Cavetown: Lemon Boy Meaning
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Lemon Boy Lyrics
He was growing in my garden and I
Pulled him out by his hair like a weed
But like weeds do he only came and grew back again
So I figured this time I might as well let him...
1TOP RATED#1 top rated interpretation:anonymous Feb 18th 2021 report
Lemon Boy is a character that was developed by Skinner. He said that “Lemon Boy is the anxiety, the negativity, the illness that’s inside all of us, and that is very strong inside me. A way of being happy for me is disassociating myself from those things, but also learning to live alongside them as a friend. I really hate Lemon Boy sometimes but he’s never going away, and I can use him for good.” Basically, Lemon Boy is a personification of mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression. Everyone has a Lemon Boy in their mind, or as the song refers to it, their garden, at some point in their life. Many people may pull theirs out before he really “takes root” and for others he may pop up occasionally like a weed and not stay for too long. The line, “Lemon Boy and me started to get along together,” means that the “host” of lemon boy is falling deeper into the abyss of him and letting him take more control. Robin says how he helped lemon boy “plant his seeds” of negativity. As lemon boy starts rubbing off on him, he begins affecting him in different ways, one being his friends leaving or distancing themselves from him because they don’t know how to help. Later in the song, the lyric, “So Lemon Boy and me, we just gotta get along together,” reveals the reality of depression and mental illness. It’s less about conquering and more about compromising, you need to be able to work alongside it sometimes. In the end, mental illnesses don’t define the person who has them.
2TOP RATED#2 top rated interpretation:anonymous Feb 10th 2021 report
I believe lemon boy is an interpretation of anxiety.
The garden is his mind
Attempting to pull him out like a weed by medicine, therapy, etc. but like weeds do it comes back.
So they decide to sit together. Anxiety and Robbie. Helping to plant seeds are implying connection to home. Being putting in bad love and life situations. Meaning planting seeds.
The friends who prefer savory over lemon zest/pie. Are the friends who left right as things got hard. Or the friends that couldn’t watch you fall apart anymore.
Running out of sugar cane
Whales beaching themselves
These are all of life’s stresses
Lemon boy not growing is an inner question. How would I be without this pain and anxiety.
In the end he realizes anxiety never goes away. So we all just eventually learn to live with it... it’s a sad song to me. But also a song of understanding to accept and understand we cannot control everything.
3TOP RATED#3 top rated interpretation:anonymous Aug 27th 2020 report
What I interpreted was that Lemon Boy is the unpopular/weird kid. "It's actually pretty easy being nice to a bitter boy like him" -> the "weird" kids aren't all that different from the others
As already stated in another interpretation, "bittersweet" because Lemon Boy is most likely depressed and/or has other mental struggles. "But soon his bitter sweet started to rub off on me" Singer's reputation got worse since they're friends with the weird kid.
"But what if I run out of fertilizer
What if the clouds run out of rain?
What if Lemon Boy won't grow no longer?
What if beaches dry of sugar cane?"
-> What if singer can't support Lemon Boy as much as he needs to be supported?
"The whales start to beach themselves
Tortoise shells tear away from their spines
It happens all the time, it happens all the time"
I think this is self explanatory. What if Lemon Boy commits suicide?
"It happens all the time" is said twice - basically a reminder that mental illnesses are very real.
"Lemon Boy and I, we're gonna live forever"
1. Lemon Boy commit suicide, but singer won't ever forget him/they will reunite eventually (perhaps heaven?)
2. Lemon Boy managed to cope with his struggles and singer is the reason he did, although singer's reputation is ruined ("We're the bitterest boys in town") they'll still stick together until the end.
anonymous Nov 12th report
I think that Lemon Boy refers to the depression or anxiety that we all feel at some point. The song talks about how most of us let the negatively affect our day-to-day lives and that the only real way to deal with it is to live with it, obviously in a healthy way.
anonymous Aug 30th report
I think lemon boy is about gender identity and relationships and the stigma that surrounds lgbt relationships like the line “youd think smelling like lemon zest would be pretty neat I found out that my friends are more of the savoury type and weren’t too keen on compromising with a nice lemon pie” hints at losing friends or people close to you due to them being against the relationship.
anonymous Jan 22nd 2022 report
I think lemon boy is himself, and he is trying to pretend to be someone else - the “kind” him - and the part about pulling him out like a weed is him doing just that. However, he learns to live with the actual him, which is, as a reference to “citrus” and “lemon” an sour or mean character. As of this, all his friends leave him. I believe pulling out weeds is a reference to the actual task, which is hard and often ineffective, then showing how hard many people find it to be happy, and kind by removing the sadness. (the lemon boy who is the “weed”) When you are in this position, it is very hard to convert back. I have guessed this as if it is correct, then it would be similar to how i deal with it, which is don’t.
anonymous Jan 10th 2022 report
I think the song is like the top 1 rated said that it is a humanization of negativity like anxiety and depression. one that keeps coming back when you think everything is better, "like weeds do he only came and grew back again". It comes in rounds and it doesn't help that the friend distance themselves because they don't know how to help. The thoughts of the future on what could happen is bad hits them .Then they realize to accept that "lemon boy" won't go away and befriend it, which means they learn how to handle it better
- sorry for the bad grammar
I think this song is about a boy that has died from a brain tumor and throughout the treatment he suffered from hallucinations of living as a healthy boy, making a friend (the brain tumor) and therefore accepts his eventual death. The lyrics "He was growing in my garden and I pulled him out by his hair like a weed" reference the treatment for the brain tumor, trying to make him well. Eventually the doctors inform the boy and his family that he will not survive much longer so there's no point in more treatment as it will just cause more pain ("so I figured this time I might as well let him be")
Talking about the "bittersweet rubbing off on him" is a flashback to the diagnosis. I assume the boy had been having seizures for a while now, likely unnoticeable. Often times if a brain tumor is pressing down on the visual cortex of your brain, it will alter your vision, causing hallucinations. The boy, however, is young and likely thinks this is all fun and games. When the seizures become stronger and his family begins to notice they take him to a doctor. They are the "savory-type" friends and they want to treat him and make him better. They "weren't too keen on compromising with a nice lemon pie" because they didn't want their son to die because of this brain tumor (the lemon pie)
This boy is having hallucinations of a friend he has made in his mind, a "Lemon Boy" who he found in his garden. The repeated references to tending for a garden, even in bad weather (the pain) can be seen in two different ways. One, tending to a garden could be the treatment that the boy is going through, since Lemon Boy (brain tumor) was found in the garden, which is a metaphor for the boy's brain. Or, it could mean that the sick boy is preparing mentally for his death and the day he can be with Lemon Boy forever.
The bridge lyrics go as such-
"But what if I run out of fertilizer" (The treatment and surgeries have proved futile to remove or shrink the tumor)
What if the clouds run out of rain (The world around the sick boy has grown dark as all his family is preparing for his death)
What if Lemon Boy won't grow no longer (Some part in the treatment, the sick boy has become Lemon Boy, i.e "the bittersweet started to rub off on him" and he has become more of the disease than himself. Lemon Boy won't grow no longer because there is no chance of saving him from death.)
What if beaches dry of sugarcane (Sugarcane juice has many beneficial health properties, such as carbohydrate content that is great for brain health)
Oh well" (there's nothing anyone can do)
"The whales start to beach themselves
The tortoise shells tear away from their spines
It happens all the time, it happens all the time"
These lyrics really just emphasize the fact that death is so common and that it really does "happen all the time".
"Lemon Boy and I, we're gonna live forever"
The sick boy has died.
"Like Snufkin and Little My, we'll get around wherever"
Snufkin is often considered "the hero for the shy and the weak and the little" in Moomin, like people who die from cancer/brain tumors/generally from terminal disease are considered heroes.
and that's it :)
*There could also be multiple other interpretations to this song but this was mine*
anonymous Jul 26th 2021 report
i think lemon boy could be referring to the realisation of your own gender identity, i don’t know about other people but for me personally it often starts out as something i try to ignore/get rid of and eventually coming to terms with the idea and embracing it
anonymous Apr 18th 2021 report
I think the song “lemon boy” is about depression and anxiety. The line: “ he was growing in my garden and I pulled him out by his hair like a weed. Like weeds do he only came and grew back again.” means that the person was taking medicine that was helping them temporarily.
But the depression or/and anxiety would still be there. The person starts to be okay with the depression or anxiety in the line: “ lemon boy and me started to get along together” no one had included this fact but I think the line “ and we mowed the lawn in bad weather” means that whenever the person would fell really bad they would cut themselves. Again this is just my interpretation of these lines.
anonymous Mar 2nd 2021 report
I think that the song is about someone with depression. They cope by inventing a friend who understands them. As their friendship develops and they start becoming dependant on each other, it signifies their mental health worsening. They push away their friends as they don't understand who lemon boy is or why he is important. Their anxieties worsen and they start to imagine losing lemon boy, which would be catastrophic because they are so dependant on him. Overcome with the fear of losing their only friend, they kill both themselves and lemon boy, alowing them to be together "forever".
anonymous Dec 22nd 2020 report
I think lemon boy isn’t actually a person, its just the other person fighting with his own self. Also, the fertilizer and the seeds he plants are just his toxicity, and the rain is all the problems he has that he spreads. Its easy to be “nice to him” because in real life, its easy to become a bad person.
anonymous Oct 19th 2020 report
I think that lemon boy is a boy with depression and is going through mental and physical struggles. But when Robin meets him he first rejects him, ´I pulled him out by his hair like a weed.´ But then he just starts to let him be, ´but like weeds do he only came back again and grew so I figuried this time I might as well let him be.´ So he starts getting attached to this lemon boy and helps him with his struggles and find confidence,´I helped him plant his seeds we´ll mow the lawn in bad weather.´ But after much time his problems start to rub off on him and his friends start to reject him. And finally after probably years his problems catch up to lemon boy and he dies from maybe a sickness. So the ending lyrics would explain a lot saying they would live together and they ¨were¨ the bitterest boys in town when he was alive.
anonymous Jun 22nd 2020 report
I think lemon boy is a boy who is a loner and is usually avoided. However, when Robin hangs around lemon boy, he learns that lemon boy is sweet. (Lemon Boy is referred to as bittersweet) When Robin introduces lemon boy to others, they reject him, therefore also rejecting Robin. So lemon boy and Robin must stay together. Then towards the end of the song, it starts listing things that separate people because of differences and ending patience. But then the song goes on to say that Robin an Lemon boy will be friends forever and they will always have each other.
anonymous Apr 14th 2020 report
I think Lemon Boy is about someone who meets a boy with depression. This is why he is 'bittersweet' because Lemon Boy's depression makes it hard for him to relate to anyone else, but he's actually great company once you get to know him, hence 'Lemon Boy and me started to get along together; I helped him plant his seeds and we mow the lawn in bad weather...'
Then his friends start to pick on Lemon Boy (I soon found out that my friends are more of the savoury type, and they weren't too keen on compromising with a nice, lemon pie...) so he defends him, causing his friends to shame him and unfriend him (so Lemon Boy and me, we just gotta get along together).
anonymous Apr 12th 2020 report
'Lemon Boy' is a metaphor for depression. The song explores Robin's relationship with 'Lemon Boy' and how it affects his life and how he learns how to live with it.
anonymous Apr 9th 2020 report
I feel like this song is about a boy who was like lonely because the song makes him out to be alone and sort of a bother but as time goes on this person starts to like accept Lemon boy I guess because the song says "Lemon boy and me started to get along together" So i mainly think of this song as sort of melancholic
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