I had one friend in high school
Recently he hung himself with string
His note said, "If living is the problem
Well, that's just baffling"
And at the wake I waited around
To see my ex first love
And I barely recognized her
But I knew exactly what she was thinking of
We sat quietly in the corner
Whispering close about loss
And I remembered why I loved her
And I asked her why I drove her off

She said, "The slow fade of love
It's soft edge might cut you
And our poor friend Jim, well, he just lived within
The slow fade of love"

A woman calls my house once a week
She's always selling things
Some charity, a phone plan
Or a subscription to a magazine
And as I turned her down (I always do)
There was something trembling in her voice
I said, "Hey, what troubles you?"
She said, "I'm surprised you noticed
Well, my husband, he's a-leaving
And I can't convince him to stay
And he'll take our daughter with him
She wants to go with him anyway.
I'm sorry I'm hard to live with
Living is the problem for me
I'm selling people things they don't want
And I don't know what you need"

He said, "The slow fade of love
And it's mist might choke you
It's my gradual descent into a life I never meant
It's the slow fade of love"

I was driving south from Melrose
I happened upon my old lover's old house
I found myself staring at the closed up door
Like the day she threw me out
"Diana, Diana, Diana, I would die for you
I'm in love with you completely
I'm afraid that's all I can do"
She said, "You can sleep upon my doorstep
You can promise me indifference, Jim
But my mind is made up
And I'll never let you in again"

For the slow fade of love
It might hit you from below
It's your gradual descent into a life you never meant
It's the slow fade of love

It's the slow fade of love (x8)

Lyrics submitted by sonics222, edited by Oz82

A Man/Me/Then Jim song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentOkay so, here is how I personally took it...

    The woman on the phone is married to jim, we know this because she says to "me" on the phone, "I'm sorry I'm hard to live with, LIVING IS THE PROBLEM FOR ME." And then in the first verse at Jim's funeral, it says, "His note said, 'IF LIVING IS THE PROBLEM, well thats just baffling.'" This referring to his wife claiming "living was the problem," so Jim is being sort of sarcastic towards her by putting that in the suicide note. Kinda of like, 'well if living is the problem, why continue living.. thanks for the advice.'

    And then I think the whole, going to diana's old house was just sort of confirming his unhappiness, knowing how much love really does fade, pushing him farther toward his suicide. Or maybe it was his way to sort of say goodbye to things he once loved, even though she did not live there anymore.

    Mmm I just love this song, and it's cool seeing all the different ways people see it!
    heeeyyyjudeon August 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is really gorgeous. i really love "you can sleep upon my doorstep, you can promise me a difference, Jim. but my mind's made up and i'll never let you in again." i feel like that line sums up the slow fade of love. sometimes people are just in different places in their lives.
    sonics222on June 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPersonally, I think the song tells the story of Jim's faded love and death in backwords order from the perspective of three different narrators (A Man/Me/Then Jim). Each verse reveals a new part of the story...

    The first verse is an example of faded love between a man and his old girlfriend who reunite at Jim's funeral. The Man tells us exactly what the suicide note said and his "ex-first love" explains that Jim "just lived within the slow-fade of love," or that he had some sort of a failed relationship in his life that probably led him to his end.

    Next comes the second verse as told by "Me." I interpret that "Me" is the Man's ex-first love from the funeral and that this verse explains how she knew that Jim "just lived within the slow fade of love." She spoke on the phone with Jim's wife who makes a "living is the problem" comment, parralleling Jim's suicide note. This line obviously connects the woman on the phone to Jim. I guess, according to the verse, their marriage was unhappy, so Jim left and took their daughter.

    The 3rd verse, as told by Jim, also sort of mirrors the first verse in the sense that both men in the song attempt to rekindle their relationships with their old loves. The way I take it, Jim goes desperately back to Diana, but she totally rebuffs his advances and is completely indifferent. As someone mentioned earlier, she has moved on from that "old house." Then all Jim can do is die, which he does, making a sarcastic comment in his suicide note to his wife, Diana, and thus we return to the beginning of the song, Jim's funeral.

    Hope that makes a little sense...

    jkileybobon June 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love how the slow fade of love has a "soft edge" and a "mist." These things seem so calm and harmless, yet they whittle away at love and before you know it they "cut you" or "choke you." People don't even realize their love is fading because it's so "gradual" and comes in slowly like mist or a soft cut, but before they know it they are transformed into a completely different person. It takes out your life from underneath you without you even realizing it, leaving you stranded in a "life you never meant." I LOVE this song.
    123456910on December 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti wish i was this song
    yesteryearon February 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust a thought:
    I think the Me is Diana, but Diana and Jenny are the same person. After one of the shows, I waited around to get Jenny's autograph and my name is Diane. When I told her my name, she said "Oh that's my middle name!" So I think possibly Jenny is the Diana Jim was in love with. Of course we can't be sure, but it's a nice thought.
    datotheianeon May 03, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is what I think the song is about:

    The "man" is talking to Diana about Jim. She says he lived within the slow fade of love. In the last verse Jim says "Diana, Diana, Diana I would die for you". And that's what he did. When Jim wrote the note "If living is the problem well, that's just baffling" he was hinting towards his wife.

    "Me" I think is Jenny or whomever wrote the song. Jenny is talking to Jim's wife. For whatever reason Jim doesn't love his wife anymore, something the wife has done because even their daughter doesn't want to stay with her. She says "living is the problem for me."

    And "Jim" is in first person. Diana doesn't love him or won't allow herself to let him in anymore. Probably because he's married (IDK). This wrecks him. Both because love has faded with his wife, love is fading with Diana.

    I just love how the story intertwines with all the people involved. You can take a lot from the song.
    chriztinebon September 24, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentalso, something i've always thought was obvious was that the things diana and jim said to each other outside the house happened way, way before jim drove came back to the house. i've noticed a lot of comments here that suggest that's not the case.
    supermelon928on August 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti'm pretty sure diana is the roman equivalent of artemis, the goddess of chasteness and the hunt (making her wild, or unable to be 'conquered'). i think it's just another hint that he can never have her.
    C8lin407on November 05, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhy does everyone think the conversation in the second verse is on the telephone?

    It's very clear:

    "A woman COMES TO my house once a week"

    She's selling, amongst other things, phone plans, but she's there in person.
    caitsith01on September 02, 2011   Link

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