‘People Don’t Know Nothin’

The Avett Brothers released their ninth studio album Friday, sending myself and many other fans into an emotional coma. Some will criticize the sound, as they flirted with some electronic noise, but no one will ever complain about the lyrics. Scott and Seth have produced some of the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard.
I tried ranking them and that was like picking between my brother and my sister, so that was impossible. Instead, here are the best 60 lyrics (I couldn’t get it down to 50, I’m sorry) from their past work, in my opinion. Agree, disagree, yell at the screen, get a song stuck in your head. Do as you please!
Bolded are my 15 favorites. Italicized are my Avett Brothers loving friend, Kristen Roehrig’s 15 favorites. And obviously, if it’s in bold and italics, we agree on it’s greatness.

album: “Country Was” (2002)

Pretty Girl From Matthews

You’re rising like a sun
That pulled the curtain on the night
Coming through the window
To brighten up my life.

November Blue

Your yellow hair is like the sunlight, however sweet it shines
Bit by the cold of December, I’m warm beside your smile.


album: “A Carolina Jubilee” (2003)


Pretty Girl From Annapolis

And if I don’t make it to the spring
May you catch the joy that a melody brings from my brother’s ragged six string.

My Last Song to Jenny

Did you sleep?

Not a wink.

Well neither did I.

Smoke in Our Lights

You’re not a girl, you’re a waltz
You’re a canopy bed
You’re June to August
You’re the back and forth sway of the hammock all day

*I scream this every single time.


And I’ve known others
And I’ve loved others too
But I loved them cause they were stepping stones
On a staircase to you.


album: “Mignonette” (2004)

Swept Away

Who cares about tomorrow?
What more is tomorrow?
Than another day.

Please Pardon Yourself

Do the best you can and that won’t go unseen.

Pretty Girl At The Airport

For all the hardest roads we have to walk alone.

But everyone I know out here is lonely, even those that have someone to lie beside at night.

*Best Avett Brothers song that no one knows about.

Salvation Song

And they may pay us off in fame
But that is not why we came
And if it compromises truth then we will go.


album: “Four Thieves Gone: The Robbinsville Sessions” (2006)

Talk On Indolence

Readin’ and writin’ and readin’ and thinkin’
and searching for reasons and missing the seasons.

Now I’ve grown too aware of my mortality
To let go and forget about dying
Long enough to drop the hammer down
And let the indolence go wild and flying through.


Be loud let your colors show.

Left On Laura, Left On Lisa

And I gave to you my ugly brown coat
You made it pretty when you put it on

And you made it clear it was strictly a deal
Of springtime love and that’s how I should feel
So I set the clock back an hour my girl
I set the time a just right.

*Yes, I love “Left on Laura, Left on Lisa.” It never gets old.


My dog is loud and my dog is wild
We’re too young to have a child
Can you keep the dog next week?
I’ll be gone the next three.

Famous Flower Of Manhattan

Cause blue birds, Don’t fly without their wings
And when we put them in a cage
The world can’t hear them sing
So selfish when greed sets in
Possession, the king of sin.

Denouncing November Blue (Uneasy Writer)

So I looked ahead to the open road, thought about the people and what they know,
and wrote a book called “People Don’t Know Nothin.”

*”November Blue” and “Denouncing November Blue” are both in my top-10.


EP: “The Gleam” (2006)


Kill the doubt that strangles my self-worth.


The guitar I am holding is way out of tune
The neck it is warped and the saddle is through
I wonder if sweet music ever was played
From the hands of a boy to a girl in the shade
From this rickety ghost of a song
Here at this yardsale.

Backwards With Time

Some say with age that a purpose comes clear
I see the opposite happening here
Are we losing the fight?
Are we growing backwards with time?

If It’s The Beaches

If it’s the beaches
If it’s the beaches’ sands you want
Then you will have them
If it’s the mountains’ bending rivers
Then you will have them
If it’s the wish to run away
Then I will grant it
Take whatever what you think of
While I go gas up the truck
Pack the old love letters up
We will read them when we forget why we left here.

*Just going to go grab a tissue right quick.

 Find My Love

How can you tell when goodbye means goodbye
Not just for now, for the rest of you life
How can you stand there with love in you eyes
And still be walking away.


album: “Emotionalism” (2007)

Paronia In B-Flat Major

But if love is a game, girl, then you’re gonna win
I’ll spend the rest of my life bringing victory in
If you want me to.

The Weight Of Lies

So, when you run make sure you run
To something and not away from ’cause
Lies don’t need an aeroplane to chase you anywhere.

Will You Return?

I wish you’d see yourself as beautiful as I see you
Why can’t you see yourself as beautiful as I see you?

The Ballad Of Love And Hate

The clock in the kitchen says 2:55,
And the clock in the kitchen is slow.

He says “Love, I’m sorry”, and she says, “What for?”
“I’m yours and that’s it, whatever.
I should not have been gone for so long.
I’m yours and that’s it, forever.”

You’re mine and that’s it, forever.


I’m changing the plans I’ve been setting on
I’m scared by the way that my life’s getting gone
Carolina, one day I’ll, someday I’ll come home.

*My anthem.

All My Mistakes

I have some “friends” they don’t know who I am
So I write quotations around the word friends
But I have a couple that have always been there for me.

Go To Sleep

I hope the people in the crowd will understand.


EP: “The Second Gleam” (2008)

Tear Down The House

Bulldoze the woods that I ran through.
Carry the pictures of me and you.
I have no memory of who I once was,
and I don’t remember your name.

Murder In The City

Always remember there was nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name.

The Greatest Sum

Not even the clouds
Not even the past
Not even the hands of God
could hold me back from you.

Souls Like The Wheels

Souls like the wheels
Turning, taking us with wind at our heels
Burning, making us decide on what we’re giving
Change this way of living.


album: “I And Love And You” (2009)

I And Love And You

One foot in and one foot back
But it don’t pay to live like that.

Your dreams to catch the world, the cage.

Head Full Of Doubt / Road Full Of Promise

If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it.

There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it.

The Perfect Space

And I wanna have friends that I can trust,
that love me for the man I’ve become and not the man that I was.

Ten Thousand Words

Ten thousand words swarm around my head
Ten million more in books written beneath my bed
I wrote or read them all when searchin’ in the swarms
Still can’t find out how to hold my hands.

Ain’t it like most people? I’m no different
We love to talk on things we don’t know about.

But their good times come with prices
And I can’t believe it when I hear the jokes they make
At anyone’s expense except their own
Would they laugh if they knew who paid?

‘Cause the clothes I wore out there I will not wear ’round you.

*OK, OK, I know. Four lyrics from one song? I’m sorry, this one is just brilliant.

Kick Drum Heart

I won’t look back anymore
I left the people that do
It’s not the chase that I love
It’s me following you.

Laundry Room

Stop your parents’ car
I just saw a shooting star
We can wish upon it
But we wont share the wish we made
But I cant keep no secrets,
I wish that you would always stay.

Tonight I’ll burn the lyrics,
‘Cause every chorus was your name.

I am a breathing time machine,
I’ll take you all for a ride.

*Kristen swears she is getting that last line tatooed on her at some point.
Slight Figure Of Speech

They said “I hope that you will never change”
I went and cut my hair
They say “Don’t take your business to the big time”
I bought us tickets there.
Incomplete And Insecure

What is important
What’s really important
Am i not to know by my name?


album: “The Carpenter” (2012)

The Once And Future Carpenter
If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die.

Winter In My Heart

They say flowers bloom in spring
Red and golden, blue and pink
They say seasons turn in time
Theirs are changing, why won’t mine?

February Seven

I went on the search for something real
Traded what I know for how I feel.

Down With The Shine

I would voice my pain but the change wouldn’t last
All that comes, it comes here to pass.

A Father’s First Spring

Oh I have been homesick for you since we met.
I have been homesick for you.


album: “Magpie And The Dandelion” (2013)

Open Ended Life

I was taught to keep an open-ended life
and never trap myself in nothin’.

Bring Your Love To Me

Bring your love to me
I will hold it like a dandelion
One I want to save, one I want to keep
from the breeze that follows me and no one else.

Part From Me

And all our clothes were washed in gray
All our buildings and our cars
As the fluorescent light of day
Bleached the sky and took the stars.
The Clearness Is Gone

Well your hair fell on me like I dreamt that it would
When I dreamt your hair was long.

Hope you enjoyed!

2 thoughts on “‘People Don’t Know Nothin’

  1. Great list! You hit on many of my favorites. Some others that I like (in no particular order):

    I got dreams but nothing to hope for

    That woman she’s got eyes that shine
    Like a pair of stolen polished dimes

    So if ever someone says to you
    “Life isn’t fair, get used to it.”
    Then you should say “Well it might be
    if folks like you would let it be.”

    I saw you behind the camera
    Whispering to your friends and watching me
    I fell in love with you there
    Which proves the fool that I can often be

    It’s the only way to keep that last bit of sanity
    Maybe I don’t have to be good but I can try to be
    At least a little better than I’ve been so far

    And my heart is like a mason’s hands of weathered skin
    Each scar makes it harder for me to hurt again

    I wanna be good to you. I wanna be there for you.
    And when I come home, will you still want me to?

    And I don’t know if my soul is saved
    Sometimes I use curse words when I pray

    It’s alright if you finally stop caring
    Just don’t go and tell someone that does


  2. Pingback: -365- – David Allen, Jr.

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