16 Days
Got sixteen days
One for every time I've gone awayOne for every time I should have stayedShould have wore my wedding ring
Got sixteen days
Fifteen of those are nightsCan't sleep when the bed sheet fightsIt's way back to your side
Well the ghost has got me running
Well the ghost has got me running
Away from you, away from you, awayWell the ghost has got me running
Well the ghost has got me running
Away from you, away from you, away
Got sixteen days
Got a bottle and a rosaryGod I wish that you were close to meI guess I owe you an apology
Got sixteen days
Fifteen of those are nights
Can't sleep when the bed sheet fightsIts way back to your side
Well the ghost has got me running
Well the ghost has got me runningAway from you, away from you, awayWell the ghost has got me running
Well the ghost has got me runningAway from you, away from you, away
Old tin cups, little paper dolls
All wrapped up in ribbons bows and hearts
Old tin cups and little paper dolls
All wrapped up in the ribbons of your heart
I got sixteen days
Sixteen days
I got sixteen days
It's like a fool I am



Lyrics submitted by rosyquill

16 Days Lyrics as written by Ryan Adams

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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16 Days song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment

    I feel like guy is on death-row... with his bible, rosary and tin cups... all symbols of prison-life. He has 16 days before execution (and 15 long nights) to think about how he wasted his life and the wife he hurt along the way.

    jsb_arizonaon August 09, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think that the line in the first stanza is actually "shoulda wore my wedding ring"- i.e. the protagonist should have kept his wedding ring on rather than stepping out on his wife on those 15 nights/16 days.

    tetsuo29on December 31, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I love the line "got a bible and a rosary, God I wish that you were close to me, guess I owe you an apology..." also, "I can't sleep when the bed sheet fights its way back to your side" - funny. Not real sure about the meaning of this song, except that it must be a marraige on the rocks, and maybe it's going to be 16 days until he sees her again... And he needs to come to terms with his commitment in that time...

    leighannh2on May 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    GREAT SONG!

    TiOon November 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I think it"s autobiographical. It's about being on the road and playing gigs/shows. He maybe cheats on his wife/girl , or jus wishes he didn't have to live this life.(the touring musician)and feels strongly emotional about the whole thing. Guilty too. 16 Days Got sixteen days One for every time I've gone awayOne for every time I should have stayedShould have wore my wedding ring Got sixteen days Fifteen of those are nightsCan't sleep when the bed sheet fightsIt's way back to your side

    RichardAllenon August 20, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It came to me once as I listened to this song in my sober house bed 11 days sober in my twin sized bunk bed, thinking about how just a few weeks before I was home with my love in bed and now she doesn’t want me. 16 days came on and it felt like he was singing about my situation. He might be 16 days sober, chose booze/drugs over his marriage and now he’s left without either one and just wants her back. Sometimes he sings “bottle and a rosary”, like he’s newly sober praying not to drink.

    Gratefuldeadjgbon December 20, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    @jsb_arizona. I couldn’t agree with you more! you know I had a tumultuous relationship that I was fortunate to get out of with an older man twice my age, I’ve been in many relationships and I’m only 30. What I had realized is that he spent so much time being so angry at his ex-wife making excuses for why he had cheated on her, and being so prideful about his mistakes, that he still loved her and would never admit it so, I got out of that relationship. and the age difference would never have worked and most importantly I did not love him I was never in love with him to begin with. I hope he realizes he still loves her. I think deep down he knows it. The song really hits home with me regarding him. I hope it doesn’t take a catastrophe for him to see it. He really hurt her. He did so much wrong to her but to this day he maintains he’s the innocent. ( on the surface only) because on the inside he knows that’s not true and now so do I. He’s an extremely stubborn and angry man when it comes to her ( another sign of love) unfortunately it would take something tragic like this for him to ask for her forgiveness of what he has done to her otherwise he would never admit it but he should be begging for her forgiveness of what he has done to her and their children it is absolutely unforgivable. All she has ever done is loved him and been there for him and cared for him her entire life and for that I pray for his forgiveness in itself. She’s acted crazy at times but I am positive he has caused unimaginable pain to her ( as my parents tell me) to make an otherwise meek and quiet woman mad. Sad

    Stephaniejoneson May 28, 2022   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I’ve heard a couple of theories about what this song meaning is. The two I believe are the best are his wife is dying and he talks about how he has 16 days till her death and is talking about all his mistakes he made and how he wishes he wouldn’t have cheated on her like when he says “one for every time I shoulda stayed” when he says “got a bible and a rosary” he’s at the rosary in the hospital trying to make amends and when he says “I got 16 days it’s like before I hang” he’s saying when she passes he will join her by taking his own life.the other theory is he’s on death row talking about his relationship with his wife and when he says the “I got 16 days like before I hang” he’s saying he has 16 days before they hang him. They’re both very good theories to me and I believe the song can be interpreted either way and still make sense.

    Hatdenon July 17, 2023   Link

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