Rollin' from your brat sarcastic eye
A California tear, a drop of gold
Maybe you were cold, yeah, so was I
Holdin' back
Holdin' back the year

The year before the poison took its toll
Made you paper thin, me- wrinkled, old
Eventually, yeah, finally it caught up
I held you back, grabbed you by the arm
I played upon your fear

Rollin' down the window won't I
Order up some breakfast if I can
Hold me back
Hold me by the arm
Wipe away my tear

Wipe away my tear

The story ends with friends and early nights
A kitten grown to cat and no more fights
This is how we stay together, love

Holdin' back
Holdin' back the year
Hold me back
Grab me by the arm
Whisper in my ear

Holdin' back the year
Holdin' back the year


Lyrics submitted by starcastic, edited by rathyrye

Holding Back the Year song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI was really hoping to come here and see some opinions on this song, but I guess maybe I'll take a stab at kicking up a discussion.

    This is currently my favorite song on this album by far, maybe because I got an acoustic version out of KEXP-Seattle's in-studio archive before buying the studio recording and the more stripped down version is much more evocative than anything on the album.

    I see this sort of as a relationships (presumably marriage) has its nasty spots, but somehow we persevere kinda message. Maybe I'm way off base (why I wanted to see some other opinions).

    The poison in the second stanza can mean all kinds of things, some sort of incident (e.g. infidelity), the condition of being in a long-term monogomous relationship, or even possibly some sort of actual sickness or literal poison (although I prefer to interperet it metaphorically). I like the line, "I held you back, grabbed you by the arm; I played upon your fear". I see that see that as a stereotypical male reaction to adversity in a relationship, but rooted in a lot of reality. The bit I like is the innocence in it, how it's sort of a calculated act of desperation and not an indication of a truely violent nature.

    The next bit I see as sort of a grasp at normalcy, just a couple snippets of how you get through the day. I see somebody out driving, trying to escape a potentially volatile situation, stopping off at a fast food joint to get a sausage biscuit if they're still serving breakfast. I think there's a "roll me in your arms" line that's lost in the transcription above, as in let's forget the quibbling and have a comforting return to intimacy.

    In the end, life turns kind of monotonous (sorry to reuse the same term) and lame. Entertaining lame friends and turning in early. Raising a cat and being thoroughly domesticated. That's how it works out though, and you remain content in the relationship.

    Holding back the year is just persisting on and on.

    I don't know, I'm not 100% clear on it, but it stirs up some vivid emotions, which I really like. I tend to think that lots of songs aren't written with a real clear, this is what it's all about, purpose, but give the listener a little room to interpret and make it their own.

    Anybody else like this song?
    littlevisigothon February 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love it, he played it last night in his acoustic set supporting Dinosaur *woop*

    I thought of holding back the year as holding back some huge inevitability, although I'm not exactly sure what that inevitability is the case.
    Mindglowon December 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpoison = crystal meth
    no oneon June 07, 2007   Link

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