"Forest Families" as written by Karin Elizabeth Dreijer Andersson and Olof Bjorn Dreijer....
Too far away from the city
Some kids left on their own
They said we had a communist in the family
I had to wear a mask

Too far away from the city
We had to make this room
Fathers were football players, Volvo workers, policemen
What the mothers did I didn't know

Music tonight
I just want your music tonight

I saw her by the organ
She was laughing while pressing the keys
She said my favourite book was dirty and
You should not show you can read

Too far away from the city
We never heard its noise
We learned how to stay fit and things like
Green tones hide the blush

Music tonight
I just want your music tonight
Music tonight
I just want your music tonight

Too far away from the city
We came to breathe clean air
Nature lovers' safe oasis
And the mothers walked towards the forest

Music tonight
I just want your music tonight
Music tonight
I just want your music tonight

Lyrics submitted by dolcecars, edited by http://www.accountkiller.com/rem, Johnnyboy1973, uselessaffluence

"Forest Families" as written by Olof Bjorn Dreijer Karin Elizabeth Dreijer Andersson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Forest Families song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentSome corrections:

    "some kids left on their own"
    "we had to make us room"
    "football players, Volvo workers, policemen"
    "I saw her by the organ"
    "you should not show you can read"
    "nature lovers' safe oasis"
    destroyalltacoson November 30, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti personally thinks it's about feminism.. like the lyrics "Fathers were football players, formal works, policemen
    What the mothers did I didn't know",
    and "We learned how to stay fit and things like
    Green-tones hide the blush" and in the end "Nature left a safe oasis
    And the mothers walked towards the forest". like how they breake free or something.. but that's maybe just my wievs...
    spangspangon February 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me this song is highlighting the differences between growing up in the country and the city while focussing on themes of feminism, liberalism and change.

    I think it's a story where the narrator is singing about her childhood through which she felt misplaced and alone in a right-wing, country dwelling family (hence the title). She's left the country and family now and lives in the city.

    Ok so first of all you have this "TOO far away from the city". That makes it sound bad, too backward, too isolated. Then in the first verse "They said we have a communist in the family/I had to wear a mask". She has to hide the fact that she's liberal. You know how right-wing people often label left-wing people as communist? She has to suppress her liberality for fear of her family finding out. Also in the first verse you're told that she doesn't live there anymore "Some kids left on their own".

    Next verse, obvious feminist ideas coming through. The men in the family all have jobs, specifically jobs traditionally considered as 'manly' jobs, the women seem to the narrator to be fussing about the house "What the mothers did I didn't know". That line is echoed in a later verse when "The mothers walked towards the forest". More on that in a bit :P

    Then the chorus, to me the chorus is a flick back to the present. In between her retelling of the story she seeks to find comfort in what is new, she wants the music played by what is perhaps a lover? Perhaps the city? Perhaps they're both the same thing?

    The first two lines of the next verse I take to be about the narrator's mother. The first two lines I imagine to be about her having sex, her daughter sees her and she is laughing while she does it, maybe this is a point about the debasing of women, but something tells me The Knife isn't quite as radical as that. Either way she views an act considered by much (too much!) of society to be dirty, but this person turns around and says that SHE is the one who is dirty for reading books, and for being an intelligent woman. Maybe she is trying to make the point that in order for men to like you and have sex with you, "You should not show you can read".

    Next verse, maybe just illustrating how far away the city seemed. "Green-tones hide the blush", not sure about that line. Maybe green tone to cover up her happiness at certain things, part of her mask? Green-tones because green is the colour of illness on a face but also a colour associated with nature/the country.

    In the last verse, the country is portrayed as something good. I think this verse might be telling us WHY the mothers did that to themselves. They wanted clean air, a safe oasis so they walked towards the forest not realising quite how malicious the forest and country ways of life can be.

    This is obviously all just interpretation, different things fit for different people. This fits for me because I can very much relate to the narrator's point of view...
    poweroutageon August 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionOk I'll make an attempt with this. Some of the prior post are on the right track. Americans have no concept of politics like the Europeans do. During the Cold War Sweden was "nuetral". The government secretly made deals with the U.S. and most Swedish citizens were concerned with the Soviet Union invading so they had a healthy fear of communism although there were some serious leftist movements in Sweden at the time.

    Ok with that said I believe Karin Dreijer was a child in the late 70's early 80's. Her music seems to have a theme within the occult and paganism. Swedes have deep pagan pantheist roots. This is all conjecture from here on but perhaps the lyrics are telling a story of a group of people living outside of society as pagans who worship with nature. This being disconcerting to "polite" christian society perhaps led people to accuse the group of being Communist sympathizers, siting their communal living as proof. They would disguise themselves so they could hide who they were from those accusers. This in turn led them deeper in the forest and into hiding.

    Music tonight
    I just want your music tonight

    We all need music to help lift our spirits during trying times.
    Equality10371on October 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno ones commented on this yet besides corrections? this song is probably my favorite from all the album..

    the real meaning is probably a lot more cryptic, but having grown up in and still living in a very rural and beautiful area, to me thats what this song is about
    sithieon May 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about a certain swedish mentality that basically says "You shouldn't think you are someone". Like if someone drives a really nice car in the US people think "What a cool guy!". In swden people tend to think more like "What a tax-dodger..." The ones that dare to show they think they're good at something often get made fun of or become outsiders.
    westoston June 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs said by westost you can relate to the swedish mentality of conformity in the lines "you shouldn't show you can read" and "We learned how to stay fit and things like Green-tones hide the blush," but my theory is that this has a lot to do with the 70's movement "gröna vågen" (=the green wave) in which many people with radical leftist views moved out of the cities to start selfsufficient societies on their own, hence: "They said we have a communist in the family."

    This is just a theory, and can also just be a part of the story. The true mentality of gröna vågen was that one shouldn't use a monetary system, which is contradicted by the line with volvo workers and football players ect.
    Casiotoneon June 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHaving read westost's and Casiotone's interpretations, which really helped me to come to my conclusion, I think that they're satirizing fanaticism. I'm imagining a 13 or 14 year old girl here. She's grown up "safely" in the country, protected. Her parents (or since "mothers" are mentioned a couple of times here, her father) have demonized the city, and though she may like living in the country, she also just wants to dance ("I just want your music tonight.") It's about control (having to wear a mask, TOO far away from the city, etc.), and about the perils of being extremist, and how sometimes when we think we're "protecting" others, we're hurting them. And there are overtones of the consequences of taking your beliefs too far: "and the mothers walked toward the forest."
    nanobodyon February 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is kind of like an Anne Frank sentiment after all
    honeygloon April 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song always makes me think about the spanish civil war and the republican fighters who had to hide themselves and their families. But that's just my association, don't think it's the right interpretation.
    Stonie_Stonsenon May 14, 2008   Link

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