"I Don't Believe You" as written by Duncan Sheik and Kyle R. Jarrow....
So you quote love unquote me
Well, stranger things have come to be
But let's agree to disagree
'Cause I don't believe you
I don't believe you

You tell me I'm not not cute
Its truth or falsity is moot
Because honesty's not your strong suit
And I don't believe you
I don't believe you

You tell me of what once was
And all about Buck, Butch, and Buzz
How they were not like me because...
But I don't believe you
I don't believe you

I had a dream, and you were in it
The blue of your eyes was infinite
You seemed to be
In love with me
Which isn't very realistic

You may sing me "They Were You"
And I start crying halfway through
But nothing else you say is true
So I don't believe you
I don't believe you

You may set your charm on stun
And say I'm delightful and fun
But you say that to everyone
Well, I don't believe you
I don't believe you

So you're brilliant, gorgeous, and
Ampersand after ampersand
You think I just don't understand
But I don't believe you
I don't believe you
I don't believe you
I don't believe you


Lyrics submitted by Eamon

I Don't Believe You song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentIt's best not to make any gender assumptions when listening to Stephin Merritt songs.
    willpieon November 19, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI'm gonna do something crazy and suggest s/he DOES love the narrator. Or *might* love him, but it hardly matters, since nothing s/he says or does will convince him of this, not even when s/he's being honest ("its truth or falsity is moot"). He says "honesty's not your strong suit" but he doesn't say why, we're just supposed to take his word for it, right after he tells us that the truth doesn't matter to him.

    This song is an admission of his own insecurity. It's *I* don't believe you, not *you* are lying to me. He's not making accusations, he's taking the blame.

    The bridge does offer and illusion of hope, in that he dreams s/he loves him, but as the wonderful and charmingly self-loathing Morrissey complains elsewhere in music, it was just another false alarm. But how does he know? He says the love he felt in the dream isn't realistic, but he's already chosen, while conscious, to disbelieve.

    "You may sing me "They Were You" / And I start crying halfway through" I can't think of many things more personal than singing to someone powerfully enough to make them cry. Even a trained performer must have some emotion invested to move a person to tears. "But nothing else you say is true" He believes when s/he sings to him, which reflects his own expression of honesty through this song.

    Or: maybe s/he doesn't love him, and he has every reason not to believe it. Either way, it's a very clever song.

    And yeah, my interpretation is based on semantics. But I'm fairly sure Merritt pays attention to those. The narrator is clearly suspicious of words and their meanings.
    artsluton January 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's from the conclusion of the musical The Fantasticks. youtube.com/….
    chairmanroflmaoon January 30, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthow clever! i especially like the use of "quote, unquote" and "ampersand after ampersand". Obviously about a femme fatale of sorts
    boomerstyleon November 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthahahaha indeed
    dd59714on January 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of my top played songs, and also one of my favorites from i.

    I don't have any clever comment for this song, because i think it speaks for itself. seems to me to be about a guy who never commits claiming to love the narrator, and he doesn't believe him because ...the guy isn't known for his reliability in that area. =P

    the "charm on stun" part makes me laugh everytime.

    "I had a dream and you were in it
    the blue of your eyes was infinite
    you seemed to be in love with me
    which isn't very realistic,"

    !!
    delialon July 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo matter how familiar I am with Magnetic Fields, and how sarcastic this song is at the beginning, I still get sucked in by the false promise of the bridge. And then, its immediately undercut with, "which isn't very realistic." So great.
    fratboy_rickon January 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentreally funny abrupt bridge. ;) not your average love-ish song
    plasmaHDon August 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of my favourites.
    shut up hannah.on October 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes anyone know what "They Were You" refers to?
    coyteon October 01, 2008   Link

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