"Hamburg Song" as written by Timothy James Rice-oxley, Tom Chaplin and Richard David Hughes....
I don't wanna be adored
Don't wanna be first in line
Or make myself heard
I'd like to bring a little light
To shine a light on your life
To make you feel loved

No, don't wanna be the only one you know
I wanna be the place you call home

I lay myself down
To make it so, but you don't want to know
I give much more
Than I'd ever ask for

Will you see me in the end
Or is it just a waste of time
Trying to be your friend
Just shine, shine, shine
Shine a little light
Shine a light on my life
Warm me up again

Fool, I wonder if you know yourself at all
You know that it could be so simple

I lay myself down
To make it so, but you don't want to know
You take much more
Than I'd ever ask for

Say a word or two to brighten my day
Do you think that you could see your way

To lay yourself down
And make it so, but you don't want to know
You take much more
Than I'd ever ask for


Lyrics submitted by sircattleton

"Hamburg Song [DVD]" as written by Timothy James Rice-oxley Richard David Hughes

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Hamburg Song song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment"Hamburg Song was written in America - I seem to remember writing it on a guitar in the back of the bus. But the first time we ever got together and did a demo of it, was in Hamburg on a tour last year [it was 2004].We had a really great day - it was the first time we'd done any work on any new songs and we had a day off so we went into a studio and just worked on some new demos, and Hamburg Song was one of them. It was just labelled on the tape box as "Hamburg Song" and we never got round to changing it. Somehow the name seemed to fit really well with the song.
    Lyrically I guess it's about... again, it's a bit like Atlantic, it's about a fear of what we've got slipping away and I guess it's a plea just to remember what a great thing it is to have a bond between people. And even if you all go off and you do different things and you make different friends and have all these adventures as people do - it's just a plea that at the end of it all you're still the backstop in someone's life, as it were.

    When we demoed it up, we did it very very simply, and then started to play it live a little bit and we played it very very simply, and Tom's just playing an organ on it. And there was definitely a temptation to turn it into this big ballad, and we just felt ... we actually tried it; we thought we better try it, so we tried putting some drums on it, and that song is all about atmosphere - in fact the whole record, the most important thing was to capture an atmosphere. And we just felt that the best way to do that with Hamburg Song was the way that we'd done it to start off with, which was really really stripped back and simple, so we kept it that way." - Tim - Podcast 3 (30th May 2006)
    tombozon March 21, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionThis song is one of those rare, beautiful songs that is written about one thing (Tom's drug addiction and Tim wanting to be there for him) but can be interpreted in so many different ways, and anyone can connect with it. My closest friend was admitted to rehab for alcoholism a few weeks ago, and "Hamburg Song" just perfectly lays out everything I wanted to say to her: I love you and want to do anything I can to help, but cannot believe you could be so stupid as to fall into such a deep hole when you're such a sensible person on the inside. My absolute favorite part is "Fool, I wonder if you know yourself at all/You know that it could be so simple." The song describes all my emotions about the event: frustration, anger, love, sadness, bitterness, and tenderness. I promise that I will play it for her as soon as I can.
    rosesandproseon March 03, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnother brilliant performance from the lads of Keane. This one (I think) is about a person who is terribly shy, but wants their voice to be heard, but seeing as they're shy it's difficult to do. He says that all he does is give, he is unselfish, and is then trying to convince this girl that she is the light of his life. But I also agree with bloc party15 and i.are.scientist, that he wants her to love him as much as he does her, and that she doesn't quite realize how much he loves her. It's the best that comes to mind...
    dustfingeron June 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlso, this song has made me try to be a little less selfish and be more helpful to others. Oh, the power of music...
    dustfingeron June 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    MemoryThe first time I heard this was during the toughest day of my life. Three hours earlier I watched a friend collapse and die of a sudden heart attack during a softball game. He was only 43 and one of the best athletes on our team. I had his cell phone and knew little about his family. I kept calling numbers until someone answered and I reached his ex wife who then gave me his current wifes number. I called her to the hospital not knowing that he had died yet (they keep tight lips if your not family). When she got there she wanted me and a few others from our team who were there to go in to talk to the doctors. I figured he must still have been alive if they were letting us come back. He then proceeded to tell her he past away due to a massive heart attack. The next 15 minutes I will never forget as she cried and screamed in front of us while we stood there silent.
    How does this relate to the Hamburg song.? Well after I left the hospital that evening I was emotionally spent and I recalled the keen album was out. I needed some new music to calm me. I ran to Target and found it. I listened to it on the way home and when the Hamburg song came up it was like my friend was speaking from the grave to his wife. I thought the words were so fitting that he was now in a place with this greater awareness and she was still stuck here with the selfishness of her loss and not his gain. That's what anyone would feel I think and not a criticism of her. When we lose someone we greave over our own selfishness of losing/missing that person not realizing they are in a better place.

    I know that's not was the songwriter wrote about but i was able to gain an entirely different meaning from it. I'll never forgot that day or this song.
    kidsnoopyon November 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI listened to this in Hamburg. LOL:)
    Thia007on November 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOff the new album....I think, could be about him wanting her to love him like he loves her?
    bloc_party15on May 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti whole heartedly agree with bloc party. but i'd like to add that it seems like she is taking advantage of everything he's offering her, and giving nothing in return.

    i love the simplicity of this song, especially the intro with the accordian, organ? i can't tell. and the purity of his voice is amazing.
    i.are.scientiston June 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's an organ, i think tom himself plays the organ part
    N/U/T/T/Y/?on June 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see it a very different way...

    I think he's talking about (to) a Girl that he has always been "friends" with a Feels that He's never Used by here the way he thinks he can, i think thats He doesn't want to be in a romantic relationship with this girl but wants her to want to be in one with him.

    The Beauty of music and lyrics...
    mojo_pin1on June 20, 2006   Link

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