"Happy Home" as written by Shirley Ann Manson, Bryan David Vig, Douglas Elwin Erickson and Steve W Marker....
In my happy home I barely breathe
In my lovers arms I find relief
And there's a sky that's changing and a bird that sings
I never once in my wayward life was heading to run out

In my lovers arms I wait for morning
I beg my god to speak and tear me apart
I'd lay down my body I'd lay down my arms
I never once in my sweet short life meant anybody harm

In my happy home I read the signs
In my lovers arms I move in time
There's no more crying and there's no more lies
I never once in my sweet short life was waiting for desire

And there's no more crying
And there's no more pain
I never thought for one second I'd have nothing left but shame

In my happy home I barely breathe
I never once in my wayward life was heading to run out


Lyrics submitted by glaistig

"Happy Home" as written by Shirley Ann Manson Douglas Elwin Erickson

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Happy Home song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI don't think this song has much to do with suicide at all. This song is about infidelity.
    "Happy home" seems to be an ironic term for her home life which seems to be anything but. It seems implied that they have been together for a long time, but the magic is gone and the dynamics of the relationship have changed. She can "barely breathe" there.
    Her "lover" is the one she is cheating on her husband (they'd don't have to be married, I am arbitrarily assigning this word because it makes discussion a little simpler).
    In the first verse it's just before morning and she's cheated on her husband by spending the night with her lover (she "was never headed to run out" [on her husband]). She's happy here unlike in her happy home.
    Second verse, she's still in her lover's bed but she's thinking about the consequences of what she's done. She is wanting god to smite her and punish her for her actions. She "never meant anybody harm"
    The third verse seems her imagining what the future would be like with her lover. There is happiness in her life ("there's no more crying [or] lies"), unlike the present where it's as if she'd completely forgotten that she could feel this way. It's not as if she was searching for someone to cheat on her husband with. She was not "waiting for desire." She had always imagined that she would always be faithful, and suddenly she has found herself with this second man with whom she's completely smitten.
    In the end she knows her life will be much happier if she leaves her husband for her lover, ("no more crying" "no more pain"), but she will have to live with the shame of what she's done to her husband who still loves her.
    I think in the last two lines, she decides to return to her husband and abandon a potentially happier life with the lover. A secret one-night stand.
    It's a beautiful song. I cried the first time I really listened to it.
    SquidBrandonon April 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentaww i love this song sooo much!
    x0_ju1cyon April 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a great song. i don't like the interludes as much as the verses, like after "I never once in my sweet short life meant anybody harm." i like how it builds up at the end then fades away...
    Em of Argyllon August 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is strange, the end of the song (when Shirley stops singing) makes me think of Moby, it is the kind of electronical sounds that you find in his songs. It makes me feel I'm in the space, surrounded by the very black sky and thousands and thousands of stars, and I'm going very fast.... It is a strange song, anyway, not their best but a good one, perfect for the end of the album. But I cannot really understand what it is about....
    Auroreon December 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems clear to me that the singer here is dying. "No more crying, no more pain", "sweet, short life". I can't figure out more than that.

    The end of the song is amazing, and really different for Garbage - not the sound itself, but the presence of such a long musical coda is. The bittersweet lyrics (I love "In my happy home, I barely breathe") only sweeten (bittersweeten?) the deal. Except for maybe "Milk", this is my favorite end to a Garbage album.
    didiercollardon January 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI never once in my sweet short life meant anybody harm

    my favorite favorite favorite lyric!
    MrHahnKittyon March 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know what this song is actually supposed to mean but it reminds me a whole lot of Kate Chopin's 'Awakening'. This might be totally off but I think of women back in the 1800's (and prior) being so deluded and brainwashed into believing that in the home and supporting their husbands was where they naturally belonged and that they should be completely content with this setup.
    lomieson July 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the meaning of this song is that this person was in love with someone deeply and that person broke his/her heart and then commits suicide, but i could be wrong but anyways later
    fangs150on August 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love tbis song
    very much
    makes me feel sad
    i cried like crazy when they played this song in guadalajara mexico.. live is much more sad
    crow_hearton November 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuicide. Very, very sad and ironical song...
    jack herzogon December 22, 2006   Link

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