Bad Habit

Album: The Dresden Dolls (2004)

Songfacts®:

  • While the lyrics, if taken seriously, would make the song seem like it's about self mutilation and similar activities, it's actually inspired by lead singer Amanda Palmer's bad habit of nail biting. At one point on the Dresden Dolls website there was a letter from an irate mother scolding the songs' creation and how it encouraged young girls to attack their bodies. However, Amanda's response clarified what the song was really about. (Thanks, Ife - Toronto, OR. For more, check out our interview with Amanda Palmer.) >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ife - Toronto, OR. For more, check out our interview with Amanda Palmer.

Comments: 2

  • Cat from CtIt says biting in the first sentence its actually the first word. She makes tons of references to nail biting throughout the song. It could be taken as either. I thought of it as nail biting, to hold yourself back from the things everyone else is asking you to do. biting your nails is a start to self harm, because its a way to cope. and when trying to stop, they tend to do the other things instead. I think she was referencing a lot of things thought the song. Like how people were telling her to be happy. Like how if you just let your nails grow out you can paint them and they can look nice and you will feel better and feel happy. Honestly it gets annoying. My family does the same thing to me with my nails, everything. So I get everything she was saying. But I think the Be happy was a kick at men don't care about nails why should I? I wanna bite mine let me, its not bugging you. I also think it was touching on how other perceive your emotions your going though.
  • Josh from New York, BarbadosWhile the lyrics, if taken seriously, would make the song seem like it's about self mutilation and the like, it's actually inspired by lead singer Amanda Palmer's bad habit of nail biting. At one point on the Dresden Dolls website there was a letter from an irate mother scolding the songs' creation and how it encouraged young girls to attack their bodies. However, Amanda's response clarified what the song was really about. (thanks, Ife - Toronto, OR)

see more comments

Editor's Picks

La La Brooks of The Crystals

La La Brooks of The CrystalsSong Writing

The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

John Parr

John ParrSongwriter Interviews

John tells the "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" story and explains why he disappeared for so long.

Vince Clarke

Vince ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

An original member of Depeche Mode, Vince went on to form Erasure and Yaz.

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.

Tom Waits Lyrics Quiz

Tom Waits Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Pool balls, magpies and thorns without roses - how well do you know your Tom Waits lyrics?