"Danny Callahan" as written by and Conor Oberst....
Green world, love the chloroform.
Front porch in the thunderstorm.
Controlled chaos, confused energy.

So stop reading the weather charts.
Stop counting the playing cards.
There's no system, there's no guarantee
That the love you feel and carry inside can be passed.
But you try, I know you do you still talk
To your plans.
Ask how are you getting on alone?

Some wander the wilderness,
Some drink cosmopolitans.
Some cold science, some glean astro-planes.
I can't tell where the canvas stops,
Homesick as an astronaut.
Just keep drifting, but still can't explain.
How the love we feel we carry inside can be passed.
See a brother in the gutter you reach out your hand.
Ask how are you getting on alone?

What gauge measures miracles?
And whose heartbeat's electrical?
We feign sickness with our modern joy.
But even Western medicine,
It couldn't save Danny Callahan.
Bad bone marrow, a bald little boy.
But the love he feels he carries inside can be passed.
He lay still,
His mother kissed him goodbye, said 'comeback.'
Where are you going to alone?
Where are you going all alone?

Lyrics submitted by lovenothing__

"Danny Callahan" as written by Conor Oberst

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Danny Callahan song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +6
    General CommentThis was published in "The Independent" on July 18, 2008.

    His songs can be touchingly compassionate, and it takes skill to honour the life of a child cancer patient with the kind of grace and surety Oberst manages on the new song "Danny Callahan".

    "I was walking to this liquor store and pharmacy in Nebraska with a friend of mine," he recalls when asked about the song. "Suddenly, she was like, 'Oh my God! Look at that old man sitting in that car, look at how small he is!' Of course, when we got closer we realized it was actually a little boy. It turned out he was waiting in line with his mom to get medicine, and we were there to buy vodka or something. My friend started crying, and we just went home.

    "It was just one of those life experiences that begs to be written about. It's partly about Danny, but it's also about whether or not you can transmit your experience of love to another person and whether that message remains intact when it arrives."

    Link: independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/…
    Tri_Ton July 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"but you try, I know you do, you still talk to you plants."
    chlorophyllbloodon June 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthanks Tri T, good insight. love the new album
    spiritwalkerzon August 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyou all can stop googling his name
    conor said he made up the last name, but that danny was the boy's first name
    chlorophyllbloodon August 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne song that does, Danny Callahan, is about a boy dying with "bad bone marrow". The song is about a boy Oberst met for a moment. "I don't know if that was his last name," he says. "I know it was his first name. When you write a song, the goal is not to convey the details of your life. You should write a memoir or something if that's what you're going to do. The idea is to get to a truth that is apart from the person who created it, something that anyone can look at and find something that resonates as being true – not true in the factual sense, but true in the more universal sense, a truth that you can see."
    margaret19on September 26, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've probably listened to this a couple hundred times since August. It took a while to grow on me but I love it now. I like that we have no idea what the song is about until the last verse. Makes the rest of the song mean a lot if you go back and think about it.
    qwerty202on February 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentanyone know who danny callahan is?
    a few different people come up on google but none match the description in the song.
    flippant thoughtson February 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah, i know, right? i googled him expecting to find a bunch of news stories of some dying kid, but nothing. I'm thinking it's just someone Conor personally knew, or knew of. Or perhaps he just made him up.

    I love this song a whole lot.
    NiQon February 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about a boy who has cancer and needs a bone marrow transplant. It's pretty obvious in the lyrics. Very sad song. I love it.
    Electricladyon June 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow amazing!
    this is just to good to be true!
    conor oberst is a legend! best person on earth, i mean who could put songs together like he does!
    gazsafaon June 18, 2008   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top