Hidden Houses


"Hidden Houses" is the ninth track on Paper Monsters.


Behind the door a secret place
A hidden house you see
A place where you imagine
Just how life could be
And in your head you've made your bed
You sleep alone you see
The person in the mirror can't be me
That's alright, you say that's life
It's alright, you saved my life
Hold my hand, close your eyes, understand
Inside each man a frightened lamb
Who hides beneath the sheets
Waiting for a chance to just be free
Behind the masks try to last
Another day or week
A perfect life laid in front of me
That's alright, you say that's life
It's alright, you saved my life
Hold my hand, close your eyes, understand
Come with me, let's walk
Close your eyes, let's talk
My love
My love

Dave's Take

"The whole lyric to ['Hidden Houses'] was inspired by my son Jimmy walking around the Meat District [in New York City]. When you walk around there, there are all these doors everywhere, but you don't really know where they go. I like that idea of what we get up to behind closed doors, and the secret lives we live in our heads. I'm definitely one of those people."1

My Take

This is the hardest rocking song on the record and the sound kind of reminds me of The Cure or even Tool. The best way that I can describe the guitar and bass sounds is that they sound dark and heavy. I love songs with heavy electric bass sounds, by the way. That aside, even the lyrics have a dark element to them, especially the descriptions about "secret places" and "sleeping alone" and such. To me, this song can be taken both literally and/or figuratively, meaning that on one hand, the "hidden houses" could be describing literal houses that are hidden in hard-to-find places- perhaps a place where a lonely hermit lives out his/her life. On the other hand, a "hidden house" could also be a metaphor to a person's secret life/lives, or a life that they live out solely in their head. The second verse gives me more of that sense, like a man who is confident only on the outside and puts on a certain persona when in reality he is really "a frightened lamb." Maybe this man is trapped in a life that he does not want to live and so he either lives out an imaginary life or lives a secret life?

Music Video

There is no music video for this song. I lament this fact, though, as this song would've been perfect for a video. For some reason, I could envision a creepy, Adam Jones-style stop-motion animation video suiting this song very well. If you're not familiar with Adam Jones, he is the guitarist for Tool and created the stop-motion animation music videos for some of their songs like "Sober," "Prison Sex," and "Ænema" to name a few.


  1. "An Interview with Dave Gahan", radio.wazee (February 20, 2003)