"Leftovers" as written by and John Patrick Vivian Flynn....
I've been drooling at some mangy scraps of bread
And these hungry voices make a lot of noise inside my head
Show me the way to the rubbish dump or the bins at closing time
I'd walk a mile just to catch a smile from a fish without its brine

Been hanging round the underground
Found a couple of crumbs down there
Was lucky and got some flirts
From a girl with long brown hair
She said her name was Mary May and
She liked the springtime, oh
She said she left the meal
Half ate she said she left the crusts of toast

[Chorus]
Leftovers is what I want
Don't need no fine cuisine
Give me a dime for bacon rind
Or slip me some of that old sardine

She'd been seeing a man named Jim
I said I didn't mind
Said the second place is just my style
I'd glasses for the line
I knew she was keen to come and
I knew I'd met my match
I was sure that I had locked the door
And she had dropped the latch

[Chorus]

I said "bring your dark eyes honey"
She said "you bring yours"
Said I don't take second glance
So she walked out the door
I walked after her it weighed me down
And asked her why she left
She said she only dealt leftovers
And that all else felt like theft

[Chorus: x2]

If you see her, say hello
She'll be out handing scraps
But don't be fooled, her heart is ruled
By forces off the maps
Show me the way to the rubbish dump or the bins at closing time
I'd walk a mile just to catch a smile from a fish without its brine

[Chorus]


Lyrics submitted by Macphisto12

"Leftovers" as written by Michael Edward Snyder Jimmy Andrew Richard

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Leftovers song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI don't think hes neccesarily saying he 'wants' a hook up - its more ironic in the sense hes resentful from being used as a rebound and hes accepting his status. Nobody likes 'old sardine' or 'bacon rind', they're more like bitter sarcastic comebacks I think.
    At first it seems to apply that he was the type to just have meaningless encounters rather than the full mean - but then the 'walk a mile just to catch a smile from a fish without its brine' maybe shows that he was more obsessive and wanted this girl more than originally expected.
    your-ferdinandon October 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThere is absolutely no reason to believe that he is not being sincere in the lyrics. The song is up tempo.

    The entire album is about how awesome it is to be a vagabond.

    It opens with:

    "Show me the way to the rubbish dump or the bins at closing time
    I've walked a mile just to catch a smile from a fish without its brine"

    When you are hungry this stuff actually sounds good. And that's what he's saying. Joyfully. He lives a care free life.

    The following is funny:

    "I said "bring your dark eyes honey"
    She said "you bring yours"
    Said I don't take second glances
    As she walked out the door"

    You bring your dark eyes is a come on. And she teases him back, you bring yours. He says, lazy/sarcastically, I don't take second glances. meaning he's already seen her, he knows he likes her and with that she bolts.

    "I walked after her and waved her down
    And asked her why she left
    She said she only dealt leftovers
    And that all else felt like theft"

    She has taken the sarcasm in a very literal direction to create the funny. He doesn't take second glances, he said. But she's the queen of the rubish dump, that's all she takes. She only deals in left overs.

    And the final line is him teasing other suitors. basically she's crazy, "Her heart is ruled by forces off the maps."

    I don't know, this seems totally carefree to me. He will find another girl.

    I believe there is an interview somewhere where he talks specifically about this song but I can't find it. Here is a long interview about how funny the songs are: guardian.co.uk/music/audio/2008/may/30/…

    And an npr interview:
    npr.org/templates/player/…
    squanderon April 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe primary theme is the protagonist is desperately seeking sex, with food as metaphor. The fish and sardine references are familiar euphemisms for...well let me put it this way: a blind guy walks by the fish cart and says, "afternoon ladies."

    As squander pointed out, the album has numerous references to vagabonds in a celebratory tone, particularly The Box, and this song continues those devices. We have images to suggest perhaps he's an actual vagabond, or can be taken as his horniness has made him as desperate as a beggar. I believe the writer is deliberately not committing to a particular interpretation, and rather hints that the protagonist may well be an actual beggar as well as begging for a shagging.

    "And these hungry voices make a lot of noise inside my head" could simply be he's so horny he can't think of anything else, or could be the trials of the emotionally disturbed.
    "been hanging round the underground" where panhandlers often are found, or it could be metaphorical for on the prowl. Are the crumbs scraps to eat, or interactions with potential girls.

    "The rubbish dump and the bins at closing time" he could be dumpster diving for his dinner, or simply willing to bang any broad no matter how trashy. This second interpretation is born out by the next line of walking a mile for a smile (vertical I assume) from a fish (the old sardine) without its brine (knickers removed?). This couplet is repeated again near the end showing its importance to the theme.

    Along comes Mary May, a girl who likes the spring, and leaves her crusts of toasts. Again the double interpretation: she's more well to do, not so hungry, she even leaves her crusts, and she's getting some, as we learn after the 1st chorus that she's been seeing a man named Jim.

    Leftovers…a rebound relationship? Sloppy seconds? Essentially, I don’t need a meal, I just want to get laid/fed.

    She’s got a guy, he don’t care,
    “glasses for the blind” are used as a courtesy to the sighted to hide the eyes.
    He thinks he’s got her. “Kind to kind…Locked the door, dropped the latch”

    Ok, I must go now.
    JeLaKeon August 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst off, I'd like to say that I love this song.

    This song just kind of confuses me. What I basically know is that its about a guy and a girl and she ends up leaving him. Can anyone help me out with this.
    MJT09on October 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"leftovers", as in rebounds, i think.
    i think he's basically saying he doesn't want a real relationship, just a hook up ? "Don't need no fine cuisine" is what makes me think this.
    also, this idea is supported when he talks about how he doesn't mind that she already has someone.
    i hope this helps ? just my take on it.
    immekusauruson October 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmeal - not mean!
    your-ferdinandon October 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI would agree with your-ferdinand in someways. It is definetly sarcastic but i think the song is has a little more self pity in it. No one likes leftovers and he comments on this when he says, "Said that second place is just my style" he saying he is alway in second and someones leftover never in a really good relationship.
    Fardockon January 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a sad song. It's about only feeling you're good enough for being second-best.
    missmeon May 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnot wanting the best in life. you don't have to have "fine cuisine" to be happy
    mikesweeneyyon March 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIn my opinion this is about a "friendship" with benefits. They meet, they agree to have sex, he says he's fine, but then he falls in love and wants more. But she says they agreed it's just about sex and leaves him.
    funneyeson November 23, 2012   Link

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