What does Over My Head (Cable Car) mean?

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The Fray: Over My Head (Cable Car) Meaning

Song Released: 2006

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Over My Head (Cable Car) Lyrics

I never knew
I never knew that everything was falling through.
That everyone I knew was waiting on a cue
To turn and run when all I needed was the truth
But that's how it's got to be
It's coming down to nothing more than apathy
I'd rather...

  1. anonymous
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    Jan 28th 2010 report

    What this song is about is a kid in high school who likes a girl but she doesn't know. Like others said his friends told him she don't like him, but his friends want him to tell her to see the reactions. This is what I think it means. But I think I'm wrong. I believes it has a more powerful meaning to it.

  2. anonymous
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    Dec 29th 2009 report

    I like to interpret it as a couple who has just broken up... Its what has just happenned to me and thins song has helped me to het over him.

    FIRST the couple has just broken up
    She is in mourning. She doesn’t mind telling she's sad to everyone and letting her emotions go out.
    He is making af he didn’t care and he makes things to avoid his feelings
    “Its coming down to nothing more that apathy”
    When they decide to break up, they still see each others a few times since they have friends in common but he adopted an apathic attitude, its his “shell” he wants her to think he's fine
    “I rather run the other way than stay and see” He doesn’t want to live the life he lived with her… he's looking for other friends, other places to go, trying to do the opposite to don’t see her

    NOW he wants to arrange things, he thinks after time passed, they can talk maturely
    “You find another friend and you discard”
    He realizes she has been going out with her and his friends and that he´s closer to her friends, and that she has a new someone
    “As we lose the argument in a cable car” He wants to talk to her about that happened after a long time avoiding the theme.
    She agrees to talk to but he realizes she's over him and they don’t have much to talk about

    AFTER knowing she's over him, at this point is when he finally feels debasted and START to feel all the things she has already felt with their breaking up(its too late!)
    HE:is starting to feel sorrow
    She: is now with someone else and over him
    “Suddenly…” Since he didn’t wanted to
    “Im becoming the part that don’t last” Shes over him but he can't get her out of her mind
    “Never thought you wanted to bring it down”
    He thought when they talked she was going to tell him that she wanted to get back together, but things were not as he imagined.
    “I won't let it go down till we torch it ourselves”

    AT LAST, he doesn’t mind letting everyone know how he feels and showing his emotions, its too late .
    “Everyone knows I'm in over my head”
    “Everyone knows she's on your mind”

  3. anonymous
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    Oct 4th 2009 report

    sooo I came to this site for what THE FRAY meant this song to be about, not what everyone's personal interpretation is. I mean, some of you say that officially it's some fight he had with his brother, but when you take that meaning and watch the video, they seem completely unrelated. First of all, there's this whole "school theme" going on, and in the lyrics there's "she's on my mind". Where did the girl come from if it's about a fight with his brother?

  4. EmmaBee
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    Sep 4th 2009 report

    I know it's about his brother but to me it always felt like the song was about a guy who had his entire life falling apart around him and even though everyone else saw it they wouldn't tell him because it's too much work to support someone else and take care of someone else like that and they are too busy with their own lives. He keeps going back to the one girl who maybe saw him as something or told him 'it's all going wrong'. To me it's always seemed like he was betrayed and lost when everyone else saw the world was going to crash and then when it did and he was drowning everyone just passed by because they had their own lives and problems. It's not the legit. meaning but it's how i felt when i heard it.

  5. lyrics_are_life
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    Aug 11th 2009 report

    I see the song as a story of two friends whose relationship has been torn apart by another person. The narrator's friend has a significant other who has gotten between them.

    I never knew, I never knew that everything was falling through/ that everyone I knew was waiting on a cue/ to turn and run when all I needed was the truth.
    (He has been abandoned.)

    But that's how it's gotta be/ it's coming down to nothing more than apathy/ I'd rather run the other way than stay and see/ the smoke and who's still standing when it clears.
    (He would rather walk away from the friendship than have to fight and watch the realtionship crumble.)

    Everyone knows I'm in over my head, over my head.
    (In over his head in confusion, hurt, anger, etc.)
    With 8 seconds left in overtime/ she's on your mind/ she's on your mind/ she's on your mind
    (Not too sure, but this is possibly an allusion to watching football together, but the friend won't pay attention because he has the girl on his mind.)

    Let's rearrange/ I wish you were a stranger I could disengage/ just say that we agree and then never change/ soften a bit until we all just get along.
    (He's saying that it would be easier if he had no obligation to this friend, and they could go seperate ways without it being a big deal.)

    But that's disregard/ to find another friend and then discard/ as we lose the arguments in a cable car/ hanging above as the canyon comes between.
    (In a precarious position bordering on their seperation)


    Suddenly I become part of your past/ I'm becoming the part that don't last/ I'm losing you and it's effortless.

    Without a sound, we lose sight of the ground in a turn around/ never thought that you wanted to bring it down/ I won't let it go down till we've torched it ourselves.
    (He again uses the imagery of a cable car over a canyon to represent their friendship. He's saying that he doesn't want anyone else to determine the end of their relationship, but instead they won't let it end until they've "torched it themselves.")

    Hope that helps and is even slightly accurate :) of course, a well written song can be interpreted a thousand different ways, and this is one of them.

  6. marghetto94
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    May 24th 2009 report

    This song is about a fight between Isaac Slade and his brother Caleb, who's nickname was Cable Car before he was kicked out of the band. Slade is sorry about the fight which obviously severly upset he and his brother both. Slade is saying that he wishes he could erase the whole incident. When he says "I'm losing you and its effortless", he's saying that his relationship with his brother wasn't at its strongest.

    Im not keeping up, but if they haven't already, lets hope that they make up soon!

  7. siler
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    May 24th 2009 report

    When I interpret it based on my own life, I think it's about a person who got into a fight with someone close to them, like a friend or perhaps a family member. And I think that the person shares some friends with person he or she is fighting with.

    Now normally, these two get along really well, but lately one of them has been going through a hard time, and the other person, who should be with him or her is off chasing after or being with a girl he likes. "She's on your mind, she's on your mind" So the person who is normally supposed to be there for the narrator, who is going through a hard time now, has stopped caring, and is only focused on this girl he's interested in.

    He'd rather runaway, or push this person away, along with their mutual friends than see "The smoke and who's still standing when it clears" I think the smoke refers to the fight they had, and how the people who are in the middle (presumably his only friends) are going to have to choose one side, and he's afraid that they're going to choose the other side.

    Then she/he suddenly (during the bridge) realizes that he doesn't want to push them away, and he's conflicted, because she/he misses the person she/he got into a fight with, but the person isn't quite the same anymore. "And suddenly I become a part of your past.." and the narrator is sad that the other person can just move on that easily, without a fight.

  8. anonymous
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    Mar 9th 2009 report

    I like to think of it just as a fight between friends. The beginning of the song is what makes me think that, when he sings about waiting to see the smoke and who's still standing when it clears. The turbulence in their friendships, he thinks will make his friends all turn their backs on him, and he's nervous to find out who is actually true and who isn't.

  9. anonymous
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    Feb 9th 2009 report

    I can only comment on my owe experiences, and I think that is what music comes down to, what ever the writers interpretation, every single person has a different perspective of everything around them.

    anyway........ To me it's about the feeling after a break up with someone you really cared about or loved, maybe it wasnt what the singer wanted.

    I never knew
    I never knew that everything was falling through

    i relate to this song my own way, to me that line is how the relationship came to end, just didn't see it coming.

    Everyone knows I'm in
    Over my head, over my head
    With eight seconds left in overtime
    She's on your mind, she's on your mind

    thats a reference to watching a game, and for me despite the fact my team needs to score with only 8seconds left to the game, that isn't important, because all I can think about is her!

    Let's rearrange
    I wish you were a stranger I could disengage

    as much as I don't want to let her go and want to keep her in my life, bottom line I wish she was just a stranger, so it didn't matter, because the pain is really hard to take.

    (she rings me, I don't ring her, but I always answer, and it always causes more pain, and I just wish she would get over me also, so I could try to get past things)

    But that's disregard
    Find another friend and you discard

    so to me, if she finds another boyfriend she will stop ringing me and I will be able to get past this whole thing.

    then this happens:
    And suddenly I become a part of your past
    I'm becoming the part that don't last
    I'm losing you and its effortless

    she has moved on, she's got her life and her new fella, so the phone calls stop, I've done nothing different, but the connection we had, even the connection after the break up its fading.... on my part, its completely effortless.
    i think the song had the same tone to my personal experience, (which is where my perspective comes from), because despite wishing she wasnt there and that she was a stranger I still miss her and am still hurting.

    and finally:

    Never thought that you wanted to bring it down
    I won't let it go down till we torch it ourselves

    never thought you wanted to bring it down, I never thought she truly wanted it to end, so I am the one struggling to get over the past.

    well, maybe that was a bit personal to me, but that is my interpretation of this great song.

  10. anonymous
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    Dec 15th 2008 report

    It's about someone that is losing a close friend or lover.
    VERSE 1-
    he never realized the situation would become that bad. Its spiraling downward at neck break speed, and he's struggling to catch what happened. He has gotten to the point where he no longer cares, because everyone left him, and he's scared to even see who remains in his life.

    VERSE 2-
    hes talked to this person he is losing, but it got him no where. Similar to actions speak louder than words, the person has said all the right things but has done nothing to act that way. It would be so much easier to let the person go, but they contain such a deep part of him, and the bond is too strong. The other person is ready to let go because the situation is tough. They are stuck in a "cable car" that is hanging on the edge, meaning that it can only get better or worse. It can fall or can be saved.

    VERSE 3-
    he has lost the person faster than he could have ever imagined, and so much easier. but still he is unwilling to allow it to happen. He won't let others affect them, and if they lose each other, it will be due to themselves, not others.

    its apparent to everyone that he is fighting a losing battle. He only has 8 seconds left in overtime, saying that its crunch time and its almost over, he can either win or lose, but a tie is unattainable.

    hope that helps :) even if it is about the singers brother, its doubtful that he wrote a song for that single purpose. Its meant to appeal to everyone, and everyone has been in this situation, such amazing lyrics and message.

  11. anonymous
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    Aug 26th 2008 report

    Personal interpretation: The love of my life is very ill. He could possibly die or live but never really be the same. I'm in "over my head." I have no control over this situation, his health. Some friends and family choose "to turn and run," rather than dare to tell me "the truth." But, I wouldn't believe them anyway ("but that's how it's got to be"). I continue to believe that everything will be ok even though I'd rather run away than stay to "see who's still standing" (including him) after this horrible nightmare is over. It's a miracle already that he's still alive so I'm living, he's living in "overtime," and there's "only 8 seconds left," time is limited, eventually the crisis will end. And, "(he's) (always) on (my) mind." I wish I could "disengage" from all this, but I can't, he's not "a stranger." The "cable car" scene is the anxiety the situation is provoking. Reality is what we had and is now "part of the past." Something he may not even remember. "I'm losing (him) and it's effortless." I know neither one of us would want to end what we have/had if we had a say so in all of this. And, I won't give up on him, on us, until we together decide it's over, however that may happen.

  12. anonymous
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    Jan 4th 2008 report

    This song is said by Isaac (the singer) to be about fights him and his brother Caleb had when coming back from a tour, but I think it means many different things to everyone.

  13. Kody102
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    Dec 14th 2007 report

    Also when he's singing over my head I think it is about his best friend and him having a fight over a girl.

  14. Kody102
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    Dec 14th 2007 report

    My interpretation is based around how my life relates to his song. I am 14 and go to school and no one likes me. No one. I'm being literal here. So when he sings his song I think he's singing about being lonely.

  15. anonymous
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    Dec 7th 2007 report

    Okay, I know for a fact this song was about Isaac and his brother getting in a fight and all, but, this is how I look at the song based on experience in life and stuff...

    I think this song is about a love relationship that ended up badly, also while other minor things are going wrong in his life. First verse- He realizes everything is 'falling through' and he seeks for help from his friends/family, but no one seems to be there for him. He's apathetic because he's not getting answers or the help he wants.. and he wants to run away, rather than figure out who his real friends are and are actually there when times get rough for him. Chorus- He's in over his head about the whole situation.. doesn't know what to do and his thinking too deeply but still can't figure it out. And the girl is still on his mind, no matter how hard he tries to forget her. Second verse- He wants to straighten things out with the girl and get things back to how they were, and he's thinking it would be easier if they could be strangers and not know each other at all anymore. They find new people and try to move on with life and they grew apart from each other. ('canyon comes between') Third verse- As time goes on he's saying he's just becoming a part of her memory that she'll soon forget and she's getting further and further away from him and there's nothing he can do about it. They lose sight of the ground in which they once had together, where everything felt right. And he's saying he won't let go of it until he knows for sure what happened between them.

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