What are the lyrics to Interpol’s song “PDA”? No one seems to know.

Interpol vocalist Paul Banks feels your pain. “I’ve always been the kind of listener that obsesses over lyrics,” he told me. “I could give you every 50 Cent lyric. It’s not a point of pride, it’s a compulsion.” Because of the time he spends deciphering other bands’ lyrics, and because of his feeling that many great songs are enigmatic, Interpol’s albums don’t include lyrics sheets. Nevertheless, he recently succumbed and posted the lyrics on the band’s website, www.interpolny.com, feeling sympathy for the band’s European fans, who are wrestling with English as a second language. The lovely, droning “PDA” is about a breakup (although Banks emphasized that songs he sings in the first person are not necessarily about himself). The chorus is “Sleep tight, grim rite, we have two hundred couches where you can sleep tonight.” The word “rite” trips up many people; Banks drily observed, “Homonyms are fun.”

(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)