"Val Jester" as written by and Matthew D. Berninger Bryce D. Dessner....
Build a fire for Val Jester
Build a room for your love
Take your time when you tell her
How she lives in your blood

You should've looked after her better
You should've looked after her more
You should've locked the door

Fill her coat with weapons and help her get it on
'Cause one day when she goes, she's gone

You should've held on to her better
You should've held on to her more
You should've locked the door

All the most important people in New York are nineteen
All the most important people in New York
All the most important people in New York


Lyrics submitted by countzero

"Val Jester" as written by Matthew D. Berninger Bryce D. Dessner

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Val Jester song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentcouldn't this be about a daughter, too? and not necessarily about a romantic love?
    "how she lives in your blood" and "all the most important people in new york are 19" make me assume this.
    neefalaon May 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe regret of letting that girl get away from you - you should have possessed her, locked her in.

    A lament for Val Jester and his ilk.
    the_associateon December 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song so much, especially the very sad violin in the background. The sincere, near montone, quality of the lyrics is clinical and i adore it. My favorite line - "You should have looked after her better" we all see the error of our ways in hindsight.
    heatherheathenon January 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Fill her coat with weapons and help her get it on cuz one day when she goes, she's gone"
    In my humble opinion this song is about pushing the other to the edge of walking away. Playing with ones luck. And when she does leave, he's sorry and blaming himself. He's thinking he should have cherished her when he had the chance...
    SuperSistaon July 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"All the most important people in New York are nineteen" - Best line
    fi$h$caleon January 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHmm... neefala brings up a good point, especially if the girl is 19, she could be leaving the family life to start a life of her own.

    The most mystifying line for me is:

    "Fill her coat with weapons and help her get it on
    Cuz one day when she goes, she's gone"

    That doesn't make much sense to me from the point of view of a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, however it does make some sense if it's about a father and a daughter. Perhaps "filling her coat with weapons" is a metaphor for preparing to send her out into New York alone. I'm not sure though.

    Good song.
    Alejoon January 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have thought the same thoughts as "Alejo", that the song is to a young girl preparing to move from home.

    But the refrain is confusing.

    Either it describes a retrospect on something that happened before the time the girl is thinking of moving, maybe she once ran away but came back.

    Or it is a look into the future, where the parents think of how they let their daughter move out into something she was not ready for.

    Anyway, this song is great and despite the short lyrics a song with much content!
    duponton February 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have thought the same thoughts as "Alejo", that the song is to a young girl preparing to move from home.

    But the refrain is confusing.

    Either it describes a retrospect on something that happened before the time the girl is thinking of moving, maybe she once ran away but came back.

    Or it is a look into the future, where the parents think of how they let their daughter move out into something she was not ready for.

    Anyway, this song is great and despite the short lyrics a song with much content!
    duponton February 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm with Neefala and Alejo. I think it is about a daughter moving out of her parents' house and starting a life of her own in New York. I think it's told from the perspective of Val Jester (father)... like someone is telling the story of Val Jester from his point of view.
    kony5669on May 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI definitely agree with this song being about a daughter.

    Maybe I'm projecting my own personal experience onto it, but it seems to me like the dad, Val Jester, pampered his daughter and told her he loved her ("how she lives in your blood"), but was maybe a little bit overprotective (he built a room for her). And he "fill[ed] her coat with weapons" to protect her, but "when she goes, she's gone", and he can't protect her anymore, because now she's on her own.
    emyelhsaon September 15, 2008   Link

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