White Houses

Album: Harmonium (2004)
Charted: 86
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song is about losing innocence through broken friendships and losing one's virginity. "White Houses" symbolizes the innocence of youth and the fairy-tale like perspectives on the future during the pre-adult years. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jonathan - Natchitoches, LA
  • Lindsey Buckingham, known best for his work in Fleetwood Mac, played guitar on this song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Sarah - Guess, Canada
  • In the music video, directed by Sophie Muller, the huge photograph of the ballerina on the wall behind where Vanessa is dancing is a picture of her when she was younger. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Angela - Saipan, Other
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Comments: 32

  • Ujuoan from NyI lied, wrote my injuries all in the dust
    ( I LIED IM NOT REALLT INJURED ID DO IT ALL AGAIN)
    In my heart is the five of us
    (I STILL HOLD THE 5 OF US CLOSE TO MY HEART)
    In white houses

    And you, maybe you'll remember me
    What I gave is yours to keep
    (AND YOU WHO I GAVE MY VIRGINITY TO, THAT SPECIAL MOMENT IS YOURS TO KEEP OR SOMETHING LIKE SHED DO IT AGAIN)
  • Cassie from New YorkI use to love this song, & I didn't know what it meant. & I was really young too & then a friend told me it was about her losing her virginity & I didn't understand sex so I didn't care. But now that I'm older & I get it more, it's a pretty song but yeah I agree how the line rush of blood is a little too detailed kinda lol. Pretty song though.
  • Christine from Warwick, RiITS REALLY NOT THAT COMPLICATED ITS ABOUT A GIRL WHO LOSES HER VIRGINITY IN THE SUMMER TO THE TYPICAL GOOD LOOKING GUY WHO IT DOESNT LAST WITH

    Maybe I'm a little bit over my head
    I come undone at the things he said
    (HE IS WORKING HIS WAY TO GETTING HER TO GIVE UP HER VIRGINITY)
    And he's so funny in his bright red shirt
    We were all in love and we all got hurt
    I sneak into his car's cracked leather seat
    The smell of gasoline in the summer heat
    Boy, we're going way too fast (METAPHORE FOR GOING FAST IN THE CAR AND MOVING TOO FAST SEXUALLY)
    It's all too sweet to last
    (THE FEELING OF GOING FAST IN A CAR AS TO HOW SHE FEELS LIKE SHE IS IN LOVE)

    It's alright
    And I put myself in his hands
    But I hold on to your secrets in white houses
    Love, or something ignites in my veins
    And I pray it never fades in white houses


    My first time, hard to explain
    Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain (FIRST TIME YOU BLEED)
    On a cloudy day, it's more common than you think
    He's my first mistake
    (IN A PLACE WHERE YOU WOULD THINK THINGS SUCH AS GIRLS GIVING THEMSELVES UP AND REGRETTING IT W/O WAITING FOR MARRAIGE HAPPENS ALL THE TIME )

    Maybe you were all faster than me (SHE IS SORT OF INNOCENT AND WASNT AS SEXUALLY ACTIVE AS HER NEW FRIENDS)
    We gave each other up so easily (THEY GIVE EACHOTHER BODIES TO EACHOTHER LIKE NOTHING)
    These silly little wounds will never mend
    (HER HEART IS BROKEN OR SHE FEELS EMPTY OR SCARRED BY THE FACT SHE GAVE UP HER VIRGINITY THIS WAY)
    I feel so far from where I've been
    (FEEL DEFFERENT AND BROKEN COMPARED TO HER OLD INNOCENT SELF)
    So I go, and I will not be back here again
    I'm gone as the day is fading on white houses
    I lied, wrote my injuries all in the dust
    In my heart is the five of us
    In white houses

    And you, maybe you'll remember me
    What I gave is yours to keep
    In white houses [x3]
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnI hated her 1st album but Harmonium really caught my attention. Vanessa Carlton may not have the strongest voice but she knows how to compose her butt off. White Houses is like a perfect summer day.
  • Hope from Naperville, Ilshe went to some dance camp i think. i also think there's this guy she wants that 'jenny' wants too, and vanessa thinks she's better but he picks her. white houses resembles purity of virginity, which she lost to that guy...not sure. the rest is self explanatory from that. i love this song...sooo many great inside jokes *red shirts*
  • Kmkm from London, United Kingdom"It's about jealousy ... losing your virginity ... living on your own," Carlton recently told MTV. "It's a story that most people can relate to, that chapter in your life from 16 to 25, where you're trying to figure out who you are, and you go through all these triumphs and tragedies on a daily basis, and how they shape you."
  • Maddie from New York, NyThis song is about a girl meeting some new friends over the summer. Just like teenagers today, they got bored and decided to try new things. Slowly growing up and losing the innocence they had before by getting involved with drugs, peer pressure, and sex. She ends up losing her virginity to a random guy in the back seat of his car and realize after that she regrets all of it but can't change that and will still keep their secrets.
  • Poola from Spartanburg, ScThis song is definately about her losing her virginity and the white houses represent innocence and the sun going down on them means innocence lost at the end of the song.
  • Sarah from Hayward, Wiya, that was my comment before to but i put that i live in hayward it's actually gordon!!!
  • Sarah from Hayward, Wii love this song it's so amazing! me and my friend ashlee love this song!!!! it rocks!!! by the way hi ashlee!!! i love u vanessa!!
  • Rosalie from Laguna Beach, CaI love to his song. I think it's meaing can be interperited in many ways. Theres no right or wrong answer.
  • Cortney from Grand Junction, CoI love how she kept the song innocent at first and then added the whole virginity thing.I like this song.
  • Lydia from Elyria, Ohi really like this song. though it does have more adult subjects.
  • Pie from Vegas, United Statesthis song is ok. it's32
  • Katie from Nyc, Nyok this is a great song but i know for a fact it isn't about vanessa it is about a girl in college who kills herself!!!!!
  • Abby from Denver, CoI love love love this song!! It's amazing.


    the rush of blood thing freaks me out though....
  • Lilian from Tallinn, EuropeThis song is inspired by a dancecamp that Vanessa went to as a teenager. That actually makes sense when you think about it: "little bungalow" - those are in camps; "Jenny screams out and it's no pose
    'Cause when she dances she goes and goes" - Jenny loves dancing, it's her passion - she's a dancer; "The summer is ending soon" - the camp is over when the summer ends; "white houses" - ordinary houses wouldn't all be white.
  • Melissa from Newcastle, United StatesWONDERFUL WONDERFUL song!!!!

    but!!!!

    the vid sucked

    i would of much rathered a young pretty girl going through these stages in her life and how she learnt from her mistakes

    but the song is beautiful and IM HOOKED!!!
  • Ashley from Elgin, Ilits a very touching song. coming as an innocent girl and leaving as a stronger women. she learns a life lesson and takes it to heart! true for alot of girls ! very true
    -peace
  • Kelly from Freeburg, Il"white houses" is all about how she meets 4 other friends who she lives with and she likes one of them. she likes him sooo much that she loses her virginity to him, then she finds out he doesn't really like her and then she gets jealous of jenny. she later talks about how she's leaving cause they aren't who she should be hanging around with and she is leaving a memory of her with them. it's a VERY good song. i ABSOLUTELY luv it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    -kelly freeburg, illinois
  • Angela from New York, Nywas the song written for fun or did this experience happen to vanessa carlton before
  • Michelle from Somewhere, NyYea it's definitely about losing her virginity and friendship and all that. I just finished listening to the song and JUST realized that. Do you know how many times i've listened to the song? A lot. But sometimes you just realize certain things after a while.

    "My first time, hard to explain
    Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain
    On a cloudy day, it's more common than you think
    He's my first mistake" Thats about the virginity

    And i think this means they did it in his car:
    "I sneak into his car's black leather seat
    The smell of gasoline in the summer heat
    Boy, we're going way too fast
    It's all too sweet to last"

  • Krystal from Attleboro, MaActually its about her losing her virginity.. My friend its friends with vanessa.
  • Jorge from Mexicali, MexicoA song about growing, making mistakes and coming of age. She arrives wide-eyed and innocent and leaves a bit more worldly and wiser. A very good song.
  • Amelia from South Portland, Mei think its about losing her virginty and having memories in the summer with all her friends. Espially when they play spin the bottle with some guys.
  • Gretchen from San Antonio, TxYou have it wrong, Alyssa. White Houses represents the illusion that in suburbia that things are innocent (sort of Wisteria Lane, Desperate House Wives thing), and that things you've heard of such as drugs, annorexia, or losing virginity when you're only a teenager can't happen here. But they can. This song is about the change of an innocent girl at the beginning of summer, but comes out as sort of a woman, with more understanding than before.


    Here, you'll see what I mean. My comments are under the lyrics.

    Crashed on the floor when I moved in
    This little bungalow with some strange new friends

    She's met some really cool people with problems, but they won't tell anyone, and she knows.

    Stay up too late, and I'm too thin

    She has problems of her own.

    We promise each other it's til the end
    Now we're spinning empty bottles
    It's the five of us
    With pretty eyed boys girls die to trust
    I can't resist the day
    No, I can't resist the day

    She is now best friends with them, and she's eager to be with a hot guy.


    Jenny screams out and it's no pose
    'Cause when she dances she goes and goes
    Beer through the nose on an inside joke
    I'm so excited, I haven't spoken
    And she's so pretty, and she's so sure
    Maybe I'm more clever than a girl like her

    She's jealous of Jenny, who's pretty and talented, but she's not letting that down. She's still feeling good, and she's found her place in the group.



    The summer's all in bloom
    The summer is ending soon

    she doesn't want to go back to being by herself


    It's alright and it's nice not to be so alone

    She's focusing on the now, and not the future

    But I hold on to your secrets in white houses

    Her friend's secrets slip out to her

    Maybe I'm a little bit over my head
    I come undone at the things he said
    And he's so funny in his bright red shirt

    She falling in love

    We were all in love and we all got hurt

    He's doesn't like her; he likes her friend, and he's toying with her

    I sneak into his car's cracked leather seat
    The smell of gasoline in the summer heat

    She's gone with him somewhere without her parent's permission

    Boy, we're going way too fast
    It's all too sweet to last

    She changing fast, and doing things she's never done before.

    It's alright
    And I put myself in his hands

    She trusts him. She'll do anything to be with him.

    But I hold on to your secrets in white houses

    She reminding her friends of how much power she has over them


    Love, or something ignites in my veins

    She's never felt love before, but she's pretty sure this is what it feels like

    And I pray it never fades in white houses

    She doesn't want it to end

    My first time, hard to explain
    Rush of blood, oh, and a little bit of pain

    losing her virginity

    On a cloudy day, it's more common than you think

    She's saying that a lot of teens do it, and she's done it.

    He's my first mistake

    She thought she loved him, but she didn't. And he told her he loved her, but just to get her to do it with him.


    Maybe you were all faster than me
    We gave each other up so easily

    She's ending her friendship with them

    These silly little wounds will never mend

    Sounds like they were sort of saucy to eachother....

    I feel so far from where I've been

    She feels different now, and she's not like them anymore

    So I go, and I will not be back here again
    I'm gone as the day is fading on white houses

    She's not going to hang out with them anymore.

    I lied, put my injuries all in the dust

    Who they saw her for wasn't really how she is, because she acted like them to belong

    In my heart is the five of us
    In white houses

    she's always going to remember that summer.

    And you, maybe you'll remember me
    What I gave is yours to keep

    She's telling the boy that he's been a jerk, but she just wants him to remember her, because she gave her virginity to him.

    In white houses [x3]

  • Alyssa from Morganville, Njwhite houses is defifnitley about her having a fantastic summer, losing her virginity, then "smell of gasoline in the summer heat, .. were going way too fast, its all too sweet to last.." carcrash maybe? then white houses is the hospital and where she stayed in the summer? and then when it says, "i put myself in his hands..." when her "mistake" died? she put herself in his hands .
  • Melissa from Weston, Mothe song is about her losing her virginity and at the time she feels that she is in love and that she wont regret her decision but after ward she does and
    now all that she can ask of him is to remeber her
  • Cassey from Dallas, TxI think the White houses are also the "perfect Memories " from that Summer
  • Peter from Howard Beach, NyWhenever I hear this song I think of President Reagan because this sounds like a song that might not be about friendship but a person that was once important to everyone in America at one time
  • Maggie from Austin, Txthis is a really pretty song but vannessa carlton scares me.... the rest of the album is really spooky
  • Kristen from Campbellville, CanadaI think that its that and also someone releasing that since then she's changed, and that you are allowed to make mistakes.
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