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Death Cab For Cutie: Title and Registration Meaning

Song Released: 2004

Title and Registration Lyrics

The glove compartment isn't accurately named
And everybody knows it
So I'm proposing a swift orderly change

'Cause behind its door there's nothing to keep my fingers warm
And all I find are souvenirs from better times
Before the gleam of...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 26th 2008 report

    First of all it has nothing to do with a cop or getting pulled over because the cop asks for license and registration not "title and registration". My interpretation of this song is that he's selling his car, meaning he's passing on the title and registration to someone one and meanwhile, the car has so many memories of him and his ex that its hard to let go. The same way he let his ex go, now he's letting the memories go by selling the car.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Feb 21st 2007 report

    A man is but pulled over by a policeman, at which that time he flips open the glove compartment of his car in search of "some legal documents". It is at this point that he finds pictures from a previous relationship. One that will never return. He doesn't blame her or him for that lack of love in their relationship, he just regrets it. All these memories are unfolded through stream of consciousness as he falls upon pictures.
    I love the use of imagery in their songs. Very picture-ative.

  3. anonymous
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    Feb 10th 2011 report

    The "glove compartment" is his heart and he still has all the good memories from the good times with his ex. "tail lights leaving me to find your self a better time" means that she's leaving him for someone better. In the music video it shows his friends trying to men his heart and basically get rid of all the old good memories. When he was "searching for some legal documents" he was looking into his heart and found something else. He remembered his ex and once again their old memories. He's disappointed because he wishes to be with his ex. And feels regret for the same reason. The love has just disappeared.
    All in all he is sad because he misses his ex and he's always remembering his ex.
    Sorry for misspellings!!!!!! and this isn't right or wrong. This is a site for opinions :) go death cab!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 12martin
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    Mar 11th 2010 report

    The person is selling their car because it's too depressing, and the narrator cannot handle the memories bound with it. It only brings him pain, not comfort. He is forced to reconcile the failed love the vehicle, and for his own health stability must get rid of it "...'cause it's too important to stay the way it's been..." It's not anyone's fault, but they can't shake the "..disappointment and regret.."

  5. anonymous
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    Jun 22nd 2009 report

    Glove compartment is the girl's vagina, isn't accurately named meaning more than one person's usage of it.
    And of course, you are the last one to know out of everybody else.

    Thus You try and take control and propose an orderly change.

    Behind its door, once again a metaphor for vagina, as it is being used in polyamory, loses its warmth for your fingers.

    Gross as it is, souveniers from better times litterally means semen from other men on his fingers...

    You reveal such an act from your partner and she leaves to find someone better.

    Searching for some legal documents means hope for monogomy, as it is legal - the usual way it should be. the rain beating down on the hood is just a simple metaphor for sadness.

    The pictures found are just painful memories and feeling went through in realisation which you tried to forget.

    And now in reminding yourself, the feeling is once again stuck in your head and heart, because to you it was so important to keep hold of your partner and to stay the way it was because it was so fulfulling.

    And now there is nothing left of what you thought was so beautiful, dissapointed with yourself and your partner, regretting what has happened what has ended.

  6. anonymous
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    Oct 15th 2007 report

    Actually I find nothign wronf with the interpretation aboce the interpretation above... The initiation of a writing can be just as metaphorical as the literary work itself. The legal mishap can be a metaphor for any kind of screw up- the song could be about how he's messed up in his current relationship and now can't get an ex out of his head as he always does the same thing- or the song could be about how he has been reflecting on errors he has made in the past which lead him to reflect on his past relationships.

    I would've agreed with you, except that the song is titled "Title and Registration" Which goes to say that somehow the mataphor is important. Herdly ever do skilled writers or artists just fill up space within their material.

  7. anonymous
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    Sep 25th 2007 report

    Bad interpretation above. Trouble is nowadays, people watch too many music videos and think every song needs to have a story, like being pulled over by the police. This is irrelevant.

    It's about how he's found these photos in his car and now they don't seem to be that important anymore. There's no malice about the relationship, it simply faded. And so this is shown, as he then starts to think more about how the glove box is no longer a glove box, rather than a this lost love. They were in love, but it went. End of story.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. anonymous
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    Jan 25th 2007 report

    In this song he finds pictures or items that remind him of his love that left him " before the gleam of your taillights fading east to find... yourself a better life." He is constantly reminded of his lost love.... " idea drilled into my head.. His memories are boxed up into a glove box" and there's not blame on how our love did slowly fad.. and now that its gone its like it wasn't there at all." it reminds him and then he is sad...

  9. plasticcup_politics
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    Dec 19th 2006 report

    "When I stumbled upon pictures I tried to forget
    And that's how this idea was drilled into my head"

    no it was the lost love that made him decide to change the name of the glove compartment, not the other way around! the photos made him think about the incorrect name of the glove compartment,it's not that the lost love made him think about a glove compartment!!!!!

    it is AMAZING!!!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  10. holyguitar
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    Mar 17th 2006 report

    In this song, Ben is metaphorically shooting the messenger, and ends up going into a tangent about a lost love in his crusade to change the name of the glove compartment in which he found pictures of his ex.

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