True beautiful one
What have you gone and done
I can see all your moves are new
Tell me what did that salesman do to you

That catalog replaced
The fine mind behind your face
No human trio can compete
When that three way mirror meets your eye

On a slow night
On a slow night

How you would walk the fashion mile
Hand me down and call it style
Your boots were scratchy black
Your hat was just a hat
The lips on you were plain
The better to a kiss sustain

On a slow night
On a slow night

Lyrics submitted by tine17

On a Slow Night Lyrics as written by James Shaw Emily Haines

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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On a Slow Night song meanings
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  • +2
    My Interpretation

    True beautiful one What have you gone and done I can see all your moves are new Tell me what did that salesman do to you --The singer's acquaintance/friend (or something else once thought to be pure) is completely different from what she remembers. She's been perverted by the constant cues of what is normal, accepted, or even exemplary, given by media (salesman).

    That catalog replaced the fine mind behind your face --She's become corrupted by the lifestyle imposed by major media, replacing what was once a good mind with the same sheep attitude everyone else is content with.

    no human trio can compete when that three way mirror meets your eye --Narcissism. Self-absorption with being society's idea of perfect. When she looks at herself she becomes enthralled, further fueling her desire to fit in to the mold cut out for her by society. It's become cyclical now. She's told what to be, and when she sees her success it only encourages her more. The peer approval is like a high that no one else can beat.

    on a slow night on a slow night --Here is where I'm undecided about the meaning. The slow night may refer to times past, when she wasn't so caught up in the fickle and fast paced 'norm', or it may just be talking about nights when she has no one to appease, allowing her to remove the veil of conformity she's decided to don.

    How you would walk the fashion mile Hand me down and call it style Your boots were scratchy black Your hat was just a hat The lips on you were plain The better to a kiss sustain --And the last verse is the singer remembering how the subject used to be. She used to just live life and be herself, and to the singer she was a better person then. Her plain lips were better to kiss than the lipstick-smeared version. In other words, she liked her better before she became what everyone else told her to be. on a slow night on a slow night

    Isthianon September 25, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i thought it was about how she had a friend who was smart and intresting but she gave it up to look beautiful and be like she rather be beautiful and pep think she is dumb then be ugly and not taken seriously or paid attention too

    oac seton April 13, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think the song is a reference to the novel <i>Sister Carrie</i> by Theodore Dreiser.

    Set in the 1890s, it concerns a naive girl from rural Wisonsin goes to Chicago to make her fortune. She meets a travelling salesman called Charles Drouet who eventually seduces her. She becomes his mistress, and in the process, discovers her love of fashion, constantly desiring more and more commodities. It's a meditation on human nature and burgeoning American consumerism and the department store phenomenon. The novel ends with her as a successful actress, having jumped from her affair with Drouet to one with a prosperous bar manager, who runs away with her only to end up homeless in New York, while she lives a life of luxury.

    Even if it wasn't inspired by the novel, it always makes me think of that story, anyway.

    HappyKittyon August 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i think this song is about a friend who become a model. she thinks that her friend was prettier, and more interesting when she was normal so to speak.

    "That catalogue replaced the fine mind behind your face" - The industry has made her boring and unintellegent.

    "Your hat was just a hat " - It was just a normal hat; not a gucci or prada hat. She has been taken over by fasion hierarchy.

    The rest is more or less self-explanitory.

    indignityon November 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I don't think this song is about a friend who became a model, although it is a VERY good analogy and idea. I myself, couldn't come up with that. I think the song is about being sold false hope and being oblivious to reality. For instance, the line that says "tell me what did that salesman do to you" and the next part about the catalogue imply to being sold false hope and being led to believe in certain things although the don't necessarily mean anything to you. The three-way mirror to me describes reality, how no one can lead you on when reality becomes clear to you. (human trio competing against a three-way mirror) The three-way mirror would show the actual intentions of the trio. Walking the fashion mile is following the rest of the world, and the hand me down would be the thoughts of others, that keep getting recycled, and the originality and self-thought is gone. This is just my interpretation of the song, but I do believe in a way it makes sense. The model analogy also makes great sense. Both are quite valid in my opinion. The song itself is amazing. It's even better live.

    mrs_chainsawon March 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is my favourite metric song! i'm seeing them on the first of april and i really can't wait.

    megsbeeon February 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "Your a hat was just a hat"

    I smiled when i heard this. Wicked song.

    nkp1988on January 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i agree with the model idea. and wat is the significance of "on a slow night" ?? i get most of the song except for that :)

    dustybreezeon April 10, 2008   Link

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