"It's Not My Birthday" as written by and John S./flansburgh Linnell....
Well the rain falls down without my help I'm afraid
And my lawn gets wet though I've withheld my consent
When this grey world crumbles like a cake
I'll be hanging from the hope
That I'll never see that recipe again

As I walk, I think about a new way to walk
As I think, I'm using up the time left to think
And this train keep rolling off the track
Trying to act like something else
Trying to go where it's been uninvited

It's not my birthday
It's not today
It's not my birthday, so why do you lunge out at me?
When the word comes down, "Never more will be around"
Though I'll wish you were there, I was less than we could bear
And I'm not the only dust my mother raised

So, I'm rattling the bars around this drink tank
Discreetly I should pour through the keyhole or evaporate completely
But there'd be no percentage, and there'd be no proof
And the sound upon the roof is only water

And the rain falls down without my help I'm afraid
And my lawn gets wet though I've withheld my consent
When this grey world crumbles like a cake
I'll be hanging from the hope
That I'll never see that recipe again

It's not my birthday
It's not today
It's not my birthday, so why do you lunge out at me?
When the word comes down, "Never more will be around"
Though I'll wish you were there, I was less than we could bear
And I'm not the only dust my mother raised
I am not the only dust my mother raised


Lyrics submitted by Crorse

"It's Not My Birthday" as written by John Linnell John Flansburgh

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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It's Not My Birthday song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI may be way off about this, but for years I've thought that this song is about a woman who gets raped and becomes pregnant because of it, then has an abortion. I believe the first verse is sung from her perspective, and the second verse is sung from the unborn child's perspective. Allow me to explain further:

    "The rain falls down without my help I'm afraid, and my lawn gets wet though I've withheld my consent" - This is the line that first made me think about this, especially the "withholding consent" part. The woman is talking about being raped, and perhaps she became aroused during it (her "lawn" getting wet).

    "When this grey world crumbles like a cake, I'll be hanging from the hope that I'll never see that recipe again" - She's already thinking about getting an abortion if she becomes pregnant from this. The "grey world" is the unborn fetus that will crumble, and she hopes she'll "never see the recipe again", i.e. what the rapist did to her to create that baby.

    "As I walk, I think about a new way to walk" - As she's walking home after being raped, she's thinking of a different, safer route to walk home so that this doesn't happen again.

    "As I think, I'm using up the time left to think" - Perhaps she's thinking of how she'll explain this to her parents, husband, friends, etc.

    "And this train keeps rolling off the track, trying to act like something else, trying to go where it's been uninvited" - The "train" is obviously the rapist's penis, going where it's been "uninvited" i.e. her vagina. Trains have long been used as metaphors for penises.

    "It's not my birthday, so why do you lunge out at me?" - Another obvious one. The rapist lunged out at her when he attacked.

    And now the second verse:

    "So, I'm rattling the bars around this drink tank" - This is being sung from the unborn child's persepctive, the "drink tank" being his mother's womb.

    "Discreetly I should pour through the keyhole or evaporate completely" - He's presenting his two options: Being born (pouring through the keyhole i.e. vagina) or being aborted (evaporating completely).

    "But there'd be no percentage and there'd be no proof and the sound upon the roof is only water" - This is pretty obvious too. "No percentage and no proof" means the mother can't drink alcohol while she's pregnant, and "the sound upon the roof is only water" means that she can only drink water. The "proof" line could also mean that if he was aborted, there would be no proof that she was raped.

    "And the rain falls down without my help I'm afraid
    And my lawn gets wet though I've withheld my consent
    When this grey world crumbles like a cake
    I'll be hanging from the hope
    That I'll never see that recipe again" - This line is now sung again, only this time from the unborn child's perspective. He's saying that he didn't give his consent to be aborted, and that when he "crumbles like a cake", he hopes he'll never see anything ever again, perhaps by being reincarnated, because this experience has jaded him to the world so much that he doesn't want to live.

    The final chorus of "It's not my birthday" makes sense here too, as the mother decided to have an abortion, so the child will not be born, hence it's "not his birthday". It's really sad when you think about it.

    Like I said, I could be way off about this, but every line seems to fit my theory. Let me know what you guys think!
    JamesDudeon May 29, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about suicide. The man can't control anything in his life (Well the rain falls down without my help I'm afraid/And my lawn gets wet though I've withheld my consent).

    His life is a wreck (Train keeps rolling off the track) and he's getting ready to kill himself.


    "I'll be hanging from the hope
    That I'll never see that recipe again"

    Hanging from the hope is pretty self explanatory and he'll never see "that recipe" means he'll never have to deal with his problems.


    "Though I'll wish you were there, I was less than we could bear"

    He couldn't stand himself (perhaps depressed) and maybe misses the person he is singing about.


    "So, I'm rattling the bars around this drink tank
    Discreetly I should pour through the keyhole or evaporate completely
    But there'd be no percentage, and there'd be no proof
    And the sound upon the roof is only water"

    He starts drinking to deal with his problems. He wishes he could just disappear, but he reconsiders, while he problems keep coming at him (rain on the roof).

    Finally, it's not his birthday... it's the opposite.
    hornytheclownon May 30, 2013   Link

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