Crashed on the floor when I moved in
This little bungalow alone with some strange new friends
Stay up too late, and I'm too thin
We promise each other it's til the end
Now we're spinning empty bottles
It's the five of us
With pretty eyed boys girls die to trust
I can't resist the day
No, I can't resist the day

Jenny screams out and it's no pose
Cause when she dances she goes and goes
And beer through the nose on an inside joke
And I'm so excited, I haven't spoken
And she's so pretty, and she's so sure
Maybe I'm more clever than a girl like her
The summer's all in bloom
The summer is ending soon

It's alright and it's nice not to be so alone
But I hold on to your secrets in white houses

Maybe I'm a little bit over my head
I come undone at the things he said
And he's so funny in his bright red shirt
We were all in love and we all got hurt
I sneak into his car's cracked leather seat
The smell of gasoline in the summer heat
Boy, we're going way too fast
It's all too sweet to last

It's alright
And I put myself in his hands
But I hold on to your secrets in white houses
Love, or something ignites in my veins
And I pray it never fades in white houses

My first time, hard to explain
Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain
On a cloudy day, it's more common than you think
He's my first mistake

Maybe you were all faster than me
We gave each other up so easily
These silly little wounds will never mend
I feel so far from where I've been
So I go, and I will not be back here again
I'm gone as the day is fading on white houses
I lie, put my injuries all in the dust
In my heart is the five of us
In white houses

And you, maybe you'll remember me
What I gave is yours to keep
In white houses
In white houses
In white houses



Lyrics submitted by sens_freak_18

"White Houses" as written by Vanessa Carlton, Stephan Douglas Jenkins

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


White Houses song meanings
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287 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment:Yes.. it is about losing virginity. But more importantly this song is about losing herself in her relationships with four friends, one boy in particular. "I feel so far from where I've been so I go.. and I will not be back here again" She loses sight of herself and who she once was. Friendships are wonderful while they last... but sometimes when you are so close to someone and you both know it won't work out... "we were all in love and we all got hurt" you just have to leave those wounds open "these silly little wounds will never mend" and put them in the past "i lie, put my injuries all in the dust. In my heart it's the five of us" And yes, they will always be in her heart... but things will never be the same... Things always have to change. Her ideal (white houses) of falling in love and being with that person forever has not come true. And she gave away something that she can't take back "what I gave is yours to keep... in white houses"
    libalottaon September 29, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:This song completely relates to my freshman year at college! I know that the lyrics imply that the song takes place during summer, but it is also very similar to a college experience or anytime someone is away from home for the first time. Lyric by lyric:

    "Crashed on the floor when I moved in"
    "This little bungalow with some strange new friends"

    Vanessa has arrived at a camp, and after moving in she is exhausted. She is sharing a little house with new people who she does not know yet

    "Stay up to late and I'm too thin"
    "We promise each other it's til the end"

    Vanessa stays up too late with her friends, she has a lack of sleep. "I'm to thin" I think is her comparing herself to the other girls who may have more of a shape to their bodies. All of the girls bond fast and make promises that their friendships will last forever

    "Now were spinning empty bottles it's the five of us"
    "With pretty eyed boys girls die to trust"

    The spinning empty bottles can go two ways. Either they are really playing spin-the-bottle with a group of guys or they are drinking a lot and finishing the bottles really fast. I don't think the boys are part of the "five of us" or maybe they are. These boys are gorgeous, with innocent eyes even though you know they can't be trusted, you still want to trust them.

    "I can't resist the day"
    "No I can't resist the day"

    I take this line to mean Vanessa realizes that things are moving much faster then she expected them to, but she's going to go along with it. This excitement is too much to handle.

    "Jenny screams out and it's no pose"
    "Cause when she dances she goes and goes"

    I take this to mean that Jenny is the leader of the group of girls. She's the center of attention, the one boys pay the most attention to.

    "Beer through the nose on an inside joke"
    "And I'm so excited I haven't spoken"

    They are obviously drinking, and laughing, having a great time. Vanessa is so excited she has barely spoken. She sits in the back, watching Jenny be the center of attention and do all the talking.

    "She's so pretty and she's so sure"
    "Maybe I'm more clever then a girl like her"

    Vanessa admires Jenny's beauty and confidence, and is perhaps a little jealous. She does however realize she may be smarter, and more down-to-earth then Jenny, which may help her attract guys.

    "Summer is all in bloom"
    "Summer is ending soon"

    Summer is in full blast now, but soon it will be over. Nothing this great lasts forever.

    "It's alright and it's nice not to be so alone"
    "And I hold on to your secrets in white houses"

    Vanessa knows that she may be moving to fast and not at a pace she is 100% comfortable with, but she goes with it because it's better to have fast and crazy friends then be alone by herself. She keeps secrets in white houses, which resemble her innocence possibly.

    "Maybe I'm a little bit over my head"
    "I come undone at the things he said"

    Vanessa realizes she is in over her head with these friends. She can't help but fall for a smooth talking guy who uses his words to charm her and make her laugh.

    "And he's so funny in his bright red shirt"
    "We were all in love and we all got hurt"

    This guy Vanessa is falling for is funny, which she is obviously attracted to. Now when she says "we were all in love and we all got hurt" she is not only referring to herself. Maybe she is also including Jenny, or any of the other girls. Maybe Jenny likes the guy Vanessa likes, but he chooses Vanessa or maybe Jenny or one of the other girls has a separate summer love going on that Vanessa just refers to. Either way, she is not the only person hurting in this song.

    "I sneak into his car's cracked leather seat"
    "The smell of gasoline in the summer heat"

    Since she uses the word sneaking, I'm going to assume that the other girl's don't know she's with this boy. Maybe it is because Jenny is interested in him and Vanessa doesn't want her to find out she's hooking up with him. Maybe the other girls do know that she's with this boy, but he would rather keep in on the down low from his friends, which could also be why they are sneaking around. I think the summer heat is referenced because people are more free during the summer, and let go of their morals more easily, which is what Vanessa seems to be doing.

    "Boy were going way too fast"
    "It's all too sweet to last"

    Vanessa acknowledges that she is moving way too fast with this boy, and that even though everything feels right in the moment, she knows it will not last like this forever. She questions whether or not she should move further with this boy.

    "It's alright and I put myself in his hands"
    "But I hold on to your secrets in white houses"

    She decides to give herself to the boy, putting her doubts away for the moment in the back of her mind. The word secret is used again, and so is the reference to her innocence in the white houses.

    "Love or something ignites in my veins"
    "And I pray it never fades in white houses"

    Vanessa is not feeling love right now, but probably lust, which she is confusing with love. This excitement is so good and she hopes the feeling never goes away.

    "My first time hard to explain"
    "Rush of blood and a little bit of pain"

    This is her describing her first time having sex. I think the rush of blood is not literal, but more of her heart pounding and the excitement she's feeling. The little bit of pain obviously refers to how losing your virginity can hurt.

    "On a cloudy day it's more common then you think"
    "He's my first mistake"

    The cloudy day refers to losing her virginity under bad circumstances. First of all, it seems she's in a car which is not the ideal place to have sex for the first time. The weather might be cloudy, it's not sunny, not at all like she pictured this moment would be like. She refers to other people's first times, saying a lot of people's are not that great which is why she says it's more common then you think. At the end she acknowledges that doing it with him was a mistake.

    "Maybe you were all faster then me"
    "We gave each other up so easily"

    She realizes her friends were much faster then her. The friendships that they said would last forever, quickly faded away with no effort made to repair them.

    "These silly little wounds will never mend"
    "I feel so far from where I've been"

    The little fights they had over stupid things can not be fixed. It might also refer to losing her virginity, it's something she can't take back. She feels so far from the innocent girl she once was, who she was at the beginning of the summer.

    "So I go and I will not be back here again"
    "I'm gone as the day is fading on white houses"

    So she leaves the camp, knowing she will never be back, never see these friends again. She's going as quick as the sun is going down on her innocence. She is really a different person then she once was.

    "I lie put my injuries all in the dust"
    "In my heart it's the five of us in white houses"

    Even though she is trying to act all tough, acting like she doesn't care that she's leaving, she knows how important this summer was to her. It had a major emotional impact and some of the greatest times of her life were with these five friends who she will always hold close to her heart.

    "And you maybe you'll remember me"
    "What I gave is yours to keep"

    This last part is for the boy she lost her virginity to. He will always be her first, someone in the back of her mind that she'll always remember. He was obviously experienced and she was just a summer fling to him, a knotch on his belt. She hopes that maybe he will remember him though and that he will always have her virginity because she doesn't need it anymore. I think she does not regret losing it to him. He was a mistake and maybe should should have gone slower, but it happened and it helped her become a stronger person by the end of summer, leaving her with no regrets.

    "In white houses"
    "In white houses"
    "In white houses"

    These white houses, her innocence, maybe a reference to the bunk she stayed in all summer where secrets were told, friendships formed and lost, her first time, so many things went down in those white houses. Either way it is a place that has had a significant impact on her life that she will never forget.
    ghyson January 04, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation:This song is about everything that happens once you're in college and living in a dorm. Obviously, the song talks about making new friends, and them partying with boys. Then, she falls "in love" with this boy who later takes her virginity and turns into just a summer romance.

    I think the message is boys come and go, but friends are forever.

    thats how i interpreted it.


    oh, btw, i love this song!!!
    KTbaby659on June 19, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:I think that the white houses are symbolizing the dreams and plans they once had. They had these perfect dreams and visions, surrounded by their innocence.
    When she makes reference to the white houses:

    'But I hold on to your secrets in white houses'
    Perhaps she's saying that when they were young and had all these dreams and stuff, they told eachtoher secrets and those secrets stayed locked in that time; even when they grew apart or broke up or whatever, they remained secrets. Perhaps, it also means that they lived that time with a lot of secrets; from eachother, from their families, etc. all in search of being their own person and what not.

    'Love, or something ignites in my veins
    And I pray it never fades, in white houses'
    She's saying that when she looks back on it all, she never wants to forgot those feelings; she wants to remember what that 'love' felt like at the time. She's also saying that she sort of wants to leave it in her past, along with the hopes, dreams, etc. (represented by the houses), but not forget. She wants to remember everything as being happy and light and young.

    'In my heart is the five of us
    In white houses'
    Again suggesting that she's always going to think of her friends and they way they felt about eachtoerh whenever she calls upon those innocent memories. Shes always going to remember those those dreams and associate her friends with that time period, with that bit of youthfulness.

    'And you, maybe you'll remember me
    What I gave is yours to keep
    In white houses
    In white houses
    In white houses '
    She's hoping that her lover or friends don't forget about her. That they too will treasure the memories and remember how great being young was; all the fun times they shared; the memories they made, the mistakes they made, they stuff they learnt, etc, etc. Giving up herself or perhaps her love for her friends, she really meant it; she doesnt regret it. It's theirs forever.

    So perhaps the white houses just symbolizes that time era where all this stuff happeened. They werea ll innocent, young and naive.And she doesnt have any regrets and wants to remember it all. Forever. For her, all this stuff happened 'in white houses', in her innocene period, in her dreams and hopes and fears. And thats how she'll rememebr it. She just hopes the others remember it like that too and are happy.

    ♥
    XphysicsXangelXon January 06, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:This is definetly one of vanessa carltons best songs. I think she is singing about making some new friends yet one of them is more than a friend and she shares her secrets with all of them but in the end all 5 of them break up despite the pact they made...
    DezJoneson September 17, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I think we all got the basics. Lets dissect the song though:

    "Crashed on the floor when I moved in
    This little bunk alone with some strange new friends
    Stay up too late, and I'm too thin
    We promise each other it's til the end "

    She gets her first apt/house/pad/place with 5 of her friends. Its her first time living on her own. She's been staying up late and partying hard. Her friends and herself make a pact to be friends forever... blah blah.

    "Now we're spinning empty bottles
    It's the five of us
    With pretty eyed boys girls die to trust "

    5 of her friend PLUS "pretty eye'd boys" are playing spin the bottle. Whoever commented on the uneven ratio~

    "Jenny screams out and it's no pose
    'Cause when she dances she goes and goes
    Beer through the nose on an inside joke
    I'm so excited, I haven't spoken
    And she's so pretty, and she's so sure
    Maybe I'm more clever than a girl like her

    Jenny is having a great time! Jenny is the "her." She is described as pretty and sure. What is she sure of? That the boy Vanessa likes actually likes herself (jenny). The boy, however, doesn't like Jenny. He likes vanessa, as we can tell by her statement "maybe im more cleaver." Its like Vanessa has found a way around the beauty.

    "Maybe I'm a little bit over my head
    I come undone at the things he said
    And he's so funny in his bright red shirt
    We were all in love and we all got hurt "

    Sets up that Vanessa is falling for this guy. Her friend are also experiencing similar things.

    " sneak into his car's black leather seat
    The smell of gasoline in the summer heat
    Boy, we're going way too fast
    It's all too sweet to last

    It's alright
    And I put myself in his hands "

    This is well... pretty intuative =D

    "Maybe you were all faster than me
    We gave each other up so easily
    These silly little wounds will never mend "

    She recognises that the friendship deteriorated over trivial things, and its partially all of their fault.

    "I feel so far from where I've been
    So I go, and I will not be back here again
    I'm gone as the day is fading on white houses
    I lie, put my injuries all in the dust
    In my heart is the five of us "

    She says she's grown up since then, and she won't return to those days. She is still very nostalgic about them though... she remembers the good and forgets the bad.

    White houses are basically what people have mentioned before, symbols for a dreamlike perfect family and life. There isn't really this perfect life, though, anywhere. A white house is really just a mask, a fascade for a good life. Its not real. When she says she keeps her secrets in white houses, she means that she can pretend these things never happend.

    Thats my take on things anyhow.
    Griffinrbon October 07, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:omg..the first time i heard this song, it soooh reminded me of MY first time...yeah, but i think the song is just really sad.. makes me feel empty.. LOL..
    eX_pLaYgUrLon October 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:ok so Vanessa Carlton came and performed for my college last night. And she was telling us before she played this song that MTV censored it because it was about sex. And she was so pissed because they play all those rap/hip hop videos with women jiggling their booties, and they cant play a beautiful, mature song about sex. Well poo poo on mtv. It's an awsome song.
    Lluvia6584on November 06, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I don't think Jenny has thaaaaaaat much to do with the song like some people are saying. I think it just means she has a friend named Jenny who is really sure and confident about herself and Vanessa says she's more clever.

    As for the rest of the song, obviously a summer romance, and they rushed into things too fast.
    LilMissSunshineXoXoon August 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:This is completely about losing her virginity,

    1st verse = a group of 5 friends are at a house party playing spin the bottle,
    2nd verse = Jenny is Vanessa's confident, fun friend who is so 'sure' about loosing her virginity. "summer's ending soon" - end of summer means end of being a virgin.

    Chorus = it was an 'alright' experience, not what she expected but not too bad either.

    3rd Verse = she's in the guys car, having sex, it's summer and he's saying nice things to her in order to sleep with her probably. maybe "all too sweet to last" meaning he didn't last long?

    4th Verse = she's in his arms afterwards, they keep it a 'secret' maybe? she thinks she 'loves' him , but she's not sure what love is so it just "feels like love"

    Bridge = "My first time, hard to explain
    Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain
    On a cloudy day, it's more common than you think
    He's my first mistake" - think thats pretty self-explanatory.
    KayceeSparkson September 11, 2011   Link

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