Posted by: Aaron McCarter | December 5, 2007

What Sarah Said

‘Death Cab for Cutie’ is one of my favorite bands. If you’re unfamiliar with them, the name probably paints the wrong picture. They’ve picked up some critics since they signed with a label…tagged as sell-outs. Indie music snobs turn on any band that signs with a label. It’s madness.

I like their sound (they’re known for their vocals, but their drummer is phenomenal)…however, what I really like is their occasionally brilliant lyrics. The lead guy (Ben Gibbard) does most all of the writing, and he is a great storyteller. I think great storytellers just state the obvious in succinct terms and in ways the rest of us never thought to put it. And, of course, they have a point…or in the case of “What Sarah Said” a question worth asking.

“What Sarah Said” tugs the ole heart-strings because it tells of a horrifying place, that most of us have visited: the waiting room of an ICU. I’ve been to several. They’re all the same. They all smell the same, and are filled with all the same faces. Listen below and follow along with the lyrics…if you’ve been there, every word will ring true…

And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to father time
As I stared at my shoes in the ICU that reeked of piss and 409
And I rationed my breathes as I said to myself that I’d already taken too much today
As each descending peak of the LCD took you a little farther away from me

Amongst the vending machines and year-old magazines in a place where we only say goodbye
It stung like a violent wind that our memories depend on a faulty camera in our minds
But I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose than to have never lain beside at all
And I looked around at all the eyes on the ground as the TV entertained itself

‘Cause there’s no comfort in the waiting room
Just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
And then the nurse comes round and everyone will lift their heads
But I’m thinking of what Sarah said that “Love is watching someone die”

So who’s going to watch you die?…

What a question!  Now, I admit, it’s a bit super-sappy…but it’ a good question still.  Who are the ones who would endure that dreadful scene and sit with you til the end?…lamenting that their memories of you will always be insufficient?  And once you’ve compiled that list…compare it to the list of people in whom you now invest the bulk of your time?  Do they match?  They should.



  1. A little heavy . . . but perfect timing for me.

  2. what an excellent lesson to take away from a great song by a great band. thank you.

  3. good song. good band. good word. we would.

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