Moon And Antarctica (2000)

Songfacts®:

  • Theories on the meaning of this song range from nuclear warfare to a man's trip to hell. There's a good chance the song is based on the book The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, with the "Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes" referring to "The Valley Of Ashes" in the book. The lyric, "I'm gonna hit you in your face, I'm gonna punch you in your glasses" could refer both to the billboard of T.J. Eckleberg and when Myrtle gets hit in the face by Tom, "I'm gonna get dressed up in plastic, gonna shake hands with the masses" can imply how everyone in the book (almost) seems so ridiculously fake, and "I'm gonna shake hands with the masses" could be about Nick first attending one of Gatby's parties and getting to know everyone because he hadn't before. "Does anybody know a way that a body could get away" would refer to the book towards the end, where a couple characters are killed (we won't spoil it for you). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Robin - Huntertown, IN

Comments: 2

  • Shelby from Houston, TxWow, I've thought much about this song and I've not come up with anything as cogent as the explanation served. I also think he compares his writing style to F. Scott Fitzgerald's "heavy on the symbolism" possibly a little wary of maintaining which was evidenced in the theme and tone of the next album "Good News for People who Love Bad News"
  • Mike from Willoughby, OhThe interpretation at the top of the page seems the best one, but when I first heard it, I saw it as the speaker being a politician who's sold off his soul and his constituency and is going to the next city of people he has to pretend to connect with.
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