This is beautiful, I hadn’t heard this song in such a long time I LOVE it! Florence says so much with so little and that’s what helps this song to work so well.
This song is about a bad relationship, but it was one in which the girl didn’t realize how unhappy she was until she left it behind. The first stanza is about how she avoided leaving the relationship because she felt like there was something salvageable.
Another interpretation is that she wanted to have the relationship on HER terms, but the person who had less invested was always in control (so she felt powerless in a way). Anyway, she tried to avoid ending this relationship by hiding “around corners” and “under beds,” taunting it, and getting drunk.
Eventually, she realized that she was causing her own suffering by holding back and being blind to the fact that you can’t control how others feel about you. So she let happiness finally catch up with her the dog days ended. She naturally ran for the people that had consistently cared most about her (her family and friends), and also abandoned the emotions she had invested into the relationship because they would be nothing but constant reminders of how miserable she was during that time.
Before she did this however, she had one final moment of remembering why she was so obsessed with the other person. She thinks it’s quite simple she only wanted “everything [he] had.” The next few lines are tricky to interpret, but here’s what makes the most sense: because she was the vulnerable one in the relationship, she always felt like the other person was knocking her down to a lower level because her strong feelings weren’t reciprocated. So although she felt invincible from one point because she was in a stable relationship (at a “great height”), she let the other person walk all over her. And it was at this low point that she knows that the other person should understand how he is emotionally torturing her (“someone who should know better than that”) by not being as in love with her and she is with him. Yes, we can’t control how others feel towards us, but the other person was being ignorant in not seeing how much pain he was causing. She comes to a realization and finally lets happiness overtake her and leaves
Happiness hit her like a train on a track ~ she was wooed into a relationship by an abusive guy
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back ~ she felt stuck in that relationship
She hid around corners and she hid under beds ~ she put up with his abuse always having to hide from him during his outrage
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled ~ she tried change him with love and affection as most women do. but his abuse continued and she’d still have to flee from his abuse all the time.
With every bubble she sank with her drink ~ she started drinking a lot and was becoming depressed
And washed it away down the kitchen sink ~ but then one she got the courage to say enough was enough, and put everything behind her.
The dog days are over ~ shes telling him that the relationship is over
The dog days are done ~ him treating her like crap is over
The horses are coming ~ she called the police
So you better run ~ he should run
Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers ~ run or your going to jail, and you dont want to put for children and your family thru that
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive ~ don’t look back just go
And I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had and what was left after that too, oh ~ she wants everything the house etc like in a divorce
Happiness hit her like a bullet in the head ~ she needed that relationship like a she needed a bullet in the head
Struck from a great height by someone who should know better than that ~ hes a smart guy or some one she looked up to. maybe he targeted her feeling she was weak but he should have know there would be consequences to his actions