"You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)" as written by and John Anthony White....
In some respects I suspect
You've got a respectable side
When pushed and pulled and pressured
You seldom run and hide

But it's for someone else's benefit
Not for what you wanna do
Until I realize that you've realized
I'm gonna say these words to you

Yeah, you don't know what love is
You do as you're told
Just as a child at ten might act
But you're far too old

You're not hopeless or helpless
And I hate to sound cold
But you don't know what love is
You just do as you're told

I can see your man can't help but win
Any problems that may arise
But in his mind there can be no sin
If you never criticize

You just keep on repeating
All those empty I love you's
Until you say you deserve better
I'm gonna lay right into you

Yeah, you don't know what love is
You just do as you're told
Just as a child at ten might act
But you're far too old

You're not hopeless or helpless
And I hate to sound cold
But you don't know what love is
No, you don't know what love is
No, you don't know what love is

You just do as you're told
Yeah, you do as you're told, yeah


Lyrics submitted by thisapparatus69

"You Don't Know What Love Is" as written by John Anthony White

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told) song meanings
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42 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI think the meaning is fairly obvious. It reminds me a great deal of one of my friends. She jumps to every command that her man has for her. To me this isn't love because some of his demands are completely ridiculous or just plain out selfish. If she really loved him she'd help him see his faults and better himself, otherwise he thinks he is perfect the way he is. The same for him. He should help her be a better person. Instead they are gliding through, and accepting what they have. For the other its not so bad because he gets whatever he wants, and most likely doesn't appreciate it.
    Swinneyon October 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm with Jackieboy37. It's sounds like a good friend is showing his support for a women who is in a dead-end and perhaps abusive relationship where her opinions don't matter. He is going to continue to point out this obvious truth, no matter how harsh she may find it, until she advocates for herself.
    artbeaton June 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRecently I discovered a song from 1964 by the wonderful singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan, that's called 'I Don't Know What Love Is.' It might have been an inspiration for this song. As the nearly identical titles suggest, this White Stripes song's lyrics sound just like a reaction to the narrator of Bunyan's song.
    terrycraigon March 22, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this is about a macho guy who doesn't know what love is. he just knows how to act tough and intimidate. something along those lines. im too lazy to get into full analysis right now. but what i do want to say is THIS ALBUM IS AMAZING. jack white is a genius, the riffs, melodies, everything on this album is soo deliciously addicting.
    mcflyguy42on June 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits not about a guy, its about a girl that's a pushover. she just "loves" her man because she thinks she has to.
    jackieboy37on June 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe line should be: "I can see your man" also, some of the "your"s should be "you're"
    jackieboy37on June 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe first verse is clearly about forest gump.
    eYeKeyon June 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjackieboy has it spot on, this song seems to show a greater ability by jack white to write charmingly catchy pop songs, not that he has never been capable, but this song just tops even 'my doorbell' as a hit .this song will be hit with mainstream audience
    kipperjoeon June 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh myyyy i cannot wait for the album to come out!! this song is great!
    dosedxbyyouon June 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis might be my fav off the new album. IMO its directed to people who overuse the word love and Jack is telling them "Please you don't know what love is". I think its a great topic for a song
    dylanfan71on June 19, 2007   Link

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