"Naomi" as written by and Jeff Mangum....
Your prettiness is seeping through
Out from the dress I took from you, so pretty
And my emptiness is swollen shut
Always a wretch i have become
So empty and please please don't leave me

I'm watching Naomi, full bloom
I'm hoping she will soon explode
Into one billion tastes and tunes
One billion angels come and hold her down
They could hold her down until she cries

I'm tasting Naomi's perfume
It tastes like shit and I must say
She comes and goes most afternoons
One billion lovers wave and love her now
They could love her now and so could I

There is no Naomi in view
She walks through Cambridge stocks and strolls
And if she only really knew
One billion angels could come and save her soul
They could save her soul until she shines
Until she shines until she shines until
She shines Until she shines until she shines
so pretty so pretty so pretty
So pretty and please please don't leave me


Lyrics submitted by PLANES

"Naomi" as written by Jeff Mangum

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Naomi song meanings
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  • +4
    General Commentcfonts is talking from experience, i think he stalked someone.
    littlelordfauntleyon February 12, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIt's allegedly about Naomi Yang, the bassist of Galaxie 500, an extremely influential band of the late 80s/early 90s shoegaze/dream pop movement. The biggest clue is "She walks through Cambridge," which is where she and her bandmates attended Harvard when they formed the band.
    Meatuson April 05, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti'm getting sick of this talk of "stalkers". people are so god damn into themselves that if someone who they think is unworthy of them, likes them...then they are automatically marked as a stalker creep. this is bull shit, they need to get over themselves and look past what is only seen by eyes. he really seems to care and look up to this one person and wants to love her, truly love her. not fake love, real love. i guess that makes you creepy person....?
    cfontson January 21, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI don't read the prostitute/stalker interpretation people are throwing around. It's easy to take the literal interpretations of Mangum songs, but rarely are they right IMO.

    I've always read this as a back and forth in one man's mind about a woman named Naomi. He loves her, but his love is not returned which leads him to grapple with dual feelings of love and hatred towards her.

    Part 1:
    Your prettiness is seeping through
    Out from the dress I took from you, so pretty
    And my emptiness is swollen shut always
    Always a wretch I have become
    So empty
    Please don't leave me

    Clearly he has a deep love for Naomi, whether or not he is a "stalker" and stole her dress. That's beside the point, he is able to look at something she's worn and experience the full warmth of her before he realizes the love he feels for her is unreturned, leading him to feel empty and wretched for simply loving a piece of her (the dress).

    Part 2:
    I'm watching Naomi, full bloom
    I'm hoping she will soon explode
    Into one billion tastes and tunes
    One billion angels come and hold her down
    They hold her down until she cries

    This second part is my favorite because of all the different interpretations one can draw. This man wants to experience Naomi fully, with all of her billion unique "tastes and tunes". Then there's a shift toward what I draw to be his realization again that Naomi doesn't reciprocate his love, so he can only imagine that angels will come and "hold her down" ie, bring them together.

    Part 3:
    I'm tasting Naomi's perfume
    It tastes like shit and I must say
    She comes and goes most afternoons
    One billion lovers wave and love her now
    They could love her now and so could I

    Now he's lamenting Naomi's apparent indifference toward him, stating that her perfume is like "shit" and that she comes and goes as she pleases, unattached and without love toward the narrator. But yet he still realizes that he loves her and regardless of her current apathy towards him, he's willing to forgive her of her past if only she would love him now.

    Part 4:
    There is no Naomi in view
    She walks through Cambridge stocks and strolls
    And if she only really knew
    One billion angels could come and save her soul
    They could save her soul until she shines
    So pretty
    Please don't leave me

    Finally, the narrator sees no more of Naomi. There seems to be some resignation in the lines, in that he understands Naomi doesn't love him but he only wishes she knew something more than the relationships she has. And he just wants her to know that she could be saved from her world if she'd only let the angels he wished for earlier come and bring her to him.

    Really beautiful song, but a somewhat depressing interpretation by me.
    Anyway, JMO. Feel free to critique it. I've listened to enough Mangum/NMH to feel comfortable saying no interpretation is complete or simple.
    inktxon January 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is about my friend naomi. the part about one billion lovers is so her.
    ataraxia37on June 24, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about a girl, who Jeff things is amazing and loves, but is also a prostitute or something.

    The first two verses seem to be about how he is in love with her but then the second verse, when he sings:
    She comes and goes most afternoons
    One billion lovers wave and love her now
    They could love her now and so could I

    It sounds like Naomi is a prostitute or something. 1 billion people love her. They could love her whenever they want and so could Jeff, cause she's a protituite or something.

    In the final verse, Jeff sings:
    One billion angels could come and save her soul
    They could save her soul until she shines

    That seems to imply that while she's done bad stuff, Jeff still seems the beauty in her and thinks that angel could come and save her soul; make her pure and good again.

    That''s just my interpretation after reading the lyrics. That meaning would kinda coincide with other NMH songs like Song Against Sex, where Jeff rails against casual sex. Anybody agree or disagree?
    wingedfeetxcon April 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm in the same boat with those of you who feel the song is a little creepy. Every time "so pretty" is repeated it just makes me think of an obsession he has with a girl he feels he can't show affection for directly.

    I think I may subscribe the belief that Naomi is a prostitute.
    I was also thinking perhaps it's possible that she is just a young girl, someone he sees walking to school every day, and the "billion lovers" could be the social scene composed of many school friends she is enveloped in. If this is the case, perhaps he's afraid of the corruption of her innocence he is anticipating.

    I do think it is a little stalker-esque, but I don't think he means her harm. You can have an unhealthy obsession with someone to an extent that seems a bit disturbing without actually wanting to go too far. I think this is why the end of the song seems so pensive and wishful.

    This song stuck out to me. Mangum isn't as loud in this as he is in other songs, but it comes off as being just as intense emotionally. It's neurosis that is so poignant in this song. Neurotic lyrics paired with lazy vocals. It's both soothing and heavy, to me.

    Whatever the meaning, this is an incredibly beautiful song.


    Also, side note: The first few seconds of it reminds me a bit of the Pixies.
    joystreeton May 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti definitely don't feel the song's creepy, i think it's beautiful. he sees naomi as flawed because she is human, but he sees her potential for perfection and he wants her to attain it, to be infinite--"i'm hoping she will soon explode into one billion tastes and tunes"--beautiful.
    hab204on July 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is...so pretty
    missmeon December 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis prostitute/stalker stuff is sensational. My guess is it's someone he was close to but who decided to have another life...maybe one he thinks she doesn't really want. The billion angels are all those outside influences. He's hoping she blooms, that she explodes into tastes and tunes, but these other things hold her down and she walks around confused in Cambridge without shining.
    sherreraon June 16, 2008   Link

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