The indecencies of city streets
The cleaners' sweeping trucks from nine to noon
And the factories make clouds to keep the sun from being jealous like the moon
While the husband holds his house
He hates his children for being green when he is gray
And his wife, she likes to talk on telephones
But just to people far away

Well, the big surprise was televised
On a crowded couch their eyes grew wide and wet
Oh, was it really such a sad event?
You could capture this with camera clicks
But it don't exist
Just light on negatives
Another number on the birthday cake
You should act your age

We were hungry for a holiday
Won't cooperate with the calendar we found
We just scattered snow like styrofoam
And sang our Christmas carols all through town
And the voices soared, the people joined
With silver coins they filled our cupping hand, hand, hand
And we all agreed, the charity was much in need
Yes, a nobel cause at that
And I met a man, a mannequin
Who stood so still
I know he was afraid
And he preferred a place of permanence
To the awful guessing game of choice and change

Well, the big surprise was telelvised
On a crowded couch our eyes grew wide and wet
Oh yes, it's really such a sad event
You can't capture this with camera clicks
No, it don't exist
Just light on negatives
Another candle on a birthday cake
And a wish you make

Well, if the costume fits, keep wearing it
But no Halloween could quite account for this
I guess you're getting into character
Or just be yourself, if that would help
Or sink completely into someone else
You dreamt of mountains but sometimes a hole is more comfortable


Lyrics submitted by firefly716


Hungry for a Holiday song meanings
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35 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment"he hates his children for being green when he is grey"
    Oh gee. My father. And his view on the world....
    EyesSoBrighton March 07, 2003   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think it's odd that no one else has come up with this interpretation, so maybe it's completely off, but here goes:

    The first verse is about the monotony of life in suburbia and how an unnamed father "hates his children for being green when he is grey" and his wife only talks to "people far away."

    Next thing we hear about is a "big surprise" told to several people, presumably a family since they're on a couch. From the first verse, it seems like a logical conclusion that the father committed suicide (or possibly just walked out on them). We get more and more evidence for this as the song goes on... "Was it really such a sad event" if he was miserable anyway? Camera clicks can't capture someone who no longer exists, and numbers on birthday cakes don't exist either... And I read "you should act your age" as someone else's words about how irresponsible a father is for taking his own life, though I may be reading into it too much.

    Then they're hungry for a holiday to take their minds off the loss, and they go caroling and people give them money out of sympathy (By the way I'm fairly sure the line is "With silver coins they filled our coffee can.") The mannequin-man might be a metaphor for how the father felt living there... He prefers a place of permanence (state of death) to dealing with the choices life throws at him.

    Even if my interpretation is reading too far into it, I'm fairly confident saying that the whole song is a reflection on the notion of giving up. The father figure clearly gave up in some way, whether suicide or leaving or something else, and mannequin man just stands in place rather than striving for anything better, because it's the easy thing to do. The final line tops it off: "You dreamt of mountains but sometimes a hole is more comfortable." That seems pretty clear to me..


    Anyway, it's an absolutely beautiful song.
    xlimetreeon December 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit dont exist just like our negatives
    lyssaon July 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song with the Album Leaf...A few mistakes in the lyrics tho.

    OH* was it really such a sad event
    and
    the last line of the song goes
    "You dreamt of mountains but sometimes a holes more comfortable"
    negatyveon August 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlol just found a few more

    "and i met a man, a mannequin"
    and
    "or sink completely into someone else"
    negatyveon August 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's actually, "it don't exist, just light on negatives"
    chloroformxxperfumeon August 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand it's "You could capture this with camera CLICKS, but it don't exist"
    yeah..
    lefttheretodrownon April 26, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know it's "just light on negatives"
    because it stands for the fact that stories are never true any more, and you never hear the actual bad information. And before when he says camera clicks, that's why it's light on negatives. It isn't really alive, it literally is, just light on negatives. The situation that arose this quote, I don't know.
    SnowLikeStyrofoamon December 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgood song
    cheeseon February 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, I can't tell if it is supposed to be positive or not.
    i.was.young.enoughon February 11, 2005   Link

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