"The Calendar Hung Itself . . ." as written by and Oberst....
Does he kiss your eyelids in the morning when you start to raise your head?
And does he sing to you incessantly from the space between your bed and wall?
Does he walk around all day at school with his feet inside your shoes?
Looking down every few steps to pretend he walks with you.
Does he know that place below your neck that is your favorite to be touched
And does he cry through broken sentences like I love you far too much?
Does he lay awake listening to your breath?
Worried that you smoke too many cigarettes.
Is he coughing now on a bathroom floor?
For every speck of tile there are a thousand more
That you won't ever see but most hold inside yourself eternally.

I drug your ghost across the country and we plotted out my death.
In every city, memories would whisper: "Here is where you rest."
I was determined in Chicago but I dug my teeth into my knees
And I settled for a telephone and sang into your machine.

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

I kissed a girl with a broken jaw that her father gave to her.
She had eyes bright enough to burn me. They reminded me of yours.
In a story told she was a little girl in a red-rouge,
Sun-bruised field and there were rows of ripe tomatoes where a secret was concealed.
And it rose like thunder, clapped under our hands.
And it stretched for centuries to a diary entry's end where I wrote,

You make me happy whoa! When the skies are gray
You make me happy whoa! The skies are gray and gray and gray.

Well the clock's heart it hangs inside its open chest with its hands
Stretched towards the calendar hanging itself but I will not weep for those dying days.
For all the ones who have left there are a few that stayed.
And they found me here and pulled me from the grass where I was laid.


Lyrics submitted by PLANES

"The Calendar Hung Itself" as written by Conor Oberst

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Calendar Hung Itself . . . song meanings
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  • +2
    General Commentjust one of those songs that make you go..."yeah..that's exactly what i wanna say" .....man i gotta stop posting tonight..haha
    no_truston April 26, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDoes he know that place below your neck that is your favorite to be touched and does he cry
    through broken sentences like I love you far too much?...I love that line...it's so beautiful just as every Bright Eyes song is. Connor is simply a lyrical genius.
    Sweetygal16on May 24, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMy god thats a terrible idea... Slow down this powerhouse of anger and tension and exploding long-bottled emotion? And Bright Eyes' best uptempo song at that? Well, while I suppose it would be interesting to hear Calendar in an alternate, slower version, I cant envision that pacified (castrated?) version ever surpassing this barreling, shambling, glorious wreck of a song ever. Ever.
    Yoshiidinoon June 07, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree with the last comment, it is about moving on - in the beginning he is mad with jealousy of his lost love's new boyfriend and he doesn't believe that he knows her as well as he used to. As he realizes that he can never win her back, he becomes suicidal and travels across the country with her ghost (= the memory of her), re-experiencing memories on the way. The use of "drug" instead of "dragged" could mean that he uses drugs and then her ghost grows stronger ("WE plotted out my death", i.e. drug addict Conor and the ghost). Then he has second thoughts and digs his teeth into his knees (yes, I think that's litterally) and calls the lost love. Later on he tries to forget the girl by being with another girl, an abused girl ("a broken jaw that her father gave to her"). I have no idea about the meaning of the tomato thing, but since the secret concealed in the tomato field (which could be something that happened there, it doesn't have to be a buried thing) only stretched to the diary entry's end - maybe Conor reveals it in this entry?

    Someone said the "calendar" and "clock" are in fact people killing themselves. Don't think so. I think the meaning of that verse is just that the time (i.e. calendar/clock) when he was with her is slipping further and further away (= dying, the calendar of that time is hanging itself). But in the end he decides that he can't be trapped in the past ("But I will not weep for those dying days") and he realizes there are other people in the world than that girl, and they help him to recover from his heartache. So, as much as it is a song about missing someone, it is a song about moving on and appreciating what you have left.
    goffabollon August 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNow *this* is a really good song.
    weezerific:cutleryon November 25, 2001   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is my favorite song on "fevers and mirrors." gives me goosebumps.
    fiverbunny9on January 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbright eyes kicks ass
    angelgarbageon May 06, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthmm i think the beginning of this song is about him asking his ex if her new boyfirend does all the things he did when they were dating. kind of like hes saying "is he really as good of a boyfriend as i was?" but i dont really understand the rest of the song. the part where he talks about her ghost is most likely about how he cant get her off his mind and everything reminds him of her. like her 'ghost' follows him. i just dont see how the rest of the song has anything to do with that though. like the part about the clock and the calendar? i dont understand that at all

    Edited by mellow_harsher on July 25 2006, at 03:56AM

    LucyyNtheSkyyon July 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentKay, my two cents:

    First, the premise is that the narrator's in love with a girl who has someone else (whether it's an ex or not isn't very relevant XD)

    "Does he kiss your eyelids in the morning
    When you start to raise your head?
    And does he sing to you incessantly
    From the space between your bed and wall?
    Does he walk around all day at school
    With his feet inside your shoes?
    Looking down every few steps
    To pretend he walks with you
    Oh, does he know that place below your neck
    That's your favorite to be touched
    And does he cry through broken sentences
    Like, "I love you far too much"?
    Does he lay awake listening to your breath
    Worried that you smoke too many cigarettes?"

    Basically, he's saying "Can he treat you like I can? Like you should be treated?"

    "Is he coughing now on a bathroom floor?
    For every speck of tile there's a thousand more
    You won’t ever see but must hold inside yourself eternally"

    I think this is him trying to kill himself. Basically, bathrooms are a pretty common place for suicide XD And the "for every speck of tile there's a thousand more" might be some sort of reference to how he feels like he can't get out. Basically he's saying that the tiles are so incredibly expansive he can't possibly find his way out.

    "Well, I drug your ghost across the country
    And we plotted out my death
    In every city, memories would whisper
    "Here is where you rest"
    I was determined in Chicago
    But I dug my teeth into my knees
    And I settled for a telephone
    Sang into your machine:
    "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
    You are my sunshine, my only sunshine" "

    I think this is him leaving, and trying again to kill himself. And in Chicago, he finally decided he was going to do it, but instead he just decided to talk to her to settle his grief.

    "And I kissed a girl with a broken jaw
    That her father gave to her
    She had eyes bright enough to burn me
    They reminded me of yours"

    This one I think is saying he met a girl who was in misery of some sort (probably abuse), and he felt bad for her, but she reminded him of the girl he's writing to (She could maybe have a similar situation)

    "In a story told she was a little girl
    In a red-rouge, sun-bruised field
    And there were rows of ripe tomatoes
    Where a secret was concealed
    And it rose like thunder, clapped under our hands.
    And it stretched for centuries to a diary entry’s end
    Where I wrote:
    You make me happy (Right)
    When skies are gray
    You make me happy (Right)
    Oh, when skies are gray and gray and gray"

    This part, I can only think that perhaps he's saying that even though he's so mind-numbingly depressed (and suicidal) because he can't have her, she's still the only one that can lift his spirits, despite the fact that it's because of her he feels this way.

    "Well the clock’s heart it hangs inside it's open chest
    With it's hands stretched towards the calendar hanging itself
    But I will not weep for those dying days
    For all the ones who left, there's a few that stayed
    And they found me here and pulled me from the grass
    Where I was laid"

    And this part I think he's saying that basically, time is passing, and he's not even one step closer to having her for his own, but because there's still time, he has hope to garner her affection for himself one day, and this idea is what gets him back on his feet.
    Ozzy460on March 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with the last comment, it is about moving on - in the beginning he is mad with jealousy of his lost love's new boyfriend and he doesn't believe that he knows her as well as he used to. As he realizes that he can never win her back, he becomes suicidal and travels across the country with her ghost (= the memory of her), re-experiencing memories on the way. The use of "drug" instead of "dragged" could mean that he uses drugs and then her ghost grows stronger ("WE plotted out my death", i.e. drug addict Conor and the ghost). Then he has second thoughts and digs his teeth into his knees (yes, I think that's litterally) and calls the lost love. Later on he tries to forget the girl by being with another girl, an abused girl ("a broken jaw that her father gave to her"). I have no idea about the meaning of the tomato thing, but since the secret concealed in the tomato field (which could be something that happened there, it doesn't have to be a buried thing) only stretched to the diary entry's end - maybe Conor reveals it in this entry?

    Someone said the "calendar" and "clock" are in fact people killing themselves. Don't think so. I think the meaning of that verse is just that the time (i.e. calendar/clock) when he was with her is slipping further and further away (= dying, the calendar of that time is hanging itself). But in the end he decides that he can't be trapped in the past ("But I will not weep for those dying days") and he realizes there are other people in the world than that girl, and they help him to recover from his heartache. So, as much as it is a song about missing someone, it is a song about moving on and appreciating what you have left.
    goffabollon August 15, 2007   Link

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