"Halloween" as written by and Ryan Adams....
Heart stops beating, all the words worth repeating
She is dancing but not singing, is it maybe that she doesn't know the words?
She's dressed up, but don't worry, she's got friends
Snowflake eating, she is mildly self-defeating
And the secrets that she's keeping they are really only dangerous to her
Ships ain't sinking
We are here to help you sing your songs
We are here to help you sing your songs
Because tomorrow comes and no one calls

She stops grinning when the room it starts spinning
She is losing all her winnings, she's angry but it's just the alcohol
She's all fucked right up, it's okay, man, she's got friends
'Cause we are here to help her sing her songs
We are here to help her sing her songs
Because tomorrow's gonna come
Tomorrow's gonna come, and no one's gonna call

This isn't Christmas, this is Chinatown and those are pretty lights
Just use some more and put 'em on your make-up dolls
A painting on the underneath that never smiles on the scene
Is just like Christmas if it was Halloween

Someone taught her it's okay to be a martyr
Like an educated angel, be a rat, you know in all the things you love,
Well okay
Priceless pictures, she's collected iceless fixtures that is freezing from the people
She's chosen out to help her through it all
We are here to help you sing your songs
We are here to help you sing your songs
We are here to help you sing your songs
Because tomorrow's gonna come
Tomorrow's gonna come, and no one's gonna call

Lyrics submitted by BlueAndStarry

Halloween song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is just about a miserable girl who tends to keep people out of her life.
    Starguitaron July 02, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti always experienced this song as very comforting one, but while listening to it for the millionth time just now, i came to realize that it might very well be another song about (or addressed to) beth orton. evidence: the snowflake reference (see "the sweetest decline"); "we are here to help her sing her songs" - it seems that ryan is subtly suggesting her musical incompetence, being "just" a singer and ever dependent on other people for her success. kind of like how in "english girls approximately" he is dissing her brother for "not knowing the blues at all". let's face it, he's just trying to get back at her for hurting him (and who could blame him ;p) - a universal theme. so in this sense, you might say it's a self-comforting song. but i also hear compassion. and so much more that's even harder to put into words. however, i absolutely adore it.
    angelsflyon October 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really like this song. I think that it is about a person that bottles up all of their feelings and wont tell people what is wrong while people are there to help.
    Snowflake eating makes me think taht the girl in the song is anorexic, because all she will eat are snowflakes/water/ice stuff like that. and shes keeping the secrets which are dangerous for her-being anorexic. And since shes dancing shes got a song but shes not singing it because she doesnt want people to know something is wrong. However there are people that want to sing her songs and help her.
    k9ttyk1ton May 31, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmm, i love this its happy in comparison with the rest on this album. i agree with both of you. i like the: 'she's all fucked right up, it's ok man, she's got friends' cos people do tend to think that don't they? if theres a lonely person people worry but if theyre not then its like oh, it's ok, she s got friends. they'll sort it out she cant be that unhappy. but they never know. and the bit: 'someones taught her its ok to be a martyr' and since a martyr is someone who dies for something they feel strongly about then shes obviously someone whos in a critical situation and is going to die for all the fucked up shes gone through. i get bored of speculating lyrics. i just love the SOUND of the song more and certain lyrics apply to me in certain situations so i love certain songs at certain times, and right now it's this one.
    t1nkerb3llon March 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'this isn't christmas, this is china-town' is a great line. i'm not exactly sure what it means, but i can guess. if any of you have been to chinatown in new york city, where ryan is from, then you'll see all this green, red, and white tinsel and decorations hanging from windows and street lights. it looks like it should be christmas decorations, but it's really decorations from little italy, which is right next door, and often spills into canal st and china town. so if that's what he meant by "this isn't christmas, this is china town", then that's great. it probably isn't what he meant, and i'm sure there's another obscurely hidden reference in there, but either way, its a fantastic lyric.
    blind_gunmanon May 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song has always resonated with me for many reasons because i've always felt like i could relate to this gal. first this song always reminds me of fall with the imagery of halloween. its my favorite time of the year. i've also thought her birthday was close to or on halloween with the way he's saying "we're here to help her sing her songs" like they've all gathered for a special occasion, but in the morning, they're all gone. this girl is someone who seems stubborn, won't let people in sometimes, bottles things up (mildly self-defeating). she's a drinker (she's angry but it's just the alcohol) - this might be the way she copes with some of the things going on in her life, probably in the midst of being a 20/30 something unsure about her life direction. i don't think she's completely miserable, though especially being she seems to have a lighthearted angle as well with the notion of dancing, grinning and snowflake eating before she is self-depricating with the alcohol, keeping things to herself.

    she's young, a little fucked up. who hasn't been this way when they're young.
    melancholyjenon September 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsnowflake eating... maybe a reference to being cold. the plain fact that she refuses to wear her heart on her sleeve, for whatever reason, leads others to believe shes just this cold, feeling less, unapproachable person.
    Gwen13on February 17, 2010   Link

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