Meaning of “Sedona” by Houndmouth

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Sedona” by Houndmouth captures a story of faded fame, the allure of Hollywood, and the inevitable rise and fall of one’s glory. The song reminisces about the days when neon signs in Hollywood burned bright, representing the glamorous heyday of the entertainment industry. It paints a picture of Sedona, a symbol of that faded glory, who fell from grace. The nuances of broken dreams, financial ups and downs, and the haunting specter of irrelevance are evident. But it’s also about the transient nature of success and the melancholic beauty of nostalgia. At its core, “Sedona” is a ballad of a bygone era and the people who lived it.

If the radiant aura of Hollywood’s golden era and the bittersweet undertones of fame intrigue you, then dive right into the depths of “Sedona”.

“Sedona” Lyrics Meaning

The lyric, “The red sandstone, it fell Right smack on top of Sedona Arabelle” sets the tone. The imagery of red sandstone symbolizes Sedona’s past, perhaps an accident or sudden fall from stardom. This brings Sedona Arabelle into the limelight, hinting at a person whose story we’re about to dive into.

The mention of “John Ford” and the “Stagecoach” is a nod to old Hollywood. John Ford, a legendary filmmaker, directed the classic film “Stagecoach”. This might suggest Sedona was part of the golden era of Hollywood, a starlet who experienced the highs of fame.

“Hey, Little Hollywood, You’re gone, but you’re not forgot” emphasizes the fading glory of Hollywood. While its golden days are in the past, its memories still linger. The line about having cash but no credit alludes to the superficiality of the industry. Stars might have wealth, but their reputation or ‘credit’ might be tainted or non-existent.

“I remember when the neon Used to burn so bright and pink” further elaborates on the past glory days, with neon representing the liveliness and energy of Hollywood nights. The ‘Saturday night kind of pink’ deepens the imagery, evoking feelings of excitement, youth, and vitality.

The lyrics then move into darker territory, addressing blacklists and a move to California. Historically, Hollywood blacklists were a series of events where professionals were denied employment due to their political beliefs. This could mean Sedona was affected, hence, the ‘drive to the coast’, possibly to escape.

The devil’s mention, alongside the line about duct tape making one hush, implies silencing and possible deals made at great personal cost, highlighting the more sinister aspects of fame.

“Well, hey there, Sedona, let me cut you a deal” suggests Sedona’s vulnerability, as someone might be trying to exploit her situation. The mention of being hungover and potentially stealing her soul is both literal and symbolic. It suggests an excessive lifestyle and the lengths one might go to maintain or regain their status.

Why Was “Sedona” Written?

Houndmouth, while penning “Sedona,” seems to have dived deep into the Hollywood culture and its historical background. The song serves as a reflection on the fleeting nature of fame and the highs and lows associated with it. The band may have been inspired by stories of individuals who once shined brightly but eventually faded away, victims of the very industry that raised them. Through Sedona’s story, Houndmouth might be cautioning against the price of fame and the sacrifices it demands. This melancholic tale reminds us that in the glitzy world of entertainment, everything that glitters isn’t always gold.