What does Cigarette Daydreams mean?

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Cage the Elephant: Cigarette Daydreams Meaning


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Song Released: 2014

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Cigarette Daydreams Lyrics

Did you stand there all alone?
Oh I cannot explain what's going down
I can see you standing next to me
In and out somewhere else right now
You sigh look away
I can see it clear as day
Close your eyes so afraid
Hide behind that baby...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 4th 2018 report

    TLDR Cigarette daydreams is about Matt talking about depression and him trying to help a girl who is depressed but only gets pushed away

    This song is about a girl who is in a deep depression and how the singer is seeing right through them. As Matt once mentioned in an interview this song and the entire album in general is about painful honesty and it is clear in this song. The title of the song describes how she would turn to smoking and isolation to try and cope with problems she simply can't handle.

    She tries to hide her problems by shielding herself away from people as apparent in the first verse "
    I can see you standing next to me In and out somewhere else right now You sigh, look away"
    however the singer sees her pain
    "I can see it clear as day Close your eyes, so afraid Hide behind that baby face"

    The chorus refers to her searching for answers in isolation and "daydreaming" which will obviously not answer her loneliness and sense of loss. Which the singer points out by saying sarcastically "You can drive all night Looking for the answers in the pouring rain"

    There are also hints this person may not be in the singers life anymore as in the second verse. He states "Funny how it seems like yesterday" before she goes on to run away from her problems in isolation. It also seems in this encounter when he proceeded to follow her she pushed him off "So sweet with a mean streak Nearly brought me to my knees"

    Cage the Elephant has touched on this topic before especially in this album. The similar theme of the painful irony of loneliness. The feeling of loneliness only makes us want to run away and hide out of fear that we will be hurt should we open up. This only leads us into basking in our own misery. This was also touched on in a sense of self reflection in the song telescope.

    Which is why the last line is so painful as the "answer" is before us but we simply can't find the courage to try to find it. leaving the song with the line "If we can find a reason, a reason to change" only to switch it at the end to "If you can find a reason, a reason to stay Standing in the pouring rain" The singer relates to the pain of her but he knows there is nothing he can do. Matt Shultz puts more of himself in his songs than most people realize.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jul 13th 2020 report

    topic of suicide.

    I believe this song is based on the grief after a suicide. The start of the song seems to touch on the fact that the signs of suicide were missed “did you stand there all alone?” Then “I cannot explain what’s going down” is the present, the pain and the grief of the loss. The next part (to me) seems like he is wishing they were there, almost imagining it. The chorus is the “why” then the next part is the realisation that the person was actually suffering. “You were only 17”- a teenage suicide.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Apr 9th 2021 report

    I feel like it’s about the healing process of a girl who went through sexual assault. Idk if anyone else gets that feeling

  4. anonymous
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    May 17th 2022 report

    I believe as well that this song is about a young 17 year old girl committing suicide. As it states, "You were only 17", meaning something happened at the young age of 17. It says "If we could find a reason" then changes too "If you can find a reason" trying to imply Matt wishes the girl could've found a reason to stay. "Funny how it seems like yesterday, I recall, you were looking out of place" Meaning the day she ended her life she looked lost and hopeless. "Nearly brought me too my knees" He was too stunned and shocked from the news to speak and think so he just fell. Just my interperatation though.

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 4th 2021 report

    this is one of my favourite songs. It’s such an upbeat song, but the song itself is actually very sad and depressing, im pretty sure it’s about a 17 year old who committed suicide, the lyric “you were only 17” gives away the fact that something had happened to a 17 year old. The lyrics “funny how it seems like yesterday as I recall, you were looking out of place gathered up your things and slipped away” It definitely sounds like they had committed suicide. “If we can find a reason, a reason to change looking for the answer if you can find a reason, a reason to stay Standing in the pouring rain” just the lyrics give away that he lost a 17 year old to suicide.

  6. anonymous
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    Jul 28th 2021 report

    The song is about a couple whose beautiful relationship ended because of no apparent reason; it was nobody's fault,and circumstances caused the relationship to end, in spite of the fact that there was still so much love.
    Now the artist is reminiscing and describing her as someone who was soft and sensitive, but also with a hint of meanness, and how his love for that aspect of her nearly brought him to his knees. He was the only one who could see right through her, and read all of her sighs,facial expressions and body language.
    Meanwhile, the girl is pondering over why their relationship ended and what she can do to fix it, and she mulls over that for the longest time, trying to mentally give herself some closure as she's unable to move on without a legitimate reason.

  7. anonymous
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    Mar 15th 2021 report

    I think this song is about a teenage girl who was 17 that committed suside and the main singer matt uses cigarettes as a coping mechanism because the smell of cigarettes reminds him of her. the lyrics "you were only 17" Meaning she offed herself at a young age and matt is having trouble dealing with it.
    Main thought: The young girl killed herself at 17 so matt uses cigarettes as a coping mechanism.

  8. anonymous
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    Nov 2nd 2020 report

    This story is very interesting and I think very emotional it matches with the song very well And whenever I listen to the song I will always think of this. This is my favorite song and just makes me want to go dance in the rain.

  9. anonymous
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    Aug 21st 2020 report

    What i got from this song and it probably has nothing to do with what it means is this guy messed up really bad in a relationship and she wants to forgive him but keeps turning away from him for their own good. This is just what i took from it because i was going through that when i listened to it, but i thought it was an amazing song.

  10. anonymous
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    Jan 23rd 2020 report

    This is the precursor to Matt and Juliets demise as husband and wife. They are both acting out their real life feelings and memories throughout the video. She obviously comes from money as she is a successful French model who's used to getting what she wants. She simply grew tired of Matt and her married life with him and torches the old her with the Mercedes and Matt is just being cool offering her a chance to drive all night, think it over, and find a reason to stay standing in the pouring rain...a metaphorical depressive married state. And finally finished and desolved in the "ready to let go" song and video. -MRS

  11. anonymous
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    Dec 25th 2019 report

    This song isn't about cigerette in the smoking sense at all it about a girl he loved that wore red cigerette pants all the time and he is daydreaming about her I know this because she is no my wife she used to be engaged to his cousin way back in 2002 and he had hos chance with her after they split but blew it by running out on her because he was scared that he wasn't good enough for her

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
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    Dec 20th 2019 report

    posted by hungbunny
    I personally interpret this song's lyrics as a woman struggling with grief and the singer is the significant other who is trying to support them - I can't help cry when I hear the 1st verse, the lyrics are so personal.

  13. anonymous
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    Nov 9th 2019 report

    I personally think this song is about. An older guy and a younger girl falling in love. He knows it isn’t right, so he leaves her. She has a bad past. He knew that his love and help could help her overcome her past, and it did. Then he leave her because she’s jailbait. She knew she was jailbait, but she could only wish she was older so she could be with him. When the song says “hide behind your baby face” i think it’s referring to how young she is compared to him. When to song says “you can drive all night looking to the answers in the pouring rain” he means you can looks for the answers to the questions you ask yourself for the reason why he didn’t stay, and the rain just gives on that sad vibe. “soft speck with the mean stream nearly brought me to my knees” i feel like what that’s trying to say is she has a soft personality with a mean attitude when it’s convenient, because of things that happened in her past, and it got to his so it brought him to his knees. With the lyrics “if we can find a reason a reason to change” i think it means if they can find a reason to change to be the best they can be for each other than that’s what they need to do. and “if you can find a reason to stay” i think that means that after he left her without her not understanding why or what she did wrong, if only she could find a reason to stay and understand why he did what he had to do. At the end of the video she pictures herself catching herself on fire in the back of a car. With my understanding she’s burning her past self. Then he comes back and gives her a kiss on her four head. He knows she found the answers and a reason to stay. She knows he did what he did to save herself. Eventually they will come back to each other but when the time is right. Now i could be totally wrong, but that’s what i get out of this song/video from experience. The one i feel in love with told me this song was for me.

  14. anonymous
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    Apr 11th 2018 report

    She is stuck in her daydreams thinking she could get away from her troubles and reality.she burned the other her in the back of her car and felt so free looking and the ending with the guy it seemed that she overcame her depression and Mabye it was partly him who tried helping

  15. anonymous
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    Nov 25th 2017 report

    I believe the woman here is lost, and won't allow him to give her his all. There's a wall that she couldn't get through; a transformation. she was too young. He failed at having her open her arms to him. She didn't accept his love. She's in the past now and she's a memory (cigarette daydream).

  16. anonymous
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    Aug 13th 2017 report

    I believe it's about a guy who has been friends with this girl for a short amount of time but instantly grew close and became best friends until he realized he caught feelings for her. Who knows though

  17. anonymous
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    Jun 29th 2016 report

    I think this song is about like a relationship where the guy (just assuming) is always trying to cheer up the girl (just assuming) because she is unhappy for some reason. Perhaps she doesent seem unhappy to others at first sight because she doesent look it but as her significant other he can identify her melancholy. Its a bit of a vague song because you cant tell whats going on specifically however it can most certainly relate to alot of relationships.

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