"First Day of My Life" as written by and Conor Oberst....
This is the first day of my life
Swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain, suddenly everything changed
They're spreading blankets on the beach

Yours was the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
I don't know where I am, I don't know where I've been
But I know where I want to go

So I thought I'd let you know
That these things take forever, I especially am slow
But I realized how I need you
And I wondered if I could come home

I remember the time you drove all night
Just to meet me in the morning
And I thought it was strange, you said everything changed
You felt as if you just woke up

And you said
"This is the first day of my life
Glad I didn't die before I met you
Now I don't care, I could go anywhere with you
And I'd probably be happy"

So if you want to be with me
With these things there's no telling
We'll just have to wait and see
But I'd rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery

Besides, maybe this time is different
I mean, I really think you like me


Lyrics submitted by oh,and_theblues., edited by valiargentina

"First Day of My Life" as written by Conor Oberst

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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First Day of My Life song meanings
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  • +20
    General Comment"I'm glad I didn't die before I met you"
    and i'm glad I didn't die before i heard this song
    aniotaon June 23, 2003   Link
  • +8
    General CommentThis song is so fucking amazing. SOOO amazing. Wow.

    I wish I could feel like this. It makes me not want to kill myself in hopes that he'll show up and be my saving grace.
    Surfpicoon June 27, 2003   Link
  • +7
    General CommentI totally understand what you mean but i took it as he wants to work at a steady relationship that is gaurenteed. You can buy as many lottery tickets as you want but there is a 99% chance you won't win, whereas if you worked you would get a steady pay check. Same thing with relationships, It would be much more "economical" to get a job and save up money, accumulating cash rather than to sit around doing nothing but hoping to win the powerball which probably won't happen
    Arienetteon June 04, 2004   Link
  • +5
    My OpinionLight. Innocent. Straightforward.

    One of my favourite songs of all time.

    I understand how music is and should be interpretated individually, but when i sometimes read the comments on this site, i wonder if it has to be that difficult. And if - for the writers - love is also difficult.

    My favourite line:
    "Yours was the first face that I saw
    I think I was blind before I met you"

    This feeling of finally seeing somebody. Really seeing. Not just physically. Feeling somebody. Breathing somebody. Whispering somebody's name like a prayer. Finally everything becomes wonderfully clear, the colours are brighter, the birds' song sweeter.

    This is not retrospective at all. This young man is in love. Right now. And deeply. He doesn't know where this is going, he obviously has made some experiences in life, but right now in this moment he is in love and feels reborn. Just like the first day of his life..
    Whatiamon October 21, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWell after listening to this song a bunch of times i think i might have a idea of what exactly it's about. At least what i think.

    Ok, so im gonna explain it from the point of a guy who loves a girl is telling it. Anyways

    It sounds like the guy was in this relationship with a girl who he really loves. However he found a few things wrong with her that he didn't like. So he leaves her like he's done in the past with other relationships. While away it suddenly dawns upon him that he really loves the girl and that he's not gonna let some minor flaws get in the way and thats where the song starts. "This is the first day of my life. Swear I was born right in the doorway. I went out in the rain, suddenly everything changed. They're spreading blankets on the beach" It's the first day of his life because this is the moment he finally grows up and realizes what loving someone really is.

    Yours was the first face that I saw
    I think I was blind before I met you
    I don't know where I am, I don't know where I've been
    But I know where I want to go

    Here he's just saying the girls face is the first one that he really saw with this new understanding of love. The first person who made him see what love really is. "blind before i met you" before he met the girl he never understood love and was essentially blind to it. the next part he's just saying how his blindness for love allowed him to get put off course and get lost and not know where's he's at or where he was.

    So I thought I'd let you know
    That these things take forever, I especially am slow
    But I realized how I need you
    And I wondered if I could come home

    Now he's just telling the girl about how he's changed even though it took him awhile. And he's saying that he can't be without her and wants to be back with her.

    Remember the time you drove all night
    Just to meet me in the morning?
    And I thought it was strange, you said everything changed
    You felt as if you just woke up

    Here he's recalling the time when she left him, but then came back. He's now realizing that she must have had a similar experience with understanding love even though he didn't understand it at the time (thought it was strange). "I thought it was strange, you said everything changed". Instead of saying she was previously blind like he did, she described it as finally waking up.

    Next part's pretty basic. He talks about how she said "this is the first day of my life". Exactly what he said earlier when talking about his new understanding of what love is. After that the next bit is just him remembering what she had told him about how she loved him.

    So if you want to be with me
    With these things there's no telling
    We'll just have to wait and see
    But I'd rather be working for a paycheck
    Than waiting to win the lottery

    This is my favorite part of the song. Here he's just telling the girl that if she still wants to be with him he wants to be with her, but that it won't be easy. And he has no clue what instore because thats how relationships/ love are. "We'll just have to wait and see" he's saying that while he has no clue whats in store he wants to go through it together. "but I'd rather be working for a paycheck. Than waiting to win the lottery" the last part he's just emphasizes the fact that he would rather work through the ups and downs of this relationship with this girl. As opposed to just sitting back and not working on the relationship at all and just hoping that he gets lucky and the relationship lasts. It's kind of a it's no where you go, but how you get there situation.

    The last part of the song is just him simplifying things down and saying how he thinks this time, with this girl they can actually make it last. Because she really loves him like he loves her. The reason for using the word like as opposed to love is because. The guy is still kind of unsure on exactly how she feels and doesn't want to mis-read her and freak her out. Plus like i said, it sounds like the whole song is him telling the girl that he finally understands love and understands that he wants her back in his life and the ending is just him trying to be endearing and cute with using "like". Also the way Conor drags out the "me' at the end sounds like the guys trying to win the girl over or something.

    Ok well if you read all that long winded post i applaud you. Also just because i used a guy and a girl in explaining it. It doesn't mean it has to be a guy and a girl. I just used it because it was simpler.



    vikingballa32on February 14, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis is my new most favorite song in the whole world, and i have never been a big fan.
    \"But I\'d rather be working for a pay check
    Than waiting to win the lottery.\"
    that line kills me.

    dont leave me because youre not sure this is the best you can get, work with me on making this the best.

    i didnt think anyone understood what love really is.
    kicksomethingon January 21, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think it's funny how I know exactly what this song is saying. It's about going a meeting and becoming "sober", they call it your "birthday" (your sober date). Then it says that the same person he first saw there called him one night because she had relapsed or something to that effect, and she drove all night to him and she declared she would be sober again. And she said that she was glad her addiction didn't kill her before he came along.

    So if you want to be with me
    With these things there's no telling
    We'll just have to wait and see
    But I'd rather be working for a paycheck
    Than waiting to win the lottery

    This is saying that being with "me" would be a struggle with these things "staying clean/sober" there's no telling, you take it day by day. But its better to be getting days upon days, then to be using and hoping one day you'll stop (chances are like winning the lottery)..
    rursagaon November 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAbout the whole working for a paycheck as opposed to winning the lottery thing..

    To me, I interpreted it like this:

    In the rest of the song, he seems to be describing a relationship on the brink.

    "So if you want to be with me
    With these things there's no telling
    we'll just have to wait and see"

    It hasn't really developed totally... not yet at least. There's definitely affection there, the rest of the song does well in expressing that, but I think that those last lines are talking about him rather putting effort into creating the relationship, and have it be sincere (working for the paycheck, the paycheck being finally having the relationship bloom) than just letting things happen, which is less likely (winning the lottery)
    you fail meon December 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI appreciate this song so much. I was in the hospital for a long time a while back, I was frusterated and lonely and despressed without my friends and without normal life. But most of the staff were awesome, and one of them named Mike, bless his heart, made me a CD. This was my favorite song on it.

    When I woke up in the morning in the hospital, I would put it on. I would give myself a reason to get up and get dressed. To stop wallowing in self-pity.

    It really helped me get a fresh start and leave the hospital healthy and happy.

    thedarkisrisingon August 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about starting a relationship with a clean slate. Leaving all your baggage at the door. Not letting your past affect the present.

    When you meet someone for the first time and you see all the characteristics you'd been looking for it's an energizing experience. You ask yourself, "can this time be different? Maybe this is who I've been waiting for?"

    This song doesn't necessarily have to be about meeting this person for the first time. It could be after a few dates with this person that you finally realize that you've met someone who is important. unique. special.

    Forget your pasts. put them behind you. don't be jealous, or hold grudges. move forward and give everything to the person you're with.
    Video Statuson October 22, 2008   Link

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