Pine for Cedars

Album: Nice, Nice, Very Nice (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • The Canadian singer-songwriter had written this ballad about his then-girlfriend who became his wife.

    In our 2016 interview with Dan Mangan, he described to us how different their lives were when they first started dating. "We lived in this tiny 400-square-foot apartment," he said. "We were so broke and just barely making rent every month. We were both working serving tables.

    We were in the beginning courtship of a relationship, working nights so we would be up until three or four in the morning every single night. It was a real special beginning of us getting to know each other.

    So now that song is a specific memory to me. It always brings up an image in my head of that time and how that was such an important moment, whereas at the time, I was writing about the present. So now when I play the song, it seems like the present but in my head I'm talking about something that was."
  • The couple struggling to pay their rent is evident in the second verse:

    And I might be stumbling and cursing them all
    When she picks me up from the place that we both call disaster relief
    For the rent must be paid by the first of the month
    Or in my case, 15th

    This is good as far as I can tell
    It's still heavy as hell when it's good
    And I do like the road
    But I'd be better at home
    I will pine for the oak streets
    And pine for the cedars and you
  • In the last verse, Mangan cleverly name drops popular hang outs on Main Street in Vancouver:

    Been around I suppose
    I have chatted and chewed
    I have lugged my guitar to the nice cafe blues
    And when I come home I am coming home to this street and these avenues


    "Been around" refers to the coffee shop, Bean Around the World.

    "Chatted and chewed" is talking about the restaurant, Slickity Jim's Chat N' Chew.
  • The line, "coming home to this street and these avenues," Mangan could be referring to the intersection of Pine Street and Cedar Crescent [also in the chorus – "I will pine for the oak streets / And pine for the cedars and you"], which is about 10 minutes from Main Street, and possibly where he first resided with his partner.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Jethro Tull

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.

Trans Soul Rebels: Songs About Transgenderism

Trans Soul Rebels: Songs About TransgenderismSong Writing

A history of songs dealing with transgender issues, featuring Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Morrissey and Green Day.

Taylor Dayne

Taylor DayneSongwriter Interviews

Taylor talks about "The Machine" - the hits, the videos and Clive Davis.

Weezer

WeezerFact or Fiction

Did Rivers Cuomo grow up on a commune? Why did they name their albums after colors? See how well you know your Weezer in this Fact or Fiction.

Mac Powell of Third Day

Mac Powell of Third DaySongwriter Interviews

The Third Day frontman talks about some of the classic songs he wrote with the band, and what changed for his solo country album.

80s Music Quiz 1

80s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

MTV, a popular TV theme song and Madonna all show up in this '80s music quiz.