"Eyeless in Holloway" as written by and John Patrick Vivian Flynn....
There's a man at hand
There's a way between
The sinking sand
And a crooked dream
And collared off at the modern age of nine
Summoned off for walking down the line

[Chorus]
They lost eyes in old city streets
Where the funeral pyres burned the last of the meek

He filled his boots
And he tipped his cap
And a root to toot
With the boss and that
And told a girl of the summer by the sea
Said to her would you like to go with me

Wind is turned
And the Tonka trucks
And the singers changed
And the hard to soft
In with changes, always out with time
Nothing left but walking down the line

[Chorus]

Dragging loose less through the den
And I come out less with sporting wear
More to fit than you'd be feeling now
She is aware that he is always how

Then her sweetness and his sweeter scented
And her fury's swimming till the fury's bended
And lost in all might be to lost in time
What joy the darts might be to walk the line

[Chorus: x3]


Lyrics submitted by Macphisto12, edited by flynner

"Eyeless in Holloway" as written by Joe Zeitlan Adam Beach

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Eyeless in Holloway song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +4
    Lyric CorrectionThe above lyrics are very close. Good job! Here are the correct ones, as transcribed from Johnny's handwritten notes in the vinyl booklet.


    There's a man at hand
    There's a way between
    With the sinking sand
    And a crooked dream
    Collared off at the molten age of nine
    Summoned up for walking down the line

    They lost eyes in old city streets
    Where the funeral pyres burned the last of the meek

    Filled his boots
    And he tipped his cap
    And a root-de-toot
    With the boss and that
    Told a girl of the summer by the sea
    Said to her, "Would you like to go with me?"
    "When there's time."
    And the conker drops
    And the signals changes
    From a-hard to soft
    In with changes, always out with time
    Nothing left but walking down the line

    They lost eyes in old city streets
    Where the funeral pyres burned the last of the meek

    Drag your looseness through the den
    And come out less with sporting when
    Mould to fit and you'd be feeling now
    She is when and he is always how

    Then a sweetness and it's sweeter scented
    And the fury's swimming till the fury's vented
    And lost in form might be to lost in time
    What join the dots might be to walk the line

    They lost eyes in old city streets
    Where the funeral pyres burned the last of the meek
    They lost eyes in old city streets
    Where the funeral pyres burned the last of the meek
    They lost eyes in old city streets
    Where the funeral pyres burned the last of the meek
    TheHeartThatSkipsABeaton February 08, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wish I knew what this song was about... or at least had a stronger inkling... but I love the line "she is when and he is always how." It gives me the chills.

    Maybe it's about someone whose future has been decided for him at a young age, and he's trying to eschew from it. "Collared off at the modern age of nine, summoned up for walking down the line." The line is the expectations, but if the line is what's between the crooked dream and sinking sand, then it would make sense that it's the best way. But maybe that's the whole point... trying to find his own way, not one that's been laid out for him.

    The second verse... "filled his boots"... lived up to expectations... or rather chose for himself and performed adequately (since he filled his own boots rather than someone elses)...the whole verse seems whimsical and happy... like the man enjoyed himself...

    The third verse... "nothing left but walking down the line" ... sad
    but "what join the dots might be to walk the line" seems victorious... not staying on any straight and clear path, but trying different things...

    And it's also about a relationship,too.

    Hmm... I'm really at a loss... sorry for these fragmentary and sometimes contradictory thoughts. I'm trying to hash out the meaning. And not making much progress. I've been waiting for a few months hoping someone would put something up here... but since no one has, I decided I might as well...

    Does anyone know if there's any historical significance to the chorus and Holloway?
    NooneofConsequenceon September 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment To me, it sounds like this song may be celebrating the simple working people who "walk the line." It seems as if the narrator's future was decided for him, and he lived right up to it, got a job and wife and spent the rest of his life in a totally unexciting but peaceful manner. It suggests that although this sort of life may not be seen as glamorous there are many people who find their own happiness this way.
    Of course, I could be totally wrong! The lyrics to this song are a bit opaque to me, as is common with Johnny Flynn. I'm definitely at a total loss with the chorus! It is very creepy for a song that's otherwise fairly upbeat. As NooneofConsequence suggested, it seems to refer to a historical event maybe...?
    RosebudReverieon August 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Wind is turned
    And a conker drops
    And the signals changes
    And the hard to soft
    In with changes, always out with time
    Nothing left but walking down the line"

    Maybe that means that you should live your life as you like before it's to late, before there's "nothing left but walking the line".
    ASongInMyHearton December 30, 2010   Link

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