"Dear John" as written by Christopher E. Rojas, Andrew Fromm and Billy Mann....
Cotton candy was king
On the midway that spring
When I saw you in the ring on the lawn

Dear John
Throwing kisses so Richmond's unfortunates can go on

Oh, the lectures I gave
So the girls would behave
While the band played all your favorite songs

Dear John
Throwing kisses so Richmond's unfortunates can go on

But numbers come up and you're left to the fates
Though I always thought you were one of the greats
Once somebody stationed in Kuala Lumpur
Said he thought you went out, but he couldn't be sure

And the midway I knew
Where the sky was so blue
With the memory of you is gone

Dear John
Throwing kisses so Richmond's unfortunates can go on [Repeat: x5]

Lyrics submitted by Eamon

"Dear John" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Dear John song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentA song recalling the beginning of a relationship uses a title which predicts its ending. - "Dear John" letters were the most frequent fore-runners of suicide for men in combat in fiction. They must be devastating IRL too.

    "Numbers come up" suggests he is dead and the Kuala Lumpur reference refers to the uncertainty.
    user1951on May 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that "number's come up" means that John was drafted, and sent to Kuala Lumpur, and Caroline at some point tries to contact him, but "somebody stationed" there says "he thought you went out" meaning that John is probably out cavorting with local women, or at least that's what Caroline is probably thinking at this point.
    afbaileyon June 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHave a look at the Wikipedia description of a Dear John Letter:

    It seems to me that this song is simply a Dear John letter, done Aimee Mann style.
    lauren_1992on June 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the boxing imagery.

    "Throwing kisses so Richmond's unfortunates can go on"

    Light hits so that the poor slobs fighting John don't end up in intensive care.
    fina79on July 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song begins with the beginning of a relationship, when Caroline (the narrator, whose name isn't given in the song but which we know from the rest of the album) sees John boxing at the fair in Richmond, Virginia. But there's a big leap in time and events halfway though, with "But numbers come up". So at some point John was drafted and in Kuala Lumpur (!), and Caroline is singing this from some time far in the future with respect to the beginning of the song. Now the midway itself is gone and it would seem that the memory of John himself is fading. So the song brackets the beginning and the epilogue of a relationship. But what happened? How did John get drafted, how did they lose touch? The song doesn't tell us.

    What is left is a memory of a memory, and a pervasive melancholy.
    antmooseon January 14, 2012   Link

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