City Middle

Album: Alligator (2005)
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Songfacts®:

  • The National's vocalist Matthew Berninger pulls a lot of his lyrics from literature. This song includes an allusion to Tennessee Williams's play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, where the main character named Brick states he has to drink until he feels "the click", and that once he does he feels peaceful.

    I think I'm like Tennessee Williams, I wait for the click; I wait, but it doesn't kick in.

    Unlike Brick, Berninger keeps drinking, but the click "doesn't kick in."
  • Berninger admitted to Artist Direct that his source was the 1958 movie version (featuring Paul Newman as Brick) rather than the original play. "I haven't read that much Tennessee Williams, but I do know enough," he said. "I know more about Paul Newman than I know about Tennessee Williams, let's put it that way, so that line from that song just stuck with me because of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and it is probably because of Paul Newman more."

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