"The Ballad of Love and Hate" as written by and Timothy Seth Avett Robert William Crawford....
Love writes a letter and sends it to Hate:
"My vacation's ending, I'm coming home late
The weather was fine and the ocean was great
And I can't wait to see you again."

Hate reads the letter and throws it away
"No one here cares if you go or you stay
I barely even noticed that you were away
I'll see you or I won't, whatever."

Love sings a song as she sails through the sky
The water looks bluer through her pretty eyes
And everyone knows it whenever she flies
And also when she comes down

Hate keeps his head up and walks through these streets
Every stranger and drifter he greets
And shakes hands with every loner he meets
With a serious look on his face

Love arrives safely with suitcase in tow
Carrying with her the good things we know
A reason to live and a reason to grow
To trust and to hold and to care

Hate sits alone on the hood of his car
Without much regard to the moon or the stars
Lazily killing the last of a jar
Of the strongest stuff you can drink

Love takes a taxi, a young man drives
As soon he sees her hope fills his eyes
But tears follow after at the end of the ride
Because he might never see her again

Patience, patience, patience

Hate gets home lucky to still be alive
He screams over the sidewalk and into the drive
The clock in the kitchen says 2:55
And the clock in the kitchen is slow

Love has been waiting patient and kind
Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign
That the one that she cares for who's out of his mind
Will make it back safe to her arms

Hate stumbles forward and leans in the door
Weary head hung down, eyes to the floor
He says, "Love, I'm sorry," and she says, "What for?
I'm yours and that's it, whatever
I should not have been gone for so long
I'm yours and that's it, forever
Your mine and that's it, forever"


Lyrics submitted by Thrilliam, edited by InhaleExhale

"The Ballad of Love and Hate" as written by Scott Yancey Avett Robert William Crawford

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Ballad of Love and Hate song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentThere's a lot of meanings to this song to me. This song can definitely take on a lot of meanings for different people.

    1. Most of the time you can love and hate the same person. Love is a powerful feeling and brings with it other powerful feelings. Many times you can love someone but hate the things they do or the things they do to you. Sometimes the feelings of love or hate can completely take over, as is the case at the beginning of the song where love has been on vacation.

    2. Love and hate is contageous. If someone has positive energy (like whoever got into the cab), that energy can spread to others and brighten their day. If there is negative energy (like there is in some poorer neighborhoods like the one described in the song) it is also contageous and spreads hate.

    3. This song is a metaphor for an actual relationship where one person (hate) is behaving recklessly without regard or feeling for the other person, but then recognizes the error of his ways and asks for forgivenness. The other person (love) forgives him unconditionally.

    4. Love is unconditional and hate can be beaton.
    robertgrumbleson July 28, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Commentit's about always returning to one person. no matter how much they screw up, you can leave them and be with other people, but in the end you return to them.
    i hate this song.
    DMV666on December 31, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General CommentActually, I like DMV's interpretation

    who are you to say he/she got the song meaning wrong.


    you don't know. No one does.


    Songs have different meanings to different people, which
    is what makes them so awesome in the first place
    Nickdude6on February 28, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis is what I gathered from this song.
    Love and Hate are two aspects of the same person. of every person.
    even if we are a part of hate for some time, and haven't felt love for such a long time, we grow to miss love, but we also feel like we don't need it. we'd rather hate than love. we push love away. But love is irrepressible, she sails, she flies, love makes us soar. and when we are in love, the whole world will know it. and the whole world will know when we've had our heart broken. but even though we love love, we still want to hate. it touches everyone. hate is a part of everyone. but love always finds you. love touches even those who hate, those who don't want to be a part of love. love teaches us to care, to live. even when hate is such a part of us, such a big part of who we are, love will always be there, even when we touch it for just a little while, even if we just barely brush it with our fingers, love will always be there to feel. even when it's almost too late. it will always be there, waiting patiently, kindly. hate will finally give in to love. love and hate will always be a part of us.
    amostpeculiargirlon December 06, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is really just sad to me. From start to finish. My boyfriend.. Well we weren't technically anything, but he suddenly decided he didn't want a relationship of any sort anymore. Even though he says he cares so much. Perhaps he's lying, or perhaps he means it. When he sent this to me, all I could this is that HE is Hate and I am Love. He always had a hard time showing his emotion, and I always stuck around. And even though he says he doesn't want a relationship, I like to think the ending is like him being sorry for this, because he does care about me.
    basiikon July 24, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My OpinionHate here. So perhaps it may not be surprising I see this a little differently. But did anyone else not notice that Love went on vacation without him, and she’s coming home late? Where was she? Why did she leave? I see people here feeling bad for Love and hoping she runs away with a taxi driver (come on that doesn’t even happen on Taxi Cab Confessions or Cash Cab). Sure Hate is a bit crazy, but look at when he reads the letter and throws it away and says “no one cares if you go or you stay, I barely even noticed that you were away. I’ll see you or I won’t, whatever”. Does that sound like someone full of hate or just hurt? Hate is distraught he’s out drinking, smiling at drifters and shaking hands with loners. He obviously identifies with their pain and keeps a serious look on his face. He knows Love goes around making friends wherever she is. She’s happy and he’s miserable. Everyone loves Love, everyone hates Hate. Self fulfilling? Perhaps, however you need to understand that Hate may only be Hate because Love has left him. When Love has been waiting patient and kind he obviously loves her and feels sorry. Is this mature? No, but understandable, well I’d say so.
    lalalalalifegoesonon January 17, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI actually am glad it ended the way it did. The taxi driver seemed like a minor character, and if he ended up with love in the end it would seem too much like a fairly tale, and hate would be the bad guy. When I hear this song I think of it as, love is love, and because that's all she is, she's not going to leave hate. It's about loving someone who doesn't deserve it. I like that hate never really did anything for her, but in the end is sorry. It seems very real and honest. Clearly hate isn't perfect, and neither is the relationship between the two, but the song shows that even the hateful can feel remorse. All hate really wants is to be loved. All love wants is to provide that love.
    topsecreton August 14, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI always thought it was just a story about a woman who was love and a man who was hate. They're just embodiments of the ideas. The story tells us that no matter the appearances, hate is weak and love is strong.
    thesoroon September 25, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationFirst of all, I love this song. I honestly think it is one of the greatest and most beautiful love songs ever written. I've had a couple conversations about this song and have read some of the comments on here. I definitely see validity in everyone's point. Obviously, that's the point of music... to reach people on a personal level.

    Anyway, my take on the song is pretty simple. To me this song is simply about the absence of love and how our lives our lost without it. Any kind of real love... not just romantic. But, in this song... Love is gone and that's when Hate is born. The drinker, the wanderer, the reckless one, etc. When we get to that point, we begin to feel bitter about love and ourselves. Hence the throwing the letter away and going on a lost and reckless night. Afraid to accept love again. I'm not going to go through the whole song but I think you get it. One of my favorite verses in music of all time is the taxi cab verse. Again, this wanderer, this traveler, who sees people come and go his whole life... gets one tiny glimpse at love and is filled with hope. Filled with sadness then after because he realizes he may never experience love... or accept it.

    Some say the ending is kinda crappy because oh Love just accepts Hate's dumb behavior and forgives him. I don't see this as a metaphor of a real relationship. It's when we have Love in us, hate goes away. Selfishness takes a back seat. We realize our wrongs, apologize, try to get better when love is in us. My thoughts!

    Great song. LOVE THE AVETTS!
    avettfanon March 09, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLove is bound to hate and Hate is bound to love and they are bound together and without one there is no other.
    phisherofsoulson May 17, 2009   Link

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