On the morning when I woke up without you for the first time
I felt free and I felt lonely and I felt scared
And I began to talk to myself almost immediately
Not being used to being the only person there

The first time I made coffee for just myself, I made too much of it
But I drank it all just cause you hate it when I let things go to waste
And I wandered through the house like a little boy lost in the mall
And an astronaut could've seen the hunger in my eyes from space

And I sang
Oh, What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?
What do I do without you?

On the morning when I woke up without you for the first time
I was cold so I put on a sweater and I turned up the heat
And the walls began to close in and I felt so sad and frightened
I practically ran from the living room out into the street

And the wind began to blow and all the trees began to bend
And the world in its cold way started coming alive
And I stood there like a business man waiting for the train
And I got ready for the future to arrive

And I sang
Oh, What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?
What do I do without you?


Lyrics submitted by SphagnumEsplanade, edited by SilverCattona


Woke Up New song meanings
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29 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis is the best "breakup song" out there. For lack of a better word, the lyrics are realistic. He doesn't romanticize anything.

    It is a sad song, but it is still hopeful, since he is waiting for "the future to arrive" after he gets used to being alone.

    He has the ability to capture exact emotions. His lyrics aren't generalized or vague like most others. In this song the speaker isn't simply lonely. He is lost, confused and afraid. The speakers freedom comes with a price-- that awful moment when you aren't sure what comes next.

    John Darnielle writes words that are so simple but they are so effective. His imagery is so vivid I feel like I am experiencing everything he sings about. I love the part about making coffee-- it captures the difficulty of adapting to being alone again perfectly. Even though he felt "free," he really isn't since the "you" in the song still influences his habits and decisions.

    I get goose bumps when he sings "what do I do?" It is almost like he is whispering as his voice goes higher. It is beautiful.
    ylimemion July 26, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the lyrics are meant to sound like post-relationship feelings, because they describe that sudden loss and not knowing what to do without someone to depend on, but I also thought the lyrics of Woke Up New fit perfectly with coming clean after an addiction.

    'I felt free and I felt lonely and I felt scared' 'Hunger in my eyes' and the chorus of'What do I do without you?' fit the sentiment of saying goodbye to a longterm 'relationship' with heavy drug usage, waking up on the first day clean and talking to the drug itself. The bulk of the imagery could be delusions and withdrawal symptoms.


    'The first time I made coffee for just myself, I made too much of it/ But I drank it all just cause you hate it when I let things go to waste' can be a common sign of withdrawal, trying to make use of every last bit of substance even if its caffeine. The last two stanzas with 'I was cold so I put on a sweater and I turned up the heat/ And the walls began to close in and I felt so sad and frightened' sound like more withdrawal symptoms, with chills and general hallucinations.

    The ending image of him 'ready for the future to arrive' could be his outlook even though at the moment he is at a loss and trying to get through. Not trying to ruin the song for anyone, because I also think its also is the perfect song after a breakup, but this was an idea I've had for awhile because it fits so well. Just sharing my thoughts!

    trogdorison January 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI am just waking up without someone for the first time, and this song has got it perfectly. I can't hear it without crying.
    Leopard Sealon September 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics are just amazing. Love the song and I can't wait for the new album.
    Relapseron July 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I get goose bumps when he sings "what do I do?" It is almost like he is whispering as his voice goes higher. It is beautiful."

    I agree completely. It's a great song. Can't wait for the full album! *Marks it on the calender*
    Mole121on July 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentomg i want to cry this is such a candid, open, honest song. "free, lonely, scared"... so explicit and beautiful.
    and, i too have said goosebumps!
    hab204on August 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere is an excellent video for this song on the director's (Rian Johnson of "Brick" fame) site. rcjohnso.com/…
    mdon06on August 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFAR OUT.
    this is brilliant.
    i can't take it off repeat.
    love the lyrics.
    love the morals.
    love it.
    -Amz-on October 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand guys, although i too love the 'what do i do?' too,
    he's not whispering.. that's lack of support.
    sounds perfect in this song though.. gorgeous.
    -Amz-on October 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis whole song is gorgeous. my favorite part is:

    "I wandered through the house like a little boy lost at the mall
    and an astronaut could've seen the hunger in my eyes from space,"

    so perfectly worded. how much more lost can a person feel? i think this song is one of the best at describing how it feels to be without somebody you grew to trust and depend on in a lot of ways. a constant in your life suddenly being gone.

    i'm not sure why but the business man waiting for a train bit makes me think of those business men that jump in front of trains to kill themselves. my thoughts are too morbid, heh.
    delialon October 27, 2006   Link

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