Ye Olde Pick of the Day: Snow Patrol – Set the Fire to the Third Bar

For Valentine’s Day, Jessa got me the Snow Patrol album, “Up to Now”. Snow Patrol is a recent kick for me (I only recently heard of them earlier this year), but I’m finding that I enjoy a fair amount of their music. Lyrics for “Set the Fire to the Third Bar”, and a bit more of my thoughts on the song after the jump.


I find the map and draw a straight line,
Over rivers, farms and state lines,
The distance from here to where you’d be,
It’s only finger-lengths that I see.

I touch the place,Where I’d find your face,
My fingers increases,Of distant dark places.

I hang my coat up in the first bar,
There is no peace that I’ve found so far,
The laughter penetrates my silence,
As drunken men find flaws in science.

Their word’s mostly noises,
Ghosts with just voices,
Your words in my memory,
Are like music to me.

I’m miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground,
I, I pray that something picks me up,
And sets me down in your warm arms.

After I have traveled so far,
We’d set the fire to the third bar,
We’d share each other like an island,
Until exhausted, close our eyelids.

And dreaming pick up from,
The last place we left off,
Your soft skin is weeping,
A joy you can’t keep in.

I’m miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground,
And I, I pray that something picks me up,
And sets me down in your warm arms.

I’m miles from where you are,
I lay down on the cold ground,
And I, I pray that something picks me up,
And sets me down in your warm arms.


I think that the reason this song resonates so much for me is that it’s a duet. In this case, it very nearly changes the tone of the song by having two, very well complimentary voices singing. Specifically, were it only a single vocalist, I feel that this song could be mistaken for a different kind piece – that of a love lost or left. It could just as easily be the song of one lonely person. However, as a duet, it fits together and drives home the idea that it really is a pair of lovers, separated from each other, and praying that they be reunited.

The other reason that this song hits me is that it evokes a very powerful image in my minds eye. Over the course of the song, I get the very real picture of their prayer being answered, and them being picked up from where they are and brought together…

A couple of other things that caught me about this song:

  • The dual use of the word “Bar” to mean both a building and an electric bar fire.
  • I could swear up and down that Gary Lightbody is saying, “And sets me down in your warm heart.” in the last chorus of the song.
Category(s): Ye Olde Pick of the Day

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