Pine for Cedars

Album: Nice, Nice, Very Nice (2009)
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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.
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