"Philomena" as written by and Colin Meloy....
Oh, Philomena, are you in a tawdry gown
Lean to your window, let's slip a ribbon down
If you’re to devoid
If only you’ll let me go
Down, down down

Long sunny days can lead to lazy vices
Boys all that I know, left to their own devices
Open up your linen lap
And let me go
Down, down down

All I ever wanted in the world
Was just to live to see a naked girl
But I found I quickly bored,
I wanted more, I wanted more

So I’ll be your candle and I’ll be your statuette
And I’ll be your lash and loop of leather
And dark Philomena, if only you’d let me go
Down, down down

All I ever wanted in the world
Was just to live to see a naked girl
But I found I quickly bored,
I wanted more, oh, so much more

So I’ll be your candle and I’ll be your statuette
And I’ll be your lash and loop of leather
And dark Philomena, if only you’d let me go
Down, down down
Go down, down down
Go down, go down


Lyrics submitted by Vytasb, edited by Cyberghost, trustmeiknow

"Philomena" as written by Colin Meloy

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Philomena song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI've edited lyrics with the correct version, hopefully that'll get approved soon. In the mean time, I've also posted them in a comment.
    Cyberghoston January 27, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOn a first read, this may just sound like a boy who wants more intense sexual experiences. Now I do admit this may be all the song is about, but I would rather believe not. So, here is how I interpret this song.

    This boy has grown up amongst typical, childish boys and experience the desires that the gender naturally encounters. He obviously uncovers sexual attraction for females. But in saying "all I wanted in the world was to live to see a naked girl", that sexuality was still shallow (as would be natural for a young boy who hadn't experienced anything yet). Then, the singer says he "quickly bored" and "wanted more". I interpret this to mean that the he realized the weakness of his sexual desires. He saw sexuality as a flippant stimulation or pleasure, similar to porn. However, once he experienced some of these things, he realized that there is so much more.

    Sex is an intimate and serious matter. Seeing a naked girl, porn, or even 'casual sex' is not truly the fullness that sex is meant to be. The singer realizes this and is seeking a deeper and more intimate sexual relationship. Because sex is meant to be a consummation of affection and love, it can not be satisfied with the youthful desires the singer once had.

    Now this may not be the intended interpretation. Perhaps it is just the outer, carnal layer. However, I believe the Decemberists are better than that. I hope people can appreciate this interpretation.
    brendan784on February 21, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCorrect lyrics :

    Oh Philomena, are you in a tawdry gown?
    Lean to your window, let's slip a ribbon down
    A cure to your boredom
    If only you'd let me go down
    Down, down

    Long summer days can lead to lazy vices,
    Boys all at idle, left to their own devices.
    Open up your linen lap and let me go down
    Down down

    All that I wanted in the world,
    Was just to live to see a naked girl,
    But I found I quickly bore
    I wanted more
    I wanted more

    So I'll be your candle
    And I'll be your statuette
    And I'll be your lashing loop of leatherette
    Oh Philomena, if only you'd let me go down
    Down down

    All that I wanted in the world,
    Was just to live to see a naked girl,
    But I found I quickly bore
    I wanted more
    Oh, so much more

    So I'll be your candle
    And I'll be your statuette
    And I'll be your lashing loop of leatherette
    Oh Philomena, if only you'd let me go down
    Down, down

    Go down
    Down, down
    Go down, down, down
    Go down
    Cyberghoston January 27, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think we can probably agree that this song is a pretty straight-forward plea from a horny teenage boy for sex.
    The imagery that really caught my attention was: "So I'll be your candle
    And I'll be your statuette...........". A little research and I was reading that girls sometimes use candles for more than illumination! lol Sounds like our young man wants to do a little more than just "go down"!
    untabubbaon February 07, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song so much! All the lyrics are pretty straightforward, and I doubt that this is meant to be the interpretation but I've been reading a little bit deeper in it.

    To me, this song is about a young male soldier who was drafted to fight in a war. He saw terrible things, as one does in wartime, and by the end of it he is still a virgin, but he has lost his innocence in another way. So it is out of desperation that he calls out to philomena to really make him a man.

    The lyrics that highlight this would be "all that I wanted in the world, was just to live to see a naked girl". The singing in the background sounds like bombs going off to me. When he says "but I found I quickly bored, I wanted more" I think of the naked pictures of girls that get passed around by soldiers in wartime and how he actually longs for human touch.

    I thought I would post this in case anyone else is looking for a deeper meaning! Even on the surface, as a song about oral sex this song is so haunting, bizarre, and delicate. I love the decemberists.
    AnotherNeWorldon March 06, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe character voice is a teenage boy who has just received a pair of binoculars for his birthday. He has no real connection with Philomena other than through his voyeurism. She may be aware of his attentions and idly add fuel to his fantasies for relief of boredom.
    gnargle1157on July 04, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe lyrics are indeed wrong, but whatever.

    Colin has come out and said it is about oral sex so here's my interpretation building on that. I think it's about a guy acting as a submissive for a dom (Philomena). He has some intense sexual experiences with her, but it's become a routine and it's not really working for either of them anymore, and all he wants to do is to go down on her.

    I like how this slightly dark (if bdsm is still considered dark) undertone contrasts with the light happy feeling of the song, which paints an innocent tone for such adult themes.
    rachelmansellon April 28, 2017   Link

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