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The Meaning Behind The Song: Under Your Breath by Whiskeytown

The Meaning Behind The Song: Under Your Breath by Whiskeytown


As a DJ, I’ve had the privilege of discovering and sharing numerous amazing songs with listeners throughout my career. However, there are certain songs that hold a special place in my heart – songs that not only captivated me when I first heard them but also carried a profound meaning. One such song is “Under Your Breath” by Whiskeytown. I remember stumbling upon this song at a friend’s house, and from the moment it played, I was hooked.

The Lyrics

The lyrics of “Under Your Breath” beautifully capture a mix of emotions and provide a glimpse into a troubled relationship. The song opens with the lines, “Hanging in the underground, before a train back out of town, away from you. All the lights that disappear in the tunnels way down here, it’s quite a view.” These haunting lyrics set the tone for the song and evoke a sense of desolation and detachment.

In the chorus, the singer reflects on the inner conflict caused by their partner’s hurtful words, stating, “Sometimes I wish I were deaf, then I wouldn’t hear the words you say, under your breath.” The repetition of this chorus emphasizes the impact of these whispered words and the desire to escape their impact.

The second verse introduces the listener to the protagonist, locked away in their room, overhearing their partner’s conversation with someone else. The lyrics, “Thought she found the right to leave, think of the things you used to need, and I’d run out,” highlight a sense of abandonment and betrayal.

The bridge of the song offers a profound reflection on the dynamics of the relationship. The line, “Anything that you put on me, all the things your head needs, you believe,” speaks to the partner’s expectations and the burden placed upon the protagonist. The mention of a “sick heart potion” and the juxtaposition of pain and truth further emphasize the complexity of their connection.

Personal Interpretation

Listening to “Under Your Breath” brings back memories of my own experiences with troubled relationships. The song perfectly encapsulates the struggle of being able to hear hurtful words spoken under someone’s breath.

This song serves as a reminder of the importance of healthy communication in relationships. It highlights the impact of words, even when whispered, and how they can inflict emotional wounds that might never heal fully.

About the Band and Album

Whiskeytown was an American rock band formed in 1994 and led by Ryan Adams, who later gained significant recognition as a solo artist. “Under Your Breath” is featured on their album titled “Pneumonia,” released on May 22, 2001. The album showcases Whiskeytown’s signature alt-country sound combined with Adams’ introspective songwriting.


“Under Your Breath” by Whiskeytown is a song that resonates deeply with anyone who has experienced the pain of hurtful words in a relationship. Through its haunting lyrics and heartfelt composition, the song captures the emotions surrounding a troubled connection and serves as a poignant reminder of the power of words.

As a DJ, I believe that music has the ability to touch our souls and invoke emotions like nothing else. “Under Your Breath” has certainly left an indelible mark on me, and I hope that it continues to resonate with listeners for years to come.

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