Little Boxes - Rise Against


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08-14-2009, 05:23 PM
Can someone tell me the story behind this song?

Just discovered it awhile ago, it's catchy.

08-14-2009, 05:31 PM
"Little Boxes" is a song written by Malvina Reynolds in 1962 that lampoons the development of suburbia and what many consider its bourgeois conformist values. Pete Seeger performed a notable cover of the song in 1963.[citation needed]

Little Boxes refers to the areas of Daly City, California, built in the post-war era by Henry Doelger, particularly the neighborhood of Westlake. Nancy Reynolds, daughter of Malvina Reynolds, explains:

"My mother and father were driving South from San Francisco through Daly City when my mom got the idea for the song. She asked my dad to take the wheel, and she wrote it on the way to the gathering in La Honda where she was going to sing for the Friends Committee on Legislation. When Time Magazine (I think, maybe Newsweek) wanted a photo of her pointing to the very place, she couldn’t find those houses because so many more had been built around them that the hillsides were totally covered.”[1]

It was performed on the BBC satirical television program That Was The Week That Was on April 13, 1964, sung by Nancy Ames and accompanied by a film montage by Guy Fraumeni and Lou Myers depicting tract housing, etc.

The version of the song by the Womenfolk is the shortest single ever to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 at 1:03 minutes long.[citation needed] The Spanish songwriter Adolfo Celdrán wrote the first Spanish version of the song, called "Cajitas", which was published in 1969 and had several successive reissues. Another Spanish version of the song, "Las Casitas del Barrio Alto," was written by the Chilean songwriter Víctor Jara in 1971, depicting in a mocking way the over-Europeanized and bourgeois lifestyle of the residents of the "Barrio Alto" in Santiago de Chile. A French version was also performed with the title Petites boîtes by Graeme Allwright. Other artists who have covered the song include Regina Spektor, Rise Against, Devendra Banhart, Phosphorescent, Man Man and The Decemberists who expanded the song by several verses.

The term "ticky tacky" became a catch-phrase during the 1960s, attesting to the song's popularity.[2] Tom Lehrer described Little Boxes as "the most sanctimonious song ever written".[3]

The song is used as the opening theme song for the Showtime television series Weeds. The first season used Reynolds's own recording as the theme song. In the second and third seasons, different artists performed Little Boxes in the introduction sequence of each episode. The almost thirty artists included The Submarines, Rise Against, Linkin Park, Regina Spektor, The Decemberists, Engelbert Humperdinck, Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice, Tim DeLaughter, Mark Gunnery of Riot Folk, Randy Newman, Billy Bob Thornton, The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Mates Of State, Persephone's Bees, Man Man, Joan Baez, Ozomatli, Rob Thomas, The Individuals and Kate and Anna McGarrigle who did a French version, distinctly Québécois by its accent, for the the episode A.K.A. The Plant where Nancy's "Lacy LaPlante" alias was introduced. Reynolds's version was used again for the finale of the second and third seasons and for the premier of the fourth season. Pete Seeger's version was used again at the end of the season three finale. Starting with the second episode of the fourth season, Little Boxes was no longer used. A snippet of the song was used again at the opening scene for Season Five, Episode Seven where the shows title showed a wikipedia-like entry for "Weeds" that played the "Little Boxes" theme when clicked.

For a complete list of artists who have recorded this song for the show, see opening music of Weeds.

Is searching Wikipedia really that hard?

08-14-2009, 10:45 PM
didn't know it was a cover.


08-14-2009, 11:06 PM
Yeah, the original was pretty good.
Kinda lame that Rise Against covered it though.

08-15-2009, 01:03 AM
rise against does terrible covers.

08-15-2009, 07:54 PM
Dozens of people covered it for Weeds.

Seeger has said that Malvina Reynolds wrote a song everyday before breakfast and this is just one of her's. He covers a few other of her songs too.

08-17-2009, 12:28 PM
i never even heard this version on weeds before

08-17-2009, 06:00 PM
I always thought that song was f*cking annoying.

08-18-2009, 01:04 AM
rise against does terrible covers.

That is very untrue. . .

08-18-2009, 01:05 AM
Linkin Park also does this song. I think it's awful lol.

08-19-2009, 10:54 AM
rise against does terrible covers.


08-20-2009, 05:40 PM
rise against does terrible covers.

rise against also makes terrible original songs