Santa Monica
Savage Garden Lyrics


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In Santa Monica in the winter time
The lazy streets so undemanding
I walk into the crowd
In Santa Monica you get your coffee from
The coolest places on the promenade
Where people dress just so
Beauty so unavoidable
Everywhere you turn
It's there
I sit and wonder what am I doing here?

But on the telephone line I am anyone
I am anything I want to be
I could be a supermodel or Norman Mailer
And you wouldn't know the difference
Or would you?

In Santa Monica, all the people got
Modern names
Like Jake or Mandy
And modern bodies too
In Santa Monica, on the boulevard,
You'll have to dodge those in-line skaters
Or they'll knock you down
I never felt so lonely,
Never felt so out of place
I never wanted something more than this

But on the telephone line I am anyone
I am anything I want to be
I could be a supermodel or Norman Mailer
And you wouldn't know the difference
On the telephone line, I am any height
I am any age I want to be
I could be a caped crusader, or
Space invader




And you would know the difference
Or would you?

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Savage Garden's song Santa Monica explore themes of identity, loneliness, and the search for meaning in a world that can feel superficial and disconnected. The singer finds himself in Santa Monica during the winter, a setting that seems to embody both the beauty and the emptiness that can characterize modern life. He observes the people around him, noting their carefully crafted appearances and modern names, but also feeling disconnected and out of place. The chorus reveals his desire to escape this sense of alienation and become something else entirely, imagining the freedom and anonymity that the telephone line represents.


The lyrics are reminiscent of the ideas explored in the French existentialist novel "Nausea," in which the singer confronts the fundamental emptiness and absurdity of human existence. Similarly, the singer of Santa Monica feels lost in a world that seems to value appearances above all else, but he also recognizes the seductive power of reinventing oneself and pursuing experiences that transcend the mundane. The juxtaposition of the physical setting, with its picturesque streets and flock of in-line skaters, and the singer's internal state highlights the tension between external appearances and internal realities.


Line by Line Meaning

In Santa Monica in the winter time
The song sets the scene in Santa Monica during winter, hinting at a certain emptiness and a lack of demand in the streets.


The lazy streets so undemanding
The tranquil streets of Santa Monica present an easy-going atmosphere inviting the singer to unwind.


I walk into the crowd
The singer ventures into the lively crowd, perhaps to find some sort of inspiration or company.


In Santa Monica you get your coffee from the coolest places on the promenade
Santa Monica's promenade boasts of fashionable coffee shops where the city's most modish spend their time.


Where people dress just so
The people in Santa Monica exude an impeccable sense of style and pay great attention to their looks.


Beauty so unavoidable everywhere you turn
The singer cannot help but notice the beauty that surrounds him everywhere he turns in Santa Monica.


I sit and wonder what am I doing here?
Despite the beauty and vibe of Santa Monica, the singer finds himself questioning what he's doing there, perhaps due to some feeling of displacement.


But on the telephone line I am anyone. I am anything I want to be.
The artist muses that on the telephone, he can be whoever or whatever he wants, highlighting the potential disconnect between reality and fantasy.


I could be a supermodel or Norman Mailer, and you wouldn't know the difference. Or would you?
The artist alludes to the power of pretending on the telephone, suggesting that people might not always reveal who they truly are and that there's a potential for misunderstanding.


In Santa Monica all the people got modern names like Jake or Mandy, and modern bodies too
The people in Santa Monica have fashionable, modern names, hinting at their appearances, seemingly reflecting the city's trendsetting culture.


In Santa Monica on the boulevard you'll have to dodge those in-line skaters or they'll knock you down
Santa Monica's boulevard is a bustling place full of activity, and the singer must be careful not to get run over by the skaters.


I never felt so lonely, never felt so out of place. I never wanted something more than this
Despite being in a lively and attractive place like Santa Monica, the artist still feels alone and out of place, probably yearning for something more meaningful in his life and struggling with his own identity.


On the telephone line I am anyone. I am anything I want to be. I could be a supermodel or Norman Mailer
The singer reflects once again on the power of the telephone to be anyone, highlighting the potential for an escape or comfort zone from difficult situations.


And you wouldn't know the difference. On the telephone line, I am any height. I am any age I want to be. I could be a caped crusader, or space invader. And you would know the difference. Or would you?
The song concludes with the singer pondering whether people would truly know the difference between the person on the telephone and the true self, highlighting the conflict between reality and perception.




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: DANIEL JONES, DARREN HAYES

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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