Album: Before These Crowded Streets (1998)
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  • Matthews wrote this about his old girlfriend, Julia Grey. He asked her to marry him three times and went through different feelings. "I'll back you up" is about understanding, "Halloween" is about anger, and "Grey Street" is about confusion. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Charlie - Orland Park, IL
  • A live version was released in 1994 on their album Recently. At first, the album was made available only to fan club members.
  • Matthews gave Vogelism the story behind the song: "Initially, the song was about a past lover. The main character is frustrated because he can't control the subject of the song, the woman he desires. This infuriates him to the point where he decides to infiltrate her dreams - ultimately making her life a nightmare. The lead character thinks he's in love, but he's actually just frustrated that his affections are not being reciprocated. He has focused all his anger on his own inadequacies. And he's doing a damn fine job of it, and it's a little bit humorous, too.

    "He's angry at triviality as well. Although he seems much more vicious now, at the origin of the song he was much more frustrated with the blind leading the blind. Those sorts of images that are feeding our simple appetites and not looking for something more, that is where the song originated, but has now taken somewhat of a crash turn. The change probably came after listening to the song and realizing that he didn't sound as lofty as he thought he was. He sounds much more like a crude version of a control freak to me. At his base though, he is simply a sad soul who is not as conniving as Marilyn Manson, but one who is much more of a victim. Besides, it's got a good beat and you can dance to it."
  • According to producer Steve Lillywhite, this was intended for the band's previous album, Crash, but didn't make the cut. It almost didn't make Before These Crowded Streets, either, because it was supposed to be included on the soundtrack to Scream 2. Once it was finished, however, they thought it was too good to give up and contributed "Help Myself" to the horror flick instead.
  • This features a string passage from the San Francisco-based Kronos Quartet.

Comments: 13

  • Jahbra from 19126, Paok wes bryan you know best so give it up, please let us morons know. Bro that hatred alone, speaks from your crazied facination that you know all. Stop trying and just give your input. That's all we are looking for here. Go to the trading and taping sites; then you will understand. not in a mean way but i have had probs too. Just dont say that here, cause we are just lookin' for meaning. That's all. GD and DMB rock! after all DMB did buy the whole GD touring soungstage three days after Jerry passed. Yea all three stages and Healy for a few shows.
  • Wes Bryan from Madison, Algeriaif you believe this song is written about ashley then you my friend are a f--ktard. and if you dont know who julia grey is then you are obviously not a big enough fan to be commenting on his songs
  • Ryan from Littleton, CoHe wrote this about Ashley, his current wife when his marriage proposals were repeatedly shot down. Not sure who Julia Grey is...
  • Tony from Stillwater, OkI've heard this song live twice and while it was not my favorite on his albums it is hands down my favorite live song Dave performs. I saw it recently with Tim Reynolds playing along and it was the single greatest live song I've ever heard. The energy and passion was unbelievable.
  • D from Arizona, AzI think that he left them out because it is really the only vulgarity on the album. They would have been required to put a parental advisory on the album had the lyrics been included as proof. Since he changes the lyrics everytime he sings the songs, and improv/mumbles a lot of them, noone can prove that he is cursing on the album and thus they can sell more records and still be known as a fairly mainstream act.
  • Chris from Kalamazoo, MiOne of the most underrated Dave song's ever.

    I highly doubt that at one time none of us has been in a situation with a girl we liked/loved and just wanted to tell them to F**K OFF. But your at the end of the day our feelings are the same.
  • Lyak from Farbanks, AkOn his studio albums yes this song sucks, but I saw him preform this on a DVD from the gorge and let me tell you this song is amazing and much better live, but than again most of the live songs are better.
  • Joshua from Cincinnati, Ohpossibly the worse song by dave of all-time
  • Ash from Charleston, WvI'll bet Julia Grey spends large chunks of every one of her days saying to herself, "Dave Matthews asked me to marry him and I turned him down three times. What the f*** was I thinking???"
  • Locke from Blacksburg, VaI want to hear this song live sooo bad. It is such a great song.
  • Jeremy from Clay, NyHalloween is an amazing song its nothng like any other dave matthews band song....i wish i was one of the lucky ones that have actually have heard it live...i have heard it teased twice though
  • Brad from Boston, MaTheyre omitted because they contain the "F" word- Dave said once he didnt want his mother to read any of his lyrics that had swears (or something to that extent)
  • Peter Hamilton from Brussels, BelgiumIn the album insert of Before These Crowded Streets, the lyrics to Halloween were omitted. I do not know why, but i think that it has something to do with the "unusual" nature of the lyrics in comparison to the bands other songs.
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