"Manchild" as written by Mark O. Everett and Jill Susan Sobule....
And every time you crave for me,
I'm here.

And anything you hunger for,
I'll share.

And I will be quietly standing by,
While slowly I am dying inside.

Hold me in your arms,
And let me be the one who can feel,
Like I am a child in love.

Every time I talk to you,
You're down.

And every time you need a laugh,
I'm around.

And when you forget I'm here,
I'm not.
It isn't really me that you forgot.

Hold me in your arms,
And let me be the one who can feel,
Like I am a child in love.

Whisper now,
And tell me how,
You watch and tell me,
Somehow,
I'm gonna be alright.


Lyrics submitted by alexboy

"Manchild" as written by Mark O. Everett Jill Susan Sobule

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Manchild song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentTo me it sounds like he's with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD. Its kinda like a mix between manic depression and schizophrenia, however that's spelled. It's about a guy who tries to be absolutely perfect to his girl, but no matter what he does she keeps sinking down into the abyss.

    When she needs him, he's there. If she wants something, he gives it to her. When she's sad he tries to make her happy, but no matter what he does, he can't fill up the empty void inside of her. And it's killing him. Then there come the times when she's selfish and she just drops him. Treats him like he's trash, or ignores him like he doesn't exist. This is what is called a BPD personality split, where someone who adores you suddenly *totally* hates you, because of an emotional whim, or some thing you did that upset her. They're usually temporary, but generally always reoccuring. People in relationships like this learn to deal with it, but they're slowly worn down. BPD has no cure, and millions that have it don't even know it exists as a known disorder.

    It sounds like the guy understands what she's going through, and knows there's only so much he can do to help. And he doesn't even really blame her when she treats him badly. He just for once wishes that *she* could hold *him* and tell him that everything is going to be ok. That he could rely on her for once, instead of him always being the rock to support her and to make everything ok for her.

    This song brings back some real memories of days gone by. I remember when I first heard it.
    grimjackon May 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentanother beautiful song, this time about a guy that feels a friend of his doesn't know how much he cares about them. the female voice, i think, is that of his sister, who commited suicide later that year and inspired many of the songs on 'electro-shock blues'. very sad.
    xpankfrisston April 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEvery time I listen to this, it brings both a smile and a tear to my face. Absolutely beautiful. One of my favourite Eels songs. Reminds me of old feelings, long since passed.
    hang on to a dreamon May 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentok great song. obviously. but can anyone discern exactly what the female voice is saying. at one point she seems to say, "its my body," - any ideas if this is a specific reference (or if im just hearing stuff....)...any opinions would be greatly appreciated
    lucyintheskyon May 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe female voice is a friend on his talking on his answering machine (forgot her name, sorry) it's not his sister
    one hit wonderon May 31, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlooking at the lyrics, i think this song is about the selfishness of suicide and how it hurts the ones around you. it's the image of being there for someone as much as possible because you're scared of what they'll do otherwise, despite it killing you in the process. especially the line "and when you forget i'm here i'm not, it isn't really me that you forgot" which means that she only wants him around when she's depressed and sad and when she has fun and forgets about her problems, she forgets all about him too. looking at the song thinking like this makes it much sadder, because you can hear the tired devotion in the vocalists voice. anyways, that's what i think...
    xpankfrisston May 31, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah i agree that its more about suicide then being in love with a friend. you could see it either way, but i think the first is actually what the song was written about......sorry to go on, but is anyone going to help me work out exactly what the voice is saying?
    lucyintheskyon July 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthere's what i can get from the background voice...
    "I'm not having any fun"
    --answering machine man--
    "I'm not happy"
    "I wanna be happy, I'm not happy"
    "I wanna go back"
    "I'm over this, over this"
    mumble "... make your money, don't complain, okay"
    mumble"i'm tired, i don't care.. ya know... ooooh"
    mumble w/ 2 or 3 voices
    "oh god, why am i tired"

    yeah. try listening to it w/ headphones.. you can hear more and it's awesome when the vocals open up to both channels... really emotional.
    belle1313on September 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think you are all forgetting an important section of the lyrics.
    "hold me in your arms
    and let me be the one who can feel
    like i am a child in love"
    how can it be about suicide, anyway? elizabeth hadn't committed suicide by this time she was just severely depressed. she was just a beautiful freak.
    i think it's about love but the feeling of complete helplessness in a relationship because the other party is just so down all the time. it's so hard.
    i know because i am that person that's down all the time. i know how much of a downer it is and the other person just wants to feel like you love them.

    this definitley isn't about suicide
    but it isn't really a love song either
    though you could sing it to your girlfriend and she'd probably love it
    ThePythonon November 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt can still be about the selfishness of suicide even if she hadn't done it yet. Chances are she still contemplated it. Even if it's not like that, regardless of suicide, I think xpankfrisst got it right. It seems that whenever he talks to the person is when they're depressed, but when they're happy they forget how he's always been there, or contemplate how they have not a friend in the world when he's always been the shoulder to cry on. Maybe all he asks is just for them to never be sad and appreciate how much he loves the person in question. Maybe he has problems too, and needs comfort just as she needed comfort. He wants to feel loved also.

    I said the same thing to my girlfriend though, Python. I was lightly singing it and saying, "You know, this song is really more depressing than it sounds." We didn't care.
    m_D_ton December 05, 2005   Link

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