I was of poor folk
But my mother had a rabbit fur coat
And a girl of less character pushed her down the LA river
"Hand over that rabbit fur coat"
She put a knife to her throat
"Hand over that rabbit fur coat"
When my ma refused, the girl kicked dirt on her blouse
"Stay away from my mansion house"

My mother really suffered for that
Spent her life in a gold-plated body cast
Now, you ask, did she get that girl back?
She paid a visit to that mansion house
She knew the girl was not there
But her father was in cufflinks with slicked-back black hair
He invited her in, they never sang a note
But she took off that rabbit fur coat

And who do you think came home?
Miss So-and-so
She took one look at my mama and what did she say?
"Why are you stealing from my mansion house?"
"I'm in love with Mr. So-and-so
He invited me in, I'm a girl no more"
Then she dragged my ma out by her throat
"Hand over that rabbit fur coat"

Let's move ahead twenty years, shall we?
She was waitressing on welfare, we were living in the valley
A lady says to my ma, "You treat your girl as your spouse
You can live in a mansion house"
And so we did, and I became a hundred-thousand-dollar kid
When I was old enough to realize
wiped the dust from my mother's eyes
It's all this for that rabbit fur coat

But I'm not bitter about it
I've packed up my things and let them have at it
And the fortune faded, as fortunes often do
And so did that mansion house
Where my ma is now, I don't know
She was living in her car, I was living on the road
And I hear she's putting stuff up her nose
And still wearing that rabbit fur coat

But mostly I'm a hypocrite
I sing songs about the deficit
But when I sell out and leave Omaha
What will I get?
A mansion house and a rabbit fur coat



Lyrics submitted by y plus white girl


Rabbit Fur Coat song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • 0
    General Comment:This is probably the most sentimental song on the album. Frankly, I'm shocked that the album title was chosen because of this track. It's so personal, and you can hear it in Lewis' voice. The fact that she's offering her bittersweet past up for all her fans to hear is really a treat that shouldn't be taken for granted.
    mel-con January 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:HAHA, I have the live version and at the end of the song Jenny and one of the Watson twins are talking about how Jenny's mic smells like a wet dog and the Watson twin says 'Is it Blake's'. That was funny.

    "and so we did, and i became a hundred-thousand-dollar kid"
    Jenny was a child actoress.
    just badnewson January 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Yeah, this is all about Jenny's child actress days - and just general Hollywood madness, as she said in her interview with the Sunday Times.

    The "rabbit fur coat" is a metaphor for wealth and success which can be as easy to lose as it is to come by. Also, the line:

    "You treat your girl as your spouse."

    is about the way roles in families can be confused and reversed when the child is the one earning the most money as it was - and is - with child actors/actresses.

    A really beautiful songs, like all of the songs on Lewis' new album - but this one took a while to grow on me and figure out. Now it means a lot more for it.
    lemonjellyon January 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:so moving to hear this song live.
    queenelizabethon February 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This song is so pretty, and Jenny really sings it beautifully.
    cutie_carnivoreon February 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:i love this song....i can't exactly put it into words but either way, its beautiful. well dooone jenny lewis, well done.
    adamanteveon January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I believe the 'rabbit fur coat' is pride. There's not much to explain about it. It just fits with the song so well. Especially the end:

    "But when i sell out and leave omaha what will i get?
    A mansion house and a rabbit fur coat"

    The mansion house is the wealth; the rabbit fur coart is the pride.

    The fact that the album it's self was named "Rabbit Fur Coat" says a lot.
    WendyPopson January 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:i agree with wendy pops... because the lines where my ma is now i don't know but i hear she's putting that stuff up her and still wearing that rabbit fur coat...

    it just makes sense that even though they lost all the fame, she still holds on to that dream!!! idk... maybe i'm just stupid
    doRabeThon April 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:There's clearly a lot of symbolism in this song, but it's very difficult to comprehend. There are bits and pieces that are understandable, like the "treat your girl as your spouse", which has been cleverly explained by LemonJelly. The Rabbit Fur Coat is the main point of symbolism in this song, but I'm not sure what it represents.
    mistterpickleon May 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This part is really sad. I get really sad when she sings it:

    Where my ma is now, I don't know
    She was living in her car, I was living on the road
    And I hear she's putting stuff up her nose
    And still wearing that rabbit fur coat
    agenthornballon September 15, 2007   Link

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