"House on a Hill" as written by Taylor Momsen and Ben Phillips....
Somewhere in the end of all this hate
There's a light ahead that shines into this grave
That's in the end of all this pain

In the night ahead, there's a light upon this house on a hill
Living, living still, their intention is to kill and they will, they will
But the children are doing fine, I think about them all the time
Until they drink the wine and they will, they will, they will

Somewhere in the end we're all insane
To think that light ahead will save us from this grave
That's in the end of all this pain

In the night ahead, there's a light upon this house on a hill
Living, living still, their intention is to kill and they will, they will
But the children are doing fine, I think about them all the time
Until they drink the wine and they will, they will, they will

I am not afraid, I won't burn out in this place
My intention is to fade and I will, I will

In this house on a hill
The dead are living still, their intention is to kill and they will, they will
Keep your children safe inside, out of pocket, out of mind
Until they drink the wine and they will, they will, they will


Lyrics submitted by EmilySophieRose, edited by buachaille

"House on a Hill" as written by Taylor Momsen Ben Phillips

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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House on a Hill song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI belive this song can be seen from many points of view.
    Probably my opinion is a little bit based on the music video.

    I think it's about today's society in general. The horrors of political issues. The house on a hill, I think, represents all types of 'houses' where men in power hide, of course being places of worldwide image.
    The people that she talks about ('their intention is to kill') could be men in power considered dictators or it could also be all the cold hearted people in the world, thirsty of power and money.

    When she mentions the children, saying they're doing fine, she means they're the only people with good hearts left in the world. They're naive, innocents. 'Until they drink the whine' is a metaphor, meaning until they grow up, until they realise about all the flaws and horrors of the world, and they end up caught up in the same selfish ambitions that adults have.
    ferwaldton January 04, 2015   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationStraightforward: I think this is a song bout the damage Protestant Christianity causes.

    "House on a Hill" sounds Eerily like the phrase "City upon a hill" coined by Jesus Christ, then used time and time again by protestants to emphasize the importance of their ends, from John Winthrop to Ronald Reagan. That said, I think this song twists this idea onto its head, rather than describing a place of wonder for all being a beacon of destruction for all the confused souls lost in the dark.

    Who are these lost souls in the dark? Well, I think it's the children. All of us are born ignorant. All of us begin life in the dark. To keep with the Christian metaphor, born into sin, and to stick with the twist on a head, this is why they are fine. They haven't yet been killed by the house the hill.

    Which brings me to wine, or as it is called in the church, communion. During communion Christians eat bread and drink wine, calling it the body and blood of Christ. Though not all churches the this seriously, the apostle Paul outright says that those who are unworthy who drink of the cup drink damnation upon themselves ("For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body," 1 Corinthians 29). For this reason I think drinking the wine is meant to signify communion as the point in which the child-like Christian becomes the adult follower of christ. When the child embraces the Light in the House on the Hill, becoming the bigot. It is at this point that their darkness, their innocence, is killed.

    Near the end of the song comes the theme of fading, which I believe to be stepping away from the light. Stepping away from religion. Fading into the darkness, and no longer being one with the body of Christ.


    And finally, beyond the lyrics of the song itself, you can't throw a stone in a Taylor Momsen song without hitting some kind of religious imagery that's been spun in some way. One of her songs is literally about going to hell for living a life Christians spurn. I don't think it's dangerous for me to speculate that judgment from Protestant Christians has been a part of her life, and to me this song represents the pain such judgment can cause when it is allowed to be used to indoctrinate the innocent.
    Thunderscreamon January 24, 2017   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationFirst off, I want to say this is one of my favorite songs by The Pretty Reckless, the sound and lyrics are just amazing with this song.

    I think the song is about child stars, the pain of being one, society, fame and not wanting to end up like everyone else in your position.

    Taylor Momsen was a child star, so it makes sense. The line "but the children are doing fine, I think about them all the time" makes me think of this. Because it seems logical that she'd think of the child stars of today, since she was one and maybe she's a caring person (Idk, never met the girl and will not assume anything). The line afterwards, "Until they drink the whine" is referring to when the star 'grows up', that's when they're no longer fine. A lot of them were ok, until adulthood set in. Growing up is inevitable, becoming an adult, but they never really were kids, so you're just giving adult children the right to vote and drink, since all they've done in their life is work.... so they abuse it while trying to break that image -the whine could also be the thing that breaks the child image.

    And she's seen and/or heard of how other child stars of the past have ended up, it's really hard not to and when you have connections to them, it's even easier to hear it because you may be friends with them, worked with them, are friends with their friends, know someone who worked with them... etc. She grew up in the spotlight, like a lot of celebrities who have had a 'meltdown' or have troubles with the law or with drugs but haven't been caught or are alcoholics to deal with the pain. She knows what is coming for her and some of today's young stars.

    The 'house on a hill' she keeps referring to could be many things, I think it's fame. The lights are cameras, which are very likely to be shoved in your face often when you're famous. Now, intention to kill is a metaphor, I'm not sure what she means though, but it's not literal. I don't think anyone means to kill child stars, but maybe it's a feeling. Like, it feels like the paparazzi is trying to 'kill' your spirit, soul, mental state, whatever and they eventually succeed. And they will live on, hence, 'living, living still'.

    The bit about hate in the beginning is about haters and petty squabbles among others made public... celebrity drama basically. "Somewhere in the end of all this hate", yeah, celebrity drama. You know how the public loves hearing 'OMG, famous rich chick totes hates this chick cuz blah blah blah' or 'it's splitsville for so and so'... stuff like that. But it also refers to haters, people leaving hateful comments anywhere they can. Go on youtube, you'll see quite a bit of hate for The Pretty Reckless on their videos. They have haters, a lot of people do.

    "I am not afraid, I won't burn out in this place, My intention is to fade and I will, I will" is her saying that she's not afraid of what may come, she will not be like the other child stars who lost their way. Unlike them, she will be ok until the day she dies, she'll remain as she is for the most part and she intends to fade out of the spotlight eventually, is what I get from this line.

    "In this house on a hill, the dead are living still, their intention is to kill and they will, they will" Is about how the inhabitants, or grown up child stars, are dead inside. The living are the paparazzi and those still getting used to not having a personal life, but the 'dead' are people like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Amanda Bynes, who are used to this, grew up in this, and have lost themselves in it, either through drugs or mental illness or trying to grow up too fast. They don't make it easier, I think. Having examples of what a life of fame can do to you... can't be easy. So she wants to fade, so she doesn't end up like them.

    The last two lines make me think it's about being a child star and the pain that comes with it even more than everything else, "Keep your children safe inside, out of pocket, out of mind" she doesn't want to see anymore child stars go through what she's going through -growing up and leaving her childhood roles behind and the pain, the lack of childhood and having to do this in public- so keep them out of the spotlight. Don't get the kids into modelling, don't put your kids in movies... let them have fun or at least don't make it their entire childhood. And the last "Until they drink the wine and they will, they will, they will", the fact that it comes directly after she tells you to keep your children away from fame, says a lot, that fame should be reserved for well-rounded adults who can handle it, not children.

    I apologize for the lack of flow and jumping around the song, I know I didn't go in order, but I'm tired and forgot about a few points and added them in as I remembered. Also, this isn't the only interpretation possible, I know, and most of my basis is Taylor is young and was a child actress, this is stuff she knows and it seems to connect.
    drucilla666on October 20, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf you watch the official video, it seems to be making the point that hate is taught by us to our children through or actions and words. In some extreme cases this breeds institutional hatred that pits one large group against another, leading to discrimination, war, and genocide. Thus the line "Until they drink the wine..." which may refer to the popular phrase "drinking the Cool-Aide".
    m112266333on May 06, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe influential hold the Parasitic Mind Virus has on the Youth.
    TribalisimXon June 23, 2017   Link

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