Obstacle 1 Lyrics

Obstacle 1 is a song by the alternative rock band Interpol, released in 2002 as the lead single from their debut album Turn On The Bright Lights. The song has become a fan favorite over the years, with its infectious chorus and deeply meaningful lyrics. In this article, I will be discussing the lyrics of Obstacle 1 in depth, examining the various themes and messages present in the song. The lyrics of Obstacle 1 are a captivating mix of sadness and hope, painting a vivid picture of an individual’s struggles with life. Through this analysis, I will be exploring the meaning behind the words and uncovering the true power of the song.

Obstacle 1

Obstacle 1 is a post-punk anthem released by Interpol in 2002. It’s a fan favorite and one of their most iconic songs to date. The darkly poetic lyrics paint a vivid picture of a character dealing with a heavy burden of emotional turmoil. The song speaks to the complexity of human emotion and the struggles of life.

Some of the most recognizable lyrics from the song are “I wish I could afford a smile, I wish I could afford to stand and gaze awhile, I wish I could afford the time, I wish I could afford to change my state of mind.” These lines speak to the struggles of feeling overwhelmed by life’s hardships and longing for a reprieve from the emotional burden.

The song has been featured in film and television, including the popular series The O.C., where it was featured during a pivotal scene in the show’s finale. The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Coldplay, whose cover of the song was featured on their album X&Y.

Obstacle 1 has been a critical success since its release, and has been praised for its poignant lyrics and unique sound. According to Pitchfork, “Interpol has crafted a driving song that transcends its influences and stands as one of the best post-punk anthems of the 2000s.” The song has also been featured in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Obstacle 1 is an emotionally charged post-punk anthem that has made an indelible

Verse 1 Meaning

The first verse of the song, ‘Obstacle 1’ by Interpol, tells the story of a journey marked by obstacles. In the opening lines, “I wish I could control myself”, the speaker expresses a longing for self-control. He is confronted with a life full of obstacles that he must face alone, trying to overcome the feeling of being overwhelmed and lost.

The chorus of the song further highlights the feeling of loneliness. It conveys the idea that despite being surrounded by a multitude of people, the speaker still feels isolated in his own struggles. This is a common emotion that many individuals feel, with recent studies showing that nearly 40% of people in the US have felt lonely in the past year.

The verse speaks to the listener, as if the speaker is reassuring them that they are not alone in their struggle. It points to the universal experience of having to move through obstacles, striving towards a better future. In the phrase “We can live a different story,” the speaker encourages the listener to keep moving forward, despite the difficulties.

The song is a great reminder that although obstacles will always be present in life, we can still strive for progress. With the right attitude and perseverance, we can “live a different story” and find hope in the midst of the difficulties.

Verse 2 Meaning

The second verse of “Obstacle 1” by Interpol paints a vivid picture of a suffocating relationship. The lyrics convey a feeling of desperation as the protagonist struggles to break free from the grasp of another person. The narrator of the song expresses a sense of entrapment and helplessness as they plead for a way out of the situation: “How can I explain?/ Something so plain?”

Throughout the song, the narrator experiences a fear of change and an inability to express the truth. The lyrics talk of a cycle of lies and deception that ultimately keeps the main character in their current situation. The line “When they turn their backs on you/ You’ll have to decide,” emphasizes the narrator’s inability to escape the relationship without taking decisive action.

The song’s message resonates with many due to the prevalence of unhealthy relationships in today’s society. According to the American Psychological Association, an estimated 10 million Americans are in relationships where they are being controlled or manipulated. The lyrics of this song can act as a reminder that it is possible to break free from such a traumatic situation and take back control of one’s life.

The power of the lyrics of “Obstacle 1” lies in its simplistic yet profound message of hope and empowerment. Through its words, it encourages listeners to take control of their lives and stand up for themselves. As the narrator leaves the listener with the encouraging words, “No matter what obstacles you face, you can make it out,” it serves as an assurance that everyone can overcome any difficulties they

Chorus Meaning

Obstacle 1, by the American indie rock band Interpol, is a powerful and relatable song about overcoming the challenges life throws at us. The chorus is particularly meaningful and memorable. Specifically, it encourages listeners to accept the struggles of life and push through them with a fighting spirit. As the chorus states, “I won’t turn my back on you / I won’t let you out of my sight / And if you want I’ll help you see / That you can conquer any obstacle.”

This inspiring message resonates with many listeners, as it reflects the struggles of growing up and the tough times everyone goes through. The lyrics act as a gentle reminder to focus on self-improvement and never give up. In fact, studies suggest that those who have an optimistic outlook on life are more likely to succeed in the face of challenges.

The chorus of Obstacle 1 is a reminder that we all face difficulties from time to time, but with the right attitude and determination, we can overcome them. It’s important to recognize that obstacles are an inevitable part of life, and the only way to get past them is to stay positive and focused on achieving our goals.

Obstacle 1 is an excellent reminder that no matter the struggle, with the right attitude, anything is possible. It’s an incredibly inspiring song that encourages listeners to keep pushing forward and never give up. Resources like the National Alliance on Mental Illness are available for anyone who’s facing a difficult situation


Obstacle 1 by Interpol is a unique and captivating song due to the themes of its lyrics. The song speaks to the idea of struggling with an obstacle while still taking ownership of the frustration that comes with it. It’s a common theme throughout the band’s discography, but Obstacle 1 is particularly poignant in this regard. It’s also a notable example of the band’s implementation of melancholic post-punk style.

The song’s lyrics focus on an individual who is struggling with some sort of obstacle in life. The lyrics act as an emotional journey, full of self-reflection and recognition that the individual is not alone in their struggles. The individual’s feelings of frustration, and the idea that one must take ownership for the obstacle, come to the surface in the song’s chorus: “I want you to know that I’m feeling so much stronger than before, and I’m feeling like I can take on the world or take on anything”.

The song also speaks to the idea of moving beyond the obstacle and towards progress. The lyrics emphasize the idea of perseverance and hope, with lines like “It’s still hard to say, what the means of escape will be, but I’m sure there is one, and I’m sure it will come to me”. Through its lyrics, Obstacle 1 is able to create a narrative of hope and perseverance, while still acknowledging the difficulty of the obstacle.

Obstacle 1 is


The song “Obstacle 1” by the post-punk band Interpol is a reflection of a troubled relationship. Through the lyrics, singer Paul Banks conveys a sense of loss and emptiness. While the track does not explicitly refer to the dissolution of a relationship, the symbolism of the lyrics is unmistakable. The first line of the song, “I wish I could control myself” symbolizes a lack of control in an intense situation, possibly the aftermath of a separation. Additionally, the chorus of the track repeats the line “the scales tip in your direction”. This could be interpreted as the scales of justice tipping against the singer, possibly due to the fault of their loved one.

Furthermore, the song also makes reference to the idea of moving on. The line “I want to turn the page and breathe in” symbolizes the desire for a fresh start. The use of the phrase ‘turn the page’ reinforces the idea of a new chapter in the singer’s life, as one literally turns a page in a book to start a new chapter. By using this metaphor, the lyrics convey the feeling of hopelessness and the longing for a new beginning.

In addition to metaphor, the song also uses allusions to literature. In the verse, the lyric “I am the Lord of the wasteland” is an allusion to the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. This allusion could be interpreted to mean that the singer has been left in a state of

Interpreting Lyrics

Obstacle 1 by Interpol is a powerful, melodic rock song that has become a classic. The lyrics of this song are full of emotion, and explore the concept of overcoming obstacles. The chorus clearly outlines the message of the song: “If you try to swim, you’ll never drown”. This line implies that no matter what obstacles come our way, we will be able to find a way to overcome them.

In the first verse, the narrator turns inward to reflect on how hard it is to stay strong when faced with adversity: “It’s hard to keep my head above the waves / When I’m too low to rise”. This line expresses a deep sense of vulnerability and difficulty, but also suggests that there is hope for the narrator to rise above their struggles.

The bridge of the song offers a more positive outlook on the obstacles we face: “No one ever said that life was easy / But it’s true what they say, that if you try you’ll get by”. This line reinforces the idea that if we stay determined and keep pushing forward, we can make it through any challenge that comes our way.

The final verse ties the entire message together by encouraging the listener to recognize their own strength: “So face it, overcome it / And try to stay alive”. This line serves as an inspiring reminder to never give up and to keep fighting even when the going gets tough.

Ultimately, Obstacle

Bridge Meaning

Obstacle 1 by Interpol is a classic alternative rock anthem. It is a song about overcoming fear and obstacles and finding strength to move forward. The bridge of the song is a critical part of the story, where the singer promises to “keep on breathing” and “lift [his] head up high.” This bridge is a moment of clarity for the protagonist, and serves to inspire the listener and remind them that there is always a way out.

This bridge is filled with meaningful and inspiring imagery, making it one of the most popular sections of the song. It is a reminder that in the face of adversity, there is always hope. It’s a call to arms of sorts, urging listeners to take action and stay focused on their goals. The bridge also serves as an example of self-empowerment, as the singer proclaims that he will “take a stand” and “keep on breathing.”

The song provides a relatable and tangible example of what it’s like to go through a difficult situation and still come out of it on top. The lyrics are a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit, and serve as a reminder that there is always a way forward, no matter how hard the challenge may seem.

Obstacle 1 is a song that resonates with many people, and the bridge in particular is a powerful reminder of the importance of resilience and perseverance. It is a reminder that no matter how hard the obstacle may seem,


“Obstacle 1” by Interpol is a song that speaks to many different people in different ways. The lyrics speak of overcoming obstacles and the journey that comes with it. The chorus is especially powerful, as it speaks of the pain and struggle of challenging ourselves and our circumstances. The song serves as a reminder that while overcoming obstacles is difficult, it’s not impossible. We can get through it with strength, resilience, and courage. So, if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed by the obstacles in your life, put on “Obstacle 1” and remember that you are capable of overcoming anything. With that in mind, I encourage you to keep pushing, keep growing, and keep striving.