"Boy In The Well" as written by and Mike Mills Peter Buck....
Look at this, it's me, walking away.
Look at you drowning, on display.
Every time I've dropped by, I've tried to say
The water is rising.
You don't want to stay.

It's that sinking feeling. you know what it's bringing on.
You might as well say it,
I see it, I feel it.
This town is going wrong.
It's turning away.

You wanted me to be someone that I could never be
My new friends are offering things I've never dreamed
It's beautiful,
I'd like for them to take me on

The track mall gang went off
On the Tennessee goth. a lunar moth,
You chrysalis and flail.
The water is rising. you try to rappel.
A rousing cheer for the boy in the well.

It's that sinking feeling. you know what it's bringing on.
You might as well say it,
I see it, I feel it.
This town is going wrong.
It's turning away.

You wanted me to be someone that I could never be
My new friends are offering things I've never dreamed
It's beautiful,
I'd like for them to take me on

Here is where I look back.
Here is where you fell.
This is where I got up,
Shaking off my tail
This is where your rope trick
Started to look stale.
A greyhound pass for the boy in the well.

It's that sinking feeling
You know what it's bringing on
I might as well say it.
I see it, I feel it
This town is going wrong.
It's turning away.

You wanted me to be someone that I could never be
My new friends are offering things I've never dreamed
It's beautiful,
I'd like for them to take me on

You wanted me to be something that I could never be
My new friends are offering things I've never dreamed
It's beautiful,
I'd like for them to take me on


Lyrics submitted by ikhabaat_crane

"Boy in the Well" as written by Mike Mills Peter Buck

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Boy In The Well song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentNot a bad song from Around the Sun IMHO.

    Seems to be about leaving a lover, someone who is a public tragedy to all their friends, hence the 'boy in the well' metaphor - the big disaster everyone knows about (makes me think of that episode of the Simpsons where Bart gets trapped down a well).

    Also draws a broader metaphor between the failing relationship and a failing society - "this town is going wrong".

    Lucky for Stipey he's made some shiny happy new friends, so the ex-lover will be left to sink or swim on their own, and he's trying to warn them of this fact.
    caitsith01on October 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree.

    Why hasn't anyone commented on this song? This song is fantastic. I love it.
    Swizz*on November 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNice Simpsons reference, caitsith01, that what I thought of too.
    MtterOFctItsAllDrkon November 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcan someone explain this song in details plz. i understand the meaning but id really like to know the details. i love the words but dont get all of it. its a beautiful song, and im going through a very similar situation and god i cry so much when i hear it!
    pigeonson January 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLeaving someone/something

    "You wanted me to be someone that I could never be"
    Leaving a person who has/had unreal expectations
    My new friends are offering things I've never dreamed
    It's beautiful
    I'd like for them to take me on"
    Making new friends
    Tomeron January 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'Look at this - it's me, walking away'
    He's not used to abandoning someone/being assertive.
    tiagreon February 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe that this song is about abuse by parents.

    Having enough, and walking our the door.

    "Look at this, it's me, walking away"

    And the new friends that embrace him:
    "My new friends are offering things I've never dreamed
    It's beautiful
    I'd like for them to take me on"

    perhaps it is a referance to drugs.

    "Boy in the well" could be a metaphorical referance to depression.

    "You wanted me to be someone that i could never be" - His parents could be dissapointed, angry, that he did not take the right career, he wasn't what they considered to be "normal", might have been shunned.

    Just my thoughts on this mysterious and great song.
    MinutesToHourson July 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like tiagre's note; still, I have just read an interview in the Guardian, and I feel here something else: he is picturing a person who just became famous and is not able to deal with her/his old friends who look "unsexy". (S)he feels they bring her/him down, and has this strange and awkward "triumph" over them.

    "You wanted me to be someone that i could never be" – i.e. a son, a boyfriend, a schoolmate... and me, I am so much more... etc.
    careful_readeron November 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me it's about a person belonging to something, like a religion. At one point in his life, he understands that he needs to get away from it, and he leaves the ones who made him belong (which I think is his parents) to grief or disappointment.

    "You wanted me to be something that I could never be. And my new friends are offering the things I've never dreamed" makes it pretty clear that he can't go on being religious like his parents want him to be, but he get to hear from his friends that it's good that he is moving away from it for his own sake. So it's like you're taking a move and becomes who you are. You look back at where you have fallen before, and what has drawed you back, but you're now new and improved and more close to be yourself.
    Low Feedbackon January 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Tiagre, in fact the first verse seems to be the character "beating his chest"; proud of themselves for getting out of this relationship/religion/etc. Also, it suggests that he tried to tell at least one other person of the imminent danger but they didn't listen.

    Finally the line "I'd like for them to take me on" suggests he wants to be tested again by his new "crowd".
    wacawacaon July 19, 2008   Link

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