"Who Can It Be Now" as written by and Colin James ...
Who can it be knocking at my door?
Go 'way, don't come 'round here no more.
Can't you see that it's late at night?
I'm very tired, and I'm not feeling right.
All I wish is to be alone;
Stay away, don't you invade my home.
Best off if you hang outside,
Don't come in, I'll only run and hide.

Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?

Who can it be knocking at my door?
Make no sound, tip-toe across the floor.
If he hears, he'll knock all day,
I'll be trapped, and here I'll have to stay.
I've done no harm, I keep to myself;
There's nothing wrong with my state of mental health.
I like it here with my childhood friend;
Here they come, those feelings again!

Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?
Who can it be now?

Is it the man come to take me away?
Why do they follow me?
It's not the future that I can see,
It's just my fantasy

Oh Who can it be now?
Oh Who can it Who can it
Yeah yeah yeah


Lyrics submitted by numb

"Who Can It Be Now" as written by Colin Hay

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Who Can It Be Now song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI don't think it's about masturbation, like whymighti proposes, but paranoid schizophrenia sounds about right; perhaps the "It's not the future that I can see,/It's just my fantasy" is not self-directed, instead being another person speaking of the narrator's delusional behavior.
    It could also be self-reassurance or denial, which would go well with "There's nothing wrong with my state of mental health."
    Bouts of par. schiz. would fit, as would manic-depressive attacks.
    Then again, it could be about just a very shy man with reclusive tendencies or a bad past relationship.
    OlOleanderon March 23, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is a result of clear dementia which was
    due inproper misuse of drogs and alcohol.

    Colin Hay is still one smashing bloke
    though and he has been clean for a long
    time now (just listen to the song
    "I wish I was still drinking).

    Still... this song is still jolly damn good.
    KajaGooGooon June 02, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is about a guy wishing to not be bugged by people for a little while so he can relax. I really think it's no deeper than that.
    travisbron July 30, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always thought this was about mental illness. I'm surprised more other people have not thought so. The narrator sounds paranoid (is it the man come to take me away, why do they follow me, I'll be trapped) and anxious. He's aware that something is wrong with him (I'm not feeling right; here they come, those feelings again) but is trying to deny it (there's nothing wrong with my state of mental health.) He is having delusions but again, is denying it -- as apparent by one of the strangest lines, "it's not the future that I can see, it's just my fantasy." Obviously he has been feeling like he can see the future, but now he's trying to convince himself or others that he's normal. Then there's that weird line about being "here with my childhood friend" when he's actually alone.

    PS - Colin Hay's solo acoustic version is great; much better than the original.
    sorrelon November 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh c'mon, i can't believe i'm the first person to comment on this song. it's a classic! such an amazing song, brings back awesome memories. i remember the first time i ever heard it, by the second chorus we were all singing along.

    i don't think it has any deeper meaning than the obvious one though, right?
    emmychloeon May 31, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a pretty good song, I dedicate it to my stalkers, and friends who just won't leave me alone! hehehe jk It's a pretty ok song, and the melody is good to say the least. A good Pop Song!
    fuegodediabloon July 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdo you ever have those days when you just want to be left alone and everyone is on your case? this song will pretty much sum up your feelings

    Colin Hay has a great voice and Greg Ham's saxophone adds a unique element to the song. It's a shame today's artists can't make music this meaningful.
    masterofpuppets80on May 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentColin Hay released a more recent version of this song on his album "Man at Work". It's an acoustic rendition. I prefer it over the original. Give it a listen, if you get the chance.
    Bravuraon January 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt sounds to me that someone is trying to get close to the narrator of the song and it makes him nervous and uncomfortable.He likes to "keep to [him]self" and isn't trusting of others.
    TwistedSmileon June 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis would appear to be a normal, "I want to be left alone" kind of song, but its much deeper.

    The following make it an 'abnormal' situation:

    1) Nothing wrong with my state of mental health.
    2) I like it here with my childhood friend (he is alone)

    Children have 'imaginary friends', can this be his insanity?

    No it cannot be, because whatever he is doing is illegal: Is it "the man" come to take me away".

    1) Its not my furture that I can see (the consequenses)
    2) Its just my fantasy (the consuming fire of the now)

    Drugs? Porn? The list goes on... Something he 'felt' as a child...
    CHavenon September 02, 2007   Link

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