You could be happy and I won't know
But you weren't happy the day I watched you go

And all the things that I wished I had not said
Are played in loops till it's madness in my head

Is it too late to remind you how we were?
But not our last days of silence, screaming, blur

Most of what I remember makes me sure
I should have stopped you from walking out the door

You could be happy, I hope you are
You made me happier than I'd been by far

Somehow everything I own smells of you
And for the tiniest moment it's all not true

Do the things that you always wanted to
Without me there to hold you back; don't think, just do

More than anything I want to see you, girl
Take a glorious bite out of the whole world



Lyrics submitted by blinxbcr

"You Could Be Happy" as written by Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Jonathan Graham Quinn, Tom Simpson, Paul Wilson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


You Could Be Happy song meanings
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131 Comments

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  • +12
    General Comment:"You could be happy and I won't know"


    i think this is just about the most depressing thing that can be said about someone you love
    universal remonsteron April 22, 2006   Link
  • +8
    General Comment:so beautiful.. when you love someone enough to just want them to be happy, although that means not being with the person it sure is true love..
    hagonon April 19, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General Comment:My favorite track on the album. The message is easy enough: let go of the person who wants to be happy without you, but never let go of the happy memories. What's exceptional is the way it achieves this message, its pairing of lyrics and music.

    The lyrics are simple and bitter/sweet. They are sung with a tiredness and loneliness that is very appropriate. The music is simple too, but almost cute and child-like. Absolute sweetness and absolute caring with undertones of sadness, truth.

    I agree with the above comment, I'd like to have it go on longer and become a real valley in the album. Not more lyrics, just repeating chords over and over and over. Maybe a little cello... (I love the cello). To linger on this gem would give it more weight, which it is certainly deserving of.

    It seems that within this song lies the realization of true love: wishes of happiness without selfishness. A realization that was perhaps made a little too late...

    ...a realization that doesn't feel as good as you thought it would.
    davidecoyoteon May 18, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:I agree. this song it's beautiful, the man loves her so much, that he just wants her to be happy... even if shes not with him.
    roydaon April 07, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:"I like this song but I think the ending chords need to repeat a few more times and get louder cos it kind of leaves you hanging. " -Hol

    Hol u may like the song but music is far above ur head the theme of the song is wishing you had kept the girl/guy from leaving u in the end the music enphisies the feeling of being left hanging. to increase the volume and repition at the end would COMPLETLY change the meaning of the songs out come. adding joy and happiness. but by cutting it short and letting the sound drown out in the distance tells of how the relationship ended without using words. any GOOD band knows how the music affects the meaning being protrayed ex. Postal Service - Brand New Colony. the begining sounds are something that could have been used for orginal nitendo games giving the idea of adolecense (sp) this theme continues through out the "I'll be" verses giving the impression that everything he wants to be for her are childish ideals of love. than the music shifts into a dark dreary sound of saddness, reality, and suggestivly asks her to leave their superficial life style and start anew together.

    the Instrumental Choice/Composition; Vocal Composition; and Lyrics are ALL IMPORTANT in protraying the emotions and ideas of a song. by breaking the harmony unknowningly without purpose creates a crap of sounds.
    LostBoyFoundon September 08, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:Why didnt he stop me? We were happy in the beginning of the relationship. We were engaged! But the arguing just never stopped. The fights continued. I couldnt take it anymore so I packed up my things and moved back home. We both cried that day knowing that we never wanted this. We were supposed to grow old together. The wedding was next year. But he didnt stop me. He let me leave..
    He put this song on his myspace. It fit the situation so perfectly. I cry everytime i hear it. I miss him and if i could i would take it all back. Redo every argument. But its too late. Whats done is done. I walked out that door and now we'll never be together again. I guess we're both wishing we'll find happiness again one day.
    xxletdownxxon October 22, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:this song gives me goosebumps. it's too perfect.
    letting go of a person. even though you love him/her too much.
    it's too unrealistic.
    sparkinglighton September 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:This song is makes me sad...

    The guy is thinking about their relationship and how most of it was good, but he also knows that it could have been better. He knows that she wasn't happy but he wishes he could have stopped her. He misses her but wants her to be happy. He wants her to go on with her life and all the things she couldn't do before while in the relationship....I love the last line of the song "Take a glorious bite out of the whole world"
    megsmiley3on April 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:everyone keeps saying its about a man who is in love with a girl who doesn't love him back. Thats not the case! He loves her and she loves him just the same! she is in a point in her life where she has to stand on her own. this is why he saids "take a glorious bite of this whole world". For whatever reason they cant move on together in the next step in their lives. And in life that happens it does not mean she didnt love him. If she stayed she probly would of grew to resent him for all the things she wanted to do in life. Ideally we would like to believe they seperate he "let her go" and they found each other again in the future! Like that famous quote "if you LOVE something let it go if it comes back to you it is yours forever, if it doesn't it was never yours to begin with!" and from that huge explanation he steps out of her life because he knows thats what she wants.(for the time) & instead of trying to ignore her unsaid wants(of seperating) and continuing to make the relationship go sour to the point you hate each other. leave it where you guys have the best of memories and most love for one another.

    i know because i am the girl! & although i do love my guy i feel we found each other to young... and i dnt want to resent him for all the things in life i couldnt do...i love you j...i promise you i do with all my heart and soul...& i promise i'm gonna walk down that aisle to you! WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT...for now i have to do me in life to be fully happy with myself.
    ilove you
    lifeismusic22on August 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Okay. I could go into a HUGE thing about this song, so sorry if it ends up a bit wordy.

    As far as the music, it does leave a person to feel left hanging, and the lyrics also describe that. The song sounds so happy, but the lyrics are rather tragic. It seems like the person is trying to be happy that they left to do what they've always wanted to, but they're struggling with it. The little repeats of the bells after the singer says it indicates how it really haunts him in my opinion. This song is so amazing; being filled with all the rhetoric that appeals to our emotion.


    So, my boyfriend was offered an amazing job as well as intensive training with some of the best people in his sport. But it's across the world in Sweden. I dedicate this song to him.

    "You could be happy and I won't know
    But you weren't happy the day I watched you go"
    This first line is talking about how someone is far away and you don't know how they're feeling. Happy or sad or hungry or scared. If you've been unfortunate enough to go through it, I'm sorry. It's a horrible feeling.
    The second line is referring to the day that person left. Whether it being left the other person, the city, or the country, it just means they went away and they were upset about it. It depends on your interpretation. (E.G. Fight for relationship, Sad for leaving their loved one to go somewhere else)

    "And all the things that I wish I had not said
    Are played in loops 'til it's madness in my head"
    Oh, man. This one gets me every time. Depending on how you think about this song, it could be about fighting and now they're not here so you can tell them you're sorry. On a deeper level, if they went to, say, Sweden for the opportunity of a lifetime, then you remember everything you've ever said that was mean on a daily basis. Then it's on repeat; you constantly remember every time you made them feel horrible, and always wish that instead you had made them feel the way they deserve to feel.

    "Is it too late to remind you how we were?
    But not our last days of silent, screaming blur"
    This part can be really emotional as well. Wondering if it's too late for whatever you want it to be, from the person coming back to you (after breaking up) to the person coming back to you after moving somewhere to accomplish their dreams. The last days of silent, screaming blur is in reference to fighting about them leaving. In my case, me being selfish and arguing with him, proving that I wanted him all for myself instead of supporting him while I was watching him pack up and leave me behind to do what he's always wanted to.

    "Most of what I remember makes me sure
    I should have stopped you from walking out the door"
    Thinking back, I probably should have stopped him and had a real heartfelt conversation about my thoughts with him leaving before he left. Then we wouldn't have left each other so emotionally.
    This is talking about regretting letting that person walk away, at least for that moment to let them know how you really felt without an argument. Or it could be going away in general. Whichever way you think about it.

    "You could be happy, I hope you are
    You made me happier than I'd been by far"
    This part is pretty self explanatory. The person is hoping that the other is happy, no matter what they may be doing, while also expressing how happy that they had made them while they we together. (Whether they still are but are geographically separated, or have broken up.)

    "Somehow everything I own smells of you
    And for the tiniest moment it's all not true"
    Wow, this phrase is crazy. This happens to me all the time.
    It's a psychological thing, sort of like mind over matter. When everything smells like that person after they leave, it shows your attachment to that person. It's your brain's way of literally driving you insane by making you realize how much you miss them.
    Waking up every morning and rolling over, still expecting to find him there, then telling yourself he never will be. Or at least not for a very long time.
    This line explains how in certain moments, you can completely forget that the person isn't there anymore, that it all seems like a dream.

    "Do the things that you always wanted to
    Without me there to hold you back, don't think, just do"
    If you truly love somebody, this is how you should feel. You just want them to be happy, even if it makes you unhappy.
    It's telling the person who went away to disregard how they (the one "left") feel and do what makes them genuinely happy without any influences from them. It's also telling them (the one leaving) that they (the one left) accept that this is what they have to do if they love you, letting the other person know that they do love them.

    "More than anything I want to see you go
    Take a glorious bite out of the whole world"
    This is telling the person that left that it might have been the better decision in the end if it means they accomplish what they've dreamed. As long as they're happy, the person left behind will have a little peace of mind.



    In general, this song has made me contemplate committing suicide time and time again. Probably rather unhealthy, but hey.
    I just hope he doesn't regret his decision later because of my stupid insecurities.
    danidoesknowbeston April 07, 2009   Link

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