"The box" as written by and John Patrick Vivian Flynn....
Living in a box by the rails
Only thing you use, you don't fail
When you live in a box by the rails
Don't comb your hair, don't comb your tail

Sweep my mess away
Leave my body, leave my bones
Leave me holding, leave my soul
Leave me nothing I don't need at all
Nothing I don't need at all

Yay from the bins, in the parks
Made off with the raps after dark
Never left a trail, never made his mark
When he gave me the raps after dark
Calling all his friends, never made him sad
With all the things he never had
It only made them feel so bad
For having the things he never had

If you stay in that box overnight
Don't get out till it gets light
There's not much lost of the secret life
It's never gone wrong and it's never gone right
Now some more flowers grow
The palm gets eaten by a few more throws
An old man's box is full of bones
See his footprints see his stones


Lyrics submitted by Macphisto12, edited by flynner, ryuus

"The Box" as written by John Patrick Vivian Flynn

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The box song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentYeah I'm pretty sure this song is talking about the life of a tramp. If you don't go out in the world, you never get hurt, do anything right, or anything wrong.

    "He ate from the bins, in the park
    Stayed out with the rats after dark
    Never left a trail, never made his mark
    When he ate with the rats after dark
    Calling on his friends, never made him sad
    Didn't want the things he never had
    It only made them feel so bad
    For having the things he never had"
    MJT09on October 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA pretty obvious meaning I guess. Still really wonderful though. I found Johnny Flyn after he had the free single of the week spot on iTunes.
    fanglefishon June 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAccording to a review I read on his label's site, the song was inspired by the life and writings of Henry David Thoreau, which makes a lot of sense if you've read Walden.

    What a brilliant songwriter. =]
    litterateuron October 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionCatchy. I think I preferred it, though, when I thought it was about a freight hopper.
    outliningdesertionon December 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlitterateur is right.

    Henry David Thoreau's Walden inspired "The Box." "Thoreau's saying that somewhere along the line we've gone horribly wrong in collecting all this stuff," Flynn says. "It was really that whole thing set to a story basically in a song."

    Source: npr.org/templates/story/…
    moodylupinon December 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWho is Rob?....hmmmm
    ka3leeon March 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's "won't see his footprints in the snow," not "stones"
    ArcticFangirlon October 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese posted lyrics are wrong in so many ways, I don't even know where to start.
    tgriff106on October 22, 2014   Link

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