We've been in the rain
We've been on the mountain
We've been round the fire

In fancy hotels
Drank water from farm wells
We sang with the choir

I kissed your dry lips
We jumped off the high cliffs
And splashed down below

Skin to skin
In the salty river
Made love in the shadows
Whoa oh

Read books to each other
Read the mind of the other
Flew one thousand jets

We laughed and we cried
At movies and real life
And all our ridiculous bets

We danced in the moonlight at midnight
We pressed against back doors and wooden floors
And you never faked it

And frequently
We ignored our love
But we could never mistake it, oh oh

We met on the front porch
Fell in love on the phone
Without the physical wreck

You gave me the necklace
That used to hang
Around your mothers neck

We questioned religions
Gave bread to the pigeons
We learned how to pray

We stood by the ocean
Turned our hearts into one
We laid in bed all day, hey

We skipped on the sidewalk
Skipped stones on the water
We skipped town

We've seen the sunrise with new eyes
We've seen the damage of gossip and true lies
We've seen the sun go down

Had passionate make outs
With passionate freakouts
We built this world of our own

It was in the back of a taxi
When you told me you loved me
And that I wasn't alone


Lyrics submitted by Wispyluke

Thirteen Lyrics as written by Benjamin Kweller

Lyrics © ROUGH TRADE PUBLISHING

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Thirteen song meanings
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24 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment

    from an interview on babble.com:

    The song "Thirteen" is about your wife, Liz, and you've said it's your favorite on the album, but also that you used to have a hard time listening to it. Why is that?

    There are some details in there that probably sound so regular, details that might feel like any details you'd use in a little love song, but they're real personal things. The necklace Liz gave me that belonged to her mother, who died when Liz was 9, and the place where we got married. It's just us, 100%. Some of it was hard to listen to. I would drive around and listen to the early mix of the album, and that song would just make me cry. And Liz, too.

    How did you guys meet?

    We were introduced by my old bass player, and we all went back to his house one night, and Liz and I sat on his front porch and talked all night. She was going on a road trip with her friend Anna, and she told me she was coming through Texas and didn't know anyone. I said well, you have to stay with the Kwellers. And then, for the rest of that month while she was on a road trip, we talked on the phone. That's how we really got to know each other. There's a line in that song about how we fell in love on the phone.

    captainstefanieon March 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Taken from BK's Bio, atorecords.com/

    "Then there's “Thirteen” — a spare, piano ballad that Kweller considers the album's masterpiece.

    “‘Thirteen' was a breakthrough for me,” he says. “As a songwriter with pop sensibilities, you can feel pressured to always write big, sing-along choruses. Lately I find myself placing the importance on emotional content and not on standard pop technique. With “Thirteen” I just kept writing verse after verse and never felt the need for a chorus. The words carried the song home. All these emotions were pouring out of me while I was writing it. I was thinking of my wife Liz and all that we've been through in eight years. Thinking about the friends that have come and gone, the people you think you know that you don't, the curveballs life throws you, the good and the bad.” "

    In short, Thirteen is about Ben's relationship with Liz Smith (his wife).

    heartbeats_xxxon September 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I am really wondering why this song is titled "Thirteen"

    Does anyone know?

    emzy1684on January 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i really love this song, but this seems to be missing the first couple verses: "we've been in the rain we've been on the mountain we've been round the fire

    in fancy hotels drank water from farm wells we sang with the choir

    i kissed your dry lips we jumped off the high cliffs skin to skin"

    at least that's how my version starts.

    yourcocaptainon August 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i think "thirteen" is a refrence to Big Star's song of the same title. they both are really simplistic, down to earth love songs.

    with_a_shrugon January 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i just assumed it was stuff that happened to him when he was thirteen that seems a bit young for some of it maybe, but who knows

    indierocker13on January 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i actually heard ben speak about this in a recent NPR interview. he said that he originally wrote this song about his gituar. however if was unsure if the song would eventually go onto the album. then one day he was playing it to himself to figure out what he was going to do about it and his wife heard him play it and said, you should really play this about me (or something along those lines) so in the end yes it is about his wife, but not originally

    wesleythegreaton February 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song is about a love ben kweller has had, and i think it is titled thirteen because he probably feels like his is 13 again when he is with her

    bebegirl24680on February 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is absolutely beautiful. My boyfriend played this on the piano and sang it to me for my Valentine's Day present this year. I'll always love this song. It's so honest and raw and full of love. It's so special. His wife is one lucky woman.

    walkintotheseaon March 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i now love this song so much, just discovered it in my library. it's so pretty and simple and earnest, and i like the little details. he let's you just experience everything with him, and doesn't attempt to find deep philosophies or anything. now his wife has inspired what are in my opinion, his two best songs (the other is lizzy). I love Ben Kweller.

    woobinon March 24, 2007   Link

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