Ben Folds Five’s “Brick” Lyrics Meaning
The song “Brick” is actually autobiographical as far as Ben Folds is concerned. And whereas there is a lot of elaboration, some metaphorical, going on, the main timeline of the featured narrative breaks down as so.
The vocalist goes to pick up his girlfriend very early in the morning on December 26, i.e. the “day after Christmas”. Her parents are out of the town, and Folds implies that he and she are using the opportunity to do something secretive.
And whereas it is never stated forthrightly, from his own explanation of this song we know that what he is doing is taking her to get an abortion. Moreover, the two of them would be teenagers at the time, thus explaining why they’re doing so secretively. Indeed he even has to pawn the gifts he received for Christmas in the name of paying for the procedure.
The Procedure tampers with their Relationship
And let’s just say that his sweetheart doesn’t take the experience well. She may be dealing with some negative physical aftereffects, but all things considered it reads more like her conscience is bothering her. This apparently leads to Ben telling his parents the truth some weeks later.
But the conclusive idea that lies at the heart of this story is that the whole experience sorta messed their romance up, an emotional climax that the young couple apparently wasn’t expecting.
Chorus of “Brick”
And then as far as the chorus is concerned, whereas it may come off as if it has some type of connected albeit poetically-shrouded meaning, let it be known that such is not the case. Rather by the looks of things, the only reason that Ben Folds’ bandmate Darren Jessee is credited as a co-writer is because it was he who penned the chorus, as opposed, to Ben who wrote the rest of the song.
And as authored, according to Jessee it does not have anything directly to do with the story at large. Rather it just like sounds coolly applicable, all lyrics considered.
Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds Five was actually a trio of musicians from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the same city in which this song was recorded (inside Folds’ home). The band was made up of the following:
- lead vocalist Ben Folds
- Darren Jessee
- Robert Sledge
Facts about “Brick”
“Brick” is from the second album they put out together, “Whatever and Ever Amen” (1997), which went on to be certified platinum by the RIAA. And “Brick” itself was officially released by Epic Records on New Year’s Day, 1997.
This song is actually the biggest hit the Ben Folds Five ever achieved. It appeared on four US Billboard charts altogether and performed most impressively on the Modern Rock Tracks list, where it peaked at number six.
And to note, “Brick” was not issued as a single stateside. Thus said showing was solely the result of the song being played on radio, as this was prior to the days of the internet-based music industry.
“Brick” also made its way onto the top 30 of the UK Singles Chart.
The music video to this track was directed by Kevin Bray. And it features Hollywood actress Ariana Richards, who previously appeared in the Jurassic Park movie franchise, portraying the role of the vocalist’s romantic interest.
Even though this proved to Ben Folds Five biggest hit overall, the tune did not sit well with the band’s established fanbase at the time. Moreover, Ben Folds went on to explain that his buddies weren’t feeling “Brick” either.
Then he himself actually “tried to talk the manager and label people out of” releasing it. But ultimately they did so anyway, a decision we’re sure he has come to appreciate given its impressive critical reception. For instance, Aussies seem to really dig it.