i'm just something else he tried
a catalogue of interests in a catalogue of lives
i hid myself from him, i wouldn't say it was a lie
but hiding worked its way into the way we lived our lives

it was clear that he was troubled
he had trouble with his pride
but i could never tell if the fault was his or mine
so i drew myself away, i wouldn't say i left behind
a man who would never know the man he was inside

in a moment he was gone, i could see that he had died
by the quickening of blood and the fluttering of eyes
so i held him to my breast like all the better wives
who furnish men with love and never leave their side

i'm just something else he tried
the salt that's left behind after tears have dried
and i suppose that i'll go on, after all it was my life
and all that i supposed i held has come to be untied


Lyrics submitted by monicatx

a better wife song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI have no idea what it means yet, but I like it and the man seems very much to be me.
    GoDeeperon September 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think it's about a women who is with a man but the man doesn't know who he is. He never really cared for her as she was just "something her tired." Despite this, She is trying to comfort him like all the "better wives" but it doesn't seem to work. They break up and in the end all she has is herself. Or at least that's what I think. The writing her is superb and Erin Mckeown is becoming one of my favorite singer-songwriters.
    Evilgranny606432on December 29, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationRethinking what I wrote, I think my interpretation is a bit off
    I'm just something else he tried
    a catalogue of interests in a catalogue of lives
    i hid myself from him, i wouldn't say it was a lie
    but hiding worked its way into the way we lived our lives

    The narrator and her partner seem to have a very impersonal relationship. It seems very business like. She pretended to be something she wasn't as did he.

    it was clear that he was troubled
    he had trouble with his pride
    but i could never tell if the fault was his or mine
    so i drew myself away, i wouldn't say i left behind
    a man who would never know the man he was inside

    She is with a man who has trouble with self-confidence and the narrator can't tell wether she caused him to feel that way or if he already did. Regardless his lack of confidence caused her to draw herself from him. Because of the man's like of self-confidence he doesn't have a sense of who he is.

    in a moment he was gone, i could see that he had died
    by the quickening of blood and the fluttering of eyes
    so i held him to my breast like all the better wives
    who furnish men with love and never leave their side

    After she leaves him, he loses all sense of self and doesn't know who he is. She feels guilty for leaving or for whatever reason she came back to comfort him

    i'm just something else he tried
    the salt that's left behind after tears have dried
    and i suppose that i'll go on, after all it was my life
    and all that i supposed i held has come to be untied

    This confuses me as it could be interpreted in two ways:
    First way: The first line is repeated again as she is now back in the same situation as before. She says rather so-so way that she'll forgot the sense of self she used to have in order to be "a better wife."

    Second way: She decides to leave him anyway the verse is just a reminder of why she left. So again she nonchalantly says her life will go on, even though all she has ever known is gone.
    Evilgranny606432on December 29, 2011   Link

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