The Song "Meanings" Page - Jordan White

^^ Me, as a young, na´ve kid in the woods, circa 2004.

Collected from comments at live performances, television and radio programs & interviews, e-mails etc.  If you have something interesting to add send it to - last updated 4/12/15


September: (get it for just 89 cents on & iTunes by clicking HERE)

"When you're 12, your home is the world, your block is the rest of the universe and you know everything.  Summer seems to last forever but September is always around the corner.  The lyric 'I cannot decide how far to go and how far there is / cause no one knows' opens up the song softly but when it occurs at once more at the end of the song it's delivered in a more powerful way vocally; because to me this song is this breathing thing that becomes larger and large until it's like being in your bedroom and screaming it out the window.  That's how the song makes me feel, it has that message but it's also a release and resolution.  It's me telling myself to appreciate who and what you have when you actually have it, not later when it's in a bunch of pieces, but why don't we ever really listen?" [Listen to September on MySpace]

{TRACK 1: "FOUR SONGS" EP - 2012} Maybe, Amy (listen to an acoustic version recorded live on 90.3 FM by clicking HERE)

"This song is about all the possibilities, hopes, and fears that come along when you meet someone new.  The title fits the song perfectly because in the end it turned out to be a misguided love song.  I met this girl, Amy of course, and we talked about anything and everything. Our favorite colors or books; our affinity for red wines.  Sometime that weekend or on an afternoon the band was hanging at our drummer Rob's apartment and I had my Gibson acoustic on my lap and started sort of slapping down this melody. I got excited because I knew I had something there so I went home to work on it and by the next day it was pretty much written.  It's a little song about finding connections with other people and feeling like you've gotten somewhere with yourself.  But it didn't work out in the end.  Relationships with other people can sometimes be hard."



"Where were you in 1993 / when Kurt was on the radio and Brenda Walsh was on the TV / we had somewhere to go but we had no where to be / in the troubled years that followed 1993"

..are the opening lines and the chorus to this song.  Kids like myself who were 12 or 13 years old when Kurt Cobain died have all sorts of moments when we're like "YEAH! I remember that!!" if the topic comes up now that we're adults.  I really was too young to understand everything, all I knew is that this band called Nirvana was everywhere and everyone I knew had the album and it sounded like nothing we'd heard before.  To have that in your tape player was to have something powerful, something rebellious, and something fresh.  And then one day in April of 1994, it was just gone.  My friend Tim called me up that day and goes "did you hear the news??" And I ran over and turned on MTV and there it was, Kurt Cobain dead at 27.  My best friend Ryan called me up and was like "I can't believe he's dead" - Ryan was always into the new music before everyone else was; I was lucky to have him as a friend because he introduced me to Nirvana and lots of great bands I didn't know about.  We had our middle school dance that weekend and the D.J. played Nirvana, and some kids were crying.  We took it as hard or harder than any age group I think.  A kid who is 12 years old is in a weird place, not really a kid anymore but not a teenager either, sort of in this limbo.  I remember setting up my dad's speakers on the deck of their house and blasting the "Nevermind" album, holding a fake plastic guitar jumping all over the place dreaming of one day playing in a real band for a real audience; that's how innocent it all was.  So this song is about that type of feeling, watching the show 'Beverly Hills 90210' because I had a crush on the character Brenda Walsh and listening to Nirvana because I thought the songs were cool.  It was simple as that you know, and then Kurt was gone and the Brenda Walsh character left the show and it was all over.  There won't be any Nirvana reunions, for sure.  The song is actually kind of bright and poppy, I think it's catchy and memorable - but it's about the year 1993 and what it meant to me, what it felt like to pick up a real guitar for the first time and wishing Kurt Cobain was still alive and still not understanding why he was dead in the first place.  I've thought about it a lot and it really was the last time I can remember feeling like a kid." 

{TRACK 3: "FOUR SONGS" EP - 2012} Before I Go Out:

"This one is for anyone who's felt like they didn't quite fit in wherever they were at.  The voice in the chorus is sort of crying out and repeating himself, 'if the sun it don't need me / and the shadows just don't please me / would you let me come over again?' It's about the possibility of finding a sense of belonging within another person and how rare a thing that probably is.  For the person in this song, he's at a place where he needs to decide before it's too late."

Days With Diamonds:

"And if those days were diamonds / I'd make a necklace and string it up for you"

"It's kind of a play on Jim Croce's "Time In a Bottle."  What if you could save and capture a past event or time, wrap it up and give it to someone who really needs it?"

{TRACK 2: "FOUR SONGS" EP - 2012} Bloodshot:

"For all of us who are familiar with the bar scene, for those of us who stay until we get kicked out, for those of us who are there to avoid someone at home, for those of us who see someone across the room that we wish we could go over and talk to but say to ourselves 'oh just one more drink first..' - but the joke is it's always going to be just one more drink.  The line 'that pretty girl is just one drink away' isn't true; the guy's not gonna go over to her and everyone knows it, even him.  You can apply that type of scenario for whatever you need to in your own life, that's the whole thing about excuses, they keep coming."

"This song is about a guy who has pretty serious problems, and the effect they have on not just him but other people." - from comments on Ocean 98.1 FM

Quarter-Life Crisis (5/14 show comments - listen to an acoustic version on MYSPACE)

"This song is for a childhood friend of mine that is no longer with us; it's about the day I found out that he was gone, I just sat on my couch staring out the window thinking about him.  The lyrics in the bridge go "And the sun goes up and the sun goes down / and it's not enough to keep him around" - because I think in the end, when you strip everything down; when you get rid of all of the crap we create for ourselves, all the technology and everything, all we really have is another day to come.  Until we don't.  And if you have no one to share that with, then there you go.  And I thought to myself, well, he must have felt that way; I've felt that way myself; I've spent so many days doing nothing but watching the sun creep into the bedroom, sleeping all day just to wake up to see the sun go down again.  I mean, being late for a 8PM sound check is just disgusting but it happens to me.  And I thought to myself that maybe he felt that way too, just in a different way.  So this is a spin-off of the mid-life crisis thing in pop culture, just for younger people."


To Build A Fire:

"I read the short story 'To Build a Fire' by Jack London (1908) and although the song doesn't have much to do with it directly it inspired the idea.  In it there are two characters, a man and his dog who are lost in the cold and the entire story is just the man trying to start a fire because he's freezing to death.  The chorus goes 'I'd do anything to build a fire and watch this all burn away / the flames will light the darkness but the heat won't let me stay' because a fire will give you light and warmth but you can only get so close you know, just like how it is with people.  They lit up our darkness but we learned to keep our distance.."

Coming 'Round Again: (from comments at show 3/10)

"This is a new one, and it's about, well let me put it this way- it's about finally getting to a point where I could say to myself 'I'm over it!' but I'm still going to remember everything you did!" 

Whiskey On The Way:




Walking Clean:

"Awhile ago I sang in a popular east coast cover band, which let me do some things I always wanted to do.  Jumping off amps while singing in front of thousands of screaming people on New Year's Eve as confetti was falling thru the air - things like that.  There were some crazy times and although it seemed good from a distance, sometimes I felt a little lost in the crowd.  I should have been happy with it, doing what I wanted to do in a band that was a 'money making machine' as my agent once put it - but I wasn't.  It didn't feel right, I felt people had the wrong impression of me.  Did they really know who I was?  Back then they were saying they did.  After one of the gigs I met this girl and she invited me back to her house; we ended up sitting on her roof and talking until the sun was coming up.  I told her that because of everything going on I hadn't seen daylight for awhile and it would probably hurt my eyes, you know joking around, and she said something like 'well you better stay off the roof if you gotta hide from the sky' and I couldn't stop thinking about it, it made all the sense in the world to me.  So this song is about running away from things that trouble you and how in the end it probably won't do you any good, I think.  Maybe it was fun for awhile, but trust your instincts when something feels wrong, because you may be right." [Listen to Walking Clean on MySpace]

No Promises: (from comments on 90.3 WXLV FM)

"If you've ever gotten back together with an ex you don't need me to tell you it almost never works out.  In fact, maybe you even knew it was going to be a disaster from the start but you couldn't help yourself.  All bets are off and nothing is guaranteed, no one makes any promises, and maybe no one deserves them either.  I think these types of things are like thunderstorms; you see them coming in the distance, they catch up to you and there's nothing you can do but take cover and wait for it to pass."


Crazy Girl:

"This is about getting involved with someone who is totally wrong for you and you know it, and you can't help it.  I sort of wrote this one for myself and I never intended to release it but one day I was in my agent's office and he was listening to it and he was like 'do you know how good this is?' - so we started playing it live and it's become one of the most requested pieces.  Sometimes people will ask who the so-called 'crazy girl' really is, but the person it's about shouldn't matter much because the song is about how you deal with it yourself, the battle between logic and the emotions within you." [Listen to Crazy Girl on MySpace]


Nothing Again:

"This song is about memories that you can't stop re-living in your head and believing that if you could have done this or done that instead that you might be better off.  In a bizzare way it can give a brief sense of closure because you can lose youself in the past.  At least I can.  But then you realize what's done is done and that you can't change shit, and this song is about that very moment when you come back to reality."

Jackson Browne:

A song about one's personal sources of creativity and the struggle to find the right words to use.  Jackson Browne, a California singer/songwriter who had several hit albums in the 1970's including "Late For The Sky" (1974) and "The Pretender" (1976) is one of Jordan's biggest influences.  He said the song is about the drive to succeed paired with the loss of innocence that comes from venturing into the world to find your inspiration.

The Days I Didn't Speak:

"So if you've ever had a period of sadness or depression, maybe you'll get this song.  When things go bad, some people depend on their family and friends, some people go to therapy, or some people, like the guy in this song, hang around bars by themselves all the time, drinking and thinking about their life.  So when things start looking up, there's a beauty in overcoming it, once you figure it out; whether through your actions or by turning it into something positive.  That's what this song is about, realizing you could have the power to strike it down." [Listen to The Days I Didn't Speak on MySpace]

Engine of the Ocean:

"A weird song, a song about taking the road less traveled.  The ocean tries to keep everything out of it that's not supposed to come in.  The waves never stop coming, always pounding away at the sand, and I started thinking about an 'engine' of the ocean that never shuts down.  Maybe you want someone or something that you can never have.  You can't fight the ocean, you can't make someone love you, but you're probably going to keep trying." [Listen to Engine of the Ocean on MySpace]

The Walmart Song: (from comments on 90.3 WXLV FM)

"This song is sort of a joke, well not really, but it's more of a fun song.  There was a time period, well I should say there is a time period, because I still do it now and then, where I would drive around in the middle of the night and go to places that are still open like Walmart, you know, really with no purpose at all.  And uh, one night I was wandering around the store and I ran into this girl I used to see, but it was some years ago and me being alone, seeing her alone too at 3 in the morning was kind of awkward.  You know that feeling when you see someone you recognize and it's really obvious to you and them, but you both pretend you didn't?  Well that's what happened, I saw her looking at DVDs or something and she caught me looking at her and it was just too weird, you know it ended badly and here we were walking around this empty store in the middle of the night and it was just bizarre.  So I went home that night and as the sun was coming up I wrote this song, which is really about how people you're close with can end up just being someone you ignore at a Walmart in the middle of the night, if you let it get to that point...."

Baby's Breath: (included on the 2005 Tsunami Relief CD release "Care Package" )

"This song has been misunderstood a bit, but it's understandable because of the content.  People will ask me like 'how could you write a song about this?'  I get that, but that's kind of the issue in a way.  The song is about a person who refuses to even make a decision in the first place."

"Alright, so when something serious happens in your life you come to this time point where you gotta decide to either deal with it or not deal with it and make it worse.  What actually happened was, my cousin was doing a class presentation in college about abortion, and it was so intense that the professor actually stopped her in the middle of it.  She was pretty upset about it, and it got me wondering how I would deal with that type of thing myself.  The thing is, the song is not pro or anti anything; I don't think I have the right to make that decision.  It's about someone who finds themselves struggling with consequence and regret, you know, just being in that position of having to choose."

The Moon Goddess:

"A song about the short lived memories we hold onto and nostalgia about the person that's encapsulated by such a vision.  It's about that summer you had when you were growing up; maybe you met a person or entity that had a tremendous impact on your life.  You thank the powers above for the warm August nights that changed you forever, underneath the moon to the sound of crickets, to the sound of a passing car, and to the sound of your youth together."


A Knight In Dented Armour:

"This song is about a guy who just can't relate well to other people, either due to his unique personality or the fact that he's never sober.  I think if you lived in that fashion you would have trouble detailing your view of the world to everyone else and they wouldn't get it.  It's about the armour we all wear and why we chose it."

The Flow:

"A lot of people have the issue with blaming other people for all their problems, but for me and I think others we blame ourselves for everything.  Probably even stuff that's not our fault.  Feeling like this big mess floundering through the days, bouncing off people and then they go and bounce a different way and then crash into someone else and bounce another way and it's a big mess.  This song is like saying 'I can be easy to look at from afar but maybe you shouldn't come any closer.'  People only wait around so long for you to get your act together.  The girl that spent her summer crying because of you gets over it, and then she goes and gets married to someone else.  'The flow' won't stop just; time and fate are tangled, well, to me at least.  The lyrics describe real images the guy is seeing on a random trip he takes to her house that he'll never actually go through with.  That road he would take there every day that's now completely full of potholes or a stop light put in where there used to be none.  Sometimes physical changes in the environment become the final proof that it's never going to the the same."

Where To Begin:

"What if you had what you needed most and felt that life had completely embraced you, you were headed into this bright future, but then had it all dissapear over night?  How would you start over from that?  I was on vacation at the Jersey shore when I wrote this, thinking about the inevitability of leaving, cause just as I had gone away on vacation, I knew in the back of my head I would just be leaving in a few days anyway.  When you think of the people you care about most in that context, as in being only temporary, things can seem so overwhelming and cruel; you must find a way to break the cycle." [Listen to Where to Begin on MySpace


"It's an official 'break up song' and you know I just had to have one.  There was this person who told me I'd be sorry after I left but I pretty much brushed it aside.  I thought I was above it, but one day afterwards I was going thru some boxes and found this five or six page letter she gave me after we split up and I poured over it for hours.  To me it was kind of like taking a deep breath to remember it all one last time."


"On the surface it's an optimistic song, he's saying how he's 'found' and everything has changed for the better, but the thing is, he's putting so much faith in this person, it's almost obsession, and you're supposed to understand that this might not be the best idea.  If you were messed up before you met someone you're probably gonna stay messed up regardless.  It's how it feels to always be on the extreme side of yourself."

In Too Deep:

(From interview in Connections Magazine - March 2008):

 "I wrote something about the very moment on December 31st, 1999 when it became the year 2000.  That was huge for me, and I think most everyone remembers where they were and who they were with at that exact moment, which is a very rare thing.  However, as we watched the 'ball' come down on TV, as everyone raised their glasses- the very moment the clock struck 12 midnight, I was overcome with fear.  Fear about the future, fear about my life, accepting the reality that I was getting older and we weren't kids anymore.  That experience left a lasting impression on me, and a few years later I wrote a song called In Too Deep which addresses how I was feeling at that time, a young man being catapulted into a new millennium, at the dawn of the technological revolution.  The world was changing and I think I was probably resisting a little bit.  In Too Deep is one of my favorite songs because of the way it deals with reality, and in the last verse, ultimately accepts change as being inevitable."

"A song about being overwhelmed by the changes in your life and searching for a meaning in the differences.  It's about all the people that come and go and feeling like some of 'em left you behind.  In some ways, the song is about the responsibility that's passed onto you as you become an adult and the beauty of living the way you want, but I think for many people it turns out to be different than you expected.  A friend and I often discuss how much better off we and our peers were a few years ago, and it really bums me out.  It's about missing a wonderful time period of your life and not even realizing how wonderful it was until it already slipped away.  And now this future rushes towards you whether you like it or not and throws all of these terrifying things in your face, and we made these stupid decisions in a brighter time and now live in the shadows with the consequences." [Listen to In Too Deep on MySpace]