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Birdhouse in Your Soul Lyrics

Artist: They Might Be Giants
Album: Flood

I'm your only friend
I'm not your only friend
But I'm a little glowing friend
But really I'm not actually your friend
But I am

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

I have a secret to tell
From my electrical well
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
So the room must listen to me
Filibuster vigilantly
My name is blue canary one note* spelled l-i-t-e
My story's infinite
Like the Longines Symphonette it doesn't rest

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

I'm your only friend
I'm not your only friend
But I'm a little glowing friend
But really I'm not actually your friend
But I am

There's a picture opposite me
Of my primitive ancestry
Which stood on rocky shores and kept the beaches shipwreck free
Though I respect that a lot
I'd be fired if that were my job
After killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonauts
Bluebird of friendliness
Like guardian angels its always near

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

(and while you're at it
Keep the nightlight on inside the
Birdhouse in your soul)

Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch (and while you're at it)
Who watches over you (keep the nightlight on inside the)
Make a little birdhouse in your soul (birdhouse in your soul)

Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch (and while you're at it)
Who watches over you (keep the nightlight on inside the)
Make a little birdhouse in your soul (birdhouse in your soul)

Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul




Notes

The Dial-a-Song version has the following significantly altered lyrics:

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
He watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

I have a secret to tell
Out when you're all by yourself
There's a time when even you get up and leave your nothing to dwell
I don't want to talk about that
And no one listens to that
But for the one who does, and she's the one you worry about
Don't you say anything
If you have anything to do with it

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
He watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

I'd like to cover the earth
With a fresh-baked yummy dessert
People couldn't live in it, but I think it's worth the money and hurt
'Cause I couldn't tolerate
All the empty places in the world

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
He watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

Make a little birdhouse in your soul

I don't feel thirty
Give me something to write on
I don't feel three hundred
Give me something to write on
Comments/Interpretations
by "Weird Gary" Bissitt on 5/15/2008 6:36am
This seems to be a story of how when he was a little boy, he had a night light in the shape of a blue canary. As he drifted off into sleep he felt safe by the light of this happy little bird!

Also it seems like he's saying to not lose the child that we all should still have inside of us...most people don't seem to have a child left in them.
by Smashi Boy on 5/21/2008 9:57pm
I think this song is saying that you've got to have a ray of hope ready at all times, even if it's deep inside your soul, using the allegory of a night light and a lighthouse. However, I'm not quite sure what the third stanza is talking about, if anything.
by #1 fan daniela rangel on 6/5/2008 6:03pm
i love your song "bird house in your soul"
by stephanie on 6/5/2008 7:14pm
i really like this song it s the best
my teacher teach it to my class and seen then i started to like it a lot
IT'S THE BEST SONG IN THE WORLD!!!!!!
by Stu on 6/10/2008 9:22am
It's just a weird song ...
by yo yo ma on 6/20/2008 10:32pm
heard this on the radio
one of TMBG's best
by Jake on 7/16/2008 5:08pm
TMBG's 3 best songs: Birdhouse in Your Soul, We Want a Rock, and Istanbul (Not Constantinople). All of these songs are from the album Flood. Another good song in the same album is Particle Man.
by Lucy on 7/26/2008 1:42pm
This song is weird cos sometimes it cheers me up but sometimes it makes me cry

I love it though, the lyrics are deeper than people realise
by zeph on 8/13/2008 10:31pm
This is probably my favorite TMBG song. Istanbul (not constantinople) is a close second, though.
by neil on 8/14/2008 6:23am
a fab song it cheers me up
by Moose on 8/14/2008 9:17am
I think the words actually say "Not to put to fine a pine on it" not "point". As in, not using too fine a wood for the birdhouse. I could be wrong though... anyone else know
by awsome on 8/27/2008 8:50pm
One of my favorite songs of all time. At first it sounds completely random, but I think it's really thought out clever.
by audrey on 9/18/2008 3:53pm
i love this song
by callum on 10/12/2008 8:35am
Awesome song. What does the asterix in the 6th line of the 3rd stanza mean?
by Henry on 10/19/2008 2:42am
great song.
by benji on 11/5/2008 7:18pm
i dont get the spelled l-i-t-e part... does that mean it was his nightlite, or just something random. cuz i thought that was spelled nightlight...
by Jorg on 11/7/2008 10:51am
I like kittens!
by Bobby's Dad on 12/3/2008 2:40pm
The original blue canary night light not only had a picture of a canary with a single note coming out of it, it spelled light "lite."
by sean the amazing on 1/19/2009 4:43pm
this song is so cool i listen to it a lot and i lilke how it is about a blue canary and all that random stuff you know by the way sean is amazing
by Shannon on 2/26/2009 3:07pm
I think it's about the one thing that keeps you going. Like: "Don't worry about your spirit breaking, because if you make a birdhouse in your soul, a canary will help you and watch over you. Even through the toughest of times. But it will only help you. Don't expect your canary to work for someone else."
by lalalangster on 3/11/2009 12:58pm
i think its kinda depressimg atleast for me because every real birdhouse i ever had was never used. mabey hes just reminding someone to think of him. if there is a deeper meaning to this song, mabey not, but if there is can someone out there please help me understand. teach me how to build a bird house. please=(
by particleman on 3/19/2009 11:04am
i think its sung by a lightbulb
by Toad on 4/12/2009 12:25am
its sung in the nightlights point of view, I totally agree with you Bissitt, people need to keep a kid in them at all times, otherwise life just sucks, its my goal in life, we need more people out there like this band, enough to help people know its ok to be silly.
by jojo4o4d on 4/15/2009 3:10pm
I listen to this song in the middle night to keep me happy
by MS on 4/23/2009 7:43pm
I think it's a remider to appreciate things you don't always appreciate.
by blink blink on 5/17/2009 8:03pm
I think this song is nonsense and means nothing. I like it for that reason. =D
by Belgaer on 7/19/2009 10:18pm
This is a powerful song. It can make you happy, comforted, amused, confused, or relaxed, often all at the same time.

This is true music.
by cath on 9/3/2009 3:48pm
i didn't know this song existed until i heard it on pushing daisies and now i totally can't get enough of it, i just think it's fabulous
by Beanie on 10/2/2009 9:04am
I think it is trying to remind people to keep their hearts open to love and support. He wants to spread his light but that is only possible if there is room in people's hearts to accept what he has to offer.
by Sapphire on 11/4/2009 4:40pm
That is a Great Song.They Might Be Giants is a Wonderful Band.Thanks
by Red Squirrel on 11/8/2009 9:07am
It's a damn good tune, don't spoil it by disassembling it & looking for meanings that may or may not be there.
by m.r. on 11/10/2009 9:21am
you can take what you want from this song. it's rad either way.
by Brooke on 11/14/2009 4:35am
I think it's 'bout a canary who got stuck in an electrical outlet and is watching over 'cause no one will help him out. He sees a painting of a seagull and wishes someone would help and give him a home.

Poor, hapless canary.
by Zero the Hero on 11/20/2009 5:43am
To me it seems that the picture of primitive ancestry refers to a pic of a lighthouse. The canary nightlight is saying that it wouldn't be up to the job of keeping shores shipwreck free (duh, it's a small nightlight) and if its job were to replace a lighthouse there would be countless casualties as a result.

It is saying always keep your own internal nightlight in your soul for comfort, but don't forget your faithful canary nightlight!
by wraithmaster on 11/20/2009 8:26am
I think everyone is missing it completely! read the lyrics a couple of times, watch the video, then read the lyrics again. He is talking about the history of fire and then its evolution to just light. Think about it, he even spells it out in a literal form l-i-t-e. To be fair I never even paid attention to the meaning at first, but it gives metaphors for light and warmth, so the first light was fire!
by Ella on 11/20/2009 10:09pm
In the third stanza, he (the blue canary night-lite) is claiming the lighthouse as an ancestor, though he doesn't have the power to do the same job (I'd be fired if that were my job).
What a great song.
by jaxmanjax on 11/24/2009 2:01am
used to hear this song over and over on the 'modern music' station over 20 years ago. was one of my faves. always thought it said "say i'm the only B in your body" before i knew the phrase "bee in your bonnet"! good times
by ella on 12/14/2009 7:36pm
moose--you're wrong..."pine" would be stupid. too fine a point makes more sense and is actually correct.
by HollyJ on 12/15/2009 4:29pm
This song is the bomb! i love TMBG particle man gets on my nerves though...
by LordRhino on 4/18/2010 9:27pm
"not to put to fine a pine of it" is what I have always heard and... now that I am more read in my years..... "the pine" goes back to pagan times when they would carve a pine cone onto the tip of broomsticks and magik wands.... "not to put to fine a pine on it" is more of a statement of blessing... to ward of the -evil eye- full of jealousy ... to not beautify something without first paying homage.... this song is a simple spell that will span years...
by Mookie on 4/25/2010 2:56pm
It's not "pine." Putting too fine a point on it is an actual saying. It means that you're being obvious or unsubtle or heavy-handed. A bee in your bonnet is something you keep on bringing up in conversation. In other words, they're saying, "Look, not to be too blatant here, but admit that I'm the only thing that you keep going on and on about"
by rajoovi on 5/13/2010 3:36pm
This is a TMBG song, so it can really mean anything! :)
by Anonymous on 6/19/2010 11:32pm
This is almost my fave song, and it was almost the first song i learnt by ear, i had to look up the "bee in your bonnet" part. it looks like it must be about a nightlight.
by deaniho on 7/26/2010 1:22pm
fantastic lyrics
by hahah on 8/12/2010 3:00am
yeah? well i think you're all douchebags.
by MonkeyBoy on 8/28/2010 7:52pm
You're all nutters. It's a song FFS. Bet each of loved it when your English teacher in school asked you what Shakespeare, Kipling et al. "really meant by that". Fn losers, get a life.

Still a great song, though.
by Ark Angel on 10/22/2010 10:12am
I think it is just a good song and you people are wasting time puzzling over meanings when you can just enjoy it
by Ryan on 10/23/2010 2:42pm
You guys are dumb, this is just a bunch of lyrics that sound awesome. There is no story
by Bran on 11/19/2010 3:03am
To some people the song feels oddly important, myself included. The bird in this song is a nightlight that allows people to see in the darkness and ward off fear. The refrain says to keep a place for such a bird. The song doesn't say the bird will always be there, or that everything will be ok... in that way the song is truly genuine. It is saying to make yourself ready to receive light, peace, rest (or at least the absence of fear/confusion) even when you feel there is none to be had.

I think it's the best song ever written.
by joe northcide on 12/13/2010 8:04pm
Just my opinion but... it's a fairly positive, non-blues approach to the subject of unrequited love. Thus the opening verse: I'm your only friend
I'm not your only friend
But I'm a little glowing friend
But really I'm not actually your friend
But I am
by M on 12/22/2010 12:20am
I see it as the nightlight speaking to the person in the room. It's giving advice to keep the light (of hope, as the bluebird is the symbol of such) on inside, even in the darkest of moments. Since nightlights are symbolic of safety (in the eyes of children and many adults) the nightlight is also promising to keep the sleeper safe and be watchful.

My favorite part is where the nightlight opines on the painting of the lighthouse, saying it'd be fired if that were it's job, since it killed Jason and the Argonauts. I'm a mythology geek; I admit it.
by Music Lover on 4/28/2011 1:12am
This song is from the view point of a night light, simple as that.
by by lol on 5/8/2011 10:26pm
i'm a floating head no i'm no floating head but i'm just really in the dark in candle circle...i'm a mime without my make up, i command a slo-mo jump. make believe i have my make up on....
by Ms Valkyrie on 5/18/2011 9:33am
I'm your only friend (because you're alone in the dark)
I'm not your only friend (because you have other friends, just not with you)
But I'm a little glowing friend (because I'm a night L-I-T-E)
But really I'm not actually your friend (because I'm an inanimate object and cannot therefore actually be a friend)
But I am (because I am doing the task of lighting your way in the dark, just as friends do in your life, I'm a metaphor for friendship ) And that is how I would expect my students to analyze it.
by Lennox on 7/6/2011 12:00am
Ms. Valkyrie: *claps*
by dsayne on 9/6/2011 8:24am
Besides the obvious nightlite narration, there is a deeper meaning referring to your conscience. At times it is your friend-keeping you out of trouble, but other times it is not your friend-compelling you to act when you would rather not, except that it is your friend either way, but you may not appreciate it like that. The lighthouse verse illustrates that the narrator feels his conscience is not strong enough and that he would have failed if given a great responsibility, something that most of us deal with at one time or another.
by Coffe flower on 1/5/2012 3:18am
i love birds!!!!

by Ihateyouall on 1/15/2012 7:45pm
Jesus, are people really this fucking stupid?
by WT? on 4/12/2012 8:30pm
Music is a form of art. The beauty of art is that it is different for each individual. The way it makes people feel, the way it is interpreted. That is not something to be criticised. It should be embraced. Perhaps the writer of these lyrics would be quite amused and even chuffed that so many people think of this song in such a variety of ways. That makes it more special. Everyone appears to have one thing in common. They all like the song. ENJOY!
by NatMonsterr on 6/12/2012 10:48pm
My interpretation: You're never too old to sleep with a nightlight. I know I do.
by IDK on 6/18/2012 8:03am
If you don't understand, trying to understand isn't the stupid thing to do.
Why are the least informed always the ones convinced of their own genius? I think some people might be too stupid to realize what idiots they are.
"derp. trying to learn stuff is stoopid. buuuuh. thinking sux. I am be smarterr. [fart-noise]"

I'm glad I've finally learned enough to realize how little I can ever really know...

by vhjtic zztycbwrj,ijhh on 9/17/2012 10:09am
xdc2354669yuugbbh6y865
by John Patrick Grindstaff on 11/13/2012 8:10pm
I'm TMBG's biggest fan
by HaxxorDurp on 4/30/2013 9:32pm
Am I the only one here that got here by AQW?
by Joel B1 on 5/18/2013 12:11am
It's about Lighthouses.
by Aimee Simpierre on 6/2/2013 6:49pm
I always thought the lyric was "build a little birdhouse in you soul/not the kind you'd find a pot on it/say I'm the only bee in your bonnet"
I wonder how many of us sang weird transliterated lyrics to this song. luv it.
by thebcman on 6/11/2013 8:31pm
TMBG's merch page now actually sells a blue canary nightlight!
by Scott on 6/13/2013 5:02am
Wow. How did no one understand the song? It is a criticism of religion

Who watches over you
I'm the ONLY bee in your bonnet.
I have a secret to tell
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
So the room MUST listen to me
Filibuster vigilantly
My name is (GOD)
one note* spelled J-E-S-U-S
My story's infinite...

I respect my ancestors...
BUT I it's time has passed.

etc...
etc...

Its pretty obvious really...
Watch the video on youtube
by jack on 9/5/2013 10:00pm
awsome
by jack on 9/5/2013 10:02pm
awsome ring on 558687
by LOLs @ Scott on 10/24/2013 2:58am
No. Not even close.

Though I find it fun how the meaning people ascribe to songs usually reflects more about them than it does about the musicians.

The song is about a night lite.

A blue Canary shaped night lite.
by But... on 12/17/2013 9:25pm
What about the whole I'm your only friend/not only/not your friend
and bee in the bonnet?
by Kalandrako on 2/17/2014 2:48pm
The song is about twitter.


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