"Bethlehem" as written by and Paula Cole....
Pulling on the apron strings looking up
Standing on the chair to be grown up
I feel so little, I need my pillow
I hate the time, I hate the clock
I want to be a dog or I want to be a rock

Sunday's pancakes Miss Mary Mack
Color Polariods show my heart attack
In my second-hand pants and dusty shoes
The day that the playground laughed at my shoes
It's my birthday next week and what I want please
Is to turn on the heat so the fish won't freeze
The fish in the tank froze and died last week
Oh I want to be a dog or I want to be a leaf

Quarry miners, fishermen
In my town of Bethlehem
Picket fences, church at ten
No star above my Bethlehem

Now I'm only 16 and I think I have an ulcer
I'm hiding my sex behind a dirty sweatshirt
I've lost five pounds these past few days
Trying to be class president and get straight A's, well,
Who gives a shit about that anyway?
I want to be a dog or a lump of clay

Chorus

Still I'm tired of standing still
Tired of living - still
Everyday I dream of leaving

Everybody's talking about Becky's bust
The boys on the basketball team just fuck
The same ten girls, who don't know who they are
They're looking for some comfort in the back of a car
The six-packs of beer, the locker room jeers
I don't want to be me, I don't want to be here

Chorus

Red brick schoolhouse, dead end dirt roads, daffodils
No star above my Bethlehem

I want to be a dog or I want to be a rock
I don't want to be me, I don't want to be here
Bethlehem


Lyrics submitted by Golgotha

"Bethlehem" as written by Paula Cole

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Bethlehem song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentAnthem to the woes of school years? Feeling ordinary?
    sixedhearton November 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAutobiographical, I think. About her childhood in the town she calls Bethlehem. Her first song "Tiger" on the follow up album talks about escaping Bethlehem and being free.
    anacson August 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt took a while to really come down to it, but I believe this to be one of her best songs , or even possibly, her best song. I was literally listening to it in math class and I started crying like a sap. Just the line "I've lost five pounds these past few days/
    Trying to be class president and get straight A's/, well, Who gives a shit about that anyway?". It is so incredibly great and true and harsh. Also, another outstanding lyric: "The boys on the basketball team just fuck the same ten girls/, who don't know who they are/ They're looking for some comfort in the back of a car".

    It is amazing for her to just go out, state the obvious, do it harshly, raw, and true.

    I love this song.
    pamplemousse916on April 27, 2009   Link

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