Brand New’s “Limousine” Lyrics Meaning

Sometimes we come across songs that are sad to write about due to the fact that they’re based on some real-life tragedy. In the case of Brand New’s “Limousine”, that would be the death of a little girl named Katie Flynn who died as the result of a horrific car crash in 2005. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Brand New's Limousine at Lyrics.org.

Said event was made even more tragic due to a number of surrounding circumstances, such as Katie at the time being on her way home from serving as a flower girl at a wedding. Also to note, her killer was a very-drunk driver who is still incarcerated as of this writing due to being convicted of her murder as well as that of the driver of the limousine she was in.

As disturbing as the above tale may be, it isn’t necessarily the type of story any of us haven’t heard before and may still do from time to time. But it touched Jesse Lacey, being who he is, for a couple of reasons. One is that said event happened on Long Island, where Brand New is also from and also reportedly just about a mile from where he lived at the time. 

Secondly, as a musician he knows that boozing is a questionable practice that is sorta celebrated in his profession. Also, concerning this all happening near to home, some people that Lacey personally knew were in fact on the road, drunk, that very weekend. Indeed, it’s safe to say that we all know people who – as apparently was the perpetrator of this incident – for whatever reason think they’re superhuman or something and that they can safely navigate an automobile even while inebriated.

1st Verse of “Limousine”

So with all of that noted, in the first verse Jesse takes on the role of Katie’s mother, who was in the limo with her. Also, let it be known that there are certain details connected to this incident that we are not elaborating on. This is due to the fact that they’re so horrifying, for lack of a better word. 

But let’s just say that said mother, one Jennifer Flynn, though injured herself was obviously cognizant and active throughout the whole ordeal. So basically, she literally saw her daughter die, in a way that no parent would want to experience. 

Going back to the first verse, what the vocalist is most notably doing is fantasizing about the day Katie herself would get married, which of course will never come to pass.

Chorus

It is also obviously in the mom’s voice that Jesse leads us into the chorus. And in that particular passage what he seems to be relaying is that even though the girl is gone and missed accordingly, it’s like her loved one cannot remain in a perpetual state of mourning. But at the same time, Katie will never be forgotten.

Lyrics to Brand New's "Limousine"

2nd Verse

Meanwhile, the second verse reads as if it is from the perspective of Martin Heidgen, i.e. the aforementioned drunk driver. What this particular characterization seems to be acknowledging is that he too will be affected for life, though not so much with mourning as with guilt. 

And to note, Heidgen’s has been slapped with a heaping plate of justice, along the lines of 18 years to life, so who knows when or if he’ll ever be released. 

What the vocalist, taking on the role of Heidgen, seems to be saying in that regard is that he sorta understands why in this particular instance that the Lord Himself, if you will, has deserted him. Or viewed from a different angle, there are some acts that are so messed up that even Jesus, who gave his life for sinners, can only just stand there and shake his head.

“Never Again”

The statement associated with the above sentiment, “never again”, is repeated throughout the remainder of the song (primarily as an adlib). In its first usage, it is theoretically the “messiah” who is telling Martin that he is not prepared to take a loss for him twice. But as utilized afterwards, it can be theoretically argued that  Jesse is putting forth that “never again” should this type of tragedy happen, i.e. the purpose of this song serving as sort of a PSA against drunk driving. But again, that’s just a postulation, because alcohol is never directly referred to in the lyrics.

Thesis Sentiment of “Limousine”

More generally interpreted, this is a song of bereavement. Katie Flynn’s story was such that it touched the hearts of many people, amongst them of course being Jesse Lacey. No, it does not appear that he knew the girl personally. But he and his crew were clearly able to empathize with her loved ones, which is in fact the thesis sentiment of this piece. And the person he is able to identify most with in that respect, all things considered, appears to be Jennifer Flynn.

Brand New

Brand New was a rock band, hailing from Long Island (on the outskirts of New York City), that was around for the better part of the first two decades of the 21st century. Within that timespan, they dropped five studio albums, the third of which is titled “The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me” (2006). 

Release Date of “Limousine”

It is from “The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me”  that we get “Limousine”, which was more specifically released on 20 November 2006. The project’s backers are Interscope Records, Tiny Evil Records and a label founded by Brand New called Procrastinate! Music Traitors.

Credits for “Limousine”

Brand New frontman Jesse Lacy wrote this song. He and his bandmates, Vincent Accardi, Brian Lane and Garrett Tierney (and also, at the time, Derrick Sherman) are collectively credited as the co-producers of “Limousine”. The group accomplished this task alongside the well-traveled Mike Sapone.

Interesting to Note:

For over 10 years this song, which is almost eight minutes in length, stood as the longest in Brand New’s discography. Also, “Limousine” was not issued as a single but is widely considered to be this band’s best work.

Limousine

Brand New’s “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me” Album

The aforementioned album was officially released as the band’s 3rd studio album on the 21st of November, 2006. The album’s title was inspired by a conversation band member, Jesse Lacey had with a friend in relation to Daniel Johnston. Daniel was an American singer and songwriter who suffered from bipolar disorder. In addition to that he had a mental disorder known as schizophrenia.

Recording took place in three recording studios:

  • Sapone Studios (New York)
  • Cove City Sound Studio (New York)
  • Long View Farm (Massachusetts)

The album was produced through collaboration between Brand New and American sound engineer/record producer, Mike Sapone.

Three record labels including Tiny Evil Records, Interscope Records and the band’s own, Procrastinate! Music Traitors were responsible for the official release of the album.

Regarded as one of Brand New’s most successful albums, “The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me” was a commercial success. It entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 31 and sold over 60,000 copies within its first week in the US alone. It peaked at No. 77 on the UK’s Official Album Chart.

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