"Baby, We'll Be Fine" as written by and Matthew D. Berninger Aaron B. Dessner....
All night I lay on my pillow and pray
For my boss to stop me in the hallway
Lay my head on his shoulder and say
Son, I've been hearing good things

I wake up without warning and go flying around the house
In my sauvignon fierce, freaking out
Take a forty-five minute shower and kiss the mirror
And say, look at me
Baby, we'll be fine
All we gotta do is be brave and be kind

I put on an argyle sweater and put on a smile
I don't know how to do this
I'm so sorry for everything
I'm so sorry for everything

Baby, come over, I need entertaining
I had a stilted, pretending day
Lay me down and say something pretty
Lay me back down where I wanted to stay
Just say something perfect, something I can steal
Say, look at me
Baby, we'll be fine
All we've gotta do is be brave and be kind

I pull off your jeans, and you spill jack and coke in my collar
I melt like a witch and scream
I'm so sorry for everything
I'm so sorry for everything


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"Baby, We'll Be Fine" as written by Matthew D. Berninger Aaron B. Dessner

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  • +12
    General CommentMatt Berninger writes a lot of lyrics about the awkward transition into adulthood; characters stumbling and faking their way through their fledgling careers and lives, pretending to be capable and confident but feeling desperately insecure inside. This song is probably the best example, although Mistaken For Strangers touches on it as well.

    The character in this song (maybe Berninger himself, in his younger days?) yearns to be given reassurance that he's doing a good job at work ("Son, I've been hearing good things") but when that isn't forthcoming, tries to give himself a pep talk instead:

    "Take a forty-five minute shower and kiss the mirror
    And say, look at me
    Baby, we'll be fine
    All we gotta do is be brave and be kind"

    God, that's beautiful/melancholy/pitiful. He's saying, look I know you "don't know how to do this" but suck it up, and be a nice person, and you'll get by okay. Fake it if you have to ("put on a smile") but don't let anybody know how insecure you feel inside.

    He lets his lover know how he's really feeling though. He says "I've had a stilted, pretending day". He wants her to tell him he'll be fine, because he's been trying to convince himself of the same thing and it isn't working. I think he even feels like he isn't a fully functioning human, the spilled drink making him "melt like a witch and scream", just like holy water would burn a vampire.

    What is he sorry for? For being an anxious, insecure fuck up, I think. So many of Berninger's lyrics make me want to give him a bear hug, but this one is just devastating.
    watchthestarson August 21, 2009   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think it's about feeling low and wanting to be told you're loved without having to ask. For somone to show you they care spontaniously, from his boss, or from the girl who should love him unconditionally.

    But it doesn't happen, so he turns to sex, a physical feeling to fill the emotional ones he's missing. When it goes wrong, in the tiniest way, such as spilling a drink on his clothes caused him to snowball.

    The song is, essentially just "tell me you love me"
    sleep foreveron September 23, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General CommentHe's assuring himself that everything will be fine, essentially a love song about himself.
    nonentity21on February 21, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationBaby We'll Be Fine is a song simply about wanting the people in your life who you try to please the most to appreciate all you do. A simple nod of appreciation, something meaningful, or just saying "Baby we'll be fine" is all he is looking for. He needs it from his boss, his girlfriend, and unfortunately the only person he can get any type of assurance from is himself, which is why he kisses himself in the mirror and says "baby we'll be fine."
    Forty-five minute showers, Jack and Coke and waking up from a night of Sauvignon are all attempts at soothing ones self. In the end, trying to seek more comfort with sex he has a cold drink spilled on him and sadly is the one who keeps apologizing.
    Unfortunately there is very little confidence in the lyrics of this song. Very beautiful, but truly sad.
    defactoindon January 22, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI really like this song. It's low key. Sounds a little sorrowful. It puts mee in the mood for longer nights, changing leaves and gray skys.

    Sweater weather.
    NativeIndieon October 06, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTo me, this song came on my shuffle & I heard it for the first time at possibly the most poignant moment of my life.

    "All night I lay on my pillow and pray
    For my boss to stop me in the hallway
    Lay my head on his shoulder and say
    Son, I've been hearing good things"

    - He is praying for God's approval. He has been working so hard & feels unnapreciated.

    "I wake up without warning and go flying around the house
    In my sauvignon fierce, freaking out
    Take a forty-five minute shower and kiss the mirror
    And say, look at me
    Baby, we'll be fine
    All we gotta do is be brave and be kind"

    - He is drunk. Maybe literally, maybe metaphorically... He is out of control... Trying to reassure himself & knowing he will be ok, but he is emotionally tormented.

    "I put on an argyle sweater and put on a smile
    I don't know how to do this
    I'm so sorry for everything"

    - He puts on a brave face, but he is lost & so sorry for not being a better, more in control person.

    "Baby, come over, I need entertaining
    I had a stilted, pretending day
    Lay me down and say something pretty
    Lay me back down where I wanted to stay
    Just say something perfect, something I can steal
    Say, look at me
    Baby, we'll be fine
    All we've gotta do is be brave and be kind"

    - Another day where he was depressed. He wants his partner to comfort him. He wants reassurance.

    "I pull off your jeans, and you spill jack and coke in my collar
    I melt like a witch and scream
    I'm so sorry for everything"

    - He is with is partner & being intimate, but out of control & still "drunk". This is where he seeks his comfort, but ultimately it is not helping. He has the girl he was craving but he is still depressed & it is because he is seeking his comfort in the wrong places. His depression comes from a deeper place.

    This song is utterly hopeless & embodies the feeling of depression perfectly. It is simple & beautiful. Gosh, it cut me down... Personally, I believe the writer should be seeking salvation from loving God & being loved by God. I hope anyone reading this may find some comfort because if you're connecting to this song, you're probably feeling as miserable & forsaken as I do right now. Things will get better. Just be patient & trust in God. Seek first His kingdom. <3
    ryanECon January 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is about inserting positive thoughts to onesself and sighing about...
    SuperSistaon July 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor me, this is the best song of Alligator. Just listening to it the other day I got all choked up when he sings "I don't know how to do this". It's such a vulnerable declaration. It's completely heartbreaking this song.

    The first part of the song definitely seems the person trying to find justification in life through his work life which he never gets. And this may be because of his relationship with his wife. I haven't heard such a complex and nuanced song about a relationship in a while.

    Love love love this song.
    binauralon March 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe strongest and most relatable song on Alligator. Beautiful music coupled with amazing lyrics. I think we've been missing the strong suggestion that he's ridiculously insecure, too. He would want his boss to compliment him or use his girlfriend as an emotional crutch if he didn't feel confident with himself.
    TheAmazingSainton September 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song reminds me a lot of Springsteen's "Atlantic City" for some reason. I could easily imagine the narrator of this song saying "last night I met this guy and I'm gonna do a little favor for him." It's all about the insecurity and desperate hope when you can feel things slipping away beyond your control.
    zms676on October 01, 2010   Link

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