"Skeleton Key" as written by and Richard Charles Edwards....
My paper cat
Has covered my skin
In chews

My basement home
Has made me as cold
As ice

So meow meow ?
Meow meow meow miha
Meow meow meow

My island home
Is gonna be mine
Quite soon

Your concrete nest
Is spewing that filth
Again

So walk in, shivering
Paws dried up
From wandering

Meow meow meow meow

My glass-eyed pet
Is purring while blind
I'm blind

That sweet old man
Is gonna be your
Best friend

So wash your paws
Alley cat
Once you're dead
You can't come back

Meow meow meow meow

Meow meow meow meow


Lyrics submitted by amplifiedmouse, edited by Ekdikos, alcool91, Greenherbaltea, drmsoffall

"Skeleton Key" as written by Richard Charles Edwards

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Skeleton Key song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentI see this haunting song as a tune about someone regretting how he mistreated his former lover. It seems that she was deeply in love with him, left someone she was already involved with for him, and bent over backwards to make him happy, but he didn't appreciate her. The "lack of loyalty" reference suggests that he either cheated, refused to commit, or in some way betrayed her. The verse "I bred my misery and drowned it in her,/And she got me high,/And I hardly noticed there were tears in her eyes" seems to say that he used her as a distraction from his unhappiness and emotional problems without concern as to how that would affect her. Now that he's lost her, he tries to convince himself that he doesn't miss her, that she wasn't so wonderful after all, and that she couldn't really love him after he treated her so terribly ("Don't claim you love me/'Cause you know that ain't true).

    To interpret the "skeleton key" metaphor, remember that a skeleton key is a master key which can open any lock, but it's also, by its nature, generic. When the singer refers to her as "squirming," "twisting," and "turning" like a skeleton key, I think he's describing her efforts to get him to open up to her, to unlock his heart, so to speak, while also implying that she was unable to do so because he treated her as though she was "nothing special," generic, interchangeable, indistinguishable from any other girl...like a skeleton key.

    I also noticed some references to an alcohol problem in this song. Besides the obvious line about how "this stream of whisky's helped to wash you away," the song is laced with phrases like "drowned my misery," "she got me high," and "my dire affliction," which seem to compare the girl's role in his life to a drug or drink that helps him forget his troubles. Whether this is merely a metaphor or a hint at an actual alcohol addiction that drove her away is anybody's guess.

    Overall, an insightful song about taking someone's love for granted...
    LyricallyInclinedon July 21, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentReally, do these seem like the lyrics to the song Skeleton Key?


    My paper cat
    Has covered my skin
    In chews

    My basement home
    Has made me as cold
    As ice

    So meow meow ?
    Meow meow meow miha
    Meow meow meow

    My island home
    Is gonna be mine
    Quite soon

    Your concrete nest
    Is spewing that filth
    Again

    So walk in, shivering
    Paws dried up
    From wandering

    Meow meow meow meow

    My glass-eyed pet
    Is purring while blind
    I'm blind

    That sweet old man
    Is gonna be your
    Best friend

    So wash your paws
    Alley cat
    Once you're dead
    You can't come back

    Meow meow meow meow
    alcool91on December 18, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHere's my interpretation:

    "I did a sick, sick thing to my love
    My lack of loyalty, it swallowed her up
    And she cooked me food
    She squirmed and turned
    Like a skeleton key"

    The guy telling the story had a girlfriend. She's the kind of girl who moves from one guy to another losing interest when she gets them hooked. The narrator doesn't show her that she's important to him. So she does things for him like cooking him food even though it's outside of her nature and she'd rather be moving on to someone else because he has her hooked. That's what the skeleton key part is about she likes to open every door like the key.

    "She left her man and attended to me
    And don't call me that
    Don't claim you love me
    Cause you know that ain't true"

    She left the guy she was with to get with the narrator, but he knows how she really is so he tells her not to call him her man or claim that she loves him because he knows that it's all just infatuation over the unobtainable.

    "My dire affliction I'll attribute to you
    And you're finally free
    To twist and turn
    Like a skeleton key"

    The problem is that he really does love her, but he knows how she really is so he breaks up with her so she can go back to her normal routine before he gets in too deep and she loses interest first.

    "I did a horrible thing to that girl
    I bread my misery and drowned it in her
    And she got me high
    And I hardly noticed there were tears in her eyes"

    He could drown his problems in her and she made him happy, but he couldn't get over the fact of how he knows her to really be, so he doesn't even notice her tears because he believes that her heartache is all a front.

    "And I miss you less and less everyday
    This stream of whisky's helped to wash you away
    And it's clear to see
    You're nothing special
    You're a skeleton key"

    He knows he's better off with out her because once he had let his guard down with her she would have left, but he's still in love with her so he drinks to take the pain away.

    I think the "gotta let me know" part is about him wanting her to show him through her actions that she really was the same person so he could feel like he did the right thing by breaking up with her.

    That's what it means to me because I had this same situation happen to me, just my two cents.
    GratefulDylanon June 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is such a horribly sad song. here's what I think:

    the first verse is the only part that talks about the girlfriend as she really was. She really did love the guy and make sacrifices for him. In this verse, he says that she "squirmed and turned like a skeleton key." Squirm has connotations of eagerness and sexuality, and given the context (a list of nice things she did for him) I think "squirmed and turned" means that she would do anything to make him happy sexually. Like a key, she'd do anything to "fit" what he wanted.

    But the guy didn't think she really loved him. This was because he was insecure, but he blamed it on her, saying she really didn't love him. ("My dire affliction I'll attribute to you.")

    The next time he calls her "the skeleton key," it's very different. It still has sexual connotations, but it says "twist and turn" instead of "squirm and turn." "Twist and turn" sounds more sinister, and "you're finally free" makes it sound like it's something she can't do while she's with her boyfriend. So instead of meaning "she'll 'turn' (change herself to please me sexually)" the line now seems to mean "she'll 'turn' (move from guy to guy)." The guy takes something nice the girlfriend and did, and twists it around so it makes her look bad.

    He convinces himself that she's unfaithful, and says "You've gotta let me know [that you're cheating]." But she really isn't.

    The guy "bred his misery" because he caused himself to be upset about something that didn't even happen. Because he was upset, he took it out on his girlfriend, which made him feel better but hurt her.

    Presumably, they break up. Later, the guy knows that she really didn't cheat on him and loved him--at the beginning of the song he says he did "a sick, sick thing" and blames his "lack of loyalty," not his girlfriend's supposed promiscuity. However, he distracts himself from his guilt and sadness by drinking whisky, and when he's drunk he's able to blame his girlfriend again. "You're nothing special... you're a skeleton key [a whore]...You've gotta let me know [if you cheat on me]."

    Usually I'd feel dumb for writing such a long post but I'm not the only one who did.
    mockingsmileon December 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti've read all these interpretations and there are some pretty great ones here. what i've conconcluded that it's meaning will vary depending on each person's experience.

    i've been the wronged spouse. my husband was unhappy with how much our lives changed when we had our child. he felt he was missing out on all the fun that this new group of single "friends" was having - profuse drinking, hook-ups, etc. instead of communicating with me, he cheated with one of the girls in the group who was bound and determined to take him from me. she broke up with her boyfriend and did and said anything to get him (the skeleton key). when he got caught and ended the affair, he found out how much the girl really loved him. she trashed him to whoever would listen, etc. and reality set in.

    so to me, this song is the sobering realization after the affair ended of what he had actually done. you can even take it line by line and apply it to the two women. "i did a horrible thing to my love" - the wife.

    then, when the other girl has moved on and he sees how his selfishness affected the wife, the one who really loved him, he sees the other girl in a new light. "don't call me that...", "you're nothing special", etc.

    it's a sad song but i really like it and can't stop listening to it. my story has a happy ending, though. time has passed and we have been able to work things through.

    awesome song, Margot & the Nuclear So & So's.
    imhoon August 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about just one man and one woman.

    The guy singing is involved with a girl that leaves the men she's with after she "saves" them.

    She only goes after men that need her to fix them.

    So when she falls for the singer he doesn't believe her and keeps saying our relationship isn't special and she's exactly what she was to all those other men that she was to him.

    So eventually, she becomes depressed and leaves and that's when the singer realizes that she wasn't there because she thought he needed fixing, she was with him because she loved him.

    And he feels bad because he broke the fixer.
    fawnzyon November 18, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is not about being gay, rape, gay rape, or whatever other bizarre ideas have been thrown out there. It is pretty simple once again. It has to do with a girl who either left or cheated on her boyfriend to be with this guy and then he possibly cheated on her or their relationship went sour in some other way. Great lyrics. It is a bit obscure as to what his true feelings were towards her/her true feelings towards him, so that's why I cannot conclude if he cheated on her, if he decided he really didn't love her, felt like she didn't love him, etc.

    gay or rape theories? totally not what I thought. =\
    Maroliveron July 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst of all, I just want to say that I'm am honored to be the first to talk about Margot's lyrics, and song for that matter--what beautiful music this band makes!

    Here are the facts laid down as I see them within this song:

    A man cheated on his girlfriend ("iI did a sick, sick thing to my love. My lack of loyalty, it swallowed her up.") when he raped a girl ("I did a horrible thing to that girl.I bred my misery and drowned it in her.
    And she got me high,And I hardly noticed there were tears in her eyes") . From these lyrics, it suggests that the man is gay, or is at least bi, and depressed as he sings: "She left her man unattended to me.
    " and "And I miss you less and less everyday.
    This stream of whisky helps to wash you away."
    I'm not exactly sure what a skeleton key is within the context of this poem except that this key isn't special or original...maybe a key that can fit in any lock or even a key that doesn't fit within any lock at all...I also don't know what it means within the lyrics of "you've gotta let me know" which is repeated many times over in the song...

    But, to go off on a different direction, Margot and the nuclear so & so's have written very beautifully honest and original lyrics that entertain yet depress the listeners within this song. It's very brilliant.


    I think the lyrics are missing a line after "cause you know that ain't ture", but I cannot tell what Margot sings, so i cannot help out with the lyrical content. And I think it's "and she got me HARD, and i hardly noticed there were tears in her eyes".
    mascardoon April 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti'm not quite sure what this song means... but i don't think it has anything to do with the guy being gay or raping anyone...

    i think that instead of "unattended", he says, "she left her man and attended to me"... and after "cause you know that ain't true" it says, "my dire affliction i'll attribute to you"

    ...a skeleton key is a key in older houses that can open ALL of the doors... but i don't really understand what the meaning of it is in the song

    it kind of seems like they've broken up and he's seeing all the horrible things he's done to her--- how he's brought her down... his "lack of loyalty" suggests that maybe he's been cheating on her, and "i bread my misery and drowned it in her" says to me that he's been putting all his baggage onto her... maybe even taking his anger out on her... and even though it makes him feel better ("she got me high"), he later sees that he was hurting her all along ("i hardly noticed there were tears in her eyes")... towards the end it seems like maybe he's convincing himself that, even though he's been missing her, he doesn't need her ("you're nothing special, you're a skeleton key")

    someone else help out on the skeleton key part... i don't understand the reference to it at the beginning of the song ("you're finally free to twist and turn like a skeleton key"- how is it necessarily a good thing?)
    tammalicious925on April 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell, combining both of your ideas on the skeleton key aspect, a skeleton key is either:

    a) a key to all the doors

    b) a plain boring key

    in the beginning talking about free to turn like a skeleton key may mean free to be single and do as she pleases

    no idea
    Johnde08on April 11, 2006   Link

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