"A Baby for Pree" as written by and Jeff Mangum....
Blistering Pree, all smiling and swollen
Makes babies to breathe
With their hearts hanging open all over the sheets
As soft as beets in some brown dresser drawer

And with bees in her breath and the rest of her ringing
They'll sting through her chest with a force hard and beating
Till wonderfully wet she will get
Until she's soaked inside her clothes

And there is no sorry to be sorry for
For a roll around the floor some afternoon so sound and soft
It made her swallow all her sweat
With every bit of breath she coughs
And when the day it came to pour all her babies
All across the bathroom floor
She will be swimming in them all forever more


Lyrics submitted by PLANES

"A Baby For Pree" as written by Jeff Mangum

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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A Baby for Pree song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentSaw Jeff Mangum perform this song the other night, and he said it was a song he wrote for his friend who had a baby.

    I think this is really just a beautiful, happy song about the beauty of motherhood and childbirth... the loveliness of a woman who is pregnant, the force of life coming from within her... the way each little baby will now be the heart of her life ("she will be swimming in them all forevermore").

    The imagery is of pregancy, conception, labor, birth, and love... it is not about deformed babies or abortion or any other such thing IMO.
    stovernyon November 11, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI take the miscarriage view.

    "Blistering Pree, all smiling and swollen
    Makes babies to breathe.."

    She is happy and pregnant and is excited to be having babies.

    "With their hearts hanging open all over the sheets
    As soft as beets in some brown dresser drawer.."

    Magnum goes straight from the hope and happiness of Pree to telling us that she miscarries.

    "And with bees in her breath and the rest of her ringing
    They'll sting through her chest with a force hard and beating
    Till wonderfully wet she will get
    Until she's soaked inside her clothes.."

    Childbirth taking place. The pain of it but not a natural pain. She is losing the babies. The imagery used here is bizarre and unpleasant (bee's stinging) and does not at all lead us to think positive things.

    "And there is no sorry to be sorry for
    For a roll around the floor some afternoon so sound and soft
    It made her swallow all her sweat
    With every bit of breath she coughs...."

    She feels the guilt often felt by women who miscarry for getting pregnant int he first place.

    "And when the day it came to pour all her babies
    All across the bathroom floor
    She will be swimming in them all forever more....."

    Again the imagery is not pleasant and her babies are being spilled across the bathroom floor instead of the normal hospital room. She is going to be upset and hurt by this for a long time. She will be swimming in them ever more shows this in a very beautiful and poetic way.

    I see no references about abortion here.
    Andaahon March 18, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentreminds me of the movie eraserhead.
    kethanon July 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt seems to me (i may sound dumb but whatever)that this is about a woman being excited about being pregnant-"blistering pree all smiling and swollen", and then facing the pain of giving birth-"It made her swallow all her sweat With every bit of breath she coughs ", then realizing after the birth of the child that maybe she isn't as happy as she may have thought being a mother would be.- "And when the day it came to pour all her babies All across the bathroom floor
    She will be swimming in them all forever more"
    dannywon June 08, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this song takes on an "I-told-you-so" sort of meaning. Pree is a naive woman who uses abortion as a form of birth control. She doesn't think about the consequences of having sex, but rather enjoys herself in the heat of the moment. Then it comes time for her to abort her baby[babies?] and the story goes that she will have to have that in her mind the rest of her life. It is a song about a woman's naivety and stupidity.
    XMorningxStarX21on June 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this song takes on an "I-told-you-so" sort of meaning. Pree is a naive woman who uses abortion as a form of birth control. She doesn't think about the consequences of having sex, but rather enjoys herself in the heat of the moment. Then it comes time for her to abort her baby[babies?] and the story goes that she will have to have that in her mind the rest of her life. It is a song about a woman's naivety and stupidity.
    XMorningxStarX21on June 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is simply about the joy of pregnancy and birth, using beautiful imagery to describe them. Most artists (especially indie artists) use imagery that relates only to their personal experiences that the listener is not necessarily meant to understand.
    catcpon March 15, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere are obviously very different ways to interpret these lyrics. Jeff Mangum himself stated that the song was written for a friend of his who had a baby. Therefore, when I now try to interpret the lyrics, I choose not to take into account popular theories like the song being about abortion or miscarriage.

    The following is my personal interpretation:

    "Blistering Pree, all smiling and swollen
    Makes babies to breathe"

    -Here Mangum seems to describe the actual birth of his friend Pree's baby(/babies). She is swollen for obvious reasons. The smile might mean two things: (1) She is actually smiling, because she is looking forward to becoming a mom or (2) she is not actually smiling, but rather grinning in the excruciating physical pain she is experiencing.

    "With their hearts hanging open all over the sheets
    As soft as beets in some brown dresser drawer"

    -Not too sure about this one. I guess the "hearts hanging open" could be interpreted as the kids being ready for both receiving and giving back their mother's love.
    The second line is even trickier. Babies are soft. I have never considered beets as particularly soft, but their dark red color might resemble the color of a box-fresh newborn baby? As for meaning of "brown dresser drawer", I am completely clueless.

    "And with bees in her breath and the rest of her ringing
    They'll sting through her chest with a force hard and beating
    Till wonderfully wet she will get
    Until she's soaked inside her clothes"

    -Painful imagery. Pree's chest feels like its being stung from the inside by killer bees, her whole body is in the excruciating pain I mentioned earlier. I think this scene depicts Pree having her contractions and her water breaking. Especially because of the "she's soaked inside her clothes"-line.
    Another possibility is she's still just in the actual process of giving birth, and the pain has made her sweat through her clothes.

    "And there is no sorry to be sorry for
    For a roll around the floor some afternoon so sound and soft"

    -Here I think I understand the "what" but not the "why". It seems like Mangum's saying Pree does not regret having the baby, because the sex which impregnated her was "sound and soft", which, knowing Mangum, means completely heartfelt and passionate.
    But why does Mangum feel the need to point out Pree's lack of regret? Was Pree assumed to regret the baby? Is it because the father of the child(ren) left her, maybe? And that despite this, despite having to be a single mom, she still has no regret? I dont know.

    "It made her swallow all her sweat
    With every bit of breath she coughs"

    -The pregnancy was difficult for her physically (extra understandable if the father was not present to help her). She couldn't even breath properly without having to cough. Not sure how one swallows one's sweat. I'll assume it's a metaphor for the tiring pregnancy.

    "And when the day it came to pour all her babies
    All across the bathroom floor”

    Ehm. I don't know why there has to come a day to pour her babies all across the bathroom floor. Maybe she gave birth in her bathroom? Birthing enough kids to cover the entire floor? Maybe she gave birth in a bathtub? This could give new meaning to the line "Till wonderfully wet she will get/Until she's soaked inside her clothes".
    “She will be swimming in them all forever more"

    A metaphor for how her life from now on will revolve completely around her kids.
    belsebubbon August 08, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think it's so obvious what it's about. I think that it is about four things, the first two intertwined with each other and the second two.

    Firstly, it's about a baby. If you think of Pree as a baby rather than a mother, it becomes pretty evident except for the last part of the song. I think Magnum left it ambiguous until the last part for a reason (to make the abortion part of the song more poignant).

    The second part is the one already mentioned, that Pree is the mother and she is aborting her baby. That is the most obvious one.

    The third is that Pree is having sex ("They'll sting through her chest with a force hard and beating/till wonderfully wet she will get until she's soaked inside her clothes"). The last part of the song mentions the consequences of her having sex.

    The fourth is that Pree is being murdered. Her "babies" are her blood cells. The sorries she is sorry for are her screaming sorry to her murderer. I think this is the most emotive meaning the song can have, just by the strange juxtaposition of the song's soft melody with a murder.
    GreenFleshyFloweron April 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it could also mean that Pree.... has a lot of kids until she dies...but there's no sorry to be sorry for because she gave so much life..any takers?
    Abex22on May 09, 2004   Link

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