"The Neighbors" as written by and Anne Erin Clark....
Sister, say a prayer for us
One we learned from nuns and such
I won't believe, not a word you speak
Just make it sweet to hear

Let's pour wine in coffee cups
And drive around the neighborhood
And shine the headlights on houses
Until all the news is good

Oh no! What would your mother say?
Oh no! What would you father do?
Oh no! What would the neighbors think?
Oh no!

How am I supposed to sleep?
Roaming blackouts on the street
Oh, not a word, not another speech
We'll run the headlights down

These kids are foaming at the mouth
Psychotropic capricorns
Tomorrow's some kind of strangerland
Where all the news is good

Oh no! What would your mother say?
Oh no! What would your father do?
Oh no! What would the neighbors think?
Oh no! If they only knew

How can Monday be alright
Then on Tuesday, lose my mind?
Tomorrow's some kind of stranger
Who I'm not supposed to see

Oh no! What would your mother say?
Oh no! What would your father do?
Oh no! What would the neighbors think?
Oh no! If they only knew, knew


Lyrics submitted by leahper

"The Neighbors" as written by Anne Erin Clark

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Neighbors song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentMy favorite on the album, I think. I love the emotion in the crack in her voice when she says "tomorrow's some kind of stranger who Im not supposed to say"
    zoolahon May 02, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI love this song so much, it's so beautifull and full of emotion. It's like she's trapped in this world where everythings supposed to be all perfect and G-rated, but real life isn't like that and she's trying to hide her real feelings. People try to sanitze everything and make it nice, but reality can be strange and painfull. When she says "What would your mother say, what would your father do, what would the neighbors think, if they only knew" its adressing the feeling that she's not as squeaky clean as she's supposed to be. And really, who hasn't felt like that sometimes? I love the vocals of this song, and I love the message too.
    mozchickon June 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song reminds me of something like the 50's. Like this idea of everyone is "perfect" but if one saw what it was really like in these perfect houses they would see the reality, that people are putting wine in their coffee cups, that there are roaming blackouts on the street, that these kids are foaming at the mouth. and the "until the news is good" is like people are being forced to hide what they're really feeling.

    Kind of re-iterations of what others have said, but...yeah. haha
    FairyBlueMoonon November 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI feel like I'm late to the party! In a similar vein, I feel like this song addresses the idea of the perfect middle-class family during the 50's and 60's. During those times, threats like the Korean War and conflict with Russia and Cuba were on an all time high, and communist sleeper agents were a constant fear of American citizens. It was around this time that the idea of the perfect white middle-class family came to fruition. It was a way for the public to worry about pettier things than war or nuclear weapons. "Little Suzy on the X show just tracked mud into the house!" Shows like "The Brady Bunch" and "I Love Lucy" were loved by all for their portrayal of the average American home. But, as we all know, that wasn't the case. St. Vincent is trying to tell us that it's not always the best thing to employ "out of sight, out of mind" tactics like this, and it can actually have major issues if what's out of sight acts when it's out of mind. The chorus is my favorite part of this song, painting the image that everyone except the narrator is brainwashed into believing that everything will be alright as long as you don't think about it.
    stevenbol1on December 27, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSister say a prayer for us
    One we learn from nuns and such
    I wont believe not a word you speak just make it sweet to hear
    Lets pour wine in coffe cups, gather round the neighborhood,
    And shine the headlights on houses untill all the news is good
    What would your mother say
    What would your father do
    What would the neighbors think

    How am i supposed to sleep
    Roaming blackouts on the streets
    Not a word, not another speech will run the headlights down

    These kids are foaming at the mouth
    Psychotropic capricorns
    Tommorows some kind of stranger land where all the news is good

    What would your mother say
    What would your father do
    What would the neighbors think
    If they only knew......... knew........

    How can one day be alright
    Then on tuesday loose my mind
    Tommorows some kind of stranger who im not supposed to see

    What would your mother say
    What would your father do
    What would the neighbors think
    If they only knew......... knew........

    Lyrics as i hear them, 2nd input would help!
    xtrabiotoxinon April 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCould she by any chance be an atheist? or agnostic at that.
    I don't know it's probably just me hearing what I want to hear BUT here I go..

    I think the girl in this story was raised in a very religious based environment and she probably ended up going to like a catholic school (or religious school w/e) when she begins saying "say a prayer for us.." I honestly don't believe anything that we were taught during our school years and I won't believe a word you say while praying but If you make it sounds nice I'll be pleased and feelmore at ease with myself."Let's pour wine.." I think all it means is let's keep up good apperances becuase otherwise what would the neighbors think if they saw us with wine glasses in this very conservative neighborhood? "Shine the headlights.." I think is like when people go around and knock ddoor by door to spread the good new of the lord "What will your mother say" refers to the narrator revealing her true feeling towards God and how she doesn't believe in him and yeah.."How am i supposed to sleep.." She doesn't understand why anyone would believe in their right mind would believe all the bull crap being told to her if all of these horrible events all happen under the watchful eye of God."Oh not a word.." She is going to stop and pretending and will no longer give the word of the good lord we'll take away the light ("the truth")"these kids are foaming.." everyone is crazy for believeing and everything in this world is not all rainbows and butterflies not everything is good,so stop trying to be so optimistic and face reality ,that's what she was referring by al; the news is good.." part
    && I think the line to best support this theory is
    "Tomorrow's some kind of stranger
    Who I'm not supposed to see"
    Why is she supposed to believe in someone which she can not see
    Give me truth I beg

    I hate to sound like all those people in other posts that relate everything to god,
    Oh well who knows,if this is not what it means at least this song means that TO ME,and that's all that I need, and also I feel at easy with myself because of this song for not being a believer.
    shakelly_blackmouthon August 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEverything is supposed to be perfecta and wonderful, but she's really living with an abusive husband. She wishes someone would figure this out but feels helpless to tell people the truth because everything is supposed to be completely perfect and wonderful and all happy when it isn't but she pretends it is.
    jarofsoulson September 02, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIdk to me this just sounds like she's gay or something. But then again I interpret everything to be gay so
    Celv999on August 31, 2016   Link

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