Florence and the Machine: Dog Days Are Over Meaning
Song Released: 2008
Covered By: Glee Cast
Dog Days Are Over Lyrics
Coming towards her / stuck still / no turning ba-ck
She hid around corners / and she hid under beds /
She killed it with kisses and from it she fl-ed /
With e-very bubble she sank with a drink...
anonymous Feb 4th, 2013 2:41pm report
I first heard Dog Days in Glee (yeah, I know...)
but thanks to the show I discovered the beautiful wonderful world of Florence and the machine.
Anyway, when I first heard Dog Days, I thought it was this happy giddy freedom song.
You see in the Visayas Region of the Philippines (we are a 3rd World country), we have a saying "ting bitay og iro" which means "[it's the time of the year] to hang dogs"... Because a long time ago, when families literally had nothing left to eat, they'd kill stray dogs and have them as a meal.
That's a long time ago, but the expression stuck with everyone. Business people here use it to refer to the slower and harder days (or months) of the year when small enterprises (and even large ones) barely earn any income. So when I first heard of the song, I thought it was about the bad days being over. I thought about how happiness was here and the horses brought with them something new. I thought that the first line "Happiness hit her like a train on a track" was about how strong happiness is coming for her.
That was before I dissected the lyrics (I'm a beat and sound kind of girl).
Now that I've read and reread the lyrics to the song. My interpretation has changed. Considering most of the band's songs are about abuse, violence and empowerment, I now think this song is about domestic violence (or battering).
My new perspective about Dog Days changed when I read that universally, 'dog days' are referred to as happy days. So if you put that to the context of the song its easy to see how its about abuse.
The first stanza:
"Happiness, hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink"
Technically, one looks for a lover to find happiness. When you're in a relationship with someone, he or she stands as your happiness. In the song, Her happiness hurts her- he hits her. But she can't leave him (stuck still no turning back). She's afraid of him so she hides and she repays his aggression with kisses... To forget the pain, she starts drinking...
The next line which is the chorus just means that her happy days are over, it's gone now and you should run away and leave him (horses are coming) or else...
"Run fast for your mother run fast for your father
Run for your children for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind you
Can't carry it with you if you want to survive"
For me this line means that if you can't leave him because you love him, then do it for your parents who raised you will.. do it for your children, do it for your family...
That part about "leave all your love and longing behind you, can't carry it with you if you want to survive" - is why I realized this song is about domestic violence. The victims of domestic violence, most of them women, can't leave their husbands or partners because of this belief that if she stays he will get better or that she loves him too much etc. or she has this irrational fear that she'll be nothing or nobody without him. This song tells us to leave those thoughts behind, leave this guy you 'love', whatever 'longing' you have, leave it too. Leave it all if you want to survive.
And the last line that cements my new interpretation:
"Happiness hit her like a bullet in the back
Struck from a great height
By someone who should know better than that"
The writers want to clearly tell us that this girl never expected to be hurt or beaten (bullet in the back). This guy (the batterer) is probably someone you wouldn't expect to do any harm (someone who should know better than that).
So there, my new perspective! Now that I see this song this way, I love it even more and I appreciate Florence & The Machine so much more.
Blackandgold Apr 12th, 2011 4:07am report
I think its a girl who was depressed for a long time maybe because she lost someone close to her like a husband. she stayed still for a long time because of the deppression she was in. One day happiness hit her maybe because she fell in love with someone else and in order to be happy she needs to leave her long lost love and longing for whoever she lost behind because she can't carry it with her if she wants to survive. At first she tried to fight it and hide but a new life is coming(horses) and she needs to start running with it for the sake of her children and all her family.
anonymous Jan 15th, 2011 1:05pm report
I think that this song is about running from love, no matter how many times it follows you. The verses compare love/happiness to being hit by a train and a bullet unexpectedly. But the fact that it is equated with a bullet and a train shows that "she" considers love/happiness to be dangerous (maybe even death-like).
When the song says "And I never wanted anything from you except everything you had and what was left over after that too," I believe it means that "she" has tried relationships before, but ended up running away and inadvertently crushing the other's heart and so on.
However, I can't figure out why a dog and horses are used in the chorus.
anonymous Aug 28th, 16:04 report
I heard she wrote it about becoming a vegetarian and not eating hot dogs anymore. Seriously.
anonymous Aug 3rd, 8:51am report
To me, it's a freedom song about not allowing yourself to became a loyal servant to someone who saved you once.
You should be thankful to person who saved you, but do not allow yourself to become a minion (unless you want to live as a simpleton).
anonymous Apr 19th, 4:37am report
A primeira vez que ouvi essa música estava em férias viajando em uma cidade da Argentina chamada Rosário. Onde um amigo muuito especial do meu melhor amigo apresentou essa música em janeiro de 2011.
Ao traduzir- lá percebi logo que os dias de cão se acabaram é nada mais que o encontro do verdadeiro amor. Me caso este ano mais precisamente exatamente 4 anos depois do meu primeiro beijo no meu hoje namorado e a partir do dia 11 /10/2014 meu marido...
Quando eu voltei de viagem mostrei a música para ele, e ficou mais claro ainda que se os dias de cão terminaram ,precisaríamos correr pois os cavalos estavam vindo...achar e comprar uma casa, casar e fazer uma festa como sempre sonhei ,exige de mais pra quem ta começando do nada
...e ainda mais ter que se despedir,correr para o pai ,mãe, irmãos pois para onde você irá não poderá leva-los se não você não sobrevivera...
É como no clipe,a celebração de um ritual de passagem pois a felicidade me atingiu como um trem... (detalhe, toda minha festa de casamento está sendo baseada no clipe da música que será minha valsa de casamento) Tô deixando todos Loucos)
anonymous Mar 31st, 3:45pm report
The meaning of the song is about the death... not like a horrible thing, but a nice hopeful end of anyones hard life...
All the analogies that the song made about death (bullet hitting her, train struck her, etc), are really about moments where people died and even though their life were rough, find real peace in death.
When the songs mentions about leaving all behind, its a symbolysm about the transition between life and death (and that all things are left behind when that happens).
The same symbolysm about death could be interpreted when it mention about wanting everything it have (god requesting her/him everything).
The Horses are about the horses of death mentioned in the bible.
anonymous Jan 9th, 2014 1:36pm report
I believe that the song is about getting over a heroin addiction and shes now running as far away as possible from those days. For instance when she talks about flushing something down the sink
anonymous Nov 25th, 2013 11:57pm report
anonymous Jun 10th, 2013 6:35pm report
When I first heard this song, I thought she was singing, "The Dark Days are Over..." so to me, the "dog days" are the dark days.
"Leave all your love and your longing behind you....can't carry it with you if you want to survive"
-For me, that is like leaving someone because you know it's a bad situation, but you still love the person, but you know it's messed up if you stay in it. Like trying to leave an addicted or abusive spouse.
But for me, it's a happy song basically saying she's leaving the negative life she had behind her and she should run towards a happier future.
cisnerosjanet Oct 18th, 2012 10:43pm report
This song addresses freedom and our personal responsibility to protect ourselves from losing it. As children we are in a state of innocent bliss with zeal, curiosity and our love for living. Happiness is a successful state of early life. But as life continues and we grow older we lose ourselves. We self sacrifice to lovers whims and rather be in a drunkard stupor that face the reality, that we betrayed our responsibility to being our own greatest value. Without that morality we have nothing, we have death. In a final attempt, through awareness we try to save the last remnants of our self. Understanding that we can not love others before loving ourselves. She is angry because she thinks she should not have allowed or accepted a state of self sacrificing to blind faith. Guilt, the love for others, and religion also asks that a person renounce the self.
anonymous Oct 16th, 2012 10:18pm report
I think it means that you should leave all the difficulties, and tragedies behind and to never look back, just keep on running or moving forward so you can reach what you are looking for: hope, unity, and love.
anonymous Aug 10th, 2012 8:42pm report
This is probably not the actual meaning of the lyrics as intended by the singer, but I actually think that the song could be about war, not love. (Though I've read a lot of very legitimate interpretations involving romance/breakups.) This impression comes mostly from the refrain, about running for your loved ones and leaving your burdens behind, with the "horses" coming and providing some sort of threat to the narrator and her family. The verses about blind love- "killing with kisses" and "happiness hitting like a train" could be about the sort of madly passionate but not deep or entirely real romances that boom around times of war. As in, when people are scared and they don't know whether they're going to live or die, they tend to behave rashly and emotionally. Everyone wants someone to hold their hand during their last moments, when the bombers are roaring overhead or enemy troops are smashing the windows in the nearby houses. You want someone to love, whether they love you back or not. This is just my guess, and it's far more likely to be about a girl leaving behind an abusive relationship and whatnot, but that was my impression of the song.
anonymous Jul 2nd, 2012 7:50am report
I is about a woman who has been separated from her boyfriend and is drinking to feel better. She is running for happiness and can't carry her love for her boyfriend because of what he did to her. She is leaving her boyfriend behind and running for a new future.
anonymous Jun 29th, 2012 6:06am report
For me its about coming into awareness of yourself as a person, and experiencing life at its fullest. it points out the beauty of life that surrounds us.
anonymous Jun 12th, 2012 6:31pm report
She is in the midst of a new level of consciousness, and the important love to bring along to that level is her family's love. Because only through them can she meet that new level. She will not survive if she keeps to her old vices/compulsions/coping mechanisms such as alcohol, meaningless sex, maybe a disconnected spouse. Hiding from her true self for fear of what she might find---which is Happiness. If she continues to try to "find" herself thru her compulsions, it will destroy her. Now that happiness is here she needs to leave her longing for her compulsions behind. They helped her along this far,and she loved them for it, but now at this point they will be her demise. I believe she ultimately feared happiness, because if she becomes so happy, she worries that something tragic will happen. She fears true happiness is too good to be true. But at this point she doesn't have a choice. Happiness/new consciousness is here and she either runs toward it or not. She wanted her other loves (alcohol etc..) to solve everything and make her happy. She wanted everything from them and more,and that was not possible, she can only find happiness within herself. And you can't force it to happen, it unfolds when the time is right. And her time is now, so run fast for it before her vices decide they need her more than she needs happiness.
anonymous May 31st, 2012 5:21pm report
I think "dog days" symbolize the end of the world and chaotic running through the streets and in that there is a moment of freedom
I think that the meaning of the song is that the world is ending and she is hiding and drinking her problems away . And the biblical horses are comming and she's running for her life and she is suddenly happy in that moment of freedom . She's running because her family went with god in the apocalypse and she didn't and they would have wanted her to survive . She can't keep dwelling on the fact that her family is gone or she won't survive.
Sorry for bad grammar I am only 11
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