"156" as written by and Bo Rune Madsen Jonas Bjerre Terkelsboel....
From my boat I can see your house
And when the lights are off
I can watch you move
Hear the wind whispering your name

Twice the encouragement
Of the real you
Callie if you really want me to
I can always get you down

If you get the money for me
Callie in the summer rain
You will be kept dry you see
If you got the money for me

Making amends for distant wrong
Sincere
You can run away
Leave your books behind you

But you should look back twise
Just to be on the save side
From my boat I can see your house
But now the lights are off

And there is no one home
You are just like an avalanche
Cold as I might have guessed
But at least I'm covered up for now

In a big, big way
I am really small
I get off my feet
But I'm still distant

Don't you just love goodbyes?
Callie let us get it over with
I can always get you down
If you got the money for me

Callie in the summer rain
You will be kept dry you see
If you got the money for me
Most of our lives we try so hard

To find the time
I won't care for you
Like I'm really supposed to
There are things I'll do

That could really hurt you
Don't you just love goodbyes?
156


Lyrics submitted by Belle-and-Eric-Hajdu

"156" as written by Johan Haslund Wohlert Bo Rune Madsen

Lyrics © FINTAGE PUB & COLLECTION B.V.

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156 song meanings
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95 Comments

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  • +7
    General Commentyeah I adore this dong, my fav mew song, but instead of ranting on how much we love it, could we maintain this site's actual purpose and explain the significance of the numbers 1 5 and 6?? because I'm drawing a blank.
    JamieLou007on December 02, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIt could be as simple as the biblical meanings for these numbers
    1=God
    5=Mankind
    6=The Devil
    apertureyeson April 09, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI find this song particularly interesting because of the chorus. Not only is it lyrically at odds with the rest of the song, which is relatively straightforward, but it is sung with a creepy, husky and low tone that doesn't match Mew's usual style at all.

    The rest of the song is, in contrast, all of the mood of the singer watching and pressing in. As several people have mentioned, it gives the impression of a stalker -- someone whose presence is not wanted and possibly dangerous. The voyeurism of "my boat... when the lights are low, I can watch you move" suggests a one-sided desire and there seems an underlying threat in the suggestion, "You can run away... but you should look back twice, just to be on the safe side."

    Even the more traditional love-lorn lyrics fit with the unrequited passion of the above. The words "you are just like an avalanche, cold as I might have guessed, but at least I am covered up for now" suggest the singer's felt a cold rejection and finally "I won't care for you, like I'm really supposed to, there are things I'll do, that could really hurt you" is still about the singer acting upon the girl (Callie?). This could be about resignation and rationalization in the face of her coldness or the realization that he really is a creepy, potentially dangerous stalker.

    But all this is why I find the chorus so important to the ultimate meaning of the song. Mew has a tendency to do various versions of their songs, some of them quite mutated, but I've found their delivery of the chorus constant. Even in concert there's that odd, breathy voice calling to "Callie," with each chorus, but this time it's Callie who has the desire:

    Callie, if you really want me to
    I can always get you down
    If you got the money for me
    Callie, in the summer rain
    You will be kept dry you see
    If you got the money for me

    In the end, this sounds like two fucked up people in some sort of mutual relationship. The singer is a bit sick in the mind, and acknowledges that he's dangerous, but Callie (partly, at least) desires that danger. She might just be a girl who likes to be hurt or it may be a more complex relationship, one literally involving money and something more than the exchange of twisted psychological hang-ups.

    I have absolutely no theories on the title. Maybe it's the money?
    olivetwiston August 09, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Commentokay, i haven't read everyone's opinions, so i apologize if i'm repeating a similar theory.....
    i think that the singer is a drug-pusher fascinated by this cali girl. he'd been watching her and they developed a relationship of sorts where he discovers that she is very intelligent and focused on her studies. i'm guessing she had been stressing over school so he offered her drugs in order to keep her mind off the pressures of life, hence the quotes: "you can run away, leave your books behind you." and "cali if you really want me to, i can always get you down, if you got the money for me."

    However, after the quote about leaving books behind, he then says, "but you should look back twice to be on the safe side."
    And this quote leads up to the break up. I'm assuming that she did take drugs and they dated for a while, but in the end...she did look back twice at her old life, and all the things she could have from finishing school, and left him.
    my guess is that cali still stayed in contact with him, but only for the drugs. so she was prolly kind of leading him on but he saw through her scheme and was hurt, hence the quote: "you are just like an avalanche cold as i might have guessed."

    now this quote: "In a big, big way. I am really small. I get off my feet. But i'm still distant"
    I believe this is the singer saying that he may be pathetic (small) compared to a rich girl going to a prestigeous school, but he's ready to turn the tables and start being distant with her. he begins to rub it in her face that he knows she's becoming a junkie, hence the repeating quote, "cali let us get this over with. i can get you down if you got the money for me."

    and finally he's breaking off all ties by letting her know that he can't care for her and he's a bad influence, yet he wants it to sting, hence the quote "dont you just love goodbyes"

    sorry, that was long i know. but, i'm afraid i have no clue what 156 means. i'd be curious to know if anyone agrees with my theory though!
    kisslikekidson March 27, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentalso,
    "Making amends for distant wrong
    Sincere "
    and
    "Most of our lives we try so hard
    to find the time"

    I've never heard either of these lines. am I going insane? help!
    JamieLou007on December 02, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentPegz I am so jealous that you got to see and meet Mew. I live in the United States and they never come here.

    MEW PLEASE COME OVER HERE!
    ComfortingSoundson January 13, 2006   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI have been obsessed with this song for years. Allow me to submit my interpretation of these beautiful lyrics, via direct analysis and inference. At the end, I will harp on what I think the song means more fully:

    INTERPRETATION =======================

    "From my boat I can see your house
    And when the lights are on
    I can watch you move"

    - The above lyrics are indicative of a person obsessing over another. Specifically, a person in love with another, from afar, though that person does not return those feelings. I am going to assume for the time being the narrator is a male and the subject a female. Why do I think it's an obsessive person from a distance? There are several indicators of distance throughout the song, and the narrator indicates his feelings for the subject are seemingly unrequited.

    "Hear the wind whispering your name
    Twice the encouragement
    Of the real you"

    -(above) She ignores him. We don't know why. He almost stalks her, watching her from far away, loving her, while she ignores him.

    "Callie if your really want me to
    I can always get you down
    If you got the money for me
    Callie in the summer rain
    You will be kept dry you see
    If you got the money for me"

    - (above) these lyrics are fascinating, because they seemingly stand in complete contrast to the rest of the song. A previous poster mentioned this fact, so he/she deserves the credit for that analysis. There is a key to the whole song in these words, but it's so concealed it's hard to tell.
    Likewise, these may not be the words of the narrator. In fact, they may be someone else related to the subject (the woman). There is also a possibility these words are symbolic in a complete fashion.
    They may be the narrator's concealed past phrases to the woman, or feelings concealed int eh song. In this way, the words can be interpreted as "I can help you, I can protect you, but you need to give me what I want."

    "Making amends for distant wrong
    Sincere"

    - (above) This is hard to understand, but perhaps the reason she is ignoring him has to do with something he did in the past?

    "You can run away
    leave your books behind you
    but you should look back twice
    just to be on the safe side"

    - (above) She leaves. The subject takes off, away from the narrator. Either she leaves because of him, or just because of circumstance, but she leaves nonetheless.

    "From my boat I can see your house
    but now the lights are off
    and there is no one home"

    - (above) Because she is gone now.

    "you are just like an avalanche
    cold as I might have guessed
    but at least I am covered up for now"

    - (above) He hates the fact that she left, and feels like it was cold of her not to say anything. It was sudden and without warning, like an avalanche.

    "In a big, big way
    I am really small"

    - (above) This is how he feels.

    "I get off my feet
    But i'm still distant"

    - (above) even trying to fix things with her, or do something of some type to decrease the distance, she still left. She's long gone, literally "distant".

    "Don't you just love goodbyes?"

    - (above) now this line has more meaning. She left without saying goodbye.

    "Callie let us get it over with
    I can always get you down
    if you got the money for me
    Callie in the summerrain
    You will be kept dry you see
    If you got the money for me"

    - (above) the same chorus. It's unclear whether this is the narrator or not. I would say not, since the singing is different.

    "Most of our lives we try so hard
    to find the time"

    - (above) these lyrics are different than the following. More reflection from the narrator.

    "I won't care for you
    like I'm really supposed to
    there are things I'll do
    that could really hurt you"

    - (above) it is unclear if this is from the narrator, but it seemingly is. It may also be the subject's past words to the narrator, an interpretation I absolutely love.

    "Don't you just love goodbyes?"

    - (above) once again, she left without saying anything.

    "156"

    -(above) Ah, the pièce de résistance. This number means nothing to us as the listeners, but to the song writer, or the narrator and subject, it means a lot. So it is useless to try to interpret the meaning of this number, and instead interpret the song itself.

    BASICALLY ============================

    The song is a song of a woman leaving without saying anything ("you can run away..."); someone from the narrator's past he had feelings for.

    He discovers she left and feels hurt that she said nothing, not even goodbye ("don't you just love goodbyes?")

    He thinks he could have been great for her if she only returned the feelings ("...if you've got the money for me")

    Remember, there are several versions of this song with the same lyrics, and similar tones. However, this interpretation fits all of them.

    THE MUSIC VIDEO ======================

    Alternatively, an interpretation from the music video is seemingly impossible, since the video is so crazy. If we can use the interpretation I've offered, the band members attempt to break into a house and steal some things, but the elephant sees the girl and feels bad about it. In the end, he throws out the items they stole, regretting their actions.

    The music video fits the interpretation that the narrator did something he regrets and she now ignores him, ultimately leaving without saying anything.

    ======================================

    I hope this was helpful. Feel free to copy and paste anywhere, and post to the Mew forums. I would appreciate it if you included my handle: Frank Gamer.

    Thanks!
    frankgamershowon March 15, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJamieLou007: There are two different versions of 156, this is the one on the album Frengers. The other one is one the album Half the World Is Watching Me.
    corganon December 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti'm from denmark and i just wanna agree with madsanova. denmarks alarm number is 112 not 156, it's a cool song though and if you wanna hear some other cool danish indie rock/alternative you should try the bands Kashmir and The Raveonettes out
    CDT91on October 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment156 is the chord progression playing during the chorus. the chorus is in c# minor, so when they sing 1 5 6, the chords are actually changing on the rhythm that 1 5 6 is sang-- c#min G#min Amaj. although the bass doesn't play the root of the 5 chord, which is G# minor, the 5 chord is very strongly implied in the instrumentation and in that synthesized string line which plays G# (the root of the 5 chord) right when they say "5". i dont know if this is actually why they say 156, but if it's just a coincidence that they're saying 156 and the chord progerssion happens to be 156 changing right in rhythm with the vocal line, then damn that's quite a coincidence.
    meegs325on January 08, 2007   Link

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