"Houses" as written by and Devendra Banhart....
Ask me about my mother
And I'll tell you that I love her
'Cause she feeds me all kinds of foods
Yeah, she feeds me all kinds of foods
Don't you love your baby
Tell me tell me tell me tell me true
And all the foods you ate
Enough to fill your plate

Big houses burn
Big houses burn down
Big houses burn
Big houses burn down
Don't burn down mine

Lyrics submitted by TDeMello

Houses song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationI think it's about rich people. Rich people have their big, pretty houses but they're not happy. The only affection this kid gets from her mother is in the form of food. Her mother can feed her all kinds of expensive food because her family can afford it. But they can never afford time for each other. Other than the food, they're distant and this kid never learns what a mother's love should be like. I agree with pijin to an extent about the "filling her plate" part. The food symbolizes love. She eats all that she can trying to content herself but it can never truly satisfy her, because she's lacking her mother's true love.
    As for the big houses, she realizes that rich families get so distant that they usually fall apart. She doesn't want this to happen to hers.
    othatzsokewlon June 16, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt seems to me to be about someone who is not loved by her mother and does not necessarily know what being loved is. Because she wants to believe she is loved, she takes her mother's feeding her to be love. And because she craves love so much, she eats up all she can get, probably with no satisfaction of her desire.

    As far as the “houses” part, it brings to mind many images. But I get the impression that the singer sees families falling apart all around her, and she does not want hers to, although it likely already has, and she just does not want to accept it. This ties back to the way she is insistent that she and her mother are loving, thus clinging on the lie that her family is loving.
    pijinon February 24, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhatever the meaning, the operatic part with Sierra is one of the most haunting moments of the album
    shimmer_noiron April 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think you're right. it seems to me that in the first part she is trying to convince herself and others of her mother's love, then in the second part the music changes tune, she seems to be all alone, and thinking by herself she realizes that it's a lie. it's like a prayer.
    julie casadyon September 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about lbeing sheltered when growing up. Hard to explain, that's just the feeling I get.
    ikefoxon April 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttotally agree with you pijin.
    dustybreezeon March 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with pijin.

    the vocals in this one make me tear up.
    likeflannelon December 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with ohthatssokewl that it's about emotional bankruptcy in a materially wealthy family. One additional thing that seems to support this is the sound throughout the beginning of the song that is like coins repeatedly dropping. So the first part of the song portrays physical wealth in both the mention of food and the sound of money, which create an even larger contrast to the second part of the song, when the true emotional emptiness of the family is revealed.
    mister care-too-muchon August 22, 2013   Link

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