From the 22nd floor
Walking down the corridor
Looking out the picture window down
On Sycamore

While perspective lines converge
Rows of cars and buses merge
All the sweet green trees of Atlanta burst
Like little bombs
Or little pom-poms
Shaken by a careless hand
That dries them off
And leaves again

Life just kind of empties out
Less a deluge than a drought
Less a giant mushroom cloud
Than an unexploded shell
Inside a cell
Of the Lennox Hotel

On the 22nd floor
Found a notice on my door
While outside, the sun is shining on
Those little bombs
Those little pom-poms

Life just kind of empties out
Less a deluge than a drought
Less a giant mushroom cloud
Than an unexploded shell
Inside a cell
Of the Lennox Hotel

Inside a cell
Of the Lennox Hotel

Inside a cell
Of the Lennox Hotel

Inside a cell
Of the Lennox Hotel


Lyrics submitted by Eamon

Little Bombs song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentIt reminds me of that line in "The Hollow Men" by T.S. Eliot, "This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper."
    Anderson_Councilon March 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is my favorite song on the new album. It makes me feel sad, but has the most beautiful imagery. I love that line 'Life just kind of empties out." oh man, that makes me feel so hopeless in a good way. I love Aimee Mann, she is my favorite.
    invisibleinklingon May 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe album is, on its face, the story of an aging boxer, but this song can, of course, be understood more broadly as a loss of relevance.

    From the 22nd floor, walking down the corridor, looking out the picture window down on Sycamore. While perspective lines converge, rows of cars and buses merge.

    ...Notice that the lines are about a person, but since there's no specific reference, you don't know if it's first, second, or third. Is it, I? You? He? She? Clearly it's meant to be interpretable in any of these ways.

    The lines refer to the person's being older and wiser, and yet relegated to being an observer only--no longer able to experience life as an active participant.

    All the sweet green trees of Atlanta burst like little bombs; or little pom-poms, shaken by a careless hand that dries them off and leaves again.

    A small correction to the lyrics as submitted by Eamon.
    einzigeon May 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this is a John song, and the "notice on my door" that he finds on the 22nd floor is an eviction notice from his room, his "cell in the Lennox Hotel". Not a particularly nice hotel room, then. Maybe the undercurrent here is of hopelessness and poverty. The "perspective lines converging", from his picture window far above Atlanta, seem to underline his remoteness from ordinary life and human contact.

    John seems uncertain whether or not the trees are little bombs, little destructive agents, or little pom-poms, cheering him on. It's a more widespread ambiguity for him -- as if he doesn't understand fundamental differences in his own life, can't distinguish the good things from the bad things.

    Halfway through the song, when he finds the notice on his door, he notices the sun shining indifferently on the "little bombs", the "little pom-poms", and this underscores his remoteness. The trees aren't bombs or pom-poms, they're just trees. It's up to him to interpret what he wants them to mean for him, and he can't decide, but they make him think about the emptiness and anticlimax of his life, "not with a bang but a whimper" as several of you have said. Not even his failure is a mushroom cloud, just a fizzle.

    Both characters in the songs on this album seem gradually to be fading out of existence. They note their fading, but don't stop it and perhaps can't.
    antmooseon January 14, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI absolutely love this song too, a new favourite of mine from Aimee Mann.

    Personally I think it's about those moments in life when all the underwhelming things in life seem like the most important.
    smanglebangleon September 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with anderson, that's exactly what I think of when i hear this song, and those lines have never rung more true for me than as of late! it's nice being comforted by song.
    delialon June 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFixed!
    Eamonon June 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is unbelievable and one of her best ever.. what does she mean by the sweet green trees of Atlanta bursting?? This song is apparently about John in the story, I guess, since the photo in the booklet is of him lying in a bed in a hotel.. why are the trees bursting? he could possibly just be really high and hallucinating since he's a drug addict. what about the 'unexploded shell' though? is it a metaphor for John and how is he about to 'burst' or full of despair/etc? or more literal somehow.. which would be intense
    HighOnSunday51on July 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes anyone know if this is a john song or a caroline song?
    ryskalchickon June 05, 2010   Link

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