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The stripes you wore
The lines you get
The holes in your sleeve
You told me to leave them alone

Does "House of Leaves"
Still lie on your bed?
You told me to read
But I still never read
Your mind

When I look at my city
Something's not right
No doubt it's so pretty
But they turned out the light
And instead of good morning
They tell you goodnight

You hung yourself
On the wall up above
The bed you made love
The girls you don't love
To touch

And they never guessed
The girl you loved best
To draw, always drew
Pictures of you
Undressed

When I look at my city
Something's not right
No doubt it's so pretty
But they turned out the light
And instead of good morning
They tell you goodnight


Lyrics submitted by delial

Big Ben song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI adore this song. I think that it should've been the closer though to the album....
    anyway I was hoping to find others' interpretations to this. But I think she fell in love with a guy who committed suicide. Where he used to live doesn't seem right to her anymore, or maybe it's that everything seems wrong, like the light has been extinguished everywhere.
    AlecsPenon February 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI adore this song. I think that it should've been the closer though to the album....
    anyway I was hoping to find others' interpretations to this. But I think she fell in love with a guy who committed suicide. Where he used to live doesn't seem right to her anymore, or maybe it's that everything seems wrong, like the light has been extinguished everywhere.
    AlecsPenon February 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's about suicide.

    "the stripes you wore, the lines you get" -->
    perhaps the stripes represent a critical, b&w view on the world which leads often to depression
    and the lines are either a cocaine reference or about the various relationships Ben was in

    "the holes in your sleeve you told me to leave them alone" -->
    the holes are difficulties in his life, troubles, problems, etc. that jamie wanted to help him solve; he shunned her away

    "house of leaves"-->
    i read this book. i will be honest, i considered suicide while reading it. it is an emotionally warping book.

    "never read your mind"-->
    she never understood him quite fully.

    "instead of good morning, they tell you good night" -->
    they are saying goodbye to Ben instead of hello, being as he is dead

    "you hung yourself on the wall up above" -->
    this is rather directly referencing the act of him hanging himself from the ceiling/
    or it's indirectly referring to the way he set too high expectations for himself

    "you don't love" -->
    he never loved anyone fully.

    either jamie is the one person he connected closest to or something else...still not sure but I got that general gist from the song.

    "big ben" refers to how he committed suicide, such a small, selfish act; his name is Ben

    she references him in her song "You'd rather run", as well:
    "If we are to meet on Ludlow ever again, don't mention Ben"
    suggesting there is a negative connotation

    very very very sad but a masterpiece
    AlecsPenon July 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOk well technically I highly agree with the earlier comments, they really do make sense, but I feel you have over thought certain parts,

    The stripes you wore: I believe she is referring to his clothes, maybe he only wore striped shirts or stripes were his favorite.

    The lines you get,the holes in your sleeve: The lines you get are more than likely referring to lines in his skin like when you wake up and you have lines impressed in your skin from the wrinkle of the sheet, however this could refer to drug use as well, the holes in your sleeve is definitely a drug abuse reference, I know people who when the smoke certain drugs they burn themselves on the arm through the sleeve to keep track of how much they have done.

    You told me to leave them alone: She was maybe afraid for him from burning himself, or perhaps just upset that he ruins good clothes.

    And then I couldn't agree more on the rest of the earlier comment. (Nicely done *applauds*)
    coolwhip48on October 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWow.... I have to say I enjoy yall's take on this song but I personally didn't view it about suicide at all...

    I felt like she wrote this song almost word for word about me.....

    I felt it was about a man who was dark and depressed and detached and was in love with a woman but wasn't with her. so instead he slept around with various women to fill a void. all for just the touch.... as opposed to love.... she was someone who cared about him and tried to reach through to him but he always kept everyone at a distance. and he lived a shallow existence of sleeping around depressed about a lost love. women adored him and tried to get more out of him but he never opened up enough ....

    and so instead of getting to wake up next to someone he loved.... they would leave in the night as it was purely sexual relationships ....

    so instead of being told good morning which is all he wanted he would only get told good night.

    the hanging reference I felt was more symbolic of his dependence on sexual outlets instead of real love and relationships of substance ....

    so she is writing about a man she once tried to reach through to but never got through so she gave up on him. and that's what all the women in his life did.

    he did nothing but continue his shallow existence of escaping the pain of a lost love through various sexual encounters......

    I relate to this interpretation so well..... I lost my soulmate and tried to fill that void the same way for a very long time...... it resonates painfully for me....

    I no longer do this as I no longer gain anything
    from it I dont even get pleasure from sex anymore as I miss her so much.... but this speaks to me as someone I used to be for so long......
    RichTheFifthon May 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWow.... I have to say I enjoy yall's take on this song but I personally didn't view it about suicide at all...

    I felt like she wrote this song almost word for word about me.....

    I felt it was about a man who was dark and depressed and detached and was in love with a woman but wasn't with her. so instead he slept around with various women to fill a void. all for just the touch.... as opposed to love.... she was someone who cared about him and tried to reach through to him but he always kept everyone at a distance. and he lived a shallow existence of sleeping around depressed about a lost love. women adored him and tried to get more out of him but he never opened up enough ....

    and so instead of getting to wake up next to someone he loved.... they would leave in the night as it was purely sexual relationships ....

    so instead of being told good morning which is all he wanted he would only get told good night.

    the hanging reference I felt was more symbolic of his dependence on sexual outlets instead of real love and relationships of substance ....

    so she is writing about a man she once tried to reach through to but never got through so she gave up on him. and that's what all the women in his life did.

    he did nothing but continue his shallow existence of escaping the pain of a lost love through various sexual encounters......

    I relate to this interpretation so well..... I lost my soulmate and tried to fill that void the same way for a very long time...... it resonates painfully for me....

    I no longer do this as I no longer gain anything
    from it I dont even get pleasure from sex anymore as I miss her so much.... but this speaks to me as someone I used to be for so long......
    RichTheFifthon May 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationWow.... I have to say I enjoy yall's take on this song but I personally didn't view it about suicide at all...

    I felt like she wrote this song almost word for word about me.....

    I felt it was about a man who was dark and depressed and detached and was in love with a woman but wasn't with her. so instead he slept around with various women to fill a void. all for just the touch.... as opposed to love.... she was someone who cared about him and tried to reach through to him but he always kept everyone at a distance. and he lived a shallow existence of sleeping around depressed about a lost love. women adored him and tried to get more out of him but he never opened up enough ....

    and so instead of getting to wake up next to someone he loved.... they would leave in the night as it was purely sexual relationships ....

    so instead of being told good morning which is all he wanted he would only get told good night.

    the hanging reference I felt was more symbolic of his dependence on sexual outlets instead of real love and relationships of substance ....

    so she is writing about a man she once tried to reach through to but never got through so she gave up on him. and that's what all the women in his life did.

    he did nothing but continue his shallow existence of escaping the pain of a lost love through various sexual encounters......

    I relate to this interpretation so well..... I lost my soulmate and tried to fill that void the same way for a very long time...... it resonates painfully for me....

    I no longer do this as I no longer gain anything
    from it I dont even get pleasure from sex anymore as I miss her so much.... but this speaks to me as someone I used to be for so long......
    RichTheFifthon May 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyikes I only meant to post that once but I'm doing it on my android and having difficulties doing so.... sorry yall
    RichTheFifthon May 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyikes I only meant to post that once but I'm doing it on my android and having difficulties doing so.... sorry yall
    RichTheFifthon May 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyikes I only meant to post that once but I'm doing it on my android and having difficulties doing so.... sorry yall
    RichTheFifthon May 19, 2012   Link

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