I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
And then, baby, I'm through
Four more weeks that couldn't make any difference
Except maybe to you

But I've tried to use that trick
Like a carrot on a stick
So I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
Then, baby, I'm through

I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
And then, baby, I'm done
One less fucker trying to get in the business
Of the prodigal son

Where I know I can't compete
Once I'm off of Hastings Street
So I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
Then, baby, I'm done

'Cause I can't live loaded and I can't live sober
And I've been this way since the end of October
And I know enough to know
That, baby, when it's over, it's over
And it's over
'Cause, baby, I'm done

I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
And then call it a day
Tell you I'm sorry that I made you a witness
To my moral decay

And that, once upon a time
I believed it was a victimless crime
So I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
Then call it a day
Then call it a day
Then call it a day


Lyrics submitted by Eamon

I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis put me in mind of all the times I was going to quit smoking and the lies we tell ourselves. Lies like "I will give up smoking, booze, pizza.....but not just yet" and the idea of waiting for Christmas is just typical.

    Then the song has the overtone of committing suicide as well, "I can't live.....call it a day..."
    user1951on June 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt does seem to be a song about suicide. The narrator, an alcoholic boxer named John (which we know from the rest of the album, "The Forgotten Arm"), is going to go sober for one last Christmas and then he's "through", "done". The most poignant part is at the end:

    And that once upon a time
    I believed it was a victimless crime

    This might refer to John's alcoholism, or his imminent suicide, and it seems to recognise that Caroline will be the victim in either case. He says he's sorry "that I made you a witness to my moral decay". The song is shot through with weariness and self-disgust, which is in ironic counterpoint to the honkytonk piano and generally upbeat sound, almost as if John were singing his own lyrics to a song he was listening to in a bar.
    antmooseon January 14, 2012   Link

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