"Split Screen Sadness" as written by and Mayer/paladino....
And I don't know where you went, when you left me but
Says here in the water, you must be gone by now
I can tell somehow
One hand on the trigger of a telephone
Wondering when the call comes
Where you say it's alright
You got your heart right

Maybe I'll sleep inside my coat and
Wait on the porch 'til you come back home
Oh, right
I can't find a flight

We share the sadness
Split screen sadness

Two wrongs make it all alright tonight
Two wrongs make it all alright tonight
Two wrongs make it all alright tonight
Two wrongs make it all alright tonight

"All you need is love" is a lie 'cause
We had love, but we still said goodbye
Now we're tired, battered fighters

And it stings when it's nobody's fault
'Cause there's nothing to blame at the drop of your name
It's only the air you took and the breath you left

So maybe I’ll sleep inside my coat and wait on the porch
'til you come back home Oh, right
I can’t find a flight
So I'll check the weather wherever you are
'Cause I wanna know if you can see the stars tonight
It might be my only right

We share the sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Split screen sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
We share the sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Split screen sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)

I called because I just
Need to feel you on the line
Don't hang up this time
And I know it was me who called it over, but
I still wish you'd fought me 'til your dying day
Don't let me get away

'Cause I can't wait to figure out what's wrong with me
So I can say this is the way that I used to be
There's no substitute for time
Or for the sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Split screen sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
We share the sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Split screen sadness
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Oh, and the sadness, it's so right, it's so right
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Oh, and the sadness, it's so right, it's so right
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Oh, and the sadness, it's so right)
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Oh, and the sadness, it's so right, it's so right)
(Two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
Oh, and the sadness, it's so right, it's so right)


Lyrics submitted by spickly, edited by jakeerwin, sparklebbyshine, carlalsford, JennP265

"Split Screen Sadness" as written by John Clayton Mayer

Lyrics © REACH MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Split Screen Sadness song meanings
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76 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commenti think the "split screen sadness" is a reference to movies. both people are upset about the way the relationship ended, and the split screen is used in the movie to show each person trying to go about their days but they can't stop thinking about each other, so the split screen show the mutual sadness between them.
    MelodyLineon April 13, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is my favorite song from "Heavier Things". There is something so powerful about it. It's beautifully sad and romantic. I love everything about it. I never quite knew what split screen sadness meant, but the "split screen" aspect of 60s films makes sense. Like, when two people are on the phone and the screen splits in half - well, in this song John mentions the phone quite a bit and I think that could be the derivative.
    fireplaceon October 01, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti can tell you, i truly believe that this song, is about the pain he feels because of a releationship that never was, and should have been. he knows with all his heart that it should have happened, and because they were both heasatant weather its due to pure timidness or the fear of losing one another if it were to depredate their friendship. they have lost out on something that will now haunt the both of them everytime they close their eyes, forever. dreams full of "what ifs". this spilt screen is a picture his mind has created to bring comfort to himself. it helps him to believe that she longs for him as badly has he for her. he wishes he could bring himself to find her and make ammends or right his wrongs but the same forces that kept them apart are now aplimified by a distance barrier and the fact that it probably came to a hault. the hault due to i believe being too hard for one or both of them to keep masquerading as friends when they both long for so much more. ex. line " And it stings when it nobody's fault, Cause there's nothing to blame . ." i feel he is more the cause of the final decent, and that this is his realization that it will now never happen because they have let things slip too far away and too deep into that past. i find this song to be almost a regretful wish . . but maybe thats just me, i could be wrong. maybe he misses a dog he lost as a child on a family vacation. who knows . .
    vapuron December 17, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLOVE this song.
    i believe it's about two people whose relationship didn't work out and neither understand why. they both miss each other but neither have the guts to come forward about it. they're each on one side of the "screen" (like in a movie), depressed and lonely, wanting the other back.
    "and i know it was me who called it over, but i still wish you'd fought me till my dying day. don't let me get away"
    i'm desperately missing you, regretting leaving you, need you with me, why'd you let me go? do you not want me any longer?
    charbar1075on November 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have analyzed this song to death... it has really become one of my favorites. I feel like I can relate to every single line. It's about distance, and the pain and frustration that comes from simply not being able to be together, although that's what both sides want. Some of my favorites:



    "All you need is love is a lie cause
    We had a love but we still said goodbye."
    -I love this. John Mayer actually has the balls to challenge THE BEATLES. But it's true, loving each other is not the only thing you need to maintain a relationship. They aren't together because they CAN'T be, out of situational bad luck; they obviously didn't ask to be separated. Love alone unfortunately can't prevent physical distance.

    "And it stings when it nobody's fault
    Cause there's nothing to blame
    At the drop of a name."
    -Goes into what I was saying before. It is really no one's fault that they cannot be together, and it's frustrating that there's no single person or thing to blame. It just happened. Inexplicable, unpredictable, unfair.

    "And I know it was me who called it over, but
    I still wish you fought me 'til your dying day
    Don't let me get away."
    -This hits home. I think I could have written these exact lines. While I obviously can't speak for JM, what I get out of this comes from what happened to me a couple years ago- I was moving back home from another country, and reluctantly ended things with an amazing person, just because it would have been too hard to keep up the relationship from across an ocean. Though of course there was no way I wasn't going to go back, I still wish he had put up a bigger fight for me instead of accepting it immediately. It's a security thing. I might have been letting go, but still wanted him to not "let me get away."

    "Split Screen Sadness," in general I think is self-explanatory. We all know what a split screen is in movies and TV, and clearly the song illustrates the idea of distance all throughout its lyrics. A split screen implies two different locations, and by "sharing the sadness," it simply means they are both sad about the same thing, just in different places... which is the main issue in the relationship to begin with.






    samlincolnon January 17, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthating the fact that this song relates to my life right now.

    And I don't where you went when you left me but
    It says here in the water, you must be gone by now
    I can tell somehow
    -He hasnt' heard from this girl since the break up, so he assumes that she must have moved on, and is dating other guys. She's "gone". He feels he doesn't have a chance anymore.

    One hand on the trigger of the telephone
    Wonderin when the call comes, when you say it's all right
    You got your heart right
    - He is waiting for the day that he hears from her again, and hopes that she has come to her senses (got her heart right) and tells him that she missed him as much as he has missed her (that feeling of hope ya know?)

    Maybe I'll sleep inside my coat and
    Wait on your porch 'til you come back home, alright
    I can't find a flight
    We share the sadness
    Split screen sadness
    - Him trying to gain the confidence to call her and tell her he misses her, instead of waiting for her to call. Sharing the sadness refers to the fact that he feels so miserable without her, because he loved her, so he figures she must be feeling the same way.

    Two wrongs make it all alright tonight
    - They're both being stupid. They're both to stubborn and scared to try to start things up again, and face their issues that caused their break up. Yet they both miss eachother.

    All you need is love is a lie cause
    We had a love but we still said goodbye
    Now we're tired, battered fighters

    The fact that he labels it "a love" instead of "love" stands out to me for some reason. "A" may be a tiny word, but I think it speaks volume here. Maybe they never said "i love you", and this was the problem in the relationship? I think the person who said this song connects with Something Missing, was right. Maybe they're both career people ... very independent ... and they haven't exactly figured out where they are in life, or where they are going yet. That feeling that something is missing, and if you figured out what that was everything else would make sense. So, they feel uneasy in the relationship, and try not to let it escalate into something serious, so they never say "i love you" and just try to deny what they're feeling. Which leads them to be "battered fighters" of love.

    And it stings when it nobody's fault
    Cause there's nothing to blame
    At the drop of your name, it's only the air you took
    And the breath you left
    -The relationship didn't end bc someone did something unforgivable, like cheating. "It's only the air you took, and the breath you left" is a beautiful line. She's gone, and now he feels like he can't breathe without her; the breath she left is the memory of her,and her love, the way she made him feel.

    So I'll check the weather wherever you are
    Cause I wanna know if you can see the stars tonight
    Might be my only right
    -See the stars, so he can wish on a star for him to come back to her, he feels he can't do that on his own since he is the one that left her.


    I called... because... I just... need to feel you on the line
    Don't hang up this time
    And I know well it's me who called it over but
    I still wish you fought me 'til my dying day
    Don't let me get away
    - He ended it, because he was scared of the way she made him feel. He felt he hadn't done, and seen everything he needed to do, that he couldn't be ready for this love with her. Yet, it killed him when she let him go so easily. He wants her to chase him, and prove that she loves him back. That's all he needs.

    Cause I can't wait to figure out what's wrong with me
    So I can say this is the way that I used to be
    There's no substitute for time
    - He knows he's responsible for his own sadness, and for the relationship ending, but he's still not sure how to fix it, and longs for the day he knows how and hopes she'll still be there.
    letloveinon November 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOne of my favorite Mayer songs. Once again he demonstrates his great ability to express heartbreak and despair perfectly to music. To me, this song is definitely about some sort of sudden breaking up, or drifting apart of two people for no real reason. He feels hurt, knows shes probably gone due to the fact she hasn't called him up or anything, yet there's that bit of hope he has that she feels the same way, the same sadness.

    "One hand on the trigger of the telephone
    Wonderin when the call comes, when you say it's all right
    You got your heart right"

    I love this part. She still hasn't called him, and he's still dreaming that she's thinking about him and will call one day to tell him she realizes this has all been a mistake and misses him. He's getting desperate, so he's tempted to make the first move, but doesn't want to. The phone is like a trigger of a gun; if he calls and he doesn't get the answer he wants, that call pretty much kills any hope he had left, so its better not to call.


    "And it stings when it nobody's fault
    Cause there's nothing to blame
    At the drop of your name, it's only the air you took
    And the breath you left"

    There's no real reason to their split, and that's the worst part. How can you mend something that's been split by no apparent reason? What else is there to say? Distance could play a factor, and it could just be because they've drifted apart.


    "So maybe I'll sleep inside my coat and
    Wait on the porch til you come back home, alright"

    Who hasn't felt so desperate to see the one you miss that you'd sleep outside in front of their porch? Just knowing that action alone could bring them back or atleast give you the chance to see that person would be worthwhile.


    "So I'll check the weather wherever you are
    Cause I wanna know if you can see the stars tonight
    Might be my only right"

    In a sense, when you're not communicating with the one you miss, the weather can give you some sort of glimpse into some aspect of their life. You still want them to see the stars, to have a bit of magic in their life. They may be far away but atleast you'll know how it is over there where they are.


    "We share the sadness
    (two wrongs make it all alright tonight)
    Split screen sadness"

    Having the feeling that the other person feels similarly gives you some sort of hope. It reassures that longing feeling is happening for a reason if the other person is feeling the same way.


    "I called... because... I just... need to feel you on the line
    Don't hang up this time"


    Who hasn't been tempted to call the one who got away? Even if you call and not say a word, just knowing that they're on the other end gives you some sort of satisfaction, just having their presence there makes it worthwhile.


    "And I know well it's me who called it over but
    I still wish you fought me 'til my dying day
    Don't let me get away"

    Heartbreaking. How could you give up so easily? Did I really not mean that much to you? I know I haven't called, but why haven't you? Both are stubborn. He just wishes she would've fought harder for him so he could confirm this split screen sadness. Maybe he's actually alone in the sadness after all. He might move on one day but he still wishes she hadn't let him get away. He still wants her in his life.



    Beast song, Mayer.
    almostfamous34on November 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI actually think that this is about a relationship which doesn't end well so they have to share everything, the guilt and the sadness and it's like they were one and now they have to split their "tv" because they want different things.
    This is such an amazing song and I sometimes find it hard to believe how good John Mayer is.
    greengreenleafon June 18, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat is the "split screen sadness"???
    imaspaz1204on April 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought it referred to the internet. I don't know why. Just its become such a popular form of communication and I know more than one person that has expressed sentiment like this talking to their ex, or even current signiificant other online. And the calling part- its so humanizing when so much happens online.
    Anazaziaon May 13, 2004   Link

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