"Smile Like You Mean It" as written by Brandon Flowers, Dave Brent Keuning, Mark August Stoermer and Ronnie Jr. Vannucci....
Save some face, you know you've only got one
Change your ways while you're young
Boy, one day you'll be a man
Oh girl, he'll help you understand

Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it

Looking back at sunsets on the East side
We lost track of the time
Dreams aren't what they used to be
Some things sat by so carelessly

Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it

And someone is calling my name
From the back of the restaurant
And someone is playing a game
In the house that I grew up in
And someone will drive her around
Down the same streets that I did
On the same streets that I did

Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it

Oh no, oh no no no
Oh no, oh no no no


Lyrics submitted by Linger:, edited by phoebe9261

"Smile Like You Mean It" as written by Brandon Flowers, Dave Brent Keuning, Mark August Stoermer, Ronnie Jr. Vannucci

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Smile Like You Mean It song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI think its someone looking in retrospect at his past….i think he was in love and they broke up and in the first verse he’s talking to an older person he looks up to about it….maybe he treated the girl badly and this older person is telling him to learn from his mistakes and nip it in the bud while he’s young. He’s remembering all the good times with this girl and he knows that she will find some one else one day – “someone will drive her around down the same streets that I did”. He’s trying to keep a brave face, but inside he’s hurting, he cant truly smile, but he’s putting on a front to act like he’s ok, when he’s clearly not. Its such a melancholic song, but it makes me feel optimistic whenever I hear it. Beautiful music in this one too, its so 80’s.
    Rizoon June 22, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General Commentaccording to an inteview with branden flowers (the lead singer/song writer) its about looking back and smiling and accepting the choices that you made. and even though there were bad and hard times you get through them and eventully can smile again even if the pains still there. its not NOT about a relationship. he was really specific about that. great song great clip he really likes that shade of lipstick and style of eyeliner doesnt he? he's worn it in every clip
    deloris_4_presidenton June 27, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentAccording to my Media Studies teacher, it's about suicide.

    In a way, I can see what she means - the singer killed himself, but still looks at Earth and where he lived etc.
    strider3005on June 19, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis song is about not letting precious moments pass

    Save some face, you know you've only got one
    Change your ways while you're young
    -start your life out good, dont make bad habits

    Boy, one day you'll be a man
    Oh girl, he'll help you understand
    -this is just explaining to a couple, yeah now your just having fun, but later when youre married, you two will be dependent on each other

    Smile like you mean it
    -this is really just saying enjoy life, laugh until you start crying, smile the biggest smile you can, even at its worst life is good!

    Looking back at sunsets on the Eastside
    We lost track of the time
    -when he was a kid, he didnt appreciate his youthful innocence and simplicity, youth is wasted on the young

    Dreams aren't what they used to be
    Some things slide by so carelessly
    -his dreams change, hes changed, he let those youthful things slide by

    And someone is calling my name
    From the back of the restaurant
    -life is going on without you about you

    And someone is playing a game
    In the house that I grew up in
    -there is a child growing up in his house, making his own memories, thinking about someone else growing up in your old house is chilling

    And someone will drive her around
    Down the same streets that I did
    On the same streets that I did
    -even after hes done with a girl, someone else will come along and they both will move on with different lives

    happythoughtson March 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentim not a big killers fan, but ive realized this is a pretty good song, i find the video heavyhanded tho.
    My take is its about a guy looking back on his past, and the regrets and losses that are an inevitable part of life. "Smile like you mean it" is actually kind of sarcastic, he is echoing what hes been told all his life, and realizing that it is 100% true, that life is about appearances("save some face"), and the loss, melancholy,nostalgia, existential pain he is feeling isnt really acceptable to express, its not something to acknowledge.

    "And someone is playing a game
    In the house that I grew up in"

    This is a reflection on how time goes on, things and people fade, the past is forever gone, everything changes, seems to express existential angst.

    Ive found myself thinking these things before i ever heard this song, which is why i like it.
    This song should strike a chord with artistic types.



    "Someone
    meaningmastaon May 27, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIMO this song is about Brandon feeling like his whole life he's been on borrowed time. He really hasn't had a place, or a person to call his own. Not necessarily meaning he had an abusive upbringing, or was a social outcast, because he does reference a girl in one line. I think it's really just a simple, straight forward, feeling of never having your own niche. The house where he grew up, the girl he dated, was a place/person he was with for a period of time and now that's over, and someone else gets to call it his/her own. So when he says "smile like you mean it" maybe he means something like so he knows "it's his"? anyone get me?
    stillwateron December 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song. It just speaks the words I feel but can't explain.
    "And someone is calling my name
    From the back of the restaurant
    And someone is playing a game
    In the house that I grew up in
    And someone will drive her around
    Down the same streets that I did
    On the same streets that I did"

    That, to me, is like so many things happen in the same place. So many memories.
    The place is no longer your memories', it's other people's too and you have to share it.
    I thought this went great with the song, enjoy (:
    flickr.com/photos/hmwlm/132902021/sizes/o/
    ronmascaraon June 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think, like marquee moon, this song is sung by a dead narrator, and he is like looking back on his memories, and his life, after maybe killing him self around mid twenties, i know thats very bleak, and yeah suicide is really sad and a tradgedy, blah, blah, blah, but yeah, thats just my interpretation of it
    will752on October 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI Luv this song it makes me tear up every time. To me it is about not wasting time and to enjoy life and to not get caught up in stupid things that don't matter in the end
    FLOWERPOWERon May 13, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI have a bit of a different interpretation of this song than others':
    Of course it's about memories, but to me, it seems to be more about looking to the future, or about the "circle of life" if you want to call it that. In the first verse, the singer thinks about the different responsibilities he'll have when he gets older. In the second verse, he regrets the time he wasted in his past not preparing for the future. Finally, in the third verse, he seems to acknowledge that everyone makes the mistakes (in the second verse) that HE made in his youth, and everyone will have to grow up, change, and live with them. The chorus- "Smile like you mean it"- seems like something the singer says to himself to realize everyone has to face these responsibilities and deal with these faults, so he may as well not take too much pity on himself.
    lunavehmekaon April 01, 2011   Link

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