"I Don't Know What It Is" as written by and Rufus Wainwright....
I don't know what it is
But you got to do it
I don't know where to go
But you got to be there
I don't know where to fall
But I know that it's comfortable where
I don't know where it is
Putting all of my time in learning to care
And a bucket of rhymes I threw up somewhere

Want a locket of who made me lose
My perfunctory view of all that is around
And of all that I do
So I knock on the door, take a step that is new

Never been here before
Is there anyone else who's too
In love with beauty
Playing all of the games
And thinks three's company

Is there anyone else who has slightly mysterious bruises
I don't know what it is
Sick of looking around at friendly faces

All declaring a war on far off places
Is there anyone else who is through
With complaining about what's been done unto us

So I knock on the door
And I am on a train
Going god knows where to
To get me over, to get me over

Get me heaven or hell, Calais or Dover
I was hoping the train was my big number
Taking the Santa Fe and the Atchison Topeka
But we're chugging along, Dunaway by the crossing

And could be heading for Poland or limbo or Lower Manhattan
Find myself running around
I don't know what it is
To get me over

Lyrics submitted by BlueAndStarry

"I Don't Know What It Is" as written by Rufus Wainwright

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

I Don't Know What It Is song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentFrom his website: "When I first came up with the lines, “I don’t know what it is, but you got to do it/ I don’t know where to go but you got to be there,” I was at this party for The Strokes in New York. There was this prevailing sense of, “We’re not quite sure what’s happening or what is cool, but we know that it’s somewhere around here, in this room.” It was this vague confusion, with everybody kind of sniffing for blood. It wasn’t that it was a bad party, or that I don’t like The Strokes; I just think there’s a lot of confusion right now in the music business. Then, later on, I realized the song was really personal. I didn’t know where I was, and I didn’t know I was actually lost. It wasn’t about the party at all; it’s about searching but not knowing what you’re searching for. There’s the train motif, being on this train heading for either oblivion or salvation – and just holding on for dear life. That song came down from some mountain somewhere, because it was right after I wrote it that I sort of packed it in."
    pauluniverseon March 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThat's really neat what he says about this song. Thanks for posting that!
    sunbeamljon March 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I was hoping the train
    Was my big number
    Stopping in Santa Fe and the arches of Topeka"

    ^The lyric should be "and the Atchison Topeka".... the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe was a railroad that went out west...

    This is a reference to the Judy Garland movie called "The Harvey Girls", and her 'big number' in the movie was "Atchison Topeka and the Sante Fe" (every movie she was in had a big song/choreography number)

    Another interesting fact about the big train/song scene was that she learned what she was supposed to do with the music and in the scene, went on a trip for about 2 weeks or a month or something, then when she came back she did it in ONE take!
    GarlandLvron June 10, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top