"He War" as written by and Marshall....
I never meant to be the needle that broke your back
You were here, you were here, and you were here
Don't look back

I never meant to be the needle that broke your back
You were here, you were here, and you were here
Don't look back

He war he war
He will kill for you
He war he war
He will kill for you
From who you can
You know you can

Hey hey heeeyyy x4

I'm not that hot new chick
And if you won't let me run with it
We're on to your same old trick
Get up and run away with it

I'm not that hot new chick
And if you won't let me run with it
We're on to your same old trick
Get up and run away with it

Hey hey hey
He war he war
He will kill for you
Hey hey hey
He war he war
He will kill for you
Hey hey hey
From who you can
Hey hey hey
You know you can

Hey hey hey
He war he war
He will kill for you
Hey hey hey
He war he war
He will kill for you
Hey hey hey
From who you can
Hey hey hey
You know you can


Lyrics submitted by Brutin

"He War" as written by Chan Marshall

Lyrics © BEGGARS MUSIC, LTD.

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He War song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis was the first Cat Power song I heard and I have absolutely no idea what the "He War" is all about, but whenever I listen to it I have a sense of feeling remorse about something (I never meant to be the needle...) but at the same time knowing that you might be better off this way (Don't look back).
    zeppelingirl001on April 15, 2004   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationImpressionistic take:

    Biology is destiny. Love & Lust are chemistry. Testosterone is Me. Me is He.

    Touch my woman & I will go ballistic Stalinistic all-too-realistic on your ass!

    Some guys just never learn. The only thing they ever understand is when they lose a few bloody teeth.

    What you don't let go of, no one will take from you.

    In Love & List, fight for what's yours or die trying.

    The everlasting Garden of Eros awaits the warrior worthy of servicing the Goddess. Tend Her altars. Keep strong. Keep Her fires burning.

    This is not some idle chatter. Its Old School stuff. As old as Men & Women.

    ====
    greenpaganon November 02, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI actually believe it's a song about a girl who wants a guy that someone else has. (So, in this case, the video is correct.)

    "I never meant to be the needle that broke your back" -- He knows that she wants him, and it bothers him. She's a problem for him, because he's with someone else.

    When she sings, "He war, he war, he will kill for you" it's Chan singing that he loves the girl he's with and that he wouldn't leave the girl for Chan.

    She's not the "hot new chick" -- she's not a girl attractive enough (physically and personality-wise) to pull him away from his current paramour.

    It's her pining over someone she can't have, mainly due to the fact he will not abandon his current relationship with the girl he loves for her.
    mandolinon February 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is directed to another girl, not the guy she's interested in. She likes the guy, but he's already involved, putting her and the girl she probably doesn't even know at odds with one another. Since he picks the girlfriend, she loses which leaves her longing for him and a little guilty for "fighting" a war for him in the first place ("I never meant to be the needle..." sounds guilty to me, anyway). The song tells the girl he loves that she won, and that the singer doesn't really feel like she had a chance anyway because she's "not that hot new chick" that could actually win him away from the one he loves.
    theevilwriteron August 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song goes rather well with the music video. I believe that the speaker has been involved with a man in the past and they have had a very rocky relationship. He blames her for their differences and she apologizes for "being the needle that broke your back" and he won't face the truth that he was part of the failure too but he constantly reminds her of the past problems they had. ("you were here, you were here, don't look back")

    Now, the guy has found a new woman "that hot new chick" and he is playing her just like he played the speaker. He will kill for this new woman, but he probably is still seeing the speaker, leaving an ambivalence. The speaker wants things to get better and work things out, but since he is with this new woman, they can never work out--but both the women know that he is in between them. The music video is very telling component to all this...the last scene especially when they are at dinner and Chan looks at him through the wine glass--he goes on acting like they are together but she has been chasing him the whole time--he's distant, seeing another woman, and won't put forth the effort she needs. yet they are still together in the end. it's bittersweet.
    bing04on September 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel like the song is directed to a guy as he leaves her, trying to make him come back and trying to console herself that perhaps the relationship wasn't that great anyway because of how stubborn she was and perhaps how violent he is.

    Compare: "i never meant to be the needle that broke your back."
    To the cliches: "the straw that broke the camel's back" and "like finding a needle in a haystack"

    Notice how she joins these two? I think she's saying that she didnt mean to hurt him while at the same time saying that it will be hard to find another girl like her and that he shouldnt have left her. the words "dont look back" show this need to still call him back, to yell at someone, "fine. walk away and dont look back!" while at the same time telling herself that she should not regret the break up.

    "he war he war he will kill for you"

    i think i sense some sarcasm in this statement. he war. there is violence in their relationship. he will kill for you. he'll love you but it will be violent. on the other hand, she might be saying that he's fighting for something, that he's constantly lost in this war. he'll metaphorically kill for her. it think it's probably the latter as it says he will kill for you.

    "I'm not that hot new chick
    And if you won't let me run with it
    We're on to your same old trick
    Get up and run away with it"

    I think she's pointing out that while she doesnt want him to leave, she's still very stubborn about her role in the relationship. she's not gonna be his b*tch and that she wont live with his war(his same old trick). i think the line "get up and run away with it" has a similar meaning to the line "don't look back"

    beautiful song.

    swatz93on October 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmm but the video shows chan chasing a guy and looking desperate to get him back...as oppose to trying to leave him

    hmm whateva. videos don't always fit their songs
    fakeplasticgirlon October 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is the first cat power song i've heard too.
    i always thought it was an outsider looking in at a relationship between a guy and a girl. but..
    "I'm not that hot new chick
    And if you won't let me run with it"
    ruins my theory
    neethon December 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHey hey hey
    He war he war
    He will kill for you
    this song is soo great its the best i agree wat everyone eles said
    blackliston March 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful song, Cat Power is incredible. :)

    About the meaning, I agree with pods. I can completely relate to this feeling right now in my life. The person you love doesn't want you and you'll "kill for her" but all she does is ignore you and try to convince you she's not worth it, even if she is.
    Skillizon July 01, 2005   Link

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