Won't you smile, you look so shocked
Put the name tag on your smock
We've come to see you, Eddie Walker

We may pack a little tight, the girl up front says, it's alright
And look there's more of us still getting off the bus
We wish you'd come back home with us
Eddie Walker, this is your life

This ones you when you were small
And you're learnin' how to walk
They'd pick you up and you keep falling down

There you are with Aunt Louise, you're bouncing on her knees
Remember all those trees behind the garden
They're gone, oh, they all got cut down when she died

Eddie Walker, this is your life, you never had a son or a wife
You sure had a hell of a time, oh, Eddie Walker, this is your life

This one's you and Mary Jo
Well, she couldn't come, she says, hello
No, Eddie Walker and she doesn't hate your guts
It's just the whole thing's shook her up
How they picked you up and you kept falling down

Eddie Walker, this is your life, no, Eddie Walker, this is your life
You never had a coat or a tie, you never had a reason to cry

An' this whole stack and all of these
Are just a mist or overseas
We're gonna leave you, Eddie Walker

Lyrics submitted by kevin

Eddie Walker Lyrics as written by Ben Folds Folds

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Eddie Walker song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI always took "No, Eddie Walker, she doesn't hate your guts." to mean that she forgave him for the things he did because she understood that they were due to his illness and beyond his control.

    "This actually was millimetres from being on the live album...".
    "It's a really old song (um, it's old to me). I wrote it about a friend. I used to visit him in a halfway home and we'd sit and look at pictures and, er, I guess some of you have been to one of those places. (audience laugh). I've told this before, but it puts it in perspective. I would have to go up to the little attic area that they'd made for him and he'd look through pictures and he'd get sick of that so he'd wanna play guitar and there was a broom with a microphone stand taped to it and he would sing this song that he wrote about his girlfriend, who had a restraining order against him (audience laughs). The song went "Vir-gin-ia, I want to touch you". It was a good song actually. He's all better now."
    Ben Fold Live in NYC 2003.
    PeterPumkinheadon March 04, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo, that's what I got from this one. The line "you keep falling down" is figurative. It means Eddie tried to get better, but he continued to relapse, probably into depression. The visitors are his friends. Mary Jo is probably his ex-girlfriend who loved him, but she cannot handle the reality of his mental health. This song is really sad in its simplicity. Nobody around Eddie - including himself - can handle the situation, but they try. Another gem from Ben, one of my all-time favorite songwriters.
    LittleBriddieon June 20, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI saw Ben Folds in concert last week with Ben Kweller and Ben Lee, he explained that this song is about a friend of his, Eddie Walker. Yes, he was in a half way house and they used to go and visit him and look at pictures and listen to him play songs about his g.f who had a restraining order against him.

    Ben Folds rocks my socks
    xxacid_rainxxon March 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard somewhere that this song is about one of Ben's friends (or someone) who admitted themself to a mental hospital. This song is about Eddie and some of his friends who have come to cheer him up going through some old photos. Could be wrong--don't know where I heard it from.
    Fish-chanon May 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEddie got better, Ben said in his solo concert. Hoorah!
    Kiameton March 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw ben in concert with Ben Kweller and Ben Lee and he explained that this song was about his friend, Eddie Walker, and yes he was in a half way house. Ben and a few friends used to go and visit him and they'd look at pictures and listen to him play music about his g/f who had a restraining order against him
    xxacid_rainxxon March 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this song was about Eddie Walker's funeral, and these are a bunch of people visiting him. And showing one of those crappy slideshows that you always see at funerals (not that I make daily trips) and kind of wrap up Edie Walker's life. But I guess I can't argue with Ben Folds himself
    Foo Ruleson September 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI concur with the previous posts about the mental hospital visit. Even before learning that Ben based this protagonist on a real friend, I pictured a sort of fallen, dissociative man in a hospital....almost like a war veteran who's not himself anymore after some kind of breakdown. I can just picture the setting...a long-term care place with lame activities for the residents who are treated almost a bit like children: "put the nametag on your smock" etc. Anyway, the song suggests that Eddie is basically a broken man. One line that I think is important is "you never had a reason to cry." There are two main reasons that people cry.....happiness and sadness. If Eddie never had a reason to cry, it's not just because he missed out on the great things life has to offer....it's also because he won't get to experience all of life's sadness either. It's like Eddie's mental breakdown led him to live in this emotional vacuum where the range of beauty of the world (including both the best and worst of times) are now beyond his grasp. And that makes the song even more bittersweet. I really identify with this song even though I'm not institutionalized. :)
    blwanton September 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBen was in a band called Majosha where Ben played drums. That band broke up and reformed without him (probably the source of the song "Army"). The reformed band (known as "Pots and Pans") included Eddie Walker.
    johnielsen08on February 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionOk, I like the line about Mary Jo, "No she couldn't come she says 'hello'...no, Eddie Walker, she dodn't hate yer guts *Fist slam*" - I think it shows that Eddie is kind of socially paranoid, and assumes everyone hates him, and gets angry about it. The singer is trying to convince him that Mary Jo doesn't hate his guts, and that none of his other friends (that he assumes hate his guts) do either, and the fist slam shows frustration, maybe on both sides, over Eddie always being afraid of people hating him, and making a big deal out of it. Anyways, I just like that little bit a lot, I guess cause I can relate a bit.
    jmcieslakon January 11, 2010   Link

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