"This Modern Love" as written by Kele Okereke, Russell Lissack, Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong....
To be lost in the forest
To be cut adrift
You've been trying to reach me
You bought me a book
To be lost in the forest
To be cut adrift
I've been paid
I've been paid

Don't get offended
If I seem absent minded
Just keep telling me facts
And keep making me smile
Don't get offended
If I seem absent minded
I get tongue-tied
Baby, you've got to be more discerning
I've never know what's good for me
Baby, you've got to be more demanding
I will be yours

I'll pay for you anytime

You told me you wanted to eat up my sadness
Well jump on, enjoy, you can gorge away
You told me you wanted to eat up my sadness
Jump right
Baby, you've got to be more discerning
I've never know what's good for me
Baby, you've got to be more demanding
Jump left

What are you holding out for?
What's always in the way?
Why so damn absent minded?
Why so scared of romance?

This modern love breaks me
This modern love wastes me

Do you want to come over and kill some time?
Throw your arms around me


Lyrics submitted by dricambo, edited by daftone

"This Modern Love" as written by Kele Okereke, Russell Lissack, Gordon Moakes, Matt Tong

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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This Modern Love song meanings
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139 Comments

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  • +7
    General Commenti fucking love this song :D it's become one of my all time favourites...
    i think it's about someone who loves someone else, but doesn't want them to know because they know that nothing's going to come from it, as the other person isnt interested/doesn't want a relationship.
    dricamboon November 30, 2004   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think it's just about modern relationships in general, rather than one in particular - complaining about the state of modern love.

    "Do you wanna come over and kill some time?" sums it up - you can't seem too keen, you don't get too involved. And it's not anything special - killing time rather than enjoying it.

    "Don't get offended
    If I seem absent minded
    Just keep telling me facts
    And keep making me smile"

    Seems to suggest relationships aren't being focussed on, but people do want it to cheer them up, just a comfort. Telling them to gorge on your sadness is kinda the same.

    You can trace it through the rest of the lyrics, but the best one I think is "What are you holding out for?" - not getting involved becuase they're waiting for something better, but is that ever going to come if they always act like this? If all relationships are like that, there'll be no Mr/s right, only Mr/s right now.
    Whillon May 07, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General Commenti thought he said "You told me you wanted to eat up my sandwhich"

    haha. i was clearly wrong.
    bteamstephenon June 14, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthe thing i like about this song is that it gets across the cynicism or maybe distrustfulness of his (and my) generation. i love the narrator's fascination with or need for facts -- there aren't flowery declarations or anything overtly sentimental in the song, but it still gets the point across, maybe because there's no poetry but honesty instead.
    yourtwowinterson April 01, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it is about a guy who is dating a girl, but is clueless.
    Basically he feels lost & she spells things out for him "you bought me a book"

    He is afraid of disappointing her, but even though he is "absent minded" he is eager to become a good boyfriend (Just keep telling me facts) because he enjoys her company (And keep making me smile).
    He asks her to be understanding (You've got to be more discerning), and keep trying because he wants to be with her really bad(I will be yours).

    She really cares about him (you told me you wanted to eat up my sadness) and he wants her to continue to pursue him (Baby, you've got to be more demanding).
    He asks why she is hesistant, most likely in frustration because he is too (What are you holding out for?).
    Ultimately he is afraid he will lose her, because he is hesitant too. He asks her to pursue him more aggressively, because he lacks the self confidence to do it himself.
    And the whole situation is taking a toll on him emotionally.(This modern love breaks me).

    At the end he is desperate to be with her again and simply asks her to come over and "kill some time". And then to "throw your arms around me". He has never felt feelings so strong before he is uncertain of how he should show them.
    Kirstabulouson February 07, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationTo me.. this song is about someone, 'person 1' who has been hurt in a previous relationship and is sad and broken still from this relationship but.. they've gotten involved with someone else 'person 2' maybe a little too soon, who they do adore but they need time to recover from a past relationship. With the recovery process person 1 may be unintentionally hurting the person 2 ("Don't get offended, if I seem absent minded") and not as interested in person 2 as they would like to be. Although it's hard for person 1 to come around at the moment, they do have feelings for person 2 and promise they will eventually fall in love with them ("Just keep telling me facts, and keep making me smile", "I will be yours")


    ("To be lost in the forest, To be cut adrift") Person 1 was lost and lonely.
    ("You've been trying to reach me, You bought me a book") Person 2 trying to help them.
    ("To be lost in the forest, To be cut adrift, I've been paid, I've been paid") Person 2 has helped them find their feet again.
    ("I will pay for you") Person 1 feels as if they owe person 2 for making them feel better.


    Although their relationship with person 2 makes them feel better, person 2 feels for person 1 more strongly and perhaps a person 2 is a little more passive ("Baby you've got to be more discerning","Baby you've got to be more demanding", "Jump Right" "Jump Left" telling them what to do). They want person 2 to look after them, they don't feel they can look after theirself anymore ("I've never known what's good for me") Person 2 wants to make person 1 feel better, and person 1 wants person 2 to make them feel better ("And you told me you wanted to eat up my sadness, well jump on and gorge away").

    ("What are you holding out for? What's always in the way? Why so damn absent-minded? Why so scared of romance?") seems as though Person 2 is saying this to person 1 in frustration, or person 1 is saying this to themself and is frustrated at their inability to open up to their parnter.

    Ultimately Person 1 wants the relationship and does have feelings for person 2 ("Do you wanna come over and kill some time? Throw your arms around me.")




    shameintheshadowson July 25, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think this song is more about two people in a relationship and one being too busy or pre-occupied "You've been trying to reach me You bought me a book" like the narrator has other stuff in life and they have been trying to get together and maybe "I've been paid" refers to feeling richer by hanging out with the other person (because later on they say "I'll pay for you anytime") and being absent minded means that they have their mind somewhere else, perhaps the second half of the song is the point of veiw from the other person and they're trying to tell them why cant we be something? and the "Do you wanna come over and kill some time?
    Tell me facts, tell me facts, tell me facts " means that one wants to be together and wants to know the truth... i just kinda tried to relate it to my situation which was just easier
    mr._Grieveson April 06, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love this song, but I just have to say...

    Every time he sings "You told me you wanted to eat up my sadness,"

    I hear:

    "You told me you wanted to eat up my sandwich".

    That's all.
    Tokabion December 08, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwell i think it describes my relationship with this one girl.
    i saw her and quickly got to know her. then told her ii like her after shes told some of her friends she likes me but...

    SHE WORRIES ABOUT HER REPUTATION! because she think shes popular, she thinks her image would become mad maybe if she dates me. and i like her too.
    ustaplayer10on February 01, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is one that will forever evoke memories of two years ago for me. I was a senior in high school and I had some of the best days someone could possibly have; the guy who liked me/I liked put this song on a mix cd he made for me. We hardly talk anymore because our lives are so different and we live 300 miles apart, so hearing this song really puts me in a vulnerable emotional state...

    Those were truly the days.
    maebyfunkeon February 14, 2009   Link

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