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The Meaning Behind The Song: Outside The Door by Jay Farrar

The Meaning Behind The Song: Outside The Door by Jay Farrar


Music has a unique ability to convey emotions, tell stories, and capture moments in time. Jay Farrar, known for his introspective and poetic songwriting, is no stranger to creating songs that speak to the soul. One such song is “Outside The Door,” which delves into the intricacies of life, history, and the human experience.

The Lyrics

In “Outside The Door,” Farrar intricately weaves together a series of historical references and contemporary circumstances to create a poetic tapestry. Let’s take a closer look at the lyrics:

“Heard about circumstances
Heard about the Devil’s son-in-law
Heard about the high sheriff from Hell
Heard about the Great Migration
Heard about the barrel house
Ragtime in the parlor room downstairs
Can you hear the hum outside the door?
Can you hear the hum outside the door?
(Continue with the rest of the lyrics)

The lyrics of “Outside The Door” touch upon various historical events and societal issues, allowing listeners to reflect on the past while drawing parallels to the present. Farrar’s choice of references such as the Devil’s son-in-law, the Great Migration, and prohibition creates a vivid backdrop for the song’s underlying themes.

The Themes

One theme that stands out in “Outside The Door” is the cyclical nature of human existence. By mentioning historical events like the Great Migration and prohibition, Farrar reminds us that while times may change, the struggles and challenges faced by individuals and communities remain constant.

Farrar also provides glimpses into the forgotten stories and marginalized voices of our society. References to barrel houses, stevedores, and gas light squares offer a glimpse into the lives of those often overlooked by mainstream narratives. Through his lyrics, Farrar encourages us to listen, learn, and empathize with the diverse experiences that contribute to our collective history.

Personal Reflection

As an avid fan of Jay Farrar’s music, “Outside The Door” holds a special place in my heart. Its poetic and evocative lyrics have resonated with me deeply, prompting reflection on my own life experiences and the world around me.

I find solace in the song’s ability to bridge the gap between past and present, reminding me that despite the trials and tribulations of life, there is a shared thread that connects us all. The song speaks to the enduring human spirit and the universal need for understanding and compassion.

Furthermore, “Outside The Door” serves as a reminder to actively seek out untold stories, to question the narratives presented to us, and to acknowledge the diverse voices that shape our history. It encourages me to be more aware of the struggles faced by marginalized individuals and to play a part in amplifying their stories.


“Outside The Door” by Jay Farrar is a heartfelt and introspective song that delves into the complexities of life and history. Through his carefully crafted words, Farrar prompts listeners to reflect on the cyclical nature of human existence and to acknowledge the forgotten stories that shape us.

Personally, this song has served as a powerful reminder of the importance of empathy, understanding, and embracing the diverse experiences that make up our world. It is a timeless piece of music that continues to resonate with me and many others.

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