Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same,
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue on and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university
Where they were but in boxes
And they came out all the same
And there's doctors and lawyers
And business executives
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same,
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.


Lyrics submitted by RawkCHiK04

Little Boxes song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song almost explicitly says what the meaning is. It is a clear opposition to conformity. It frowns upon the idea of suburbia, talking about more than just the houses but about the way people lived. Everyone tried to conform to have the ideal house and the ideal children. It was the age when the middle class rose up and everyone tried to be like their neighbors. The boxes may be different colors but they are actually all the same, all made out of ticky-tacky. The people, before they lived in the boxes went to the university where they were all "put in boxes just the same." The institution of education attempts to conform everyone as well. They all play golf (very typical middle and upper class leisure activity)
    All the boys go into the business, and all the girls marry the boys in business, and everyone has "pretty" children. Pretty being white, middle class, typical children. This song raises the issue of challenging convention and conformity, and mostly reflected the era that it was composed in, but has also established meaning today.
    missjulieon January 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is a critique of the Post-World War II trend of building neighborhoods and even towns out of copycat houses. Seeger is saying that these houses have no personality and the inhabitants are empty because the individual is not celebrated. Places like Levittown NY were "manufactured" communities where houses were put up in a matter of weeks and one neighborhood looked the same as the next.
    Vozzyon April 17, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCookie cutter towns, cookie cutter personalities, cookie cutter lives....they all look just the same.
    sakeboxon April 14, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentActually, Silver, i wouldnt be too quick to call names. The song was not originally sung by Malvina. It was WRITTEN by her, for Pete Seegers to sing, so it is incorrect to say he covered it. However, she *did* write the song, not Seegers...so Silver, dont call names.
    janelleon October 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI dont think he is just talking about houses, I mean that has to be a part of it. but I feel like he is also talking about the people that are a part of that same institution. We make the houses and live in them, so we are also really all being trained to be the same.

    And they came out all the same
    And there's doctors and lawyers
    And business executives
    And they're all made out of ticky tacky
    And they all look just the same.
    doctorbravo384on February 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a bit countryish and I usually hate that stuff, but I love this song cuz it reminds me soooo much of my hometown. Jeeze people! ever heard of the word 'unique'?
    RawkCHiK04on August 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust to add credit where it's due: this song was originally by Malvina Reynolds. Seeger definitely does it a compliment by covering it though.
    Skaman2on May 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy neighorhood is the same too, and it's not changing as well, here in las vegas... From a birds-eye view they look like concentration camps.
    Apothon September 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI live in Las Vegas too, Apoth. I agree completely. Bleh. Conformity..
    amberloveson November 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentvozzy hit the nail on the head. Cookie cutter neighborhoods that reflect the lack of individuality of the people. People conform to society's values and raise their kids to conform too because thats whats expected.
    ruelloon March 13, 2007   Link

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