I threw your keys in the water, I looked back,
They'd frozen halfway down in the ice.
They froze up so quickly, the keys and their owners,
Even after the anger, it all turned silent, and
The everyday turned solitary,
So we came to February.

First we forgot where we'd planted those bulbs last year,
Then we forgot that we'd planted at all,
Then we forgot what plants are altogether,
and I blamed you for my freezing and forgetting and
The nights were long and cold and scary,
Can we live through February?

You know I think Christmas was a long red glare,
Shot up like a warning; we gave presents without cards,
And then the snow,
And then the snow came, we were always out shoveling,
And we'd drop to sleep exhausted,
Then we'd wake up, and its snowing.

And February was so long that it lasted into March
And found us walking a path alone together.
You stopped and pointed and you said, "That's a crocus,"
And I said, "What's a crocus?" and you said, "It's a flower,"
I tried to remember, but I said, "What's a flower?"
You said, "I still love you."

The leaves were turning as we drove to the hardware store,
My new lover made me keys to the house,
And when we got home, we just started chopping wood,
Because you never know how next year will be,
And we'll gather all our arms can carry,
I have lost to February.


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

February Lyrics as written by Dar Williams

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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February song meanings
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  • +2
    Song Meaning

    Whenever I listen to this song it reminds me of the inevitable rough patch that ever couple must go through. We all like to think we will stay in the spring and summer of our love but the truth is we will all go through a "winter" and February is especially difficult because it's the final long stage of that winter.

    I like how the song begins and ends with "keys" -- first the ones she throws in the water and then later when she makes a new set with her new lover. It symbolizes letting someone in or "freezing" them out -- as she does in February with her past lover.

    Winter for them is characterized by being filled with solitary days, exhausted battles against the relentless snow and going through the motions during "Christmas" rather than reclaiming the spirit behind it. For me this couple's problems are external not internal. They had planted "bulbs" and eventually "what plants are altogether" meaning the winter had erased all the beauty and love they use to share. She asks if they are capable of "living" to February because their relationship has moved from one of love to mere suvival.

    The part that makes me cry is when he points to the crocus -- finally a bulb from their flowers in bloom! She has forgotten what flowers are but he remembers and tells her "I still love you." (Such emotion in her voice when she hits those notes!)

    The last line hits it all home when she says she "lost" to February. It's a sad reflection that she lost someone who really did love her but also she lost love itself because that is what tragedy can do to you.

    cristina10on March 07, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song is so touching to me. i always think of february as the nagging inside of a person to give up on a relationship. i can see everything in this song with a deeper meaning. it's so personal and yet so universal.

    Finding The Wordson May 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is a beautiful song, no question about it. dar williams is a beautiful poet with a beautiful voice. beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

    this song is about the end of a relationship. the whole thing about the wood chopping in the last verse is about how they made plans too far ahead of time, had too much faith in the relationship. february is the coldness that seeps into a relationship, after the magic of the holidays has worn off.

    catherinekson May 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    absolutely gorgeous.

    eleven24elevenon April 25, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    wonderful song. gives me a chill everytime I hear it.

    marevitalison November 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The line, "We gave presents without cards" is awesome. You know your relationship is in trouble when you begin to give material things and leave out the words that mean so much more than the gift itself.

    carebear21on February 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Do you think it is about the end of a relationship? or when she writes that the leaves are turning does she mean that the relationship has taken a new turn, maybe they both realized when he said he still loved her that it was worth fight for, worth working through? So they go home, and the chop wood, and prepare for the next "february". I think she means that they go and make good memories, and strenghten their relationship, so that next time they have a rough patch, they have the "fire wood" or whatever to make it through the cold.

    PhotoNicholeon August 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is one of the most beautifully written songs i have ever listned to. it shows how a once good relationship slowly deteriorates throughout the year. how they begin fall out of love. they forget the things they used to do for fun with eachother. the relationship begins to become seemingly pointless. we see this as she sings the line, "And then the snow, and then the snow came, we were always out shoveling And we'd drop to sleep exhausted, and we'd wake up and it's snowing" they spent the day shoveling, went to bed, woke up and they needed to shovel all over again. its just to poignant!

    sollischon April 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The first four verses are about the end of a relationship, and the last is about the beginning of a new one.

    Sollisch, the line you chose is one of the most brilliantly written lyrics I have ever heard. Ir reflects the struggle to keep a relationship going only to find out that all the progress can be easily undone, as easily as the new snow can cover the ground you just cleared.

    Dar is just amazing.

    Moose Jawon September 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song breaks my heart.

    I'm going through a slow breakup now.

    When she sings: You said, "I still love you" it hurts so much.

    fallnislikethison November 12, 2007   Link

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