Song of the month August 2018: Gold Rush

“Gold Rush” by Death Cab for Cutie

Buildings.  Going up everywhere in Portland. This song was written about Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, but it could have been written about Portland (except for the fact that two of the lines are “and they keep digging it down and down / so that their cars can live underground” and in Portland most building don’t build so the cars can live underground, but park on the street in a haphazard and unzoned way that is eventually going to have to be fixed.)

I’m trying not to be a fuddy-duddy about the building.  A ton of people are moving here and will keep moving here, just as I did. And we all have to live somewhere.  But it’s hard to see all the old buildings go and makes these lyrics that much more poignant.

I remember a winter’s night
we kissed beneath the street lamplight
outside our bar near the record store
that have been condos for a year and more
now that our haunts have taken flight
and been replaced with construction sites
oh, how I feel like a stranger here
searching for something that’s disappeared
digging for gold in my neighborhood
for what they say is the greater good
but all I see is a long goodbye
a requiem for a skyline
it seems I never stopped losing you
as every dive becomes something new
and all our ghosts get swept away
it didn’t used to be this way

On-point lyrics aside, I was first drawn first to this song because of the musical arrangement, which is more prominent than the lyrics. It’s gauzy and the repetitive “Gold Rush” nicely drives the song.

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