"Nothing Rhymed" as written by and Gilbert O'sullivan....
If I give up the seat I've been saving
To some elderly lady or man
Am I being a good boy
Am I your pride and joy
Mother please if your pleased say I am
And if while in the course of my duty
I perform an unfortunate take
Would you punish me so, unbelievably so

Never again will I make that mistake
This feeling inside me could never deny me
The right to be wrong if I choose
And this pleasure I get
From say winning a bet
Is to lose

When I'm drinking my Bonaparte Shandy
Eating more than enough apple pies
Will I glance at my screen and see real human beings starve to death
Right in front of my eyes

Nothing old, nothing new, nothing ventured
Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost,
Nothing further than proof nothing wilder than youth
Nothing older than time, nothing sweeter than wine
Nothing physically, recklessly, hopelessly blind
Nothing I couldn't say
Nothing why 'cause today
Nothing rhymed

This feeling inside me could never deny me
The right to be wrong if I choose,
And this pleasure I get
From say winning a bet
Is to lose

Nothing good, nothing bad, nothing ventured
Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost,
Nothing further than proof nothing wilder than youth
Nothing older than time, nothing sweeter than wine
Nothing physically, recklessly, hopelessly blind
Nothing I couldn't say
Nothing why 'cause today
Nothing rhymed


Lyrics submitted by liza-beth

"Nothing Rhymed" as written by Raymond O'sullivan

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Nothing Rhymed song meanings
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  • +3
    Song MeaningI think it's saying that nothing makes sense in the world. If you give up your seat you think you are doing a good deed, and if you make a mistake in the course of duty you are punished severely for it. We become desensitised watching people starve to death while we are eating and drinking normally. I think it means that it all happens while we watch the world and there's nothing we really can do or we aren't really doing enough. Kind of like, life carries on and doesn't make sense while we live in our own little world.
    IanMorrison February 20, 2011   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningOk, I have been staring at the Lyrics of this song and this it my interpretation of it's meaning:

    Verse 1
    If I do a good deed like a child, do we congratulate ourselves and seek a pat on the head kind of in a selfish way.
    If I make a mistake then you get punished far worse than you deserve to keep you in servitude (possibly to authority)
    This could be a reference to being treated as children and not having free will.

    Verse 2
    This is a juxtaposition, that opposites are true, I have the right to be wrong if I choose.
    And that I am allowed to gamble if I like even if I lose then I enjoyed it.
    It’s my right.

    Verse 3
    While I am eating, drinking and relaxing, will we notice what’s going on in the world or will we just ignore it because it’s not happening to us.

    Verse 4
    These are all well known phrases that start with Nothing used to explain or excuse things that happen, there is a repetition of the word for emphasis. There isn’t and exact rhyming word with the word nothing, but by using all these phrases that start with the word nothing, it starts to create a rhyme and makes sense.

    In conclusion, there is no rhyme or reason to this world. We are told what to do and think, we are all selfish and live in our own little world and the only thing we use to make sense of it all or to excuse ourselves is the word Nothing, which in itself doesn’t rhyme with anything but we keep using it to explain things and it keeps being repeated by people.So a double meaning Nothing Rhymed as in Nothing made sense and Nothing Rhymed as in it was the word Nothing that rhymed.

    IanMorrison February 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm surprised no one has commented on this song yet, as to me it stands out so strongly as a lyric. Gilbert really seems to be a master of melancholy lyrics without being dour, and this is a great example. He conveys dissatisfaction and angst so well in this song....it's a classic.
    girl_least_likelyon March 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have absolutely no idea what these lyrics mean - can anyone enlighten me please.
    completelyconfusedon April 03, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhatver I do, whatever my age is - I need my moms affirmation.
    This is my scope.
    uzizion December 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI love that first phrase -- as much of the rest of the lyrics, it twists meaning. For example, I saw someone write "If I do a good deed like a child" -- while that first phrase is not about a "good deed at all". The first person is not giving away his own seat "to a elderly lady or man", he gives away the one he's "been saving".

    Sounds bloody selfish to me :)
    pderopon October 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI already talked about the first verse, which is so sweetly twisted, but how about this one.

    "This feeling inside me can never deny me the right to be wrong if I choose, and this pleasure I get from say winning a bet is to lose."

    Speaking of twisting words around -- this is a very nice one indeed.

    The right to be wrong -- in the end, it's just a play with two words that are opposites, nothing much there, but this pleasure, when sung, also sounds like displeasure.

    So, is it :
    This pleasure I get from winning a bet is to lose?
    or
    Displeasure I get from winning a bet is to lose?

    Both opposites exist in the same phrase.

    Awesome.

    As far as meaning goes, I would say, the song is about mixed feelings -- especially when you're eating your pie and you can see people die on TV.. very mixed feelings indeed -- no rhyme or reason to it.

    Peter
    pderopon October 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is simply saying that 'Nothing makes sense', you can perform an act or kindness and get a reward, or you can perform an act of duty, maybe as a soldier and yet be punished for it.
    You can have more then enough to eat while watching others starve to death.

    Life is full of contradictions and unfairness. We give ourselves the right to be wrong. We justify fulfilling our pleasures regardless of the consequences.

    Some of the best lyrics ever written in my opinion are:
    When I'm drinking my Bonaparte Shandy
    Eating more than enough apple pies
    Will I glance at my screen and see real human beings starve to death
    Right in front of my eyes
    zakinbristolon April 01, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI't's not only the words imho that add meaning to this particular gem of a song. I't's also the the music, that has a very nostalgic and somewhat pensive an vulnreable feel. The first part is a reminiscence of chidhood, when we learned from.. for instance a person we hold very dear, like our mother. The message is that we are formed but in that process feel protected and loved.. whem we comply. Later on, in the following verses we discover that what we heave learned doesn'r rhyme with our experiences. It's all topsy turvy. And.. we're lost, our anchor, our hold on the world is gone. It's our powerlesness that has us baffled and imbolised at the same time. so we wonder.. where did it go wrong? Why is that shelterd feeling when we and the world were in accord, because we did (eagerly) as we were told, gone forever? That nostalgic feel.. the muscic, Golberts outfit.. that rhymed!
    TheoBolton July 30, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationJust sang the words to myself and I could not finish the lyrics. This song gets me by the throat.
    This is top music, the lyrics are poetry. The words fit to the music and the other way around, it tells me more than what the words say.
    This is not about rational thoughts, this is about what we are.

    The explanations do make sense, though, thanks to everybody who gave their thoughts.
    jepz111178on May 15, 2017   Link

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