What does St. Peter's Cathedral mean?

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Death Cab For Cutie: St. Peter's Cathedral Meaning

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St. Peter's Cathedral Lyrics

St. Peter's cathedral
Built of granite
Ever fearful of the answer
When the candle in the tunnel
Is flickering and sputters
And fading faster
It's only then that you will know
What lies above or down below
Or if these fictions only...

  1. anonymous
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    Jul 26th 2014 report

    "St. Peter's Cathedral Built of Granite but ever fearful of the answer..." I believe this line is referring to the seemingly-stable church. Built of 'granite' ... we all know granite is a very heavy and strong substance. Granite represents the power the church has. Ever fearful of the answer refers to the fact that though the church is powerful and full of influence, even they themselves do not know the true answer.
    I believe that the "candle in the tunnel flickering... and fading faster..." is referring to the ever-increasing question of the church itself.
    When Gibbard states this he goes on to say that because of this, "it is only then that you will know what lies above or down below," meaning that because the "candle is flickering and fading," so to speak (being the growing questioning of the church) we are beginning to realize that heaven and hell may not exist.
    He then continues, "and when our hearts stop ticking, this is the end--there's nothing past this..." Meaning that once we realize that Heaven and Hell are not real, we begin to understand that life is a one time thing, and that we have no other chances.

    In my opinion I believe that this song leaves room for all of us to interpret the later meaning of this song. The constant ringing of "there's nothing past this" for the next minute and a half reminds you that life is more precious and valuable than we come to imagine, and thus urges us to take better care of it.. we have no other chances to make life worth living.

  2. anonymous
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    Jul 12th 2011 report

    Basically he is saying there is nothing after death. The church is built of granite meaning it is supposed to be tough and reliant but even if you believe in God you are still afraid of death and think about if there is no afterlife. And only then do you really realize how much your life is worth and how much you really have to lose or how much you really have to life for.

  3. anonymous
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    Jun 9th 2011 report

    I think it's about wondering if there is an after life, or if when we die its the end.

  4. anonymous
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    May 29th 2011 report

    This song obviously is stating that there is nothing past dying. no heaven. no hell. just death.


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