Everybody's looking for the next in line to love
And then ignore
Put out and put away

And I'd be happy just to be
Relieved from duty right away
I know what's going to happen to me

When people talk about love
They're painting pictures of
Someone's pretty side

Go look yourself in the face
And watch the worlds collide
And watch the worlds collide

I'm waiting for a bus to take
My thoughts away from us
And drop me off far away from you

Because my feelings never changed a bit
I'm waiting to get over it
But I know what it is I have to do

When people talk about love
They're painting pictures of
Someone's pretty side

I look myself in the face
And watch the worlds collide
And watch the worlds collide
And watch the worlds collide


Lyrics submitted by ikefox, edited by ghost06, Mellow_Harsher

Watch the Worlds Collide (I Didn't Understand, early piano version) song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentYou can find a recording of this at elliottsmithbsides.com where they list "Jackpot Studios Demos"....... It's absolutely beautiful...... I love the version on XO but this is better IMO. It's fascinating to see how the lyrics changed, it gives you an immediate feel for Smith's writing style.
    ikefoxon January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song its so pretty i think this is the better version
    giv_emhellkidon May 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentrelieved from duty*
    i think maybe it's about the naivety with love
    and how people only see the good side of it
    and he's realised that there is a bullshit part
    and he just wants to forget this girl and get away
    naiveunsatisfiableon February 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe imagery in this song is incredible. Especially the last couple verses. I can picture the singer, talking about how people have a pretty side (and presumably an ugly side), looking at himself in the mirror, watching the good and the bad mesh into one being; himself.
    skieselectricon January 23, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttrashtreasury.com/html/…

    The link above has taken the song down, so I thought I'd lend a hand to anyone looking for this.
    wordsofamutemanon January 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwordsofamuteman, thank you. I've been looking for this for a bit, and I noticed that the RIAA had taken down what I thought to be the only copy of it.

    I love both versions honestly, but this one just seems so much more fragile - you can tell in the way he sings it. I doubt he could have been more perfect.
    HalfRightatTwilighton February 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I love this version too. It's interesting because the whole meaning of the song is changed. In the album version, it's like Elliott has broken up with a woman because he's sure that she doesn't really care about him anyway [thought you'd be looking for the next in line to love...And so you'd soon be leaving me alone / Like I'm supposed to be...] and because he's too depressed to really give what he should to the relationship [I waited for a bus to separate the both of us / And take me off far away from you / Because my feelings never change a bit / I always feel like shit / I don't know why, I guess that I "just do"]. But once she's gone, he finally realizes what she was talking about when she told him about the strength, happiness etc he could get from a relationship (that it could be a never-never land). He's saying he didn't understand until it was too late. The whole song feels like he wishes he could have her back, and that he's sorry he didn't understand things sooner.

    This version feels like it was written before he came to that understanding. It sounds like he's saying he can't wait to get away from the relationship [And I'd be happy just to be / Relieved from duty right away ... I'm waiting for a bus to take / My thoughts away from us / And drop me off far away from you]. He's sees relationships as false fronts, showing just the pretty side. He knows that there is an ugly side too so he wants nothing to do with covering it up. In this version, he doesn't yet understand.

    I think these two songs show a beautiful progression of his understanding of relationships and love. It's awesome.
    frejaon December 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"....people's pretty side
    look yourself in the face
    and watch the worlds collide"

    About how people idealize each other when in love. You are only seeing the things you like and are attracted to- but he's asking you to look at yourself; and realize we are all imperfect and have our ugly sides. Looking at your face as yourself is colliding two worlds, your outward appearance (doesn't have to just be physical) and your mental perception of that appearance.

    He's asking you to look and see the difference between your face (appearance/persona) and your thoughts(truthful existence), and then apply that to your relationships with others. You don't see everything there is to other people, we can't perceive the entirety of peoples existence, and so he's inferring that when people talk about love, a lot of it is foolishness and naivety- in the sense that you are in love with something idealized, imaginary, and likely not genuinely what you perceive it to be. Pretty depressing thought.
    CLUM5Yon July 29, 2011   Link

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