I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river, and it made me complete

[Chorus]
Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm getting old, and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?

[Chorus]

And if you have a minute, why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know?

[Chorus]

And if you have a minute, why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go?
So why don't we go?

This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know?



Lyrics submitted by butterflykiss84

"Somewhere Only We Know" as written by Timothy James Rice-oxley, Tom Chaplin, Richard David Hughes

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Somewhere Only We Know song meanings
Add your thoughts

197 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    Song Meaning:Per the FAQ on Keane's website, Keane's drummer Richard Hughes, stated the following:

    "We've been asked whether "Somewhere Only We Know" is about a specific place, and Tim has been saying that, for him, or us as individuals, it might be about a geographical space, or a feeling; it can mean something individual to each person, and they can interpret it to a memory of theirs... It's perhaps more of a theme rather than a specific message... Feelings that may be universal, without necessarily being totally specific to us, or a place, or a time..."

    With the nostalgic sentiment and the overall tone of the song, I think Keane is attempting to express a Portuguese term known as 'saudade', which does not have a direct English translation but roughly means "that which we remember because it is gone."
    xaratheruson October 01, 2012   Link
  • +4
    Song Meaning:The song is about nostalgia. It’s because of nostalgia that he is talking to someone he was once in love with. But, it can be applied to anyone; someone you’ve had some sort of relationship with.

    He has a desire for a simple moment where this person takes him somewhere only they know. In order to let him in, and talk about where their lives are going. To face the facts the life is flying, they are getting old, and though they’ve ventured with or without each other; enjoying all the pleasures of life. Now is the time to get real and realize that they both need something to rely on.

    Whether if it’s on each other, their friendship, their love, their past, a moment, a gesture, anything, something. But, whatever it is, it has to be new beginning. They can’t end their relationship after everything that has already happened.

    This is where the nostalgia really plays in, because things just aren’t the way they are. He wishes everything could stay the same, but that would only mean the end of everything. It would be an empty land that you could easily map like he could map the back of his hand. So, he wants to rely on something, some new beginning. And, he wants this new spark to begin somewhere…somewhere, where the first one began. “Somewhere only they know”. Maybe not the exact same place, but somewhere only they know.
    arlincoon August 10, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General Comment:"I walked across an empty land"
    Is a metaphor for him being unhappy and lonely

    "I knew the pathway like the back of my hand"
    and he's used to being unhappy

    "I felt the earth beneath my feet"
    Unhappiness is the reality for him

    "Sat by the river, and it made me complete"
    he's watching someone he love but believe he will hurt them....so keeping a distance make him feel like he is doing the right thing or complete.

    "Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
    I'm getting old, and I need something to rely on
    So tell me when you're gonna let me in
    I'm getting tired, and I need somewhere to begin"
    He's wondering, why isn't he happy?
    he's old and need some one to trust and care for him
    he's tired of the games... he's asking the person to forgive him because he wants to start over.....

    "I came across a fallen tree"
    the love is dying

    "I felt the branches of it looking at me'
    and he is to blame

    "Is this the place we used to love?"
    he asking this question because he cant believe....how bad things got

    "Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?"
    another question because, this is not how he want this to go....

    "And if you have a minute, why don't we go'
    (the metaphor ends) he's trying to talk to her

    "Talk about it somewhere only we know?"
    he asking her to meet in a place where they use to go, to bring back happy memories to her

    'This could be the end of everything'
    he believe this is the last chance to get her back( maybe she is getting married to someone else)


    This is my point of view and i can see the story in my head.... i write music and songs...... thats the understanding i get from this song
    missywoodson February 02, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:this is a great song! i wonder why nobody posts... anyway, for me this song is about loneliness. it's like they've broken up for a long time already. but, he's at the point in his life where he doesn't know where to go, what to do. so, he turns to this girl, his ex, and still thinks they have a chance. it's pretty suttle though.
    rockedbullsh_teron May 26, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:i think hes been in love with this girl. i think, theyve been having a platonic relationship, or the girl just doesnt want to commit.

    so, this song is like, "heyyy, cmon lets go. lets move on to another level."
    cos hes 'getting old' and 'tired'.

    and now, he feels like hes losing this girl.
    'this could be the end of everything' and 'simple thing where have you gone?'

    i guess, he wants everything back to normal and more. haha, this is my guess. =)
    kharmaloveon June 04, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:this song reminds me about my at-one-time best friend, who was in fact a boy. he was two years older then me and we were next door neighbors. for about two years we were practically inseparable. i moved (although i was in the same town) when i was in 8th grade and he was a sophomore. what might have started out as a plutonic friendship was now taking on the shape of something that might have been more then just mere friendship. there was a woodsy area behind my old house (equipped with a little creek and a fallen tree) that was basically "our" place. eventually, we lost touch, and i found out some time later he's moved to a different state. thing song reminds me of him because he's pretty much the last best friend and only tie to my childhood i have left. i would really like to rekindle the friendship we once had, but i think it's too late for that...
    Desaparecidaon September 17, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:To me, this song has nothing to do with love. It makes me think of the world around me, and about how much the world has changed. He is reminising about how the world used to be before life became such a hectic place.
    "Oh simple thing where have you gone
    I'm getting old and I need something to rely on"
    This could be talking about how since everything changes so fast it is hard to trust that the things you love most (in this case possibly the nature around him) will be there tomorrow; realizing that nothing in our world is simple anymore.
    Carmela52on October 29, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:So, I have what seems to be a completely different take on this song. To me, rather than this song being about a relationship that isn't working, I see it as a relationship that is getting deeper.

    "I walked across an empty land
    I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
    I felt the earth beneath my feet
    Sat by the river and it made me complete"

    The beginning is about being single and alone, which is a familiar place to this particular person. All they really needed was to be by themselves and "sit by the river" and think.

    "Oh simple thing where have you gone
    I'm getting old and I need something to rely on"

    Now, this person is in a relationship and they're kind of questioning about whether it's right. They're wondering if they should go back to the "simple thing" and be alone.

    "So tell me when you're gonna let me in
    I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin"

    After thinking about it, this person then asks their significant other whether or not they're going to let him/her in because they need to know that this relationship is worth it. They're tired of being alone but they need somewhere to start the relationship.

    "I came across a fallen tree
    I felt the branches of it looking at me"

    At this point, I feel that the person has decided to commit to the relationship. I picture the "fallen tree" to be the only tree in the area at all, meaning that the person finally gave up the security of being alone and that the "branches" looking at him/her are trying to tell this person what they are leaving behind since the future with someone else is uncertain.

    "Is this the place we used to love?
    Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?"

    Now both people in the relationship are looking back and thinking to themselves "Did I really like being alone?" And they're realizing that the place that they've been dreaming of is with each other.

    "And if you have a minute why don't we go
    Talk about it somewhere only we know?
    This could be the end of everything
    So why don't we go
    Somewhere only we know?"

    Finally, they decide to go talk about their feelings about the relationship. By admitting their real feelings for each other, it will be the end of the loneliness that was all they ever knew. Kind of like in P.S. I Love You where they're talking about the "end of life as you know it." Admitting their love for each other is the pivotal moment of their lives where nothing will ever be the same. And that "somewhere only we know," to me, is just the completely unique love that they share.

    I know it's not what everybody thinks but that is what the song means to me. Everybody has their own interpretation. :)





    LastTrainHome67on December 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I actually think that this song is about an old relationship where they are just falling out of love and the relationship itself is coming to an end.
    think about it:

    "I walked across an empty land
    I knew the pathway like the back of my hand"

    It's not something new, he's been here thousands of times.


    "I came across a fallen tree
    I felt the branches of it looking at me'

    The tree has fallen, symbolizing the place or the "relationship" falling apart, the branches are looking at him, accusingly? Blaming him for the fail of the relationship?

    "Is this the place we used to love?
    Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?"

    The place we used to love, as in, is this really what we've become? We were so beautiful and now we've reduced into this place thats falling apart?


    "Oh simple thing where have you gone
    I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
    So tell me when you're gonna let me in
    I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin"


    The relationship isn't simple anymore for whatever reason, he's saying that he's getting old now and this unstable thing they'v e got isn't working. he wants something solid. tell me when you're gonna let me in as in I'm tired of these games you're playing with me.

    "And if you have a minute why don't we go
    Talk about it somewhere only we know?
    This could be the end of everything
    So why don't we go
    Somewhere only we know?"

    And finally, he's proposing to her that they go talk about it "somewhere only they know" ergo the beauiful garden he's singing about. hes saying that this could be the end of everything hinting to that this may just be the end to their relationship cause shes too flighty and its just not working out for him anymore. he's just fallen out of love.
    gagaobsessedon February 03, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation:I believe that this song is about wanting to know what this girl's decision is about getting in a serious relationship. He is clearly waiting for her, and something with her. When he speaks of "Something only we know" I think that he is talking about an inside joke or something to that extent. The "somewhere only we know" is the place that they always are together at.
    hillymyloveon June 27, 2011   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
explain