"On Melancholy Hill" as written by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett....
Up on melancholy hill
There's a plastic tree
Are you here with me
Just looking out on the day
Of another dream

Well you can't get what you want
But you can get me
So let's set out to sea
'Cause you are my medicine
When you're close to me
When you're close to me

So call in the submarines
'Round the world will go
Does anybody know her
If we're looking out on the day
Of another dream

If you can't get what you want
Then you come with me

Up on melancholy hill
Sits a manatee
Just looking out for the day
When you're close to me
When you're close to me

When you're close to me

Lyrics submitted by rhinestoneeyes, edited by 23Tonality, Mbtravis99, dingjob, Pyrocrastinate, itsEdh

"On Melancholy Hill" as written by Jamie Hewlett Damon Albarn

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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On Melancholy Hill song meanings
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  • +28
    General CommentIn my opinion, this song is about two lonely people in love with someone they cant have. they console each other up on melancholy hill, which can be both a place and a state of mind.
    the plastic tree is something organic that has been made fake, in that sense, despite they're not who theyd like to be with, it is at least 'medication'.
    toward the end of the song, the main character decides that instead of pursuing what he cant have, he falls in love with the other person.

    or whatever...
    Hydroxiouson March 10, 2010   Link
  • +21
    Song MeaningMy two cents:
    This is a song about falling back from disappointment and wasting time with a familiar vice, bad habit or addiction. Think video games, porn, drinking, smoking pot or some other pleasurable idle activity. "You" is getting his dose of dopamine ("me") from some artificial amusement while knowing that it's temporal.

    "Up on Melancholy Hill, there's a plastic tree" - artificial high in the face of disappointment
    "You can't get what you want, but you can get me" - easy pleasure to fall back on when you fail to achieve
    "Just looking out on the day of another dream" - wasting time away in this fake, happy world
    "cause you're my medicine" - chemical happiness
    "so call in the submarine" - reference to the Beatles "Yellow Submarine": going about in an idyllic happy fantasy
    "a manatee" - Manatee's spend half their time sleeping: wasting time away

    I can definitely relate to the thin veneer of temporal happiness this song portrays both lyrically and musically. It resonates with my experience with vices (addictions) such as video games or porn all while there was an undercurrent of melancholy in my life from unaddressed or unsolved problems in my life.

    This is definitely a very different take from Feel Good Inc. on the themes of wasting time. The sensation portrayed by On Melancholy Hill is idle, almost blissful whereas Feel Good Inc. portrayed a more energetic, socially engaged waste.
    Frznfyeron September 21, 2010   Link
  • +13
    General CommentI think he's talking about a dream in where the girl whom hes in love with is with him, where in real life she doesnt want him, "you cant get what you want but you can get me" my interpretation of that is, she doesnt want him but is having bad luck with love so in a way, he wants her to settle for him
    brucebangoeon March 04, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General CommentMinor correction:
    Up on melancholy hill
    Sits a manatee

    My favorite song off the album!

    I guess this song is fantasizing about being with the person you like, since he talks about 'looking out on the day of another dream' and the plastic tree. Is the manatee supposed to mean anything though? In Native American symbolism, the manatee symbolizes trust.
    xsublimeon March 03, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General CommentHell yeah! Roller-rink music.
    This song is one of my favorites on the album. It's really depressing for some reason.
    Yeah it seems like it's about being with the person you love.
    ExistanceIsFutile23on March 03, 2010   Link
  • +5
    My Opinionbeing in love with someone but not being able to be with them for whatever reason. you want to be with them and care for them. but if they can't get whatever it is they're after they can have you instead. so now you're second best. you have them but do they really want you? that's what i get from it. makes mekinda sad but i still love listening to it.
    zombiehiphopon May 23, 2010   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationUp on melancholy hill
    There's a plastic tree
    Are you here with me?
    Just looking out on the day of another dream

    [There in fake little world, where its just them, and they dont have to worry about the troubles and hinders of their seperate lives.]

    Well, you can't get what you want
    But you can get me
    So let's set up and see, love
    'Cause you are my medicine

    [she cant get what she wants in her life which is seperate from his. maybe she cant get what she wants in a relationship shes in, shes not fulfilled. but he wants her, and when shes with him shes happy.]

    When you're close to me
    When you're close to me

    So call in the submarines
    'round the world we'll go
    Does anybody know her?
    If we're looking out on the day of another dream

    [they're looking out on the day of another dream because when they aren't together they don't really know when they might see each other next, but when they do it feels like a dream.]

    If you can't get what you want
    Then you come with me

    [again, if she doesnt get what shes wanting out of her life ie, realationshipwise, she goes to him and they sit up on melancholy hill.]
    WrightlessSmallson January 17, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General CommentJust picked up the album! Really great, I think it's gonna be one of those albums which grows on you more and more as you listen. That's how I felt about Demon Days, anyway.

    This song is one the highlights to me, along with RhineStone Eyes and SuperFast Jellyfish.

    Just a really heartfelt song.
    actoniuson March 03, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationWell, there's no denying that Noodle and Murdoc have always had chemistry. Weird as that sounds. Murdoc is obviously a little eccentric, but Noodle always seems to know what's going through his head. In "Kids With Guns," watch the two of them on that tank. Murdoc kind of looks off to the side, then looks eh, to the other side, and kind of directs his gaze to Noodle. Noodle pretends not to notice, but there's a smile on her face.

    2-D may sing this song, but Murdoc probably wrote it. He's the band leader, after all.

    It was inevitable that Noodle was going to make the transition into womanhood. The so called "fan art" was, in my opinion, propaganda.

    There might be some symbolism in these music videos and her maturity. For instance, after her "death" to childhood in windmill, you see her reemerge finally as a woman. The process of maturity is melancholy. I think the creators of Gorillaz believe this. Even literally speaking, the years between childhood and adulthood have been filled with nothing but pain and fear for Noodle. Noodle has always had an optimistic disposition, but beyond that, she has always been hard-edged and volatile. She is quick to combat, from giving the finger to taking out her gun. I think this is what makes her an artist: her struggle between carefree idealism and jaded reality.

    Murdoc obviously really misses her. Well, EVERYONE misses Noodle!! But instead of Murdoc being glad that Noodle is finally of age, I think he feels sad that she suffers. I think, more than anything, he wants her to be safe and happy.
    Mahaleeon June 18, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYeah, my favorite line, as others have mentioned already, "You can't get what you want, but you can get me." And yeah, I think it's about a guy who is in love with a friend that can't have the guy she wants (I kinda paint in a meaning that she always ends up in bad relations, but that is just cause I totally feel I am in this situation with a friend of mine) so he is just dreaming that she will settle for him; also he truly believes that he could make her happy if she gave him a chance.

    Very heart-wrenching song, just because I relate to it very much. And the music itself is great, and Damon is so good at this kind of depressing song; I am a hug Blur fan as well, makes me think of the album "13"
    jasonveraSCon March 11, 2010   Link

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