"(When The Bough Breaks) Say When" as written by and Andrew/langley Sudderth....
The sideways man walks on his hands
Can't keep from dragging his feet
And when he tries
I try

They twist his arms to get a head start
Tycoons love hitting the jackpot
To get back what they've lost
He'd have to raise the bar

The desert heat left us all in the dark
Buried the sun so I carried the torch
Head over heels with eyes on the prize
I settled for less and it's more than enough
Just say when

Truth be told, I'd rather be sold
Than juggle stepping stones
But when he tries
I try

They all take part to get a head start
Big whigs love hitting the jackpot
He's taking all the cheap shots
The referee was wrong

The way they left us all in the dark
They buried the sun so I carried the torch
The way they left our eyes on the prize
I've settled for less and it's more than enough
Just say when

The way they left us all in the dark
They buried the sun so I carried the torch
The way they left our eyes on the prize
I've settled for less and it's more than enough

The way they left us all in the dark
Head over heels just say enough
Just say when


Lyrics submitted by Hal0

"Say When" as written by Brett Stowers Andrew Sudderth

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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(When The Bough Breaks) Say When song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentcorrection - Tycoons love hitting the jackpot
    To get back what they've *bought*

    this is a wonderful song, so mellow and serene until the end when it gets almost operatic.

    i personally see it as a comment on artistic integrity in a consumer driven world. how darroh talks about the "sideways man" as someone whose doing something different and he wants to do his best to follow suite in his own way.
    but then there's always the "tycoons and big wigs" who want use this experimentation for profit, and then do it twice as good the next time around.
    though he doesn't seem to mind the profit aspect rather than scrapping by, but he still want to follow that sideways man, find a creative output.

    but i could be reading into alot more, and with fair to midland song's, there is alot to be read, which is why i love them so!
    everson June 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think evers hit it on the nail. "They buried the sun so I carried the torch." The bigwigs took away what worked best and what everyone was used to, so he made his own new way. I think it refers to keeping originality and artistic quality (namely in music) after commercialization took that possibility away. Like evers said, if the big companies made it so the old style didn't work anymore, how can they make money? They want the money, so they have to come up with something different and still keep that old great artistic value.
    pimpmuffinon July 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI actually beg to differ. I think it could be referring to the war in Iraq and the media's reaction/coverage of it.

    The sideways man
    walks on his hands[I believe it could be talking about a wounded & handicapped veteran.]
    can't keep from dragging his feet
    and when he tries
    I try[Here, Darroh(or a narrator) is talking about how he feels the veteran's pain in trying to walk, hence 'dragging his feet' from the physical therapy to regain use of his legs.]
    They twist his arms
    to get a headstart['twist his arms' could mean threatening, and 'they' could be the military. 'get a headstart' would be the military's keeping ahead of the game, making sure nobody knows what's really going on. (then again, I'm slightly biased on this subject)]
    Tycoons love hitting
    the jackpot[Tycoons = big media companies like CNN, MSNBC, etc. So the jackpot would be the idea of getting EVERYTHING, coverage-wise on Iraq in general.]
    To get back what they've lost
    he'd have to raise the bar[Here, 'they' could be talking about the people 'he'(the aforementioned veteran) had trained with and bunked with in Iraq, and what they've lost are their companions that died in battle, or perhaps their humanity.]

    The desert heat left us all in the dark[In the excitement of being able to cover Iraq, the media didn't realize what they were getting themselves into, and had no clue what was coming, so they essentially also left US citizens in 'the dark' on what was going on.]
    buried the sun so I carried the torch[The media 'buried' the sun, the US citizens' ideals, so the narrator/darroh took up the mantle of bringing his OWN ideals into play, the 'torch' to relight the US.]
    Head over heels with eyes on the prize[Talking about how the media got so excited, 'head over heels', and how their eyes/cameras/mics were pretty much glued to the idea, 'prize', of covering the war in Iraq.]
    I settled for less and its more than enough[this is talking about how the narrator settled for less than the media's goal, aka his service in iraq, and it was more than enough for him.]
    just say when[Possibly as in 'when will this end?']

    Truth be told
    I'd rather be sold
    than juggle stepping stones[He'd rather be the one on the recieving end of the propaganda/TV screen, than the one actually covering it, because he didn't want to be be juggling the people's minds/ideals, the stepping stones.]
    But when he tries
    I try[Sympathizing again with the 'wounded veteran' aforementioned.]

    They all take part
    to get a headstart[Now everybody is trying to stay ahead of everybody else. I think.]
    Big whigs love hiting the jackpot[talking about the idea of being able to cover the Iraqi war.]
    taking all the cheapshots[cheapshots=harsh words directed at a certain person(s), perhaps in this case the Iraqi people, how the media is directing[taking] cheapshots at them.]
    the referee was wrong [Referee=some higher-up, maybe the pres./government, and how he/they were wrong about the nuclear weapons supposedly being in Iraq.]

    The way they left us all in the dark
    They buried the sun so i carried the torch
    The way they left ours eyes on the prize
    I've settled for less and its more than enough
    Just say when
    [otherwise, refrain is the same except for two lines 'the way they left our eyes on the prize. I've settled for less and it's more than enough.' They sound as if now the prize, in the narrator's mind, is similar to the media's, but in the way that they now want to not cover, but kill certain Iraqis. But it's more than enough to have been there, the narrator remembers, and repeats his lament; just say when.]

    Well...yeahhh....

    The reason I went down this venture was probably the 'desert heat' bit.
    valbinoon May 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a Great song! I must have this album!
    Trink3nb3rgon August 26, 2008   Link

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