"Only Ones Who Know" as written by and Alex Turner....
In a foreign place the saving grace was the feeling
That it was a heart that he was stealing
Oh, he was ready to impress and the fierce excitement
The eyes are bright; he couldn't wait to get away
I bet the Juliet was just the icing on the cake
Make no mistake, no

And even if somehow you could have shown you the place you wanted

Well, I'm sure you could have made it that bit better on your own
And I bet she told a million people that she'd stay in touch
Well, all the little promises - they don't mean much
When there's memories to be made
And I hope you're holding hands by New Years Eve
They made it far too easy to believe
That true romance can't be achieved these days

And even if somehow you could have shown you the place you wanted
Well, I sure you could have made it that bit better on your own
You are the only ones who know


Lyrics submitted by dark kirby, edited by pserotini, lilacdaydreams

"Only Ones Who Know" as written by Alex Turner

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Only Ones Who Know song meanings
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31 Comments

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  • +10
    General Commentmizuki_chan, i know that was an interpretation but i would have to disagree that it is about someone getting their gf/bf taken away. i think the "heart he was stealing" just means that her heart no longer belongs to herself; now that she's in love with him, it belongs to him. this is a song about two people wound-up in love, a type of love that is hard to find these days. it gives alex that sort of hope, and he wants to believe that it will last.

    in the bit where he goes, "i bet you would have made it that bit better on your own" he means that it doesnt matter where he tells them to go, it will be great no matter what because they are in love.

    all in all, one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs i've ever heard. makes me cry.
    oh_somedayon January 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationOk, well first off, this is my favorite Arctic Monkeys song. Everything - the lyrics, Alex's voice, the instrumentals - is so incredibly beautiful,

    Anyway, my interpretation:
    In summary:
    A woman goes away from home because she's restless/discontent with her boyfriend/fiance/husband etc.. She meets our main character, the young man who also went on vacation just to get away from stuff at home. The 2 have an affair which at first is just a bonus for the guy but he quickly falls in love with her. However, he sees that she's not in love with him but actually really loves the guy back at home but she doesn't realize it/want to accept it, and that she's probably been having flings with a bunch of guys (& not calling them back) and that he's just one of these guys. He loves her a lot though so hopes she figures out that she loves this guy back at home by New Year's Eve b/c once she does she'll be happy. And the whole "only one's who know" thing refers to how the young man realizes that the whole ordeal b/w the woman & this guy back at home really has nothing to do with the young man and that he's kind of just a blip in the middle of them figuring out their relationship.


    Breakdown:

    "In a foreign place the saving grace was the feeling
    That it was a heart that he was stealing"
    This young man has gone away to a foreign country, but he had not been enjoying himself until he met a woman also away from home (who has a boyfriend, fiance, husband, or someone back at home).

    "Oh, he was ready to impress and the fierce excitement"
    He's getting a thrill out of wooing her that probably has a lot to do with the fact that he's the one she's cheating with.

    "The eyes are bright; he couldn't wait to get away
    I bet the Juliet was just the icing on the cake
    Make no mistake, no"
    This just explains how the young man had just really wanted to get away from home in the first place, he hadn't planned to have this affair. The name Juliet is used to emphasize that their fling is forbidden as Romeo and Juliet's was.

    "And even if somehow you could have shown you the place you wanted"
    The woman originally went away from home, looking for something. Judging by the rest of the song, she probably is unsure of her relationship with her boyfriend/husband whoever back at home and she's trying to reevaluate who she is and see whether there's someone else out there for her. But she's found that she's not falling in love with the guy she's with on vacation now, even though he wishes she was because he's fallen in love with her.

    "Well, I'm sure you could have made it that bit better on your own"
    She would've been better off without having met/had an affair with him

    "And I bet she told a million people that she'd stay in touch
    Well, all the little promises - they don't mean much"
    The girl probably has been with many guys on this vacation (because she's restless at home) but each time realized she's still unhappy so made empty promises to each guy that she'd call them but of course she never would.

    "When there's memories to be made
    And I hope you're holding hands by New Years Eve"
    Despite the young man being in love with the woman, he realizes that she really is in love with the guy back at home (even if she herself doesn't realize it) and hopes that she can figure it out by New Year's Eve.

    "They made it far too easy to believe
    That true romance can't be achieved these days"
    These lines are so sad because they refer to both:
    The young man hoping that she goes back to this guy at home because it's what will make her happy in the end and they can ultimately have this "true romance" that's supposedly impossible
    But it also takes a stab at how he's now in love with this woman who he's destined never to achieve a "true romance" with.

    "And even if somehow you could have shown you the place you wanted
    Well, I sure you could have made it that bit better on your own"
    He's thinking: "If I could've somehow made her fall in love with me..." then realizes no, they were never meant to be together.

    "You are the only ones who know "
    I think this has to do with the woman and the guy she has back at home and how something is going on b/w them that the young man isn't a part of. He realizes he's just some guy she met one randomly on vacation that is just a blip in the woman figuring out her relationship with this other man.
    laineregon April 14, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsuch a beautiful song. almost dream like, akin to good night by the beatles or motion picture soundtrack by radiohead.
    the lyrics seem to signal a relationship ending due to the girl wanting to get away and see the world on her own, knowing that it is a tough decision, but it is ultimately, the right one.
    dhobdenon April 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThat is, I'm jealous of the fact that Alex is so young and yet seems to know so much about people and can convey it beautifully.
    Judoappleson October 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy interpretation:
    Alex seems to be writing about a love lost who fell into the arms of another guy "that it was her heart that he was stealing" but this guy isn't really such a good guy and doesnt really care for her as much as Alex does "I bet that Juliet was just the icing on the cake" as if she was a mere commodity to boost his image.
    The second bit's about how she would have been much better without him and it's kind of reminiscent of that scene in Love Actually when Peter and Juliet are sailing off for their honeymoon "when there's memories to be made.."
    To sum it up the line "You are the only ones who know" is basically saying that the guy knows that the girl doesnt really mean that much to him and that the girl knows that she doesn't really love him.
    mizuki_chanon December 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about love, and some different aspects of it.

    (The saving grace was the feeling
    That it was her heart that he was stealing
    He was ready to impress
    And the fierce excitement
    The eyes are bright
    He couldn't wait to get away)
    This is about the part where they fall in love, he was ready to make her love him, they were excited.

    (And I bet that Juliet was just the icing on the cake
    Make no mistake, no)
    This is about people doubting if their love is true or not; I bet she's not thát important to him, but make no mistakes, she might be.

    (And even if somehow he could have shown you
    The place you wanted
    Well I'm sure you could have made it that bit better on your own)
    This is about how love can not be perfect, never. In a way, even if he'd do everything you expect him to do (shown you the place you wanted), it won't be perfect and you could make your life even more like you want it on your own.

    (And I bet she told a million people that she'd stay in touch
    But all the little promises that don't mean much
    When there's memories to be made)
    This is about telling people they're important too, but deep inside she knows that he's the most important person and she wants to be with him (make memories together)

    (And I hope you're holding hands by New Year's Eve
    They made it far too easy to believe
    That true romance can't be achieved these days)
    So even though some people are wary, the singer wishes them the best (I hope you're holding hands by New Year's Eve) because you don't have to listen to people who say true romance can't be achieved.

    (You are the only ones who know)
    They're the only ones who really know that true romance cán be achieved, but it's can't be perfect.

    Amazing song, amazing music. Magical.
    lalalamouron July 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation--> Considering that in the chorus the lyrics are "even if somehow WE could have (...)", I'm pretty sure that the ones who are singing are the parents of a boy who was cheated by his girlfriend, and who are trying to tell this to the poor unadvised boy.

    --> Firstly, they describe the feelings of the other guy the girl cheated on: "the saving grace was the feeling that it was a heart that he was stealing". It's not unusual that someone feels good by stepping into someone else's solid relationship and destroying it.

    --> So, although it wasn't a good thing to do, that feeling made it worth it.

    --> "The fierce excitement, the eyes are bright" - the voluptuous feelings of leading someone to cheating.

    --> "he couldn't wait to get away" - he's anxious to tell someone what he just did

    --> "I bet the juliet is just the icing on the cake, make no mistake no" - It's like their parents are saying "Don't be a fool to think he really liked your girlfriend, son. She doesn't really matter. He's just thrilled that he made her cheat on you"

    --> Now his parents are just whining. "Even if somehow we could have shown you the place you wanted, I'm sure you could have made it that bit better on your own" (we wish we could tell you another story, so you could still be fine with your girl, you were doing fine, but that's the truth)
    BUT, if you still want to forgive her, that's up to both of you stay together. "You're the only ones who know (what's better for you)"

    --> "I bet she told a million people that she'd stay in touch, but all (..)" The boy's parents continue to show the boy that people lie.

    --> but in the end, they finally try to give him some 'false' hope "I hope you're holding hands by New Years Eve", but at this stage, nothing else would deceive the boy. After everything his parents said, he knew the bitter truth and there wasn't hope anymore. "they made it far too easy to believe that true romance can't be achieved these days"
    pserotinion October 01, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsuch a beautiful song. almost dream like, akin to good night by the beatles or motion picture soundtrack by radiohead.
    the lyrics seem to signal a relationship ending due to the girl wanting to get away and see the world on her own, knowing that it is a tough decision, but it is ultimately, the right one.
    dhobdenon April 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti heard this song was about alex turner being out on the town and a a girl and boy holding hands came up to him and asked "where's good to go tonight?" and he wrote this song around them because he thought they looked really good together and proper in love..

    And I hope you're holding hands by New Year's Eve
    They made it far too easy to believe
    That true romance can't be achieved these days
    sedderson April 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. It's so beautiful and it's probably my favorite on the album.
    ifyouleaveon April 24, 2007   Link

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