"Pavlov's Daughter" as written by and Regina Spektor....
The grave diggers getting stuck in the machine
Picking getting slim, slimmer
I hear them say my name
Regin-ah, regin-ah, regin-a-ah

yes I'm putting the boulder to my ear
And I still can't hear
Whadya think I was an amateur
Playin' with my temperature...

If I hear another song about angels
If I see another feather on the dumb-box
I'm gonna go to Babylon and get me some whiskey
Gonna go to Babylon and get me some whiskey now...
If I hear another song about angels
If I see another feather on the dumb-box
I'm gonna go to Babylon and get me some whiskey
Oh get me some whiskey, get me some whisky, get me some whiskey now

My name is Lucille and I know how you feel
I live downstairs
I hear you taking out your garbage
I hear you loving your girlfriend
I hear you loving yourself too
I hear you flushing your toliet
I hear you turning your thoughts off
I turn mine off too
The only thing I hear is you
And you don't sound nice and you don't sound right
And you don't sound good and you don't sound right

My name is Lucille and I know how you feel
I live downstairs
I hear you taking out your garbage
I hear you loving your girlfriend
I hear you loving yourself too
I hear you turning your thoughts off
Oh, I hear you turning your thoughts off
And it get's quiet...

Pavlov's daughter woke up in the morning
Heard the bell ring
And something deep inside of her made her want to salivate
So she lay there drooling on her pillow
So she lay there, the sun skimming her skin,
And, and...drooling on her pillow
Pavlov's daughter
And it was far away and hazy like a dream
Not a dream, not a dream,
But the ocean, not the ocean,
But forever...

The grave diggers getting stuck in the machine
Picking getting slim, slimmer
I hear them say my name
Regin-ah, regin-ah, regin-a-ah

yes I'm putting the boulder to my ear
And I still can't hear
Whadya think I was an amateur
Playin' with my temperature...

If I hear another song about angels
If I see another feather on the dumb-box
I'm gonna go to Babylon and get me some whiskey
Gonna go to Babylon and get me some whiskey now...
If I hear another song about angels
If I see another feather on the dumb-box
I'm gonna go to Babylon and get me some whiskey
Oh get me some whiskey, get me some whisky, get me some whiskey now

My name is Lucille and I know how you feel
I live downstairs
I hear you taking out your garbage
I hear you loving your girlfriend
I hear you loving yourself too
I hear you turning your thoughts off
I hear you turning your thoughts off
And I turn mine off too
The only thing I hear is you
And you don't sound nice and you don't sound right
And you don't sound good and you don't sound right

My name is Lucille and I know how you feel
I live downstairs
I hear you taking out your garbage
I hear you loving your girlfriend
I hear you loving yourself too
I hear you turning your thoughts off
I hear you turning your thoughts off
It get's quiet...

As quiet as an ambulance checking out the neighborhood,
Waiting for the blade to slip and that final blow,
But nothing happens, it's a cruel joke
As ironic as a ticker tape parade over the rain forest,
As ironic as a ticker tape parade over my head,
As ironic as a ticker tape parade over my head
Going down stream...
To where...it isn't... even... real...rain... at...all...


Lyrics submitted by turpentine_patches, edited by clcsilent

"Pavlov's Daughter" as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Pavlov's Daughter song meanings
Add your thoughts

98 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General CommentI'm so glad the whole second page of this discussion has been wasted by collective internet stupidity, you slobs haven't even tried to dissect the song.

    So, like it's been mentioned, pavlov fathered classical conditioning. You ring a bell every time you feed your dog, eventually the dog salivates without the bell.

    The middle part of the song is where the pavlov reference comes in, I can't connect it to the intro rap part very well, but so far this is what I've got:

    Lucille lives in a small building in a big city (probably new york); not only can she hear every move her upstairs neighbor makes, she's also become very extremely obsessed with said neighbor. She listens to every move he makes, until he goes to sleep (turns his thoughts off).

    The part where she sings "it gets quiet" has this chaotic feeling -- her neighbor has gone to sleep and she can't (panic), but finally our heroine gets to sleep only to be awakened by her neighbor's alarm. Neighbor goes back to sleep, but lucille can't for anticipation of her obsession dinning on the sounds of her neighbor moving about upstairs.

    The intro and outro don't fit so well, but here's my best guess. Imagine Lucille actually makes it out of her apartment. In the third stanza we see Lucille indirectly sharing her frustration with some sort of happiness that another female figure brings to neighbor. Songs about angels, feathers on the dumb box (mailbox perhaps), things a girlfriend might do.

    The first two stanzas I don't have much on, other than the fact that I think boulder is probably bowl and it's referring to listening through a wall with a hole cut in the bottom of a bowl (which would be hard to do with an upstairs neighbor).

    Hope this helps someone, if anyone knows for sure what the grave digger reference is about, e-mail me
    matticusrexon June 22, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentTHIS SONG IS SO GOOD. I love the piano part playing during the whole "My Name is Lucille...", it sounds so sinister. and then it turns angelic by the time she hits "Pavlov's daughter"-- this song is all over the place but in an amazing way. and the freestyle is just fun. Regina Spektor is way too endearing to ever make a bad song, I think.



    playing' with my tempera-chuhchucchuchuh...
    precipitateon January 09, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentRegina is too hot for Earth.
    nemequittepason December 17, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentSophia & Crashback - I couldn't agree more. I'm just sorry I had to sift through all the background noise to get to your comments. Lucille=Lucifer was what occurred to me right away. I think I've resolved much of the references to that line of thought.

    The subject of the song (named Regina from the 1st stanza) is depressed with life. She's been conditioned to wake up to the alarm and get up and go to work but she's not feeling fulfilled and quite the opposite feels completely empty. The boulder to her ear is her burden she's carrying on her shoulders - but she hears nothing - ie. is not fulfilled.

    She's also completely disillusioned with the whole religious "thing" - Babylon represents her escape from what she's been raised to believe. I don't know what the feather on the dumb-box (TV) means but the songs about angels is literal (IMHO).

    I think the gravediggers are calling to Regina means she's contemplating suicide.

    Lucille (Lucifer) is "downstairs" (hell) and knows everthing about Regina including when she has lesbian lovers and "loves herself" (masturbates) and even when she shuts off her thoughts - ie. tries to "escape." It's probably because of her "talks" with Lucifer that she feels the gravediggers calling her and is considering that as a valid option.

    As for the last verse I'm not sure if she actually commits suicide and learns that nothing happens - ie. she doesn't go to heaven or hell - all of it was "fake" - a cruel joke. Or maybe it means she tried to commit suicide and failed.

    Also - somebody said Regina was quoted as getting from "a book" - maybe the bible?

    I can't agree MORE with everyone else about RS - absolute genius.
    netmantxon July 15, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI really don't get why you would post on a Regina Spektor song if you don't like Regina Spektor. >< Seriously.
    And as far as I'm concerned, I hate metal, but if you enjoy it, that's cool. Just don't come on an RS board and bitch about her to what is predictably enough going to be a bunch of fans debating her songs.
    Please.
    everworld2662on April 24, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm surprised nobody's mentioned the connection to the later song "Consequence of Sounds," in which she reprises the first lines of this song with the opening of the third stanza, with the line

    "The gravedigger's still getting caught in the machine"

    Later in the stanza she says

    "Just cause one song is done
    There’s always another one"

    A very cool connection, since Consequence is a growth and a refinement of the melodic rap thing she does in this song.
    bolddecieveron May 08, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song can be every like... alluring.....


    I love this song so much, I think it might be one of Reginas best songs.


    And to terrorwalking.... First off, how can you even compare Otep/Arch Enemy to Regina Spektor? They're completely different. Learn to love different types of music. Regina Spektor is different from any other female singers I've heard. She has her own thing, and its very beautiful. She is inventive and you shouldn't just dismiss other artist because its not same type you listen to.
    PavlovsDaughteron January 29, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is about going against the grain.
    Pavlov's daughter doesn't go against the grain, but Regina does. She's seasoned at getting out of doing mundane things like work and school ('what'd you think, I was an amateur playing with my temperature,') and she either knows someone else or longs to know someone else ('Lucille,') who feels the same way about trying to stay out of 'the machine.'
    She hates cliches, and threatens to go to Babylon (a district in NY,) to drink if she hears another.
    Also, an ambulance circles a building, waiting for someone to die (presumably a common occurrence.) When it doesn't happen, there is an ambulance responding to an emergency that never happened and never will. This is as futile as celebrating the rain forest by throwing paper (a ticker tape parade,) over it, or celebrating Regina's conformity (which isn't real,) to 'go downstream,' or along with everyone else ('where it isn't even real,') and become part of the machine. The irony in celebrating something that she'd hate to do.
    jshayon October 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTo that guy who wrote that he heard this song while he was high:

    You made my day LMFAO

    but you and everyone else make a point i never would've thought of: Lucille = Lucifer

    It's my theory that regina plays God and the Devil in this song, plus Pavlov's Daughter as a representative of all humans

    I'll never be able to guess who the gravediggers are but I believe they're humans, in the sense that we're killing ourselves slowly, we're digging our own graves.

    "The gravediggers getting stuck in the machine" are humans being addicted to technology, (connected somehow to Machine), and the pickings are getting slim because God won't save everyone during armageddon, therefore, God's pickings are getting slim.
    "I hear them say my name" meaning God hears us praying

    I don't know the boulder thing or the temperature, it's extremely odd and hard to interpret

    "If I hear another song..." would be like God seeing how people just talk and make movies about angels and heaven and how he's sick of it


    Then "Lucille" is Lucifer saying "I know how you feel, i live downstairs"

    "I hear you taking out your garbage" could be like God once again slimming down those who will be saved
    IDK the girlfriend part but i thought of "the only thing I hear is you, and you sound right", as a declaration to God that lucifer doesn't agree with God's ideas


    Pavlov's Daughter: Humans are conditioned and conform to a lot of things

    "Hazy like a dream, not a dream but the ocean, not the ocean but forever": my friend told me she saw someone say that "She's drifting in and out of dreams as she dies. But it's not a dream, or the ocean, or anything else but forever because she's killed herself and death lasts forever."

    this song ALWAYS mind fucks me, it's crazy how many possibilities actually come up

    **************************************Spektormaniac since 2008*******************************************
    EgoSumAltuson March 02, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLike myimaginaryband said, Pavlov was the behaviourist who famously investigated Classical Conditioning.

    This is a bit of a kerazy song, so the best connection I can think of between the stanzas is this:

    Perhaos we've all been classically conditioned to things in the world, without even realising it. RS imagines that although the experiment was nothing to do with Pavlov's daughter, she may have also begun to salivate at the sound of a bell. And she doesn't notice, or stop it or anything she just 'lays there drooling on her pillow'.

    But the narrator doesn't want to just accept things for what they are, to just accept that Pavlov's daughter's been conditioned to behave a certain way and the lines "If I hear another song about angels
    if I see another feather on the dumb-box
    I'm gonna go to Babylon and get me some whiskey"
    express this.

    "yes I'm putting the boulder to my ear
    and I still can't hear"
    This describes how she's just not buying it. She's tried doing what they've told her to do, but it's not working.

    The Lucille bit... well she's watching/listening to this guy. His routine life of taking out the garbage, flushing his toilet, loving his girlfriend, 'loving himself too'. It's almost as if to say, is this all we've become?
    snoopfroggyfroggon August 08, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain