"Dinner at Eight" as written by and Rufus Wainwright....
No matter how strong
I'm going to take you down with one little stone
I'm going to break you down and see what you're worth
What you're really worth to me

Dinner at eight was o.k. before the toasts full of gleams
It was great until those old magazines
Got us started up again
Actually it was probably me again
But why is it so
That I've always been the one who must go
That I've always been the one told to flee
When in fact you were the one
Long ago, actually in the drifting white snow
Who left me?

So put up your fists and I'll put up mine
No running away from the scene of the crime
God's chosen a place
Somewhere near the end of the world
Somewhere near the end of our lives
But till then no daddy don't be surprised
If I want to see the tears in your eyes
Then I know it had to be
Long ago, actually in the drifting white snow
You loved me


Lyrics submitted by BlueAndStarry

"Dinner at Eight" as written by Rufus Wainwright

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Dinner at Eight song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI'm surprised no one has commented on this gorgeous song. He wrote it about his father and an argument they got in over a Rolling Stone photo shoot over dinner one night, which led him to thoughts of how he was abandoned by his father earlier in life.

    To me, it's probably the most (straightforwardly) honest and personal song he's written so far. It's beautifully written, with the musical climax hitting right at the fighting imagery ("put up your fists/and I'll put up mine"). It's so brutal, yet so loving. One of the defining songs that makes Rufus one of the best new songwriters of the past decade.
    shes_a_jaron September 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    MemoryI don't know about Loudon, but my eyes do fill up every single time I hear this song.
    I discovered this song briefly after the day my dad died and my second son was born (yaeh, on the SAME FREAKING DAY), so imagine what a heavy load of father-son meanings it carries for me.
    Gueiboron October 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree entirely with what you have said.

    Maybe the reason for the lack of comments is that there's really nothing more than can be said about this, besides the song itself. Both the meaning and sentiment are clear.

    What i find most appealing about this song is what you mentioned about the brutality and lovingness of it. I think it reflects how a lot of relationships can be where there is a lot of passion and a strong bond.

    I think this is captured most beautifull in the lines "But 'til then no, Daddy, don't be surprised
    If I wanna see the tears in your eyes". The fact that rufus says such a cruel thing, and then directs it towards his father using a term that is usually connected with adoration and love is gorgeous.
    YourPerfectVerseon April 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree i agree also i think:

    No matter how strong
    I'm gonna take you down
    With one little stone
    I'm gonna break you down
    And see what you're worth
    What you're really worth to me


    is the key to the song. Rufus throws hate in order to see how it feels -- if he indeed cares -- if its really worth it...
    YoMamaWasaRodeoon April 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcorrect me if I'm wrong, but isn't this a cover of one of his father's songs?

    it's a pretty spiteful cover at that
    sammiwithanion April 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch a musically simple song and yet so friggin powerful...I always thought this was about getting thrust back into normal life after really tense times during the course of any relationship.
    arrstaron May 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsammi:
    this isn't a loudon cover, but it was written as a response to a big fight they had.
    all i have to say is that if i was rufus' dad and i heard this song, i'd be hurting real bad. =( this song breaks my heart.
    avarchielon November 07, 2007   Link

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