"We Used to Vacation" as written by and Matthew Aveiro Nathan Willet....
I kissed the kids at noon
Then stumbled out the room
I caught a cab, ran up a tab
On 7th and Flower

Best recital, I had to run
Missed my son's graduation
Punched the Nickle's boy
For taking his seat
He gets all that anger from me

Still things could be much worse
Natural disasters on the evening news
Still things could be much worse
We still got our health
My paycheck in the mail

I promised to my wife and children
I'd never touch another drink
As long as I live but even then
It sounds so soothing
This will blow over in time
This will all blow over in time

I'm just an honest man
Provide for me and mine
I give a check to tax deductible
Charity organizations

Two weeks paid vacation
Won't heal the damage done
I need another one

Still things could be much worse
Natural disasters on the evening news
Still things could be much worse
We still got our health
My paycheck in the mail

I promised to my wife and children
I'd never touch another drink
As long as I live but even then
It sounds so soothing to mix a gin
And sink into oblivion

I promised to my wife and children
That accident left everyone a little shook up
But at the meetings I felt so empty
This will blow over in time
This will all blow over in time


Lyrics submitted by euthanasia27, edited by Mellow_Harsher

"We Used to Vacation" as written by Matthew Cole Aveiro Jonathan Bo Russell

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing

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We Used to Vacation song meanings
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70 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentalcohol ruins families :)
    coldwarkidon May 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentvery poignant writing. a song about a man looking back on his childhood and his father's alcohol addiction, but seeing the situation from his father's perspective in an attempt to jusitfy his behavior. in the same vein as death cab's "styrofoam plates", but with less animosity and more empathy on the part of the singer.
    rav4guyon August 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have the album version and it's definety mix a gin.
    Stefan_Con January 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment---------------------------------------------
    and, nate [the singer] is telling a story here. he is not the father character.
    ---------------------------------------------

    The song does seems to me to be written in the first person perspective of the father. Whether or not the person who wrote (and/or sings the song) is the person in question is really irrelavant isn't it? Novelists write stories from the perspective of other people all the time - it makes sense that a songwriter might do the same, no?

    "left everyone a little shook up
    but at the meetings
    I felt so empty"

    My interpretation:
    From what I gather he was in a drunk driving accident for which joined AA (or some other supportive organization).

    "best recital I had to ruin
    missed my son's graduation"

    During his vacation he began drinking again - and showed up late/drunk to his sons graduation where his lapse was exposed to his family.

    "I'm just an honest man
    provide for me and mine
    I give a check to tax deductable
    charity organizations
    two weks paid vacation won't heal the damage done
    I need another one"

    He believes he is a good man, and does his best, and hopes that his family will forgive him. I think the last line 'I need another one' might actually refer to another drink - instead of another weeks vacation.

    This is a moving song - and probably my favorite on this album.
    fiannaon January 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo help clarify: there is an early (pre-album) version of the song that has the lyrics "to mix a drink", which then got changed to "mix a gin". I have that earlier song, and so can confirm this.
    jengroffon February 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm sorry, I know that songs mean different things to different people, blah blah blah, but this is definitely NOT from the perspective of the son. This is about an alcoholic father, wallowing in guilt and denial. There is absolutely nothing to indicate otherwise.

    It's a great song, at any rate.
    artsluton March 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe song title alone is great.
    seethesailboaton July 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationDefinitely think it's about a dad/husband struggling with a serious drinking problem. As for the lyrics mentioning the "Nichol's boy"

    "...missed my son's graduation
    punched the Nichols boy for taking his seat
    he gets all that anger from me..."

    As far as him missing his son's graduation, I think he was there but his was plastered and mentally missed it.

    I think this is another example of how his drinking problem has effed up a family event. When he went to his son's graduation, this Nichol's kid either took his son's literal seat (a chair) or took his son's rank in school and he punched him b/c of it. As for the next line, his son has pretty much "inhereted" his father's short temper as well.
    erinnalexison March 10, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthe drinks to escape from whatever daily struggles he endeers. He makes excuses for his drinking, continues to make false promises to his family, and even though he does ok for awhile he will eventually let it get out of hand.
    fleeron June 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song ComparisonI was giving Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" a listen for the first time, and one of the lyrics that stood out to me was a line from the song "Ballad of a Thin Man";

    Anyway they already expect you
    To just give a check
    To tax-deductible charity organizations.

    It sounded eerily familiar. I finally figured out I'd heard it first in this song. I think the choice of words is way too similar to simply pass of as coincidence. Also, a little later in that same verse of Dylan's song is the line:

    You've been through all of
    F. Scott Fitzgerald's books
    You're very well read

    Which I thought was kind of interesting considering considering @cryinpoet's comment, though I haven't read that novel.
    edzon August 30, 2013   Link

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