"Holly Up On Poppy" as written by and Andy Partridge....
Holly up on Poppy
Canter never stop
She has escaped from the world
Where they bake beautiful girls

Holly up on Poppy
Trotting to the top
She talks and banners unfurl
Their secrets crayoned in swirls

Everyday I have to pluck up
Courage to look her in the eyes
The eyes of storms

Anyway I
Love to watch her
Ride and play the alchemy
That love performed
Laughing

Holly up on Poppy
Canter never stop
She has escaped from the world
Where they bake beautiful girls

Every time I
Look at my watch
I'm reminded we are poor
In hours per day

Every second
Spent with her
Is a bulging wallet overstuffed
With angels pay
Laughter!

Holly up on Poppy
Holly up on Poppy
Holly up on Poppy


Lyrics submitted by BlueAndStarry

"Holly Up on Poppy" as written by Andy Partridge

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Holly Up On Poppy song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentAndy says this one's about his daughter Holly. She's in her twenties now, with her own band called the She-Beats. Boy, does that make me feel old.
    lunaharpuaon May 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe the part about it being based on Andy's daughter.

    Before I read that, I had this impression that it could be about heroin/opium, at least partially. "Up on poppy" sounds like a clever way of saying "high on opiates". Also, take into account the overall feel of the song, which to me has a pleasantly warm, druggy-vibe, esp bc of the nice synth/organ which paints the backdrop of the sound. It sounds almost like a mid-period, Lennon-Revolver/Sgt Pepper's song.
    There are also possible drug references in psychedelic lines like "secrets crayoned in swirls".
    "Ride and play the alchemy" sounds like a metaphor for using chemicals (alchemy being a forerunner of modern chemistry), in this setting the chemicals could be drugs.
    Then there's the darker side of opiates, which inevitably arises despite the romanticism sometimes associated with them (particularly heroin) - "...look her in the eyes, the eyes of storms..." Something definitely troubles this girl, perhaps only visible when looking through the "windows to the soul", as eyes have been described. This also explains the author's difficulty in mustering the strength to look into those eyes - he doesn't want to see the pain, which might normally be hidden (opiate-addicts in particular can keep their secret for much longer than most drug addicts before the truth becomes obvious). Also, simply repeating "laughing!" could mean anything, but going with my interpretation, it could be an expression of the nearly inexpressible (which would explain its simplicity and seeming lack of context when used) joy of being "up on poppy", and giggling all about it.
    Finally, there's the references to "escape", a common usage for drugs, esp in the case of opiates. Along this line of thinking, perhaps "she has escaped from the world where they bake beautiful girls" - implies she has used drugs to escape the reality where she, as with many women in today's society unfortunately, is constantly compared both by the world at large, as well as her own inner judgment, to the "beautiful girls" that grace the cover of magazines and such (and are artificial, hence them being "baked" as though cooked up by the industry, an idea similar to many themes in Partridge's lyrics), perhaps challenging her sense of self-worth. With the poppy, she can forget all that.

    Then again, it could just be an ode to his daughter ;)

    If so though, there's some troubling stuff going on here, I'd almost rather it be about heroin than his daughter having eyes full of storms
    regeneratoron July 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningNope. Andy's daughter Holly named her rocking horse "Poppy". It's just a happy papa writing about his daughter, probably no drug references. And her eyes are the "eyes of storms" as in the eye of a hurricane... that is, the one perfectly calm spot in a chaotic world.
    gravitonon May 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"where they bake beautiful girls"

    Really? I always heard it as "with a big beautiful girl" -- i.e. the horse.
    DanaMon September 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Every time I look at my watch I'm reminded we are poor in hours per day."
    -Precious time flys when he's with his daughter whome he obviously love so very much. I believe this time is cut shorter due to visitation hours running out. Sad but beautiful. Partridge is a master.
    Karnenyenon January 30, 2013   Link

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