"White Flag" as written by Dido Armstrong, Rick Nowels and Rollo Armstrong....
I know you think that I shouldn't still love you
Or tell you that
But if I didn't say it, well I'd still have felt it
Where's the sense in that?

I promise I'm not trying to make your life harder
Or return to where we were

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

I know I left too much mess and
Destruction to come back again
And I caused nothing but trouble
I understand if you can't talk to me again
And if you live by the rules of it's over
Then I'm sure that that makes sense

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

And when we meet
Which I'm sure we will
All that was there
Will be there still
I'll let it pass
And hold my tongue
And you will think
That I've moved on

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be


Lyrics submitted by Matty, edited by squishybobb

"White Flag" as written by Richard W. Jr. Nowels Dido Armstrong

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, Spirit Music Group

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White Flag song meanings
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93 Comments

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  • +11
    My InterpretationThis song is about coping with abandonment. It is a courageous account of someone who was discarded, but not with a distinct act of termination. There is unfinished business between the two of them, but because so much time has passed, it is an admission that it's over…but it's not. The love is still there, but it's unreturned. To admit this takes bravery, and probably proclaiming all of this is therapeutic, because it seems as though the writer has finally arrived at the reality that the unreturned love isn't ever going to be returned. However, the door is not closed completely, but the writer is not willing to reveal the truth outside of this song–that she will be in love forever.

    I think that it's also a testament to the damage that one individual can do to another by way of neglect. Perhaps the unreturned love was deemed by the abandoner as a means to avoid a painful breakup, but the real pain is in not really knowing what happened, or why. That pain will haunt the writer forever, because the investment was made and thoughtfully placed in what was believed to be a haven, but that trust was betrayed. Neglect is a stealth betrayal.
    PleinlyStatedon February 08, 2011   Link
  • +9
    General CommentIn a nutshell, you loved someone in your past dearly, you're not with them because of the mistakes you've made, you tell them you love them but totally understand their unwillingness to get back together, so all you can do is love them, and eventually pretend you're over them.

    It's about a lost cause. A lament on the one that got away...
    Daisy13on June 02, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Commentfor reasons unbeknownst to you or her- you had to split with the one person that makes you happy, the one person who you relax around. the one person that you are happy just thinking about. the one person who when theyre out of town you replay their voicemail over and over just to hear her sweet voice. but like i said for some reason you cannot be with her but your heart yearns for her. you do not give up. you do not surreneder while there is that smallest inkling of a chance that she still loves you and that things will work out. fear keeps you from her . remember to always make decisions with your heart and then let your head head handle the clean-up. love her stupid love her
    chadrixon April 10, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt is both amazingly depressing and horribly satisfying. It's sort of echoing my mindset right now, and I just happened to hear it again on the radio and it isnt leaving my head. Hmm. That probably means something about the song. pretty powerful.
    Xeroxon June 29, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti heard this song a few years ago but never really understood it until now. I kinda started dating this guy, he was supermodel gorgeous, funny, smart and everything i wanted. But my insecurities got to me and my friends telling me he could get any girl he wanted didn't help either..so when i thought he wasn't putting enough effort into it..i immediately felt rejected. and so i turned to his best friend..in the moment i wasn't thinking and slept with him (i know it's horrible..but it's the biggest regret of my life). He ofcourse found out about it and told me that he never wanted to speak to me again. So when dido sings
    " i know you think that i shouldn't still love you
    or tell you that
    but if i didn't say it
    well i'd still have felt it
    wheres the sense in that"

    For me this says exactly what i feel.. i love him..but i can't tell him because i know he wouldn't give me a chance or love me back. But i want to tell him soo badly. and i think this is what the writer means with the first verse. And for me surrendering and putting up the white flag means; being vulnerable and telling him how i feel because i know it won't be returned.

    'i will go down with this ship' i think means that the choices or mistakes i have made have consequences and i have to stick to my choices even if they were the wrong ones.. because of all the 'mess and destruction' that i have left i dont think we can be together. And because of the damage that is done it doesnt matter anymore if i tell him how i feel..it would only make his life harder..so thats why i cant surrender my feelings and will hold my tongue.. even though i will love him always.

    i know that this is a specific situation.. but i feel it really captures how i feel and i think a lot of people that have made mistakes and lost the one they love because of them can relate to it. I think this is my favorite song now<3
    islandbeauty21on October 31, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI <3333 this songgg! =) Dido has such a pretty voice. It reminds me of Sarah McLaughlin's sometimes...anywhoo, although this song's lyrics can be rather depressing, it's a beautiful song!
    xgigglezxon April 22, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI know I left too much mess
    And destruction to come back again
    And I caused but nothing but trouble
    I understand if you can't talk to me again

    The Americans should sing this to those people in Iraq.
    Osnakittenon May 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBeautiful song..hits a certain place in my heart..reminds me all too well of when my fiance and I were apart..it hurt like hell, but I never gave up that shred of hope that things would go back to the way they were. I like the line that Chadrix said about listening to the same voicemail again & again..I know that all too well. I'm surpised there aren't more comments on this song..it seems to me a lot of people who don't really know Dido know this song, mainly because of the radio and video play (love the video too..incredibly artistic & dreamy)...
    browneyedbeautyon May 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was written about her ex-boyfriend who she finished with if I remember rightly. So it makes me wonder what she is trying to say in the song if she was the dumper. I think she's saying she will always be in love with this person and will never get over them just because they had such a long history together, but her saying "I will go down with this ship..." is like her saying, she cannot go back, she's made her choice and she knows she will suffer the loss of a lover/friendship.
    Becoon March 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song sounds a lot like something that happened with me:
    I was dating a guy and broke up with him. He was really crushed about it for many months and it totally tore him apart. We had spent a few months apart after that, and in that time, he decided that the only way to get over me was to have nothing to do with me. When I saw him again, he was so indifferent to me that it just killed me, and I realized that I couldn't live without him. I became just as depressed and messed up as he had been, but I refused to tell him how I felt, because I knew that I didn't deserve to even tell him that I still loved him. Eventually, I couldn't bear the pain anymore, and I confessed my feelings...the first 2 verses of this song are almost exactly what I had said to him when I started out the conversation. He had still had some feelings for me, but he just couldn't take me back, because I had hurt him so badly. A lot has happened since then, but I still think about him everyday. We still have feelings for each other, but neither of us would ever admit it. This song just seems to spell out my relationship to a tee.
    animiramuon July 16, 2005   Link

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