Quiet lonely day
On a miracle’s highway and traveling takes its toll
The highway's windy road
Didn't open up her soul the way I thought it would
And I don't think that's good
Guess I thought it would have been the best she'd seen

The straw man's off the clock
She's waiting for his knock in her underwear
His foot falls on the stair
She greets him with a glare that says he'll have to fall
But with her back up against the wall
She suddenly recalls the straw man's just her dream

And it's never quite so clean
She makes the world around me seem
Lavender and wintergreen
When we're side by side

Now the straw man's been let loose
My dreams have been reduced by a quest for fame
Still the straw man feels no pain
She realized in shame and then the game is back
Then blue fades into black
Time takes back the slack she had when just seventeen

And it's never quite so clean
I make the world around her seem
Lavender and wintergreen
When we're side by side

Still a quiet lonely day
On a miracle’s highway and I am almost home
Pick up the phone
Say that living life alone ain't how the story ends
Cause I am here to mend
But how much can she bend till on my side she'll lean

And it's never quite so clean
She makes the world around me seem
Lavender and wintergreen
When we're side by side

Lyrics submitted by Balidoll

Straw Man song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI love, i mean LOVE, this song so much... but... I have absolutely no idea what it really means. I am especially interested in the part of 'time takes back the slack she had when just seventeen'...
    I guess I am just very ignorant because I listen to this song on repeat for hours and i still can't understand it really.
    I think I am really driven to find the meaning because I link this song to a guy I really like a lot and he was the first one to play it for me, so I like to think it means something that could fit for our situation but who knows.
    anyways... do tell what you think!!!!!
    Balidollon December 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think it's about an artist out touring, performing shows, out on "miracle's highway." And in the first verse, he's brought his long-time love along with him, perhaps as a way of re-connecting or maintaining their bond while his career has him out traveling - but it doesn't "open up her soul" the way he thought it would. They just end up feeling quiet and lonely.

    In the second verse, when he's "off the clock" and back home again, she's waiting for him, upset. "With her back up against the wall" she doesn't have a choice anymore but to acknowledge that this thoughtless man she's with - this "straw man" - is just a dream she's been holding on to. She's finally acknowledging that the man she hoped he would be just doesn't exist.

    In the third verse, the artist is "let loose," his lover finally having had enough. His "quest for fame" and his devotion to his performing "reduced his dreams" meaning that when he lost his lover, he lost an important part of all the important things that he wanted in his life. For solace, he turns to his work once again, seemingly "feeling no pain" which upsets the lover, feeding her belief that she's unimportant to him. "Blue turns to black. Time takes back the slack she had when just seventeen." Her sadness eventually fades to nothingness. She realizes that she doesn't have a wide open future, as much time, as she did when they first fell in love all those years ago.

    In the last verse, he's on his way home, realizing what he's lost. "Living life alone" isn't what he wants for himself or for her. He's come back to mend what's been broken between them, but he's not sure how "much she'll bend" to seeing things his way. He realizes it won't be easy for her.

    I think the chorus, and the way it is sung throughout the song, shows that no matter what was going on between them, he always loved her. Even while he was out performing on "miracle's highway," she was still on his mind. He calls himself a "straw man" because he feels foolish for putting his career above her love. She makes his world sweeter - the "lavender and wintergreen." She makes his world better and he knows they belong side by side.
    patrickjanesunfloweron July 28, 2010   Link

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