Does he kiss your eyelids in the morning when you start to raise your head?
And does he sing to you incessantly from the space between your bed and wall?
Does he walk around all day at school with his feet inside your shoes?
Looking down every few steps to pretend he walks with you
Oh, does he know that place below your neck that is your favorite to be touched?
And does he cry through broken sentences like I love you far too much?
Does he lay awake listening to your breath?
Worried that you smoke too many cigarettes
Is he coughing now on a bathroom floor?
For every speck of tile there's a thousand more
That you won't ever see but most hold inside yourself eternally.

Well, I drug your ghost across the country and we plotted out my death
In every city, memories would whisper, "Here is where you rest"
I was determined in Chicago but I dug my teeth into my knees
And I settled for a telephone and sang into your machine

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

And I kissed a girl with a broken jaw that her father gave to her
She had eyes bright enough to burn me, they reminded me of yours
And in a story told she was a little girl in a red-rouge sun-bruised field
And there were rows of ripe tomatoes where a secret was concealed
And it rose like thunder, clapped under our hands
And it stretched for centuries to a diary entry's end where I wrote

"You make me happy" (whoa) oh, when the skies are gray
"You make me happy" (whoa) The skies are gray and gray and gray

Well the clock's heart it hangs inside its open chest with its hands
Stretched towards the calendar hanging itself
But I will not weep for those dying days
For all the ones who have left there are a few that stayed
And they found me here and pulled me from the grass where I was laid


Lyrics submitted by PLANES

The Calendar Hung Itself... Lyrics as written by Conor Oberst

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Calendar Hung Itself . . . song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

177 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    General Comment

    I agree with the last comment, it is about moving on - in the beginning he is mad with jealousy of his lost love's new boyfriend and he doesn't believe that he knows her as well as he used to. As he realizes that he can never win her back, he becomes suicidal and travels across the country with her ghost (= the memory of her), re-experiencing memories on the way. The use of "drug" instead of "dragged" could mean that he uses drugs and then her ghost grows stronger ("WE plotted out my death", i.e. drug addict Conor and the ghost). Then he has second thoughts and digs his teeth into his knees (yes, I think that's litterally) and calls the lost love. Later on he tries to forget the girl by being with another girl, an abused girl ("a broken jaw that her father gave to her"). I have no idea about the meaning of the tomato thing, but since the secret concealed in the tomato field (which could be something that happened there, it doesn't have to be a buried thing) only stretched to the diary entry's end - maybe Conor reveals it in this entry?

    Someone said the "calendar" and "clock" are in fact people killing themselves. Don't think so. I think the meaning of that verse is just that the time (i.e. calendar/clock) when he was with her is slipping further and further away (= dying, the calendar of that time is hanging itself). But in the end he decides that he can't be trapped in the past ("But I will not weep for those dying days") and he realizes there are other people in the world than that girl, and they help him to recover from his heartache. So, as much as it is a song about missing someone, it is a song about moving on and appreciating what you have left.

    goffabollon August 15, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    just one of those songs that make you go..."yeah..that's exactly what i wanna say" .....man i gotta stop posting tonight..haha

    no_truston April 26, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Does he know that place below your neck that is your favorite to be touched and does he cry through broken sentences like I love you far too much?...I love that line...it's so beautiful just as every Bright Eyes song is. Connor is simply a lyrical genius.

    Sweetygal16on May 24, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    My god thats a terrible idea... Slow down this powerhouse of anger and tension and exploding long-bottled emotion? And Bright Eyes' best uptempo song at that? Well, while I suppose it would be interesting to hear Calendar in an alternate, slower version, I cant envision that pacified (castrated?) version ever surpassing this barreling, shambling, glorious wreck of a song ever. Ever.

    Yoshiidinoon June 07, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Now this is a really good song.

    weezerific:cutleryon November 25, 2001   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    this is my favorite song on "fevers and mirrors." gives me goosebumps.

    fiverbunny9on January 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    bright eyes kicks ass

    angelgarbageon May 06, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    hmm i think the beginning of this song is about him asking his ex if her new boyfirend does all the things he did when they were dating. kind of like hes saying "is he really as good of a boyfriend as i was?" but i dont really understand the rest of the song. the part where he talks about her ghost is most likely about how he cant get her off his mind and everything reminds him of her. like her 'ghost' follows him. i just dont see how the rest of the song has anything to do with that though. like the part about the clock and the calendar? i dont understand that at all<p><b><i>Edited by mellow_harsher on July 25 2006, at 03:56AM</i></b></p>

    LucyyNtheSkyyon July 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Kay, my two cents:

    First, the premise is that the narrator's in love with a girl who has someone else (whether it's an ex or not isn't very relevant XD)

    "Does he kiss your eyelids in the morning When you start to raise your head? And does he sing to you incessantly From the space between your bed and wall? Does he walk around all day at school With his feet inside your shoes? Looking down every few steps To pretend he walks with you Oh, does he know that place below your neck That's your favorite to be touched And does he cry through broken sentences Like, "I love you far too much"? Does he lay awake listening to your breath Worried that you smoke too many cigarettes?"

    Basically, he's saying "Can he treat you like I can? Like you should be treated?"

    "Is he coughing now on a bathroom floor? For every speck of tile there's a thousand more You won’t ever see but must hold inside yourself eternally"

    I think this is him trying to kill himself. Basically, bathrooms are a pretty common place for suicide XD And the "for every speck of tile there's a thousand more" might be some sort of reference to how he feels like he can't get out. Basically he's saying that the tiles are so incredibly expansive he can't possibly find his way out.

    "Well, I drug your ghost across the country And we plotted out my death In every city, memories would whisper "Here is where you rest" I was determined in Chicago But I dug my teeth into my knees And I settled for a telephone Sang into your machine: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine You are my sunshine, my only sunshine" "

    I think this is him leaving, and trying again to kill himself. And in Chicago, he finally decided he was going to do it, but instead he just decided to talk to her to settle his grief.

    "And I kissed a girl with a broken jaw That her father gave to her She had eyes bright enough to burn me They reminded me of yours"

    This one I think is saying he met a girl who was in misery of some sort (probably abuse), and he felt bad for her, but she reminded him of the girl he's writing to (She could maybe have a similar situation)

    "In a story told she was a little girl In a red-rouge, sun-bruised field And there were rows of ripe tomatoes Where a secret was concealed And it rose like thunder, clapped under our hands. And it stretched for centuries to a diary entry’s end Where I wrote: You make me happy (Right) When skies are gray You make me happy (Right) Oh, when skies are gray and gray and gray"

    This part, I can only think that perhaps he's saying that even though he's so mind-numbingly depressed (and suicidal) because he can't have her, she's still the only one that can lift his spirits, despite the fact that it's because of her he feels this way.

    "Well the clock’s heart it hangs inside it's open chest With it's hands stretched towards the calendar hanging itself But I will not weep for those dying days For all the ones who left, there's a few that stayed And they found me here and pulled me from the grass Where I was laid"

    And this part I think he's saying that basically, time is passing, and he's not even one step closer to having her for his own, but because there's still time, he has hope to garner her affection for himself one day, and this idea is what gets him back on his feet.

    Ozzy460on March 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I agree with the last comment, it is about moving on - in the beginning he is mad with jealousy of his lost love's new boyfriend and he doesn't believe that he knows her as well as he used to. As he realizes that he can never win her back, he becomes suicidal and travels across the country with her ghost (= the memory of her), re-experiencing memories on the way. The use of "drug" instead of "dragged" could mean that he uses drugs and then her ghost grows stronger ("WE plotted out my death", i.e. drug addict Conor and the ghost). Then he has second thoughts and digs his teeth into his knees (yes, I think that's litterally) and calls the lost love. Later on he tries to forget the girl by being with another girl, an abused girl ("a broken jaw that her father gave to her"). I have no idea about the meaning of the tomato thing, but since the secret concealed in the tomato field (which could be something that happened there, it doesn't have to be a buried thing) only stretched to the diary entry's end - maybe Conor reveals it in this entry?

    Someone said the "calendar" and "clock" are in fact people killing themselves. Don't think so. I think the meaning of that verse is just that the time (i.e. calendar/clock) when he was with her is slipping further and further away (= dying, the calendar of that time is hanging itself). But in the end he decides that he can't be trapped in the past ("But I will not weep for those dying days") and he realizes there are other people in the world than that girl, and they help him to recover from his heartache. So, as much as it is a song about missing someone, it is a song about moving on and appreciating what you have left.

    goffabollon August 15, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
When We Were Young
Blink-182
This is a sequel to 2001's "Reckless Abandon", and features the band looking back on their clumsy youth fondly.
Album art
Punchline
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran sings about missing his former partner and learning important life lessons in the process on “Punchline.” This track tells a story of battling to get rid of emotions for a former lover, whom he now realized might not have loved him the same way. He’s now caught between accepting that fact and learning life lessons from it and going back to beg her for another chance.
Album art
Amazing
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran tells a story of unsuccessfully trying to feel “Amazing.” This track is about the being weighed down by emotional stress despite valiant attempts to find some positivity in the situation. This track was written by Ed Sheeran from the perspective of his friend. From the track, we see this person fall deeper into the negative thoughts and slide further down the path of mental torment with every lyric.
Album art
Page
Ed Sheeran
There aren’t many things that’ll hurt more than giving love a chance against your better judgement only to have your heart crushed yet again. Ed Sheeran tells such a story on “Page.” On this track, he is devastated to have lost his lover and even more saddened by the feeling that he may never move on from this.