They Might Be Giants: Road Movie to Berlin Meaning
Road Movie to Berlin Lyrics
Can't drive out the way we drove in
So sneak out this glass of bourbon
And we'll go
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned
Time won't find...
anonymous Jan 2nd 2007 report
I think everyone shouldn't jumping straight to world war 2. They may have just wanted to use a well known city where horrible things have happened, and Berlin was the best candidate. If it was about a specific event, I would think it would be about the Berlin wall. World War 2 didn't have that much to do with Berlin specifically, excluding Berlin being the capital of Germany. (Or was it a different city at that point?)
anonymous Sep 23rd 2005 report
Although I admit to being completely unqualified to comment on Nazi history, I completely reject that anyone, anytime, anyplace could consider Hitler the "nicest of the damned". If anyone's soul should burn in the deepest level of hell, shouldn't it be his?
anonymous Oct 21st 2003 report
This song has got to be hitler in remorse from losing world war ii. He's heading back to Berlin after his loss and getting all depressed. Perhaps he had to sneak out the Bourbon because they outlawed drinking (and hitler's doing it himself--how naziesque). They were once "so close to heaven", close to their victory, that "Peter came out and gave (them) medals", everyone was congratulating him, "proclaiming us the nicest of the damned." Although everyone hated him, they still had to love him. That's how I interpret Road Movie to Berlin.
anonymous Oct 21st 2003 report
While I like the Hitler/Holocaust thing, I think the song's about the people on the other side of the coin, the victims. "Can't drive out the way we drove in" was referring to how they all came in via train car (mostly) and, well came out, er... a worse way. Those that actually survived also came out a different, although more pleasant, way, with the Allied soldiers... The St. Peter line has to do with the massive deaths of the victims...
(For the hidden non-sung verse, it is referring to how in WWI and up to the beginnings of WWII, everyone was for Germany, thus calling the german heirarchy "sire", and, everyone can see, hopefully, how they've been decieved.)
Time won't find the lost
It'll sweep up our skeleton bones:
"Time won't..." They're all dead, and we can't get them back, no matter how long and hard we try.
"It'll sweep up..." Refers to how some will forget after time (Why does a certain Pat Buchanan pop into my mind...?) what happened.
Rather sad song, I'd say...
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