"Riches and Wonders" as written by and John Darnielle....
We live high our love gorges on the alcohol we feed it
And it grows all fat and friendly
We have surplus if we need it
We hold on as hard as we can
Our knuckles are white
We write letters to each other, invent secrets to confess to
I learn foreign and exotic terms of endearment by which to address you
We feed fresh fruit to one another
We stay up all night
I am healthy, I am whole, but I have poor impulse control
And I want to go home
But I am home

We are strong, we are faithful
We are guardians of a rare thing
We pay close careful attention to the news the morning air brings
We show great loyalty to the hard times we've been through
We are filled with riches and wonders
Our love keeps the things it finds
And we dance like drunken sailors, lost at sea out of our minds
You find shelter somewhere in me
I find great comfort in you
And I keep you safe from harm
You hold me in your arms, and I want to go home
But I am home


Lyrics submitted by silverstars, edited by Elembis

"Riches and Wonders" as written by John Darnielle

Lyrics © PACIFIC ELECTRIC MUSIC

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Riches and Wonders song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commenti think both individuals have real feelings of love for one another, but it seems like they're trying a little too hard to build something more expansive out of it -- it's like they use an equation to achieve the best possible result, but the love that comes from it isn't organic.

    they try as hard as they can to make things grander than they really are; inventing secrets, learning new ways to say "i love you" -- they use these techniques and act carefully in order to not disrupt the thing they've been building. it makes me think of love as a plant they've been fertilizing and pruning until it becomes a beautiful, but carefully orchestrated, thing.

    "and i want to go home / but i am home" makes me think maybe the narrator realizes that even though their love works in a mathematical way, all of the extra work and awareness makes it less satisfying. he doesn't feel like the space they've built is really home, but acknowledges that it's supposed to be, so he has to reign in his "poor impulse control" and keep working to maintain things.

    overall, i think things are wonderful on the surface, and even emotionally to an extent, but also that there's an underlying sense of dissatisfaction that peeks through and makes the song less idyllic than it first seems.
    yourtwowinterson July 20, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentJD once said about this song - "He really loves the person he's talking to, but at the same time he will never be entirely comfortable with anyone, and it's really terrible" - I'm not sure that's the complete quote but it is pretty close.
    So I think this reflects that the guy in the song has to "learn" terms of endearment and "invent" secrets - he loves this person but he can't express it naturally so he feels he has to come up with ways to do it.
    Also the "I want to go home/ but I am home". He knows he belongs with this person, he really loves her, but not being able to be natural and comfortable with her separates him from her, when she=home and where he truly belongs, and he really "wants" to be able to be comfortable with her.
    He is with her, he is home, but he knows he is not truly with her, because she loves him in addition to the foreign and exotic and secrets.
    But I'm also betting that she knows and is exactly the same with him, because of the "we" that he uses. So they have that at least.
    thegreengeckoon February 17, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song may be about a long distance love. People who only see each other once in a while, and have hard times. He wants to go home to her, but he is stuck at his home, somewhere else. The y pay close attention to the news, to see if they can be together to stay, and they are loyal even though they are far. I think he is picking out the moments they are together and wishing he could go home to her.
    heypenon July 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA wonderfully terrible song. Only the last two lines of each verse even clarify how depressing it is. It's about the narrorator, who loves the person he's speaking to, but can never seem to get comfortable with anybody. Hence the "and I want to go home, but I am home." I'm guessing they're married, and he's homesick of course. Homesick of what his life used to be, but he certainly couldn't give up this person he loves with all his heart.
    Mistar_Glasson June 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me, the only good thing in the world to these two people is their relationship. i don't read any bitterness in it all, two people wholly in love but thouroghly depressed by everything else they touch or see. i just remember sitting in the front seat of my car listening to this holding and being held by amy as we both cried. YES, that's a silly, heavy, 'morrissey' kind of moment, but hell i'm that kind of guy.
    TheEelon October 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with the eel. i don't feel any disomfort in the narrator. the secrets and exotic terms of endearment are all just things they do to show their love and even entertain each other, not some method of making things seem like something they aren't. haven't you ever had some silly game you played with your boyfriend/girlfriend?

    the most powerful line in the song, in my opinion, is "and i want to go home / but i am home". However, this isn't about homesickness or a feeling that they have a house together but not a "home". i see this more as a statement that, while this couple have had some "hard times" together, perhaps leaving them without a physical "home" to speak of, he (the narrator) stil has an emotional home in his partner. Sort of a "home is where the heart is" kind of thing. maybe the line is presented in that manner to give a sense of realization, as if he sings the first half then, in the moment, realizes and says that he is home.
    jackthegiantkilleron September 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "i want to go home/but i am home" line is clearly the key. And here is what it means (at least to me). It is not about a house, or an actual physical place. The first part is about the metaphysical "home," where you feel safe. It is about the place where you are taken care of, with people who love and will protect you. The second part is the fact that the metaphysical "home" does not exist, or at least is impossible to get to, and we have to settle for where we are.
    noydbyjon March 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't really explain what this song means to me, but it's one of the realest love songs I've ever heard.
    aziraphaleon April 15, 2009   Link

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