"Sixteen, Fifteen, Fourteen" as written by and P J Harvey John Parish....
Erica, Erica
Is watching
Danielle, Danielle
Is hiding
Erica, Erica
Is counting

Sixteen, fifteen, fourteen
Twelve, eleven, ten, nine

Erica, Erica
Is counting
Sun is setting, see
In the garden it's starting to rain
The trees are trembling
Erica's repeating

Erica, there is no laughter in the garden [repeat]

Erica is feeling something
Danielle is hiding
She's counting

Sixteen, fifteen, fourteen,
Thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten,
Nine, eight

Sun is leaving the scene
Took a look and turning away
The trees are trembling
Erica's repeating



Lyrics submitted by stentorian

"Sixteen, Fifteen, Fourteen" as written by Polly Jean Harvey John Parish

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Sixteen, Fifteen, Fourteen song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI actually think it's Daniel (a boy) rather than Danielle (a girl.)
    7daysatseaon March 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReally simple lyrics but amazing song. Wouldn't expect anything less from PJ. And I think it actually is Danielle, because she sings, "Danielle is hiding, she's counting."
    cityondown78on April 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd um, why does it say barf barf barf at the end of the lyrics???
    cityondown78on April 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is Daniel, see the song the chair where she talks about a son.
    This song could be about a simple hide and seek game, but theres an obvious undertone with the rain
    and the trees trembling and no laughter in the garden which makes it dark.
    It sounds like this woman named Erika is desperately searching for her son (?) for instance because she wants to run away?
    Or her son is lost and she's desperately (unsuccesfully searching for him)

    At least thats the story i hear in this song (oh and at this time haven't listened to this song very often yet).
    Athinuon April 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe CD provides the lyrics. It is Daniel, a boy, and he and his sister Erika are playing hide and seek in a wild tree-filled garden. Something terrible happens. The game ends.

    He doesn't seem like the same Daniel who appears two songs later in the chair. He drowns in the sea.

    I have read reviews that seem sure its about two girls (???) and that one of them is murdered. But there's no reason to assume anything like that. Erika could just be upset that she can't find Daniel. When your a kid little things like games can take on huge significance.
    Byzantium90on April 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've noticed that with this album, and with Let England Shake, the lyrics included with the album aren't necessarily what she actually sings on the tracks. So perhaps people aren't wrong in thinking she's singing Danielle, but I also think she's just exaggerating the name for effect "Daanieeelll".

    When I first heard it I thought it was Danielle and that it was about two people who were going from childhood to adulthood. Growing up but still wanting to play. When you're an adult you don't get to play hide and seek in the garden. "There is no laughter in the garden." I still think that's what it means, even if it's Daniel.

    Anyway, the lyrics in the AWAMWB booklet are:

    Erika is watching.
    Daniel is hiding.
    Erika is counting,"16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9".....
    Erika is coming.
    The sun is setting the scene.
    In the garden it's starting to rain.
    The trees are trembling.
    Erika's repeating,"oh, oh, oh, oh".....
    Erika is feeling something.
    Daniel is hiding.
    She's counting,"16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4".....
    The sun is leaving the scene.
    It took a look and turned away.
    The trees are trembling.
    Erika's repeating,"oh, oh, oh, oh".....
    There is no laughter in the garden.
    qwertyfoxon October 30, 2015   Link

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