What does Wasted Hours mean?

Arcade Fire: Wasted Hours Meaning

Tagged: Time [suggest]
Album cover for Wasted Hours album cover

Wasted Hours Lyrics

All those wasted hours we used to know
Spent the summer staring out the window
The wind it takes you where it wants to go

First they built the road, then they built the town
That's why we're still driving round and round
And all we see
Are kids...

  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 22nd 2011 !⃝

    "All those wasted hours we used to know
    Spent the summer staring out the window
    The wind it takes you where it wants to go"

    this is talking about life as a kid just wasting away waiting to grow up on your destined path


    "First they built the road, then they built the town
    That's why we're still driving round and round
    And all we see
    Are kids in buses longing to be free"

    the suburbs is a metaphor for being young and the city is a metaphor for being an adult. so the road is your life growing up from the suburbs (kid) waiting to reach the town(adult). "driving round and round" means you dont want to grow up but your seeing "kids in buses" (kids your age) growing up around you

    "Wasted hours, before we knew
    Where to go, and what to do
    Wasted hours, that you made new
    And turned into
    A life that we can live"

    as a kid you dont know what to do with your life but as you grow up you find out a way to get by in life



    "Some cities make you lose your head
    Endless suburbs stretched out thin and dead
    And what was that line you said
    Wishing you were anywhere but here
    You watch the life you're living disappear
    And now I see
    We're still kids in buses longing to be free"

    becoming an adult is stressful and the road to becoming one can take a long time. and when you do grow up your wishing to be a kid again and to take advantage of the whole world in front of you

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 18th 2011 !⃝

    Previous interpretation is far too simplistic, though correct. It's got nothing to do with not being able to drive, driving is a metaphor for taking your life where you want it to go...hence the end lyric "turn into a life that we can live". In the suburbs they didn't learn how to live life fully, and hence wasted their hours.

    It is about the limitations people in the suburbs have suffered. This is a recurring theme in their music, growing from Funeral. "We're kids in the buses longing to be free" is about the lack of openess in the suburbs...parents who live 9-5, commuting, lives that don't stimulate their children, having to live (as in mountains beyond mountains) a life that is so normal it's restricted.

    Wasted hours can be understood on two levels. One, the lack of development that occurs in the suburbs, but also as a logical response to this stimulus. "what was that LINE you said". More importantly, in The Suburbs (continued) the say, with regards to their wasted hours "we'd only waste it again". They understand that the way they lived as children was understandable, and positive. You cannot understand an Arcade Fire song in isolation.

    The line "first they built the road then they buil the town" also appears in Month Of May. The bad urban design, as previously mentioned is correct, but the underlying theme is that there is something un-natural (which feeds into social relationships) about the suburbs, as opposed to more "organic" growth of cities. This has implications on how people live their lives, and how children grow up. "Sleeping in is giving in..."

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 24th 2011 !⃝

    this song is about what it's like to live in thw suburbs as a kid and not be able to go anywhere because you can't drive. Your a kid in a bus longing to be free. It comments on how cities were poorly designed, first they built the roads then they built the town, that's why were still driving around and around... So in the suburbs you have to drive ever where, which is why you are still a kid in a bus longing to be free.
    If you like this album but don't know much about urban form and sprawl, read up on it. The album will be so much better once you understand it on that level.


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