"Neighbor" as written by and Benjamin Bridwell....
The wind blew a path through the fallen leaves
And there showed a crack in the old oak tree
The door stood as if it was standing guard
Of the dozen chipmunks in the backyard

Every house not a home but dare do I roam
There's a light on the porch here for someone

Once upon a time in a border town
The war was over, the guns laid down
The women, the men, the children saved
Now it's hard to remember it any other way

When the law acts as though there is nothing to show
There is compassion and depth in a neighbor

Now if Bartles and James didn't need no first names
We could live by our own laws in favor

Every house not a home but dare do I roam
There's a light on the porch here for someone

Now if Bartles and James didn't need no first names
We could live by our own laws in favor


Lyrics submitted by negatyve

"Neighbor" as written by Benjamin Bridwell

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Neighbor song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song really strongly reminds me of that book, Cold Mountain. Inman is a soldier who deserts the army, then tries to find his way home, relying on strangers to take him in and give him food on his way. In every house, the women and children were waiting for some man who was away at war and often they take him in because to them the war does not matter- they just see a man trying to get home the way their loved ones might be trying to get home.

    I think this song is telling a similar story. I believe it is about a man who is trying to get back to his home (the home is described as decrepit and empty- waiting for him to return and maintain it again), but along the way approaches the houses of strangers for help. These strangers and their houses are also waiting for someone's return.

    It is imploring us to look past politics and help one another as neighbors even in times of great upheaval. We can live by our own laws- be kind according to our own conscience, not according to what a political context might dictate.
    anisaraon June 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNot sure what this one is about exactly, but a great closer to a really good album.

    Before reading your lyrics I thought he was saying "with Bartles and james, didn't need no first names", thinking he meant that people were drinking together but I actually think you're correct and it refers more to possibly the commercials which used to feature B&J products.

    Although, I'm thinking he actually says "our own laws and favor" rather than in favor.. meaning, they could decide what's right and wrong based on their own opinions. Small detail, but certainly changes the line.

    I guess knowing those parts makes it more clear, but i'm still torn between two ideas here:

    1) it sounds like this is about reminiscing to older times when people didn't need the government to tell them how to live, to make laws up about every little thing. You just took care of yourself and your neighbors and they did the same, and that was a much simpler way to live. The B&J idea then refers to the two old men sitting on the porch just being neighborly.

    2) There's also some bigger references here I think about how he may be searching for a soul-mate type person? The light on the porch for someone and line about every house not a home and dare does he roam makes me think he's continuing to look for the perfect person to complete himself.

    Interesting song. Maybe it all means nothing though and it just rhymed nicely. :)
    craftsy21on May 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat song, with an amazing ending. Get your lighters out and sing along!
    djtweedon June 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think Anisara hits it on the head in saying, "It is imploring us to look past politics and help one another as neighbors even in times of great upheaval. We can live by our own laws- be kind according to our own conscience, not according to what a political context might dictate." I think the song touches on a lot of aspects of our current political climate, not least of which being the debate about Immigration. I think he tries to make the topic more human and colloquial--saying "every house not a home, so dare do I roam"--meaning that it's human nature to go in search or a new home if you don't feel settled and supported where you are. And suggesting that being neighborly--compassionate even--means to do the little things that might help a neighbor find his/her feet--whoever they might be. And maybe even that rather than treating these "neighbors" with law and lobby-driven suspicion, that we should consider them human's who might just need a porch to safely and temporarily rest on.
    phorton44on July 10, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about a solider that is leaving a war( I feel like it's set in the 1800's, but the Bartles and Jaymes reference throws me off). He needs a place a stay and through an open area through the trees, he sees a house with a front light on. Now the 3rd amendment allows the house owner to either accept or deny the soliders request to stay at someones house. But in this case, the house owner let's them in. Showing compassion and depth, even when the law and tell them to leave.
    8195229on June 11, 2015   Link

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