"Read My Mind" as written by Brandon Flowers, Dave Brent Keuning, Mark August Stoermer and Ronnie Jr. Vannucci....
On the corner of main street
Just tryin' to keep it in line
You say you wanna move on, and
You say I'm falling behind

Can you read my mind?
Can you read my mind?

I never really gave up on
Breakin' out of this two-star town
I got the green light
I got a little fight
I'm gonna turn this thing around

Can you read my mind?
Can you read my mind?

The good old days, the honest man
The restless heart, the Promised Land
A subtle kiss that no one sees
A broken wrist and a big trapeze

Oh well, I don't mind, you don't mind
Cause I don't shine if you don't shine
Before you go, can you read my mind?

It's funny how you just break down
Waiting on some sign
I pull up to the front of your driveway
With magic soaking my spine

Can you read my mind?
Can you read my mind?

The teenage queen, the loaded gun
The drop dead dream, the Chosen One
A southern drawl, the world unseen
A city wall and a trampoline

Oh well, I don't mind, you don't mind
'Cause I don't shine if you don't shine
Before you jump
Tell me what you find
When you read my mind

Slipping in my faith until I fall
He never returned that call
Woman, open the door, don't let it sting
I wanna breathe that fire again

She said, I don't mind, you don't mind
Cause I don't shine if you don't shine
Put your back on me
Put your back on me
Put your back on me

The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun
When you read my mind


Lyrics submitted by foldsbaldwin

"Read My Mind" as written by Brandon Flowers, Dave Brent Keuning, Mark August Stoermer, Ronnie Jr. Vannucci

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Read My Mind song meanings
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  • +6
    General Commentlol funny that those are the lyrics I typed out on TKC and the spelling error was left in there! Seriously amused (not pissed though, I knew my lyrics would be reposted if I posted them)
    I misspelled "trapeze" (it's not trapeize)

    I actually wrote about this relating it to the story Paul's Case for English but found out I couldn't use the paragraph in my assignment, so I'll post my meaning/interpretation here. (remember it's not for people who know a lot about the Killers and I really played it up, etc.)

    The song "Read My Mind" by The Killers relates to Paul's desire for escape. The songwriter, Brandon Flowers, wrote this song as a semi-autobiography. In real life, Flowers moved to Utah when he was young from Las Vegas, but always wanted to return to his birthplace. In the song he sings, "I never really gave up on breakin' outta this two-star town, I got the green light, I got a little fight, I'm gonna turn this thing around" which is clearly saying that he's got the ability (the green light) and he's got the drive (a little fight) to escape from his small town. Flowers mentions "A broken wrist and a big trapeze" which shows that taking a risk can possibly be dangerous. No matter what kind of changes we go through, even if they're for the better, can have negative effects. The trapeze is an allusion back to Las Vegas and also an exaggeration of the risk he had to take to get out of his old life. When Flowers gets to Vegas, he sees that there's something unexpected, "a city wall and a trampoline". The city wall symbolizes a barrier, most likely the one he faced from living most of his life in a small town and the shock of moving back to a big city. The trampoline is not only an allusion to Las Vegas but also as a way to help him over the wall.


    Hahha. Yeah. I dunno. Just a partial analysis/random bullshit since I was stuck on what to write.
    AndreaFlowerson October 07, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThe short random lines

    The good old days
    the honest man
    the restless heart
    the promised land
    a subtle kiss
    that no one sees
    a broken wrist
    and a picture piece

    and "the teenage queen..." remind me of a sort of word association test. It's sort of like he's giving you (or whoever...) the image fragments and can you put them together to make a story or at least make sense of them. "Can you read my mind?"
    SallyBowleson October 11, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentYes this is probably my favorite off the new album, as well. It's fantastic and it's cool to hear a song like this from the Killers. But yes it sounds like the significant other is trying to end things and he's trying to keep it together and fix everything and a lot of the lyrics make it seem like he thinks in terms of the ideal or some fantasy land that he wants to live in where the honest man saves the day and wins the girl even in terms of all the spectacle images he thinks about as well and he wants her to be able to see these things in his mind to know the truth.
    rbf737on September 21, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it is about a relationship.
    "on the corner of main street
    just tryin' to keep it in line"
    he just left her house

    "you say you wanna move on and
    you say I'm falling behind"
    she just broke up with him, saying she wants to move on.
    "I got the green light
    I got a little fight
    I'm gonna turn this thing around"
    he wants to go back to her, and he is going to turn the relationship around, (and the car).

    "The good old days,the honest man, the restless heart, the promised land
    a subtle kiss, that no one sees"

    he is thinking about the beginning of the relationship.
    "before you go
    can you read my mind"
    he doesnt want it to end, and he wonders if she knew that.

    "it's funny how you just break down
    waitin' on some sign
    I pull up to the front of your driveway
    with magic soakin' my spine"
    he was waiting for a sign before he went back to her place, as he pulls up he feels the urge inside him to go to her.

    "Slippin in my faith until I fall
    you never returned that call
    woman, open the door
    don't let it sting I wanna breathe that fire again"
    he has faith in thier relationship but he contiues to make mistakes (slippin).
    he comes to the door and doesn't want to feel the pain of being away from each other and he wants to 'breathe that fire again'-which can mean several things.
    "She said I don't mind
    if you don't mind cuz I don't shine
    if you don't shine "
    she takes him back, because she isn't happy if he isn't and they are not happy without one another.

    but all that other stuff, i dont know...it is brandon flowers, his lyrics are open for interpretation. But this was my idea....
    Bernadettebluon October 21, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think jessden did a good job breaking it down, but I don't think its quite that positive. Think Mr. Brightside... seems positive, until you realize the lyrics are pretty negative. Killers do the same thing here. This guy is DESPARATE! He wants to feel that fire again. She doesn't. He's trying anything. The end is almost rambling... but if you read it, and realize you don't know who is saying what, its kinda negative...and very desparate.... He's not supporting her, as much as he's begging her to stay...or have him go with her... anything...

    Slippin in my faith
    until I fall
    You never returned that call
    woman, open the door
    don't let it sting
    I wanna breathe that fire again
    (this part is total desparation...he wants to feel that spark, that interest again. Open the door... He believes in this (faith) even if it wrecks him (fall).

    She said
    I don't mind
    if you don't mind
    coz I don't shine
    if you don't shine
    put your back on me
    put your back on me
    put your back on me

    But this gets pretty sad if you read it.,.... She doesn't really mind (meaning doesn't care.) what is in his head... cuz she isn't going to shine if he doesn't shine... (which he hasn't done...going back to the beginning about him SAYING he is going to leave, but never does). Basically, she's kind of giving up on him....cuz he's not all he said he would be. And she doesn't want to go into his mind or all that any more.
    Basically her answer is, I don't care what you think or say anymore, cuz I'll never shine if you stay a dreamer in a small town. So no.

    Then someone says.."Put your back on me" over and over... and I'm thinking its him. She's just broken it off, and he's not the one, so he is just pleading, give me a chance...put your back on me, and I'll take YOU places.... Very emotional... Very desparate..(and its how he sings the song as well).

    Last line is kinda like Mr. Brighside, where you have basically just given in, and things move on... Stars are blazing like rebel diamonds etc... The guy is a dreamer and he's gone back to dreaming...or being very depressed....

    I really think this song is pretty dark. Maybe not, but Killers like their songs with multiple meanings, (pop sound, but then edgy even morose undertone). Read my mind falls into that perfectly...
    markkr64on August 08, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think you hit the nail on the head there sally, the whole song is about the sorta stuff you might see if you were looking into brandons mind; The good old days
    the honest man
    the restless heart
    the promised land
    a subtle kiss
    that no one sees
    a broken wrist
    and a picture piece
    now most of this stuff might seem like mumbo jumbo to you and not have any significant value but to brandon each is a memory of a moment suspended in time within his mind, well thats my take on it, great song.
    zedzedBadnustyon October 13, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti'm seeing a bunch of references to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Thunder Road’. Anyone else? Someone told me that some magazine said that brandon flowers references springsteen in 'when you were young', so i don't think this is too far out there:

    'I never really gave up on breakin' out of this two-star town
    I got the green light, I got a little fight
    I'm gonna turn this thing around'
    'Thunder Road': 'It's a town full of losers and we're pulling out of here to win.'

    'The good old days
    the honest man'
    'the honest man' = Springsteen?

    'the restless heart
    the promised land'
    ‘Thunder Road’: 'Come take my hand
    we're riding out tonight to case the promised land'

    'it's funny how you just break down
    waitin' on some sign'
    ‘Thunder Road’: 'You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain
    Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
    Waste your summer praying in vain for a savior to rise from these streets'

    'I pull up to the front of your driveway'
    ‘Thunder Road’: 'Screen door slams, Mary's dress waves
    Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays...
    Hey what else can we do now except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair?
    Well the night's busting open, these two lanes'll take us anywhere...'

    'with magic soakin' my spine'
    ‘Thunder Road’: 'Well show a little faith, there's magic in the night'

    'The teenage queen
    the loaded gun
    the drop dead dream
    the chosen one
    a southern drawl
    a world unseen'
    ‘Thunder Road’: 'There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
    They haunt this dusty beach road
    In the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets
    They scream your name at night in the street
    Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
    And in the lonely cool before dawn you hear their engines roaring on
    But when you get to the porch they're gone
    On the wind'

    'Slippin in my faith
    until I fall'
    ‘Thunder Road’: 'Well show a little faith, there's magic in the night'

    'woman, open the door'
    ‘Thunder Road’: 'Climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks'

    'The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun'
    ‘Thunder Road’: 'It's lying out there like a killer in the sun'
    .powersuitinsnow.on December 18, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI can see my high school and college lit teachers weeping with joy that I would voluntarily analyzing a song :)

    Starting from the top:

    on the corner of main street
    just tryin' to keep it in line
    you say you wanna move on and
    you say I'm falling behind

    can you read my mind?
    can you read my mind?

    Like most others, I believe the guy is acknowledging that his girl wants to move. The move could involve location, job or spiritual, but those details are immaterial – the fact is she wants to change, and apparently believes that he’s not up to the task. When he asks “can you read my mind” in this first case, I think he means it as a challenge, as if to say “how can you be so sure that I can’t / won’t keep up?”.

    I never really gave up on
    breakin' out of this two-star town
    I got the green light
    I got a little fight
    I'm gonna turn this thing around

    can you read my mind?
    can you read my mind?

    Here, I think he’s saying that even though he may have given the impression of half-heartedness, he never really gave up on pursuing her and her move. Now when he asks if she can read his mind, he’s challenging her to see the sincerity of his words.

    The good old days
    the honest man
    the restless heart
    the promised land

    To me, this hearkens back to the myths of the American west circa 1800, although anyone hearing the song could identify with it, since there were so many migrations and expansions throughout the history of the world. I think the idea is that, just as in the mythical “good old days”, anyone who possesses self-honesty and the yearning for adventure can indeed make it to “the promised land”, which may be as much a state of mind as a physical location. I think he sees both his girlfriend and himself as possessing those qualities.
    a subtle kiss
    that no one sees

    When people are truly in love, the smallest, briefest kiss, to the shoulder, the hand, or even the finger, unseen by anyone else, can convey more love and meaning than a half-hour of hearty snogging. He sees the two of them as having such a profound love.

    a broken wrist
    and a big trapeze

    He’s willing to take any risk to stay with her.

    Oh well I don't mind
    if you don't mind
    coz I don't shine
    if you don't shine
    before you go

    can you read my mind?

    As long as she’s willing to bear the risks and uncertainty, so is he. He can’t be at his best (shine) if she’s not at her best. Now when he asks if she can read his mind, asking her to realize his sincerity.

    it's funny how you just break down
    waitin' on some sign
    I pull up to the front of your driveway
    with magic soakin' my spine

    can you read my mind?
    can you read my mind?

    Waiting takes its toll, and a lack of patience or self-control can lead to precipitous action. He can’t wait any longer for her to come out and tell him what she thinks, so he drives over to her home, amped on excitement and adrenaline.

    If she could read his mind now, she would see the intensity of his yearning for her, and his bone-deep sincerity. Maybe that would convince her to keep him.

    The teenage queen
    the loaded gun
    the drop dead dream
    the chosen one

    He thinks that she sees herself as “the teenage queen” and “the chosen one”. The teenage queen is an object of shallow desire – pretty, sexy, young and lacking wisdom. The chosen one – a person for whom Destiny has a plan.

    She also plans an irrevocable act – “the loaded gun”, and thinks that she has it all figured out – “the drop dead dream”

    a southern drawl
    a world unseen

    She desires romance and novelty

    a city wall
    and a trampoline

    A way to escape their current place / situation

    Oh well I don't mind
    if you don't mind
    coz I don't shine
    if you don't shine

    Same as before

    before you jump
    tell me what you find
    when you read my mind

    Now he beseeches her to read his mind before she leaves without him. His only chance is for her to read his mind, as his words are inadequate.

    Slippin in my faith
    until I fall
    He never returned that call

    I’ve seen a lot of discussion about this, and here’s my take: “he” makes sense if we’re talking about God. “Slipping in my faith…he never returned that call” – I’ve lost my faith, because God ignored my prayers.

    woman, open the door
    don't let it sting
    I wanna breathe that fire again

    Since God can’t, or won’t, help him, only she can keep them together.


    She said
    I don't mind
    if you don't mind
    coz I don't shine
    if you don't shine

    She gives him a reprieve, and tells him that she will share the risks with him, as she can’t be at her best if he’s not at his best.

    put your back on me
    put your back on me
    put your back on me

    She’ll carry him, if need be.

    The stars are blazing
    like rebel diamonds
    cut out of the sun
    when you read my mind. *NOTE – “when”, not “can”.

    Speaking only for myself, I have to imagine that nothing could be more amazing than seeing stars that blaze like rebel diamonds cut directly from the sun. Yep, that would be one fine sight. But this will only be possible WHEN she reads his mind.
    jerseyguy1953on August 11, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about the images we apply to things that happen in our life--or the way we apply symbolism to memories we have: "Teenage queen," "A world unseen," etc. It's about a bunch of little events or things that are the building blocks for a memory: "never returned that call," "southern drawl." All these little things may bug him, or give him joy. But they all hold him back in one way--they keep him living in the past and not moving on--he's "falling behind." He's been wanting to break out of "this 2 star town" for a while--the prison of memories that are holding him back. Now, something has given him inspiration to make a change--he's got "the green light" and he can work towards moving on from all this stuff in his head. I think the title and the question "can you read my mind" symbolize how only he knows about what goes on in his head. Only he himself understands the deep symbolism and images that he keeps on returning to. No one else can read his mind and try to help him move on. No one can truly understand the pain he goes through when he remembers things--they don't really have a right to tell him to move on when they can't see what he sees. This theme of a one-man war echoes throughout the album, in my opinion

    I also like the images of the trapeze and the trampoline. Those compliment the circus imagery used in "This River is Wild" as well.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I see this whole album as a big story about an epic personal struggle. Looking at this song from that perspective, this song kind of imposes a deeply personal aspect to this whole "battle" that the speaker is going through--it could all be in his head.
    peacereaperon November 24, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe way I imagine the song is that the narrator (whether it's autobiographical about Flowers or not) is singing to a girl he used to dream with. That is, they probably grew up in a small, unpromising town, and would dream together about the places they'd go and the things they'd do, and then life was too distracting and here they are as adults and it seems the narrator had given up on his dreams. He's convincing the girl that he "never really gave up on breaking out of this two-star town," and he has "a green light" (his opportunity to finally get out).

    The lines "it's funny how you just break down/waitin' on some sign" seem to reflect how he'd waited his whole life up until that point waiting for a sign as to what he should do. It seems he always wanted to get out, but imagined life would just change for him, not so much that he had to make his own changes. It's a common tale for many Americans from small towns. Been there done that myself!

    At any rate, this is easily my favorite track off Sam's Town. I love the ambition in it, musically and lyrically. Considering Brandon had grown up in a small town himself, it sounds like he poured a lot of his soul into this one, and it really shows. Kudos to them, can't wait to see the video!
    poorlilrockstaron January 15, 2007   Link

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