Between the Bars

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"Between the Bars"
Song by Elliott Smith
from the album Either/Or
ReleasedFebruary 25, 1997
GenreIndie folk, lo-fi, sadcore
LabelKill Rock Stars
Producer(s)Smith, Tom Rothrock, Rob Schnapf

"Between the Bars" is the fourth track of Elliott Smith's 1997 album Either/Or. It is written as a short ballad in the key of G Minor[1]. The song is one of three tracks from Either/Or that was used in the soundtrack of Good Will Hunting.[2] It is also featured in the 2012 indie film, Stuck in Love, and in the seventh episode of season two of "Rick and Morty". As of October 2017, the song is his most streamed track on the popular music streaming services Spotify and Apple Music. A cover version of the song performed by Chris Garneau was used in Pedro Almodovar's film "La piel que habito" (The skin I live in) in 2012.

Live performances[edit]

Smith performed the song very often, and it was the 13th song of his final performance at Redfest in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 19, 2003.[3]


Between the Bars is a love song written from the perspective of a bottle to an alcoholic... drink up baby, stay up all night, the things you could do, you won't but you might, the potential you'll be, that you'll never see" - is the bottle of whiskey urging the alcoholic to forget about his troubles. Don't worry! "People that you've been before, or you don't want around anymore, they push and shove and won't bend to your will" what does the bottle promise - "I'll keep them still" The lovely promise alcohol provides to the drinker

Cover versions[edit]

"Between the Bars" has been covered by artists such as Chris Garneau, Madeleine Peyroux, Glen Phillips, Madonna, Kevin Devine, The Civil Wars, Agnes Obel, and Seth Avett/Jessica Lea Mayfield[4]


  1. ^ "Between The Bars by Elliott Smith - Find Song Tempo". Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  2. ^ "Good Will Hunting". June 12, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017 – via Wikipedia.
  3. ^ "Elliott Smith Setlist at Redfest, Salt Lake City". Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "Between the Bars by Elliott Smith Song Statistics -". Retrieved June 16, 2017.