Around your knees that crackle into the dark
Like a walk in the park like a hole in your head
Like the feeling you get when you realize you're dead
This time we ride roller coasters into the ocean
We feel no emotion as we spiral down to the world
And I guess it's worth your time
Because there's some lives you live
And some you leave behind
It gets hard to explain
The gardenhead knows my name

Leave me alone, for you know this isn't the first time
In fact this is twice in a row
That the angels have slipped through our landslide
And filled up our garden with snow
And I don't wish to taste of your insides
Or to call out your name through my phone
For the glory boys at your bedside will love you
As long as you're something to own

Follow me through a city of frost covered angels
I swear I have nothing to prove
I just want to dance in your tangles
To give me some reason to move
But to take on the world at all angles
Requires a strength I can't use
So I'll meet you up high in your anger
Of all that is hoping and waiting for you


Lyrics submitted by PLANES, edited by Xeinix, lauraka, kirkweigensber, McWeird007, bubblegumanimals

Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone Lyrics as written by Jeff Mangum

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

42 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +6
    General Comment

    "Follow me through a city of frost covered angels I swear I have nothing to prove I just want to dance in your tangles To give me some reason to move But to take on the world at all angles Requires a strength I can't use So I'll meet you up high in your anger Of all that is hoping and waiting for you"

    That is the most beautuful and wonderful group of lyrics I have ever read. Seriously...they leave you speechless. That is pure poetry. The first time I read/listened to this song, these lines nearly brought me to tears, just because of how jaw-droppingly gorgeous they are. Jeff Magnum is some sort of God, that much I know.

    vincent h.on June 13, 2005   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation

    This song gets me every time, and I wanna share what I think the song is about.

    There are beads that wrap around your knees That crackle into the dark Like a walk in the park, like a hole in your head Like the feeling you get when you realize you're dead This time we ride rollercoasters into the ocean We feel no emotion as we spiral down to the world And I guess it's worth your time Because there's some lives you live And some you leave behind It gets hard to explain The gardenhead knows my name

    This part seems to obviously be about someone that he did drugs with. He would watch the Gardenhead come home at night, and so on. I've also heard that the Gardenhead was the guy that lived across from Jeff Mangum's house, so yeah. This part is just describing getting high (The effects of drugs, and afterwards). I also think he's called the Gardenhead because it's kind of like "Pothead", except he does a variety of drugs, making him a Gardenhead.

    Leave me alone, for you know this isn't the first time In fact, this is twice in a row

    The narrator wants his Ex-girlfirend to leave him alone. She keeps trying to get back together with him, but this has already happened twice in a row. It's not working out.

    That the angels have slipped through our landslide And filled up our garden with snow

    This means that their relationship was stopped. The landslide represents their rough and rocky relationship. And what happens to a garden when it gets snowed on? It stops growing, meaning the angels managed to get through and stopped their love from growing and getting any further.

    And I don't wish to taste of your insides Or to call out your name through my phone

    I don't want to have get with you, have sex with you (oral sex obviously), or call you.

    For the glory boys at your bedside will love you As long as you're something to own

    The guys that you're having sex with (one night stands and what-not) only want you for sex. Nothing else. They don't want a relationship.

    Follow me through a city of frost-covered angels I swear I have nothing to prove

    Again, he's referring to the Angels preventing them from having a relationship, and he's trying to prove to her that he hasn't been seeing anyone else. Perhaps his ex is accusing him of seeing other people, even though they're broken up now.

    I just want to dance in your tangles To give me some reason to move

    I only want to see you, or have sex with you, just because I can. Just so I can go out.

    But to take on the world at all angles Requires a strength I can't use

    But to do something that we both know won't work out is hard, because I just can't do it. I can't make this relationship work.

    So I'll meet you up high in your anger Of all that is hoping and waiting for you

    I'm coming over now. This isn't working out, but you continue to think and hope that it will.

    So yeah, that's my interpretation :)

    MattDohertyon April 07, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    The Gardenhead knows my NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    that word lasts for 15 seconds. I highly doubt that is his natural voice, and it was probably artificially lengthened.

    But it might be, and if it is, Jeff Mangum is definitely a demigod of sorts. Either way, it's the coolest vocal phrasing I've heard in any song.

    chickenpiggieson October 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i think this song is about a breakup.

    "There are beads that wrap Around your knees that crackle into the dark Like a walk in the park like a hole in your head Like the feeling you get when you realize you're dead This time" this part is talking about the feeling you get when you realize you're actually broken up and not going to get back together.

    "we ride roller coasters into the ocean We feel no emotion as we spiral down to the world" talking about the attitude some people have towards life. people are often too apathetic to stop themselves from subconcious self-destruction. they just keep doing themselves wrong until things just break, and they dont feel bad or upset until then.

    "and I guess it's worth your time Because there's some lives you live And some you leave behind It gets hard to explain" here, he's saying how you might think after it's over that your love had been wasted that whole time (you know, cause now it's all over), but remember that it was worthwhile, because it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

    "Leave me alone, for you know this isn't the first time In fact this is twice in a row " they've broken up before. this is the second time, and seems like the final time.

    "That the angels have slipped through our landslide And filled up our garden with snow And I don't wish to taste of your insides Or to call out your name through my phone " i dont know, that angel part seems too happy for my theory, but the last two lines there sound like denial. like he doesnt want her back. or atleast wants to believe he doesnt. she may be trying to say she wants to get back together, but he's saying he doesnt want to get into all that again.

    "For the glory boys at your bedside will love you As long as you're something to own " there are other boys he thinks she could easily get. he thinks, though, that they dont love her like he did/does, but that they'd be better for her(and him) since they caused eachother such emotional pain before

    i dont know, the last verse is probably about how he actually wants to get back together too (even though he maybe knows deep down that it's bad for them)

    ike368on April 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I believe this line "This time we ride rollercoasters into the ocean we feel no emotion as we spiral down to the world" is an allusion to the song Nowhere Fast by the Smiths. morrisey sings "And if the day came when I felt a natural emotion, I'd get such a shock I'd probably jump in the ocean."

    Because there's some lives you live And some you leave behind It gets hard to explain The gardenhead knows my name

    Perhaps the gardenhead is a reference to the hedge at the end of the garden from the Zen story?

    truthlingon February 12, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I agree with fuzziwig that there may be more than just a breakup song here. but more so than depression I get a sense of frustration "you ride rollercoasters into the ocean, you feel no emotion as you spiral down..there are some lives you live and some you leave behind" maybe hinting at an unfulfilled destiny, going through life's motions without any gusto or passion. "like the feeling you get when you realize your dead." maybe he means not really "dead" but utterly bored, living life without meaning.... that's the sense I get from the "gardenhead" portion of the lyrics anyway..

    avecraincoaton February 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    WOW this is my favorite song and no one has posted anything!

    Theosepiphaneson May 01, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i'll post... this song is about an evil woman.

    ataraxia37on June 24, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Well the "Gardenhead" is a little man who lived across the street from Mangum after he dropped out of college. That's jinda what Mangum said on a live XFM session. I suggest you download this session, it's pretty good aside from the cheesy radio DJ. You can find it on elephant6.com

    Theosepiphaneson April 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    well i for one believe that a song has many meanings-and even if Mangum said that the gardenhead was a little man across the street -i want to find a ..more interesting interpretation of this song. anybody?

    Abex22on May 09, 2004   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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Standing On The Edge Of Summer
Thursday
In regards to the meaning of this song: Before a live performance on the EP Five Stories Falling, Geoff states “It’s about the last time I went to visit my grandmother in Columbus, and I saw that she was dying and it was the last time I was going to see her. It is about realizing how young you are, but how quickly you can go.” That’s the thing about Geoff and his sublime poetry, you think it’s about one thing, but really it’s about something entirely different. But the lyrics are still universal and omnipresent, ubiquitous, even. So relatable. That’s one thing I love about this band. I also love their live performances, raw energy and Geoff’s beautiful, imperfectly perfect vocals. His voice soothes my aching soul.
Album art
Fast Car
Tracy Chapman
"Fast car" is kind of a continuation of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." It has all the clawing your way to a better life, but in this case the protagonist never makes it with her love; in fact she is dragged back down by him. There is still an amazing amount of hope and will in the lyrics; and the lyrics themselve rank and easy five. If only music was stronger it would be one of those great radio songs that you hear once a week 20 years after it was released. The imagery is almost tear-jerking ("City lights lay out before us", "Speeds so fast felt like I was drunk"), and the idea of starting from nothing and just driving and working and denigrating yourself for a chance at being just above poverty, then losing in the end is just painful and inspiring at the same time.
Album art
Cajun Girl
Little Feat
Overall about difficult moments of disappointment and vulnerability. Having hope and longing, while remaining optimistic for the future. Encourages the belief that with each new morning there is a chance for things to improve. The chorus offers a glimmer of optimism and a chance at a resolution and redemption in the future. Captures the rollercoaster of emotions of feeling lost while loving someone who is not there for you, feeling let down and abandoned while waiting for a lover. Lost with no direction, "Now I'm up in the air with the rain in my hair, Nowhere to go, I can go anywhere" The bridge shows signs of longing and a plea for companionship. The Lyrics express a desire for authentic connection and the importance of Loving someone just as they are. "Just in passing, I'm not asking. That you be anyone but you”
Album art
Holiday
Bee Gees
@[Diderik:33655] "Your a holiday!" Was a popular term used in the 50s/60s to compliment someone on their all around. For example, not only are they beautiful, but they are fun and kind too ... just an all around "holiday". I think your first comment is closer to being accurate. The singer/song writers state "Millions of eyes can see, yet why am i so blind!? When the someone else is me, its unkind its unkind". I believe hes referring to the girl toying with him and using him. He wants something deeper with her, thats why he allows himself to be as a puppet (even though for her fun and games) as long as it makes her happy. But he knows deep down that she doesnt really want to be serious with him and thats what makes him.
Album art
Amazing
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran tells a story of unsuccessfully trying to feel “Amazing.” This track is about the being weighed down by emotional stress despite valiant attempts to find some positivity in the situation. This track was written by Ed Sheeran from the perspective of his friend. From the track, we see this person fall deeper into the negative thoughts and slide further down the path of mental torment with every lyric.