I still remember that time when we were dancing
We were dancing to a song that I'd heard
Your face was simple and your hands were naked
I was singing without knowing the words
But I started listening to the wolves in the timber
Wolves in the timber at night
I heard their songs when I looked in the mirror
In the howls and the moons round my eyes

[Chorus]
So long, so high
So long, so high
So long, so high
So long

Then winter came and there was little left between us
Skin and bones of love won't make a meal
I felt my eyes lifting over your shoulder
There were wolves at the edge of the field
But I still remember that time when we were dancing
We were dancing to a song that I'd heard
Your face was simple and your hands were naked
I was singing without knowing the words

[Chorus]

Then one day I just woke up
And the wolves were all there
Wolves in the piano
Wolves underneath the stairs
Wolves inside the hinges
Circling round my door
At night inside the bedsprings
Clicking cross the floor
I don't know how they found me
I'll never know quite how
I still can't believe they heard me
That I was howling out that loud

[Chorus]

At times in the frozen nights I go roaming
In the bed she used to share with me
I wake in the fields with the cold and the lonesome
The moon's the only face that I see
But I still remember that time when we were dancing
We were dancing to a song that I'd heard
Your face was simple and your hands were naked
I was singing without knowing the words

[Chorus]


Lyrics submitted by EffulgentEnnui

Wolves Lyrics as written by Josh Ritter

Lyrics © Songtrust Ave, DUCHAMP, INC

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Wolves song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI feel it's not just temptation or jealousy, it's both these things and other things. The wolves are all the doubts and problems and negative things in a relationship.
    "I started listening to the wolves in the timber" when he starts listening to the doubts in his mind.

    "Then winter came and there was little left between us
    Skin and bones of love won't make a meal
    I felt my eyes lifting over your shoulder
    There were wolves at the edge of the field" -Winter just means any hard time, here, probably a time of financial difficulty. The wolves come closer, all he has to do is look away from her for a moment.

    "One day I just woke up and the wolves were all there" - his doubts are everywhere. At the end of the song he's lost her and he's made up only of his doubts, all the negative things.
    faithlesskisson August 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am taking a shot at the dark on this one. My best guess is that "wolves" represent lingering feelings of jealousy. Wolves possessed him and broke up their relationship; he became jealous, a wolf, himself; and now he roams like a wolf in search of another lover, but still thinks of her.
    stoolhardyon August 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwolves= lonesome memories. that's it
    jpw1019on January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy impression was that the wolves in the song signified temptation. Now he has lonesome memories of his old lover.
    honeybee77on March 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line 'I felt my eyes lifting over your shoulder' does sound like it symbolizes his eyes looking over the shoulder of his partner to look at another woman. I agree with the temptation theory.
    Qaddoshon July 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line 'I felt my eyes lifting over your shoulder' does sound like it symbolizes his eyes looking over the shoulder of his partner to look at another woman. I agree with the temptation theory.
    Qaddoshon July 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI almost feel that it's about a fear of intimacy. He's looking back on a time when he was content and in love, but then came the fear (the wolves) and he just couldn't overcome it.
    SkinnyMarieon February 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems to me that "your hands were naked" refers to "before we were engaged" - the song is about more than a mere breakup, but a broken engagement.
    Embassyon May 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo while I can understand where most of the thoughts on intimacy are coming from, I wonder the following:

    The lyrics "singing without knowing the words" stick out to me... while all the time, the wolves are getting closer, he is getting further and further from the one he is dancing with.

    What if he was going along with the relationship (dancing) without really knowing what he was doing (singing without knowing the words), and reality (the wolves?) continued getting closer and closer until realization came that he was not in the right place (woke up in the morning and they had arrived). He was obviously showing or voicing signs (howling- the wolves heard him) whether or not he knew it.

    Perhaps this is of a relationship that is complacent and continuing but sooner or later, (perhaps in this instance, before an engagement or marriage- the hands being naked, that is?) reality hits (wolves advancing) and the 'dance' is over.
    listen38on June 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with most posts here. I see the wolves as his "wild and free" side. Or even the part of him that fears being tied down with commitment. I see it as similar to what Chris O'Donnell went through in The Bachelor with the wild horse visions. The wolves are out there almost beckoning him to run with them and be one of them instead of being fixed in a relationship that he is having more than just second thoughts about.
    lildave151on August 25, 2008   Link

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