"Whatever You Want" as written by and Vienna Teng....
He's a company man, your right hand, 13 years and counting.
No detectable ambition, a model of efficiency, far as you can see.
He knows every loophole, the art of fine print, massages the numbers 'til they fit.
And every time you ask him for another vanishing act, he half-smiles as if to say:

whatever you want, whatever you want, whatever you want is fine by me.
Whatever you want, whatever you want, whatever you want is fine by me.

never a real moment together but she understands: you're an important man.
Another late night. don't know if you're coming home or when. she's alone again.
But she goes on curating your domestic museum. she disappears in her loyalty.
She is a dress wearing a face in the doorway, opening her arms out to you:

whatever you want, whatever you want, whatever you want is fine by me.
Whatever you want, whatever you want, whatever you want is fine by me.

no one would dare to question you, oh no.
No one would dare to stand up.

but in the night she leaves the papers in a tiny pile: evidence for her reasons.
And in the night he takes the main accounts and pulls the files, detailing every treason.
I am the last one you'd ever suspect of setting the fire, of setting the fire.
But as you switch on your TV tomorrow morning, you'll hear me saying quietly:

whatever you want, whatever you want, whatever you want is fine by me.
Whatever you want, whatever you want, whatever you want is fine by me.

oh whatever you say, oh whatever you say:
I'll do what you ask me, I'll do what you ask me.
Oh whatever you say, oh whatever you say.
But do you know who's listening?
Oh whatever you say, oh whatever you say,
You know it's over!



Lyrics submitted by delial, edited by cmcneal

"Whatever You Want" as written by Vienna Teng

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Whatever You Want song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentMy favorite thing is how this is one single story line, not 3 examples of outward doormats with inner strength. It's the justified betrayal of this CEO, this man who takes repeated advantage of his accountant and his wife, and when the moment is right and his gaurd is fully down, and they can no longer stand it...
    There it is. They've gone behind his back, his walking on them is over, and they've got the upper hand they've deserved all along.

    The genuis is in the rhyme scheme. Intra-verse rhyme...Vienna is a smart poet. She doesn;t take many chances where her MUSIC is concerned, it's always very pretty...but you don't often find a songwriter who writes wongs that also work on a poetic level. Just look at "Recessional"
    LoveLarkon September 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"she is a dress
    wearing a face
    in the doorway
    opening her arms out to you"

    That is my personal favorite excerpt in the song. Great imagery. Now that I think about it, LoveLark, the poetry in this song is real great too. A line like "no detectable ambitions/a model of efficiency, far as you can see" is a great example of an internal rhyme between "AMBITION" and "EFFICIENC-y" with the full word efficiency rhyming with "SEE." There are probably numerous other examples that can be picked apart but just a casual look at the lyrics does amaze me. The song's lyrics are also easy to understand and the language is still grammatically correct :-)
    stoolhardyon August 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI especially like the song towards the end when the singer's tone shifts to one of exultation/release.
    atthebrinkon February 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song personally. To me it deals a successful buisnessman by day who, by night never goes to the real love of his wife but instead goes for wild nights with his boss. Once the wife snaps however she writes a confession and sets a fire. She is caught and as he watches her on TV he's horrified as she mocks him.
    Kamiyanaon February 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationOkay, so I've been thinking about this song for awhile now. I was totally buying the whole it's the accountant and the wife teaming up and setting a fire, either literal or figurative, to their boss/husband and exposing him for all of his bad things.
    But something kept tripping me up. The POV. There are three distinctive POVs in this song. First. Second. And Third.
    My initial thought was that this song is in third person, to the asshole.
    But the line "I am the last one you'd ever suspect of setting the fire". Every other time a first person pronoun is used, it comes after a colon, because it's the words that the accountant and the wife are thinking.
    That line doesn't. Which means it's not a quote. And it's not the wife talking because she was mentioned in that verse in the third person, and it wouldn't make sense to just switch pronouns there. Same with the accountant. And it's not the boss because he's mentioned in that line.
    Which means there is a forth character in this song. There's the wife, the accountant, the boss, and the narrator.
    The first verse is the narrator observing the accountant. The line "far as you can see" is telling to me. The boss sees the accountant as loyal and efficient. The narrator doesn't.
    The second verse is also telling to me. "you're an important man" is the kind of phrasing that the boss is likely to use, rather than the wife. the boss doesn't see her as a person, and the narrator sees that as a potential problem.

    "no one would dare to question you, oh no
    no one would dare stand up"
    Those lines are thoughts that the boss has spoken to the narrator and to me, they feel kind of like they're mocking him. Like yes, sir, yes right no one would dare stand up to you. The narrator wants him to keep believing that. No one would dare stand up to you. So what would happen if someone did?

    So the accountant and the wife team up. She puts the papers in a pile, evidence that he's never there. What kind of papers? Divorce papers? And he takes all of the evidence that the boss is committing fraud, and he prepares to rat on his boss.
    And the narrator sets a fire. Not the wife. Not the accountant. The narrator sets the fire. What does he set on fire? (I'd like to believe it's a literal fire, that makes things more interesting).
    And he says to the boss:
    "But as you switch on your TV tomorrow morning, you'll hear me saying quietly:
    whatever you want, whatever you want, whatever you want is fine by me"
    Note the colon. It means the narrator is speaking.
    I think this song is about someone loyal to the boss who is protecting him. He knows the boss isn't a good man, and therefore has people who are likely to rise against him. He watches for it. Sees that the accountant isn't as loyal, that the wife is looking for a divorce. He waits until they are ready to come forward, and he puts a stop to it. That's why at the end he says, "it's over" because the people who wanted to hurt the boss are gone.
    NicolaClauson April 20, 2017   Link

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