Tear down the house that I grew up in.
I’ll never be the same again.
Take everything that I’ve collected,
and throw it in a pile.

Bulldoze the woods that I ran through.
Carry the pictures of me and you.
I have no memory of who I once was,
and I don’t remember your name.

Park the old car that I love the best.
Inspection’s due and it won’t pass the test.
It’s funny how I have to put it to rest,
and how one day I will join it.

I remember crying over you,
and I don’t mean like a couple of tears and I’m blue.
I’m talking about collapsing and screaming at the moon,
but I’m a better man for having gone through it.
Yes, I’m a better man for having gone through.

Ever since I learned how to curse.
I’ve been using those sorry old words.
But I’m talking to these children and I’m keeping it clean.
I don’t need those words to say what I mean.
No, I don’t need those words to say what I mean

Tear down the house that I grew up in.
I’ll never be the same again.
Take everything that I used to own,
and burn it in a pile

Bulldoze the woods that I ran through.
Carry the pictures of me and you.
I have no memory of who I once was,
and I don’t remember your name.


Lyrics submitted by Thrilliam, edited by Mellow_Harsher

Tear Down the House song meanings
Add your thoughts

8 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful.

    "I remember crying over you,
    And I don’t mean like a couple of tears and I’m blue.
    I’m talking about collapsing and screaming at the moon,
    But I’m a better man for having gone through it."

    Real men cry.
    readingkerouacon October 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is the ultimate get-over-you song. To me at least, it's about being so in love with someone that you try to destroy your past in order to get over him/her. And the beautiful part is that it's not about finding someone else or just moving on..... its about dying and starting life over again. Just gorgeous. How can anyone not relate to their songs?
    crazedwannabon August 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah,,such a beautiful song...I'm a real man...I do cry, sometimes.
    bear_hug20on October 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've heard of his voice, in some song, but it is hard to remember right now.
    bear_hug20on October 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just remember it...it was from their album Emotionalism, I just didn't knew that it was them, The Avett Brothers...I'm dumb!
    bear_hug20on October 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song,Unbelievable band,I'm still wondering why not many people haven't commented on more of they're song's.Only had to see them live once and i knew they were something special
    johnoxon February 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt's definitely reasonable to say that it's a "break up song"/"get=over-you" song.

    But, to me, it's more about the passing of a parent. "Tear down the house I grew up in", I think has a double meaning in this context. It's that your parent(s) passed away, and the house you grew up in doesn't feel like it's really the same place, it's "torn down", so to speak. Or, literally wanting to tear down the house you grew up in, simply because you might not want to have to look at your old, now empty, home ever again.

    "Carry the pictures of me and you. I have no memory of who I once was, and I don't remember your name." Seems to be clinging to the good times instead of some of the actual memories. Almost saying, 'I don't know who we were, but I know we were happy'. I called my parents by their first names, but now that my father is dead, I always refer to him as dad. And when the day comes that I lose my mother, I'll never call her Kathy again, always mom.

    "I'm talking to these children and I'm keeping it clean" seems like a message to kids, to value your parents while you've got them, y'know?

    There's some other little things, I think. Like that the singer keeps referring to his childhood, which seems a little wierd if it's a break up song. I don't know if the Avett brothers' parents are passed or not, but this was just how I received the song.
    Shnappleyon February 10, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song, to me, means growing up. It means that you are no longer who you were before, it's time to move on, it's time to be mature, it's time to keep the memories memories.
    sb9506on September 30, 2014   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain