Interpretations:Hide Away Folk Family

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Spousal abuse[edit]

To me, this seems like to be a song about spousal abuse. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, August 2, 2005


I've not much to say except this song strikes me as being about paranoia, whether justified or not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:58, August 30, 2005

Interpretation 3[edit]

According to They Might be Giants, its "about a family that has to hide away" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nightpotato (talkcontribs) 17:21, September 13, 2005

Interpretation 4[edit]

I believe this song may be about changing times and how sad it is that people have to lock their doors and always be worried about what others will do to them if they're not careful. Hideaway folk family, is basically saying, lock the doors and stay safe common families. Someone's gonna get ya', obviously refers to the increasing crime rate and that you and your family could be robbed or hurt if you're not careful. "Sadly the cross eyed bear's been but to sleep behind the stares", is a reference to how nobody wants to help each other out anymore I believe. It's of course derived from, "Gladly the Cross I'd bear". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:38, November 3, 2005

Hostage situation[edit]

I always thought it was about a hostage situation, and "abandoning all hope" had to do with Stockholm Syndrome. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:01, December 18, 2005

Interpretation 6[edit]

I always thought it was about someone coming to get the family and the mother hides the child underneath the stairs only to later find out the villain is going to blow up that house not come inside it —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, December 22, 2005

Interpretation 7[edit]

Now that I think about it, that's a really weird interpretation I wrote a while ago. o_O BALEETED.

NEW INTEPRETATION! It's about... paranoia. Like, they're all scared that this is going to happen or whatever, maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. I've always been convinced that the backwards singing at the end is the family's last moments. However, this could be what's going through their minds: not their death. Very, very scary yet really cool song. ^_^ Wow. Creepy. --Lemita 19:32, 27 Jun 2006 (MDT)


Again, a Holocaust song; the family is hiding away because of the Nazis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:13, June 28, 2006

I think its about the holocaust as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Snail Shell (talkcontribs) 09:08, September 18, 2006

Leftover hippies[edit]

Like another song from the same period (Purple Toupee), this song is making fun of leftover hippies. --Nehushtan 05:27, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Interpretation 10[edit]

No one seems to have mentioned that the lyric "hide away, folk family" is a play on words derived from a children's toy that was available in the 1970s and 1980s. The toy was called the Hideaway Folk Family. It was a little plastic cottage that hinged open and hidden inside there was a little family of folks. My recollection of this toy is located in the vastly remote recesses of my memory, but I seem to remember that the Folk Family was comprised of Weeble-like figures dressed in earthtones. It reminded me a little of the Fisher-Price barn that opened up and held barnyard animals. So, one of the Johns noticed that the name of the toy, Hideaway Folk Family, sounds like an ominous admonition, "hide away, folk family!" and they parleyed that idea into a song. Any young adult of the 1980s would know the Hideaway Folk Family toy and would get the joke. The rest of the lyrics are just complimentary to the central turn of the phrase. --Chadd 13:11, August 9, 2007

The nearest thing I can find to this is Kenner's Mountain Tots Hideaway, from the late 1970s.
-- Thread Bomb (talk) 21:29, 8 March 2020 (EDT)

Interpretation 11[edit]

There's an innocent nice Christian family being shown to believe the worst in people and live in a state of fear and distrust. magbatz 14:46, February 20, 2008

Amish family[edit]

I think it's about an Amish family that gets raped/murdered. MidnightCrisis 01:12, 15 March 2012 (EDT)

Interpretation 13[edit]

An excellent song that is one of the few implicitly (rather than explicitly - c'mon it's the Giants) universal songs that they've ever written. One assumes a Flans song, it's easily in his top 10 that he's written for the band. Essentially is's a song about persecution and can be understood from a variety of perspectives. As Flans is American I've always thought it was about a lynching, but it could easily be about the holocaust or the kulaks being purged in Soviet Russia. Think of a persecuted minority it can be about them. Musically there is a kind of irony to it too. Musically (Leslie Anne Down bridge apart) it's wonderfully unthreatening: like lullaby which lulls the listener into a fall sense of security that this is a nice song. I remember it took a few listens before I realised what a disturbing song it actually is. For those persecuted, their eventual destruction often comes as a surprise as they too are lulled into a false sense of security that everything will be all right and the song reflects this fatal misunderstanding. Flans' clever bridge where musically it becomes threatening has the horoscope lyric illustrating a bleak humour that the folk family has no future. Throwing Leslie Anne Down in is rather puzzling! (Mr Tuck) 07:02, July 24, 2014

Interpretation 14[edit]

I believe the song is about a family who hides in their house while a well-known murderers come to kill them. While the family is hiding the during a news broadcast is on their TVB. I believe this because of the stanza from Lesley Down from the song. They reason the reporter can be heard is because one of the murderers mistakenly step on one of the buttons on the remote. The(fake)backwards singing is their final screams. I believe there were two murderers because of Lesley Down's report. He lists Taurus and Aquarius. These are alias of the murderers. I forgot to mention they choose these names because they are their zodiac signs.--Nanobot18 (talk) 14:23, 3 January 2019 (EST)

Doomsday preppers[edit]

The song is about "doomsday preppers" and similar people who separate themselves from the world in fear that it will kill them. The lyrics neglect to mention the stockpile of guns and explosives the family keep in their hideaway. -- Thread Bomb (talk) 21:35, 8 March 2020 (EDT)

Goodbye Columbus, Kentucky[edit]

I always thought it was just about the declining relevance of rural America. The old world of small-town agrarian America was going away. The Leslie Ann Downe thing remains a mystery. However, from a couple of guys who conceived of a blowhard who complains about the lack of shoe horns with teeth, I’m not going to sweat the details.