"Seeing Other People" as written by and Martin/murdoch/colburn/cooke/geddes/jackson/campbe....
We lay on the bed there
Kissing just for practice
Could we please be objective?
'Cause the other boys are queuing up behind us
A hand over my mouth
A hand over the window
Well, if I remain passive and you just want to cuddle
Then we should be ok, and we won't get in a muddle
Cause we're seeing other people
At least that's what we say we are doing

So how are you feeling?
I don't think you can be dealing
With the situation very well
You take a lover for a dirty weekend, that's ok
But when it's over
You are looking at the working week through the eyes of a gigolo

You're kissing your elbow
You're kissing your reflection
And you can't understand why all the other boys are going for the
New, tall, elegant rich kids
You can bet it is a bitch, kid
But if they don't see the quality then it is apparent that
You're going to have to change
Or you're going to have to go with girls
You might be better off
At least they know where to put it

We lay on the bed there
Kissing just for practice
Could we please be objective?
'Cause the other boys are queuing up behind us
A hand over my mouth
A hand over the window
Well, if I remain passive and you just want to cuddle
Then we should be ok, and we won't get in a muddle
Cause we're seeing other people
At least that's what we say we are doing
We're seeing other people
At least that's what we say we are doing
We're seeing other people
At least that's what we say we are doing


Lyrics submitted by ReActor, edited by parulidae, anthonyyyg, mdznr

"Seeing Other People" as written by Isobel Campbell Christopher Geddes

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Seeing Other People song meanings
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44 Comments

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  • +8
    General Commentthis is definitely song about gay experimentation. they're practicing kissing to see what it's all about, but fool themselves by saying they're seeing other people. and it's OK, because one is passive and just wants to cuddle, they're not really GAY gay bc they're not really having sex.

    but then one of them laments why he isn't having success with guys and his friend says he should either "change" (act more gay and attractive) or just give it up and go with girls, at least they know where to put it" as in, knows where to put the penis.

    great song, gay or no gay lol.
    muaddib420on February 12, 2007   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think it's clear that they're both men. It never occurred to me that this song could be about a man and a woman, and I don't buy it for a second. The references are pretty transparent: "the other boys" (I'm confident that the antecedent of "other" is the subject, not the singer, of the song-- a man wouldn't tell a woman "the other boys are queueing up behind us") and "looking at the working week through the eyes of a gigolo" (by definition, gigolos are male). And the tone of the song just sounds very Polari to me: "You can bet it is a bitch, kid..." is pretty camp. Besides, "kissing just for practice" and the potential for getting "in a muddle" suggest that this is something unfamiliar, and "hand over the window" suggests that it's something they're trying to conceal.
    ElectraInsteadon November 13, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI've always viewed this song a little bit differently. I always saw it coming from a guy's perspective as the girl he really likes basically calls the shots in the relationship. The dude cares for her so much and doesn't want to lose what he has, so he lets her make the call on "seeing other people", despite his views on the matter.

    "Could we please be objective?
    Cause the other boys are queuing up behind us"

    To me, that makes it sound like he's putting up with all her BS of dating other people, while that's not at all what he wants to do.
    Also, the line;

    "Cause we're seeing other people
    At least that's what we say we are doing"

    This to me sounds like he's kind of bitter sounding as he states that, "well it's ok for you to kiss other guys because we're 'seeing other people' anyway".
    wolf66on May 23, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentFor one thing: "We won't get into trouble" - "We won't get in a muddle"
    I agree with Schizima, the piano part is super similar to the Charlie Brown melody.
    I think it's about two guys who aren't gay but are "kissing just for practice", and they decide being gay isn't worth it. Just my interpretation, though.
    MoonArcher92on March 01, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThese lyrics are some of the most... hard-hitting I've ever heard, but I guess that's a personal thing. To me, it's about a couple of boys "kissing just for practise." The phrase "other boys" suggests they're both boys, as does "gigolo" and all that lot. "Hand over the window," and "at least that's what we say we are doing" imply some sort of nervousness or shame about their sexuality; they are actually attached to each other but they feel they shouldn't be. "At least they know where to put it" hints at the awkwardness of sex between boys, and... yeah, that's what I understand from it. Stuart Murdoch is a real poet. He really is a genius at writing about teenage awkwardness and obscurity. As a 16-year-old, Belle and Sebastian really mean something to me.
    BlackAndrewon July 30, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti'm certain its about two boys "the other boys are queueing up behind us" "you're going to have to go with girls, at least they know what they are doing" also, its well known that stuart murdoch's brother is gay and this song as well as a few others from tigermilk are written about him/from his perspective.
    fugitiveinkbloton August 25, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti agree with everyone who says this song is about two boy. the first time i heard it, without even hearing all the lyrics, i just got that feeling. it seemed so obvious, and yet at the same time it was difficult to pinpoint what exactly made me feel that way.

    being better acquainted with the lyrics now, there are so many little clues that in combination spell out the obvious fact that it's about two young men.

    "just for practice," seems to indicate that at least one of the boys isn't comfortable with the situation and is trying to assure himself that he's not gay - they're just fooling around for practice.

    as other people have said, "all the other boys," pretty much spells out that the two parties involved are male. "a hand over my mouth" and "a hand over the window" both denote feelings of secrecy and of shame.

    as others have said, "kissing your elbow" refers to the old folktale about how touching your elbow with your lips will change your sex. the part about "going off with girls" spells out that whoever he's fooling around with now is clearly not female. "at least they know where to put it" showcases some of the awkwardness in early experimentation - not knowing how it works, etc.

    there's only a few of the clues. many other people have dissected the others. i don't think there's anyway this song isn't about two boys, but at the same time it doesn't matter who it is about. it's a great song. and judging from the amount of responses here, listeners like it and can relate to regardless of the sex of the characters.
    poppyseedgrungeon March 21, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think the definitive answer to this whole debate is contained in a clear mistake to the printed lyric above -- it's "you're looking at the working week THROUGH th eyes of a gigolo", NOT "IN the eyes." Also, the "know where to put it" mistake has been noted. Therefore the narrator's partner as portrayed by Stuart as a male (regardless of his public comments), but rather than turn the debate to focus on the gay vs. gay experimentation angle, it's perhaps more fruitful to view this as an extension of the Morrissey lyric paradigm, in which words are intentionally ambiguous NOT only to the hide the truth from the uninitiated (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) and allow mum and dad to hum along without suspecting anything, but to elevate the song to the level of art with appeal to all orientations. Thus, 'Hand in Glove's' line of "everything depends upon how near you stand to me" could appeal to listeners as either same sex in a environment viewing this as a taboo, or an opposite sex pairing with someone deemed unsuitable by the onlooking crowd. It's the outcast in general Morrissey was appealing to, and any 'proof' regarding his personal lifestyle (celibate or not) can't lessen the impact on hetero listeners.
    JSBachon October 03, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI always thought it was about two people who decide that their relationship just isn't working so they're going to "see other people," but they're still attached. They claim to just be cuddling and kissing for practice, but really they still care for each other. So they have to "be objective" and decide where they actually stand with each other.
    iamtheshoshieon July 19, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti reckon it's about two guys(gigolo, not a girl), having a secret relationship that's supposed to be "just for practise" but is getting more than that and confusing their feelings etc
    hoitsmithon July 20, 2007   Link

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