"January Hymn" as written by and Colin Meloy....
On a winter's Sunday I go
To clear away the snow
And green the ground below

April all an ocean away
Is this a better way to spend the day?
Keeping the winter at bay

What were the words I meant to say
Before you left
When I could see your breath lead
Where you were going to

Maybe I should just let it be
And maybe it will all come back to me
Seeing, oh, January, oh

How I lived a childhood in the snow
And all my teens in tow
Stuffed in strata of clothes

Hail the winter days after dark
Wandering the gray memorial park
A fleeting beating of hearts

What were the words I meant to say
Before she left
When I could see her breath lead
Where she was going to

Maybe I should just let it be
And maybe it will all come back to me
Seeing, oh, Janu...
Oh, January, oh


Lyrics submitted by zartman89

"January Hymn" as written by Colin Meloy

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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January Hymn song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +3
    Lyric Correction"April all an ocean away?"

    And pretty sure it's "Sing oh, january..."

    truthypantson December 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionI believe it is "When I could see your breath lead / where you were going to."
    fenwaygnomeon December 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe tracklisting for the new album "The King is Dead" came out (yay!) and I this song is actually called January Hymn.
    WriterOfFictionson November 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correction"April all an ocean away"

    "Sing oh, January, oh"

    "And all my teens in tow
    Stuffed in strata of clothes" (strata as in layers)

    "Wandering the gray memorial park"
    treanton January 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe perfect song to listen to on a snowy winter day
    jdwayne00on January 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me, this song seems to parallel two similar situations at a different time. The first is in the presence tense, and the narrator is an adult shoveling snow. He is parting with someone, and I get the impression it is his wife. He doesn’t know what to say as she leaves.

    This makes him remember walking through the park with, I guess, a different girl in his teens. He didn’t know what to say then either and it seems things didn’t work out.

    I wonder if he’s wishing he would have figured out what to say back then to avoid the situation he is in now.

    Either way, it’s a really beautiful song.
    clovuson February 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI think the "snow" and "winter" are metaphors about being lonely, and wanting to be with someone, but knowing it's too late.
    plombardo421on February 05, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line "where you are going to" and the accompanying melody seem really familiar. Is this a tribute to another song? I'm pretty sure it is but I can't put my finger on it and it's driving me nuts
    ShoshiRosieon February 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song but can't make sense of the lines "When I could see her breath lead/Where she were going to," could someone please explain to me what they mean? (literally, at least)
    kileytooon March 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionOn a winter's Sunday I go
    To clear away the snow
    And green the ground below

    April all an ocean away
    Is this a better way to spend the day?
    Keeping the winter at bay

    What were the words I meant to say
    Before you left
    When I could see your breath lead
    Where you were going to

    Maybe I should just let it be
    And maybe it will all come back to me
    Sing Oh, January, Oh

    How I lived a childhood in the snow
    And all my teens in tow
    Stuffed and strata of clothes

    Hail the winter days after dark
    Wondering the gray memorial park
    A Fleeting beating of hearts

    What were the words I meant to say
    Before She left
    When I could see her breath lead
    Where she were going to

    Maybe I should just let it be
    And maybe it will all come back to me
    Seeing, oh, Janu-- Oh, January, Oh

    (there were enough parts that needed correction, I just thought it'd be easier to go line by line. Sorry for the flood of things. This song makes me cry every time I listen to it - which is often - due to my sister, whom I was very close to, being killed in a car crash, in January, at the age of 19. Love forever to my amazing sister Sun Yi, wherever she was to make sure this song got to me.)
    Abalonon June 20, 2011   Link

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