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Mr_Bont

School Is Out

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Hello, it's my first time posting in the forums and I just gotta say I love Regina Spektor! Now, down to business. One of my all time favorite songs of hers is School Is Out from her 1999 demo tape and I notice that no one really mentions it on the forums. So I was wondering if any one else really loves this song and what they think the song is about?

For those you don't know the song here are the lyrics:

School is out

And I walk the empty hallways

I walk alone

Alone as always

There's so many lucky pennies

Lying on the floor

But where the hell are all the lucky people

I can't see them any more

And there's such a nasty smell

In the bathroom

The people float by

While the toilets are flushing

And there's all this shit written on the bathroom wall

With a leaky pen

And Lisa loves Jason

Oh, Jason loves Ben

And a letter from Michigan

Is sittin' on my desk

And I remember one (thought?)

But I forget all the rest

And the ice cream is melted

And dripping down my neck

And my bottles standing on the edge of the table

And I think it's in the mood to brea-a-a-a-k

Me, just brea-a-a-a-k

Me, just, just break me

And I messed myself up again

Nobody really cares

I wish I could just have some time

To play with my old teddy bear

And maybe I could go

To teddy bear heaven

Just like her

'Cause well, she went when she was eleven

But I stayed late

'Cause I can't understand physics

I don't want to go home

And cook myself dinner

Or look in the mirror

That big, fat mirror

That swallows me up in a corridor

Oh, just swallows me whole

And cha-chang goes a robber

And cha-chang goes the gun

And cha-chang goes the bittersweet

Judgmental nun

cha-chang goes the gun

And cha-chang goes the purse

And cha-chang goes the over-fucked

Registered nu-u-u-urse

Me, just nu-u-u-urse

Me, just, just nurse me

School is out

And I walk the empty hallways

I walk alone

Alone as always

There's so many lucky pennies

Lying on the floor

But where the hell are all the lucky people

Where the hell are all the lucky people

I can't see them

A-a-any more

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Hello, it's my first time posting in the forums and I just gotta say I love Regina Spektor! Now, down to business. One of my all time favorite songs of hers is School Is Out from her 1999 demo tape and I notice that no one really mentions it on the forums. So I was wondering if any one else really loves this song and what they think the song is about?

For those you don't know the song here are the lyrics:

School is out

And I walk the empty hallways

I walk alone

Alone as always

There's so many lucky pennies

Lying on the floor

But where the hell are all the lucky people

I can't see them any more

And there's such a nasty smell

In the bathroom

The people float by

While the toilets are flushing

And there's all this shit written on the bathroom wall

With a leaky pen

And Lisa loves Jason

Oh, Jason loves Ben

And a letter from Michigan

Is sittin' on my desk

And I remember one (thought?)

But I forget all the rest

And the ice cream is melted

And dripping down my neck

And my bottles standing on the edge of the table

And I think it's in the mood to brea-a-a-a-k

Me, just brea-a-a-a-k

Me, just, just break me

And I messed myself up again

Nobody really cares

I wish I could just have some time

To play with my old teddy bear

And maybe I could go

To teddy bear heaven

Just like her

'Cause well, she went when she was eleven

But I stayed late

'Cause I can't understand physics

I don't want to go home

And cook myself dinner

Or look in the mirror

That big, fat mirror

That swallows me up in a corridor

Oh, just swallows me whole

And cha-chang goes a robber

And cha-chang goes the gun

And cha-chang goes the bittersweet

Judgmental nun

cha-chang goes the gun

And cha-chang goes the purse

And cha-chang goes the over-fucked

Registered nu-u-u-urse

Me, just nu-u-u-urse

Me, just, just nurse me

School is out

And I walk the empty hallways

I walk alone

Alone as always

There's so many lucky pennies

Lying on the floor

But where the hell are all the lucky people

Where the hell are all the lucky people

I can't see them

A-a-any more

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Hi, and welcome to the stix! You're in good company, believe me!

I love school is out, as well. There was some controversy over the Demo tape's release, and it was a big deal for a while. As far as i know, things have settled in a way that some people ignore it and choose not to listen, while other people have embraced the tape, although it's clear regina did NOT intend for it to become available. This probably leads to people being less willing/enthousiastic to talk about school is out, cinderella, and chicken song.

I think the song is fairly self-explanitory. I love her description of her school.

I always took it to be autobiographical, regina writing a song about her junior or senior year of high school. It sounds like she doesn't feel close to anyone, really, or at least is feeling disconnected/out of place. I feel sorry for her, but i love that a beautiful piece of art came out of that time in her life Smiler

The only lyric that gets me is the one about teddy bear heaven.. How depressing! I'm intereseted to hear what people think of that line, or any line, really Razzer

What do you think?

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Thanks! Everyone seems really cool here.

I had no idea there was a controversy over the Demo tape. I just found it maybe a couple of months ago on Youtube and fell in love with it. It has such powerful lyrics. On one hand they are sad and on the other they are quirky/funny. Plus I love Regina's haunting vocals on the track.

I have a similar view of the meaning of the song but I also think the song has to do with struggling to grow up. The lyric "Where are all the lucky people I don't see them anymore" I think is saying, enjoy your youth and school while you can.

As for the the lyric about teddy bear heaven, I have two thoughts on this lyric. The first time I listened to this song I thought that lyric referenced that a close friend, or maybe her only friend died and went to "teddy bear heaven". However after listening to it for a while I thought is might mean that she destroyed/killed her teddy bear(s) when she was 11 as a part of growing up and now she misses it/them.

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Welcome to the forum!

The first time I heard this song, I thought it was about a mother who had lost her child.. But now I think this song is about how people are afraid to grow up. So, I'm agree with you Mr_Bont!

Concerning the lyric about teddy bear, I think the sentence "she went when she was eleven" refers to her childhood. She (the character-not Regina) started to grow up when she was eleven, she killed a part of herself and now she has many regrets. She wishes she could play with her teddy bear and feel like a child again = "go to teddy bear heaven".

I think Regina has the solution!

"I don’t resent, but I get amused, a punky sort of amusement, at how people judge what is adultlike and what is childlike. If something is really exciting to me, I’ll literally jump up and clap my hands. I guess that’s what children do- they don’t look around to see who’s judging them. You don’t get a medal at the end for being an adult."

Also, it's very difficult for me to understand this part :

And cha-chang goes a robber

And cha-chang goes the gun

And cha-chang goes the bittersweet

Judgmental nun

cha-chang goes the gun

And cha-chang goes the purse

And cha-chang goes the over-fucked

Registered nu-u-u-urse

Me, just nu-u-u-urse

Me, just, just nurse me

I don't understand "cha-chang".. Wordplay? Big Grin

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quote:
Originally posted by sweetness in my lungs:

Isn't cha-chang supposed to be a sound? Like ka-ching!? Someone making money?

i think so, and i think she is kind of playing with the sound and substituting it for other similar ones; the robber's cha-chang is him making money, while the gun's cha-chang is maybe the gun being shot. the judgemental nun's cha-chang could be her sucking her teeth (catholic school?), and maybe some lucky pennies are cha-changing in someone's purse.

i never really thought about the lyrics to this song until now, but now that i do, i find it reallly sad.

i can't imagine what the glass (since it's breakable) bottle could contain other than alcohol. it waits to break her, and then the next line she says she "messed herself up again," so i'm thinking she got drunk after school. is she depressed? she doesn't want to go home and be alone, or even look at herself, not to mention the fact that the verse before, she said she wished she were dead (wanting to go to teddy bear heaven).

the cha-chang part could be the person getting perspective, and thinking about all the things that could be going wrong maybe? as she worries about looking in a mirror, someone somewhere is being robbed/shot etc. "where the hell are all the lucky people," because she can only think of all the horribly unlucky ones there are, maybe?

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I love this song SOOOO MUCH, too. And I didn't know about the controversy, just found it on youtube one day and fell in love with it, maybe because it feels so much like me I guess. The lyrics and melody combined perfectly transport that feeling...

I don't get the meaning of all the lines (but when do I ever in Regi's songs) but the "teddy bear heaven" line I got kinda wrong first, and thought it maybe was about a schoolfriend who had died as a kid. I like your interpreations a lot better! Smiler

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