"Little One" as written by and Steven P. Smith....
One more little one
I'll go down and stay down
Sleep the rest of the day
Dreaming music to calm down

And stay down and keep evil away
I can see you asleep
Changing your shape
Dissolved in some dream

As a new one appears
To take you along where you've never been
The moonlight tonight seems to belong to me
'Cause I never go to sleep
I keep it company

One hit wouldn't matter a bit I'll
Stay down and think
What's here to find
If it's good or?

And I won't know the fact that I'm dying
If I seem to be reckless with myself
It's the fault of no one
All things have a place

Under the moon as well as the sun
One more
Little one I love you


Lyrics submitted by dragonflower44, edited by IvanhoeHei, ian1774721, Will26

"Little One" as written by Paul Smith Gil George

Lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Little One song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentContrary to what others have been posting, I doubt that this song is about crack. Crack stimulates the nervous system and probably wouldn't inspire the delicate, dreamy, sedated nature of "Little One". Heroin fits the description much more closely.
    There are a few double meanings in this song that stand out. For one, the title and overall sound bring to mind a lullaby for a small child. Smith himself seems to be reduced to the status of a child in the lyrics, lured by the deceptive force of the drug like an earnest kid being pulled into a villain's arms in exchange for candy, begging for "one more, little one" and promising to "go down, and stay down". He fools himself into believing that one dose of this vice will be enough, that he won't ever need more and that it won't eventually wear off. This, too, is a typically childlike notion, stubborn and lacking foresight. Of course, one also gets the sense that he is fantasizing about actually taking his last dose, his overdose, and finally drifting a peaceful death.
    Upon listening to this song, one is struck by the absence of Smith's characteristic quiet rage and passion, as if this flame had been vanquished by a sheet of slivery water. It's no less brilliant than his other work; it's just as if the that frustrated, insatiable, fully human side of him has finally dissolved, paving the way for the death of his physical body.
    Not only has he anticipated his own death; it is almost as if he is communicating to us from his own grave on this track.
    Quite a bitter-sweet end to an enigmatic life; bitter for us, as we have lost a visionary artist in the middle of his career, but perhaps more a sweet relief for the troubled Smith himself.
    psychedelicsallyon July 07, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentlike basically every other song on From a Basement, this one is about/heavily references heroin.

    others have done a good job of interpreting most of the song, but another significant line is "one, two three, four, five, six, seven" which refers to the seven seconds it is supposed to take heroin to hit the brain after injection.
    candytalkingon March 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe missing lyric is "if it's good shit you won't know and I won't know the fact . . ."

    I think the album may have better been ended with this song rather than "distorted reality," which could have been placed earlier. My reason comes from the last several lines: "all things have a place under the moon as well as the sun." These lines to me represent the most affirming moment of the record and offer relief from the darkness that encompasses the rest. With these lines, I believe Elliott is reassuring himself and all of us that the pain he has experienced and set to music, indeed his life, his death, are all part of a greater human experience, not all of which is about suffering (as his life was not all about this), but of which suffering is a necessary, inescapable part. His art was about describing human frailty, inner pain, and external conflict with unflinching honesty - that he set all this to some of the most beautiful melody ever written accomplishes in song a portrayal of life's ever-present dialectic between suffering and joy. In this way, he accomplishes what only the greatest artists and literary figures have done.
    acmon November 08, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI totally agree with ACM...this does sound like the final track. Even the title line, "One more little one..." sounds like an ending. I know there are probably some Nick Drake fans that view this site, too, so when I hear this song, I think of the final track from Pink Moon: "From the Morning". Both songs have a certain finality, but also a peaceful acceptance of one's destiny. Regardless of it's place on the album, a great song.
    facedownowlson February 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe moonlight tonight seems to belong to me
    cause i never go to sleep
    i keep it company


    compare to st. ides heaven, its a nice parallel
    brian92287on May 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can hear the resemblance to "Long Long Long" from the White Album. It's strange how Beatles-esque he can get without ever sounding like he just copied them.
    tranquilasadoveon January 25, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My Opinioni doubt it's about crack. we can agree it's about addiction, i guess.

    The one thru seven part strikes me as an unfinished lyric to be replaced later, a la "Scrambled Eggs"-->"Yesterday". Sadly, the finished verse never arrived :(
    unchienandalusiaon February 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think Dixeychik is on the ball here. The song seems to have to do with heroin, the "spiritual" state it creates, and crucially the acceptance of that state and the balance within it. The "all things" line illustrates the idea it isn't just one element of his life, it is the overbearing state through which all else is experienced, the good bad, highs and lows. In sickness and in health as it were.

    The song isn't about blame, if not comfort in the situation then it has a certain degree of acceptance, and the feeling of being close to the end. The dreams, the changing shape are experiences heroin can offer in peace and exclusion from life and redefinition of yourself within the bubble it offers. I can't see in tone or lyrical content how the song would specifically be about crack. Crack is more chaotic, more of a distraction and too fleeting, even if the use of that particular drug plays into the lifestyle the focus of the emotion in this track couldn't be acheived through it. Crack is imbalance, heroin on the other hand has the capacity for balance and even some kind of objectivity through detachment.

    It still isn't completely at peace and includes thoughts like "one hit...", the thoughts that go through a junkie's head, but delivered with not ironic darkness like the line "the fix is in" in Alameda, but acceptance they have a place in all of this, and a sense that even when he's fooling himself, he knows what it is.

    I think a lot of you have some good ideas about this song and I reckon a lot of them may play into it in some capacity, its a rich song in that regard, Elliott's generally are.

    Peace
    CC
    cafecaligulaon March 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is the most beautiful positive song ive ever heard.. i just cant get over how amazing he was.. i like that distorted reality was last though
    lisalynnon December 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the ultimate Elliott Smith song for this album. I agree with ACM when it comes to placement of the song in the album. This song, it seems, is about his submission to his drug addiction and the responsibility that he takes for his actions which led him to the point of death. So many times, we hear about people who kill other people and they blame other people or something in them that they couldn't control. With this song, Elliott is saying that he knows what he did to lead him to this point, and he doesn't blame anyone but himself. What's magical about this is that he doesn't do this in a way that would make it seem that he was looking for sympathy. He says all this in a way that he still looks in control, but really is out of control. Very hard to explain, but if you get it, you get it.
    Dixeychikon March 01, 2005   Link

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