- Crowning Simile of Awesome: "Old College Try."
In the way those eyes I've always loved illuminate this placeLike a trashcan fire in a prison cellLike the searchlights in the parking lots of hell
- The end of "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton."
When you punish a person for dreaming his dreamDon't expect him to thank or forgive youThe best ever death metal band out of DentonWill in time both outpace and outlive youHAIL SATAN!HAIL SATAN, TONIGHT!HAIL SATAN! HAIL, HAIL! HAIL, HAIL!
- "Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod?"
Held under these smothering wavesBy your strong and thick-veined handBut one of these days I'm going to wriggle up on dry land.
- The terminally ill narrator's refusal to feel sorry for himself in "Isaiah 45:23."
And I won't get better but someday I'll be free'Cause I am not this body that imprisons me
- The declaration in "This Year":
I am gonna make it through this year, if it kills me.
- John Darnielle was warmed to find out on Twitter that many, many people going through hard times play this song on New Year's.
- The final verse from "Up the Wolves":
I'm gonna bribe the officialsI'm gonna kill all the judgesIt's gonna take you people years to recover from all of the damageOur mother has been absent ever since we founded RomeBut there's gonna be a party when the wolf comes home
- A live example - Craig Finn of The Hold Steady guested on an electric performance of "This Year" at the Bowery Ballroom. After the final lyric of "I am going to make it/ through this year/ if it kills me!" Darnielle unexpectedly title-dropped a Hold Steady album and recurring lyric - "And it almost killed me! It almost killed me!". And the crowd - and Craig Finn - go wild.
- "Jenny" is a beautiful encapsulation of youthful idealism – it features a couple riding off into the sunset together on a motorcycle.
You turned your headlamps toward the horizonWe were the one thing in the galaxy God didn't have his eyes on
- "Going to Georgia."