"Absentee" as written by and Emma Moss....
Wandered by for everyone
Old pair of shoes the last place they were left
Out by the door where they always were kept
Brown laces
We stand in line to hear the news
We’ve not been together since Christmas last year
Room full of children all sad in the ear
Small faces
And child’s music playing, playing
Our parents sleep and sleep
They don’t remember the ones they have left
We find the magazines under your bed
Strange pictures
I play out in the street
And trip on the sidewalk all covered in blood
Tears not allowed, I pick myself up
No stitches
Absentee giving liaison
Your memory like disease holds on
The fellow has grown out again
And all, all the fields are yellow
We are CD’s, car keys, diaries
My family kept these secretly
Your memory like disease holds on
Absentee giving liaison, liaison, giving liaison


Lyrics submitted by sepata

"Absentee" as written by Emma Moss

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Absentee song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentAs a child I was brought up a catholic, and there's a hymn 'kyrie ilasion' that's from a psalm or something.
    And I think that's what the lyrics are, not 'giving liason'.
    To nitpick further, I could have sworn the song starts with 'One goodbye for everyone'.

    I always thought this was about the family gathering because the elderly parents have died - 'Our parents sleep and sleep, They don’t remember the ones they have left', and children 'sad in the ear'.

    The hymn references add to this I think.

    Besides that, it is a really great song & I love it.
    tomastronauton February 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with stowawaygirl, but instead of "One goodbye for everyone" meaning a funeral, I think it refers more to a suicide note. At a funeral, everyone can say goodbye to the person, and if it weren't an unexpected death, the victim can say farewell. If the brother committed suicide, the note would be his only goodbye, a goodbye to everyone. Also, the line "and trip on the sidewalk all covered in blood", could refer to both the blood from the fall, and possibly the blood from where he fell if it jumped out a window. That's just my opinion on the song, though.
    FaerietaleDreamson February 18, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of christmas as a child.

    It makes me think of a family, more over just the one member, as they grow up, and how the view of their family changes.

    Its a beautiful song written by a beautiful artist.
    fitzgeraldon June 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentagree with tomastronaut on what the lyrics actually are. a few other things as well e.g. the 'fallow' has grown out again, as in a fallow field - one which has been left to recuperate for a time, maybe with animals rather than crops - not 'the fellow'. I tried to change them but nothing happened. Anyway, love the song and all emmy's songs that I know of.
    whycantion March 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttomastronaut is right, it's Kyrie eleison which is Greek for Lord, have mercy.
    :]
    waxy_wings_icaruson September 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti used to love that hymn and i adore this song too
    it's just wonderful =)
    hamfruitcakeon September 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI think this song is not about losing your parents, but losing a brother.
    Her parents don't remember "the ones they have left" - not the ones they've left behind them, but the children they have left after one has died. And they find the magazines under her brothers bed, with strange pictures - well, we all know what kind of magazine boys traditionally have under their beds! And it would seem strange to a little girl.
    kittybiscuitson February 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the first line is

    one goodbye for everyone

    and i think the songs about a father walking out on a family
    23jameson March 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand i think its church, not childs music playing, in the kind of chorus/bridge bit.
    23jameson March 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationHere are the correct lyrics:

    One goodbye for everyone
    Old pair of shoes the last place they were left
    Out by the door where they always were kept
    Brown laces
    We stand in line to hear the news
    We’ve not been together since Christmas last year
    Room full of children all sad in the ear
    Small faces

    And church music playing, playing
    Our parents sleep and sleep
    They don’t remember the ones they have left
    We find the magazines under your bed
    Strange pictures
    I play out in the street
    And trip on the sidewalk all covered in blood
    Tears not allowed, I pick myself up
    No stitches

    Absentee kyrie ilasion
    Your memory like disease holds on
    The fallow has grown out again
    And all, all the fields are yellow
    Your CDs, car keys, diaries
    My family kept these secretly
    Your memory like disease
    Absentee kyrie ilasion, ilasion, kyrie ilasion



    I think this song is about her brother dying in the army when she was young.

    “One goodbye for everyone” — funeral
    “Old pair of shoes the last place they were left” — things are still as they were before he was gone
    “We stand in line to hear the news” — waiting to hear whether he is one of the ones who has been killed
    “We’ve not been together since Christmas last year” — being on leave only for Christmas
    “They don’t remember the ones they have left” — as a child, she is kind of ignored because her parents miss the brother so much — “Tears not allowed, I pick myself up”
    “We find the magazines under your bed / Strange pictures” — finding porn under the brother’s bed when they go through his stuff after his death
    “Your memory like disease holds on” — the parents are totally stuck on the memory of their lost son
    “The fallow has grown out again” — time keeps passing, the feelings about the brother don’t change
    “Your CDs, car keys, diaries / My family kept these secretly” — they kept the things that belonged to him still
    stowawaygirlon July 03, 2009   Link

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