All eyes on the calendar
Another year I claim of total indifference
To here, the days pile up
With decisions to be made
I'm sure all of them were wrong

Into this song I send myself
And with these drinks I plan to collapse
And forget this wasted year, these wasted years
Devoted friends, they disappear

And I'm sorry about the phone call and needing you
Some decisions you don't make
I guess it's just like breathing and not wanting to
Yeah, there are some things you can't fake

Well, I guess that it's typical
To cling to memories you'll never get back again
And to sort through old photographs
Of a summer long ago
Or a friend that you used to know
And there below his frozen face
You wrote the name and that ancient date
And you can't believe that he's really gone
When all that's left is a fucking song

And I'm sorry about the phone call and waking you
I know that it is late
But thank you for talking, because I needed to
Some things just can't wait


Lyrics submitted by PLANES, edited by AtlDynasty25

Happy Birthday to Me (Feb. 15) Lyrics as written by Conor Oberst Oberst

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Happy Birthday to Me (Feb. 15) song meanings
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  • +3
    General Comment

    Feb 15th is actually Conor's Birthday. So, I am guessing its about how he is getting older, how he wishes he could do things differently, and how, as he grows older, his friends keep disappearing and moving on - leaving him alone. On this particular birthday he is thinking about all of this and decides to call an old friend because he is feeling really depressed (maybe even suicidal- AND he is drinking, of course!), he has not talked to this friend in awhile. He didn't want to need this friend but there are somethings you have no control over, so he calls him up. He talks about how you can't help but cling to the memories and how it makes you feel 83492487 worse because you will never be able to get them back. He looks at old photographs and remembers his friends (maybe one of them even died??? - not sure) - and the only thing that is left of this all - is a song. (Feb 15th) It will live forever in time, it will never die or disappear. Then he returns to talking to the friend saying that he is sorry for waking him/her because he just really needed to talk about all of this. The end. - I could be wrong though.

    JustGreenEnvyon September 27, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    i saw this song live on the last night of the 'fevers' eoropean tour in Dublin. it was the last song of a long (and spectacular) night, and front of the stage was covered in empty glasses from the audience. conor got so into the song that on every beat, he would pick up a glass and smash it off the floor. the emphasis and intensity had us mesmerised as bits of glass flew everywhere. the man gave his heart and soul on stage. i've never seen someone sing something with such conviction. this is what music is all about. then on the lifted tour we shared a spliff with the band while they performed. that was cool too.

    witty_referenceon July 05, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is only my thought, but after seeing him sing this song with Neely Jenkins (former O'Hara?) in Pittsburgh, i think I know what this song is about.

    As some of you have pointed out, (specifically JustGreenEnvy) this is about him on his birthday, and reflecting on the past, and wondering why everyone's left him and what not. I think, specifically, Neely. At the show, after the song, he hugged her, and it seemed like he wasn't about to let go. It's like he wrote that song about calling her, and talking to her after so long.

    My brother and I came up with the idea that Neely might also be Conor's biggest regret. (as in, he may have let her go in a relationship, and now he can't get her back)

    Steven Esquireon May 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    happy birthday

    bright eyes burn meon January 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i love this song, its great!

    PuNkGrL310on May 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    wow this song is sooo good i love it BRIGHT EYES ROX MY SOX

    babyMEon June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    the girl and guy dont sound together but it sounds good if you think about the words and picture them in different places but with same experience.. yeah im deep... the song reminds me of a sad story i know and a specail date to me aug 11 that is

    kgimbroneon July 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think this song is about someone's death. Like the repressed their feeling for so long, but the anniversary of their death bought all of the memories back. I also think that he was suicidal and was calling someone for support. Maybe I'm wrong...

    fmcon August 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i feel that this song is really underrated. it has such beautiful imagery. it helps when you're feeling like shit.

    agenda_suicideon September 16, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I love this song, thought it took a bit of time for me to get into it, but it's great, poignant lyrics, typical BE. It's really quite depressing, but in such a beautiful way. There's almost little glimmers of hope occasionally with lines, and it ends quite neutrally, with

    "but thank you for talking because i needed to some things just can't wait"

    as if something had finally been resolved in his mind. Feb 15th, the day after Valentine's Day...any connection, like some sort of disappointment after not receiving a card from someone? Who knows?

    Potassium_Nitrateon September 25, 2002   Link

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