"Mess" as written by and Ben Folds....
There was a time when I had nothing to explain
Oh, this mess I have made
But then things got complicated
My innocence has all but faded
Oh, this mess I have made

And I don't believe in god
So I can't be saved
All alone as I've learned to be
In this mess I have made

All the untested virtue
The things I said I'd never do
Least of all to you
I know he's kind and true
I know that he is good to you
He'll never care for you more than I do

But I don't believe in love
And I can't be tamed
All alone as I've learned to be
In this mess
I have made the same mistakes
Over and over again

There are rooms in this house that I don't open anymore
Dusty books of pictures on the floor
That she will never see
She'll never see that part of me
I want to be for her
What I could never be for you

But I don't believe in god
So I can't be saved
All alone as I've learned to be
In this mess I have made


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Mess" as written by Ben Folds

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Mess song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI love this song. It is a complete embodiment of all the feelings that go through you when you've screwed up a relationship beyond repair. I could listen to this song forever. It's a beautiful departure from their earlier stuff. I love the melodic artisty on Reinhold Messner.
    LittleBriddieon March 07, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe explains this on iTunes. Its about his loss of innocence. He's realized he's at a time in his life that he has made such a mess of his life that any woman he meets from now on will not be able to completely know his future, they will just have to let some things go. "There was a time when I had nothing to explain"...."my innocence has all but faded; oh this mess I have made." Then at the end he talks about his new relationship how there are things he still has to hide, and regrets that he couldn't hide them in his last relationship. The part about God is saying he can't just be saved and forget about all this mess because he doesn't believe in God.
    evenpar288on August 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou guys, the song is NOT about religion, or about how "if only he would believe in God, he would be saved". It is not about knowing there is a God, but not believing. The line "But I don't believe in God, so I can't be saved" refers to him knowing no one can get him out of his self-created mess but himself. It's taking full responsibility for the mess he's made of things.

    Also, the line "she'll never see that part of me" is NOT about him wanting to be seen for who he really is, but knowing it can never happen. It's about WANTING TO NEVER BE SUCH AN ASS AGAIN.....wanting to have a fresh start with someone new and never screw it up. "That part of me" is the part that was a jerk and screwed up this relationship. "She'll never see that part of me" = "I'll never again treat a woman this poorly". He says "I want to be for her what I could never be for you". In other words, he wants to be the man he should have been in this relationship, but wasn't.

    Sometimes the majority of posters here seem pretty clueless. *smacks head*
    bohemianbansheeon October 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely this is some guy, kicking himself for the way he took a girl (who adored him) for granted ("All the untested virtue/The things I said I'd never do/Least of all to you")... and when he finally realizes all the crap he's drug her through, she's moved on ("I know that he is good to you/ He'll never care for you more than I do"). So he moves on too, but he still feels like he'll love the girl forever inside ("I want to be for her/What I could never be for you").
    emann333on June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbeautiful song, with a pretty straightfoward message... one of my favorites from ben
    Smalsh2on August 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"He'll never care for you more than I do" is heart-wrenching.
    A Staring Elfon March 03, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti oove this song sadly it describes me perfectly
    colormegrayon May 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbut i don't believe in love
    and i can't be changed
    all alone as i've learned to be
    in this mess
    i have made the same mistakes
    over and over again



    this song is amazing
    colormegrayon July 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdid somebody cover this song?
    RequiemKidon January 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song's beautiful. "All alone as I've learned to be" is very sad.
    Simulatoon March 11, 2005   Link

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