Maybe we could break your ankle, clean and unsuspiciously.
An ER trip, a doctor’s slip,
and you could share your pills with me.
Won’t it feel so good, though, when we’re lying,
side by side, when you can’t move, when I’m not trying?

2000 milligrams each.

A hotel by the pharmacy with drinking straws in toothpaste tubes.
Stash them with your toiletries and I will share my pills with you.
Little Michael sleeping in the child safety seat,
lying with the windows rolled up, in the August heat.

3000 milligrams each,
4000 milligrams.

We’re driving down the interstate,
you’re feeling great,
you scratch your wrist,
and we pretend your kids,
your husband, all you left does not exist.
And in some motel that night we’re lying,
I can barely whisper “it’s like dying.

Baby, do you know what I mean?
Well baby, did you hear me?
Well baby, you fell asleep.”

I know I’m weak, I won't deny we’ll see our trial sometime soon.
But when we know we’re fucked,
I’ll half the pile and share my pills with you.
Cause we’ve felt fully in our bodies,
and we’ve felt totally alive,
so we’re prepared to float above this
dirty bed where we both lie.
Where we lie, lie, lie. Will we be fine?
Not this time.


Lyrics submitted by Samas

The Next Four Months song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentevery time i hear this song i feel like my heart is breaking
    racheldudon November 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOk you guys, I think this song might be about drugs.

    Drinking straws in toothpaste tubes: I don't get it. Drug people out there, do you know what that's all about?
    Jay_Fiedleron May 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJay, I think you are onto something.

    However, I think it's more than that. Little Michael; I think the lyrics really capture the slipping away of life that can go along with indulging in what at the beginning seems like not that bad of a habit... but not in a cheezy, trite way. The tone of the song is so believeable, and the music (especially the plonky piano) goes along quite well with the narrative. I think this ties in with the song cycle very well; the motif of escapism, the divide between feeling real feelings and denying/refusing them...

    I like the juxtaposition of this song- the dreamy, happy melody and the sad sad story it tells. Just right.
    elaffinton June 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Drinking straws in toothpaste tubes"

    I'm pretty sure it refers to a method of hiding contraband. [you'd fill up the straws, seal off the ends, and put them inside the toothpaste tubes].
    jillykillroyon September 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentevery time i hear this song i think of being in high school and taking some vicodin pills before class...why four months, though?
    milk_and_honeyon September 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this song seems like it talks about adultery. The line that proves it quite well is the following: "We’re driving down the interstate,
    you’re feeling great,
    you scratch your wrist,
    and we pretend your kids,
    your husband, all you left does not exist.
    And in some motel that night we’re lying,"

    Both of them feel like shit and is probably the reason why they started having the affair, and that's where the medical theme comes in. It might be a reference to drugs, but what is for sure is that they're doing it to forget the fact they are in the biggest shit situation of their lives.

    Curious how Get Big is also about adultery, but from the viewpoint of the one who was betrayed rather than the cheater. This is most likely the same triangle of love that Next Four Months portrays. God, do I love Okkervil River.
    Big Ideason November 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI finally made my way into an Okkervil River song. "Little Michael". Talk about your childhood nostalgia.

    Great song otherwise though. OR remains true to their original musical landscape here.
    Low Feedbackon June 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt always makes me think of Vicodin, too.
    xArienetteon August 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song makes me think of the Great Gatsby, the way the music and lyrics are portrayed is so bitter and sad, it reminds me of Gatsby's impossible plight to live the dream he'd always hoped for. The song captures perfectly the feeling of two lovers trying desperately to be together, even thought they know it can't be. The line "And when I know were fucked, I'll half the pile and share my pills with you," shows that the hopless situation that these two are in, no longer even matters. "Because we've felt fully in our bodies, and we've felt totally alive, and were prepared to to float above this dirty bed where we both lay, where we lay lie lie," this line shows that they are beyond the fear of getting caught, that they have forgotten the lives they lived before, and want only to live in their reckless, irresponisble world, free of the depressing ties that once binded them. In a way it is slightly sickening, but at the same time it is beautiful, and horrendously tragic. It captures the feeling we all have, the desire to shirk our responsibilities and live in a realm of total ecstacy. The reference of drugs strengthens my thesis, as it adds to the underlying theme of trying to forget the turmoil of the two's ordinary lives, and attempting to live free of the burden of responsibility. Despit the obvious decadence of the song, i think it is one of the most beautiful, tragic love songs ever made, in the same way that the Great Gatsby is one of the most beuatiful, tragic love stories ever told.
    bfred89on November 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the bit about 'little michael' means they actually accidentally left a toddler in the car on a hot day, with the windows rolled up... maybe their kid or something
    tildson January 07, 2010   Link

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