"Selective Memory" as written by and Mark O. Everett....
If I lay my head down
I will see you in my dream
Wearing that polka dot dress
And sitting by the stream
Leaning in to hear you
You will whisper in my ear
And everything I need to know
I finally hear

I wish I could remember
But my selective memory
Won't let me

When I was a baby we would
Go out to the park
And sit out in the fountain
Splashing 'round until it's dark
The days go on forever
When you only know that much
And everything you need to know
Is answered with one touch

I wish I could remember
But my selective memory
Won't let me


Lyrics submitted by Don Jerone

"Selective Memory" as written by Mark O. Everett

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Selective Memory song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentA sweet, tender little thing, this song. Guess what, I think it's about his mother (yet again). That whole bit about when I was a a baby fits the music perfectly. I can almost see the blurred edges of faded childhood memories.
    anthonyshonaon October 07, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think its about ideal love and the imagination. The lyrics are so colourful and imaginative like a dream. the girl and the setting are idealized because she can offer everything to him when she whispers in his ear or touches him. The song is so innocent and beautiful. I think E is a genius.
    lemon_headon October 25, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI too think its E thinking about his mother. he seems to talk about how he dreams of her, and recalls happy childhood memories that he spent with her. However, in chorus "I wish I could remember
    But my selective memory won't let me", it appears that he wants to look back on the wondeful memories, but at the same time, it's just too painful for him so he tries to forget.
    Tom_999on February 10, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this can only be about Mark's mother. It can't be about romatic love, because of the line that says "When I was a baby..."

    And "selective memory" doesn't mean he wants or tries to forget. The term itself doesn't refer to a conscious mode of behavior, for one thing. Also, there is the part of the chorus that says "I wish I could remember", which pretty much means that he's talking purely about faded childhood memories.

    Mark is a genius. Too good for radio, or widespread success. People would rather choke on mainstream crap.
    despondenton May 02, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commente said on his website something like " a sad song because the things the guy is describing never actually happened, but he tells himself he simply cannot recall the events "

    the vocal melody to this song is quite similar to "after the gold rush" by neil young, which is quite interesting because it is played on the same piano that neil used in his song.
    battaryacidon November 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of the saddest songs ever written. Right up there with Cat Power's Names. I think of Goldie's song Mother when I hear this. ("Mother" is a long droning, plaintive yearning for a mother, more desperate than sad) Goldie never knew his mother.
    shannon_r_whiteon September 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionSomeone once told me it was about his sister (who killed herself). It makes sense to me. Especially the part about splashing 'round the fountain. Also. It is very Neil young.
    bif741on January 20, 2015   Link

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