"Heroes and Thieves" as written by and Vanessa Carlton....
Well, disaster it strikes on a daily basis
I'm looking for wisdom in all the wrong places
But still want to laugh in disappointed faces
You can't help me
Blinded by these

Heroes and Thieves at my door
I can't seem to tell them apart anymore
Just when I've figured it out
Well darlin' it's you I'm without

Well I'm stubborn and wrong
But at least I know it
Keep moving along until I can get through this
But maybe this song is the best I can do it
So I'm patiently waiting on these

Heroes and Thieves at my door
I can't seem to tell them apart anymore
Just when I've figured it out
Well darlin' it's you
Darlin' it's you oh
Darlin' it's you I'm

Without your comforting logic
Like these days are the ones I'll miss
And I see a solitude that I can't find without you
Ah ah, ah
La da da

Well, it seems like I'm getting closer somehow
A flicker of peace that I've finally found
Thank you for believing in me now
'Cause I do need it

Well, give me a year or two
And I'll mend my ways and see these mistakes and
When I see the truth
Well, darlin' trust me
When I can't see
I'll be coming back, I'll be coming back to you

These heroes and thieves at my door
I can't seem to tell them apart anymore
Just when I've figured it out
Well, darlin' it's you
Darlin' it's you
Well, darling it's you I'm without
Ah, ah, ah


Lyrics submitted by llama_boy

"Heroes & Thieves" as written by Vanessa Carlton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Heroes and Thieves song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI agree with the previous comments, but I also think that Darlin' is her deceased father.

    I have no evidence other than the song to say if that's true or if her dad is even dead, but a number of small, subtle things in the song point to that, IMO. The line "And just when I've figured it out" implies, to me, that Darlin' is someone who had already figured it out and tried to teach her to as well. "Comforting logic" sounds paternal, and losing a parent can easily result in "solitude that I can't find without you." "When I can't see...I'll be coming back to you" I see as meeting again in the afterlife. Lastly, the way she sings "it seems like I'm getting closer somehow" especially the word somehow, sounds like a little girl, the way she used to (and still would, if her song could reach him) address her father. Maybe I'm just over-reading things, but that's how I've always taken it. One of my favorite songs of hers either way.

    Flaahgraon June 19, 2009   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning"Heroes and Thieves at my door
    I can't seem to tell them apart anymore
    Just when I've figured it out
    Well darlin' it's you I'm without"

    I believe this means that her perception of society as a whole is distrustful and deceptive, meaning people are "heroes and thieves" who enter her "door". She cannot tell them apart as even those who are close to her have disappointed her such that she feels cheated and robbed (thief). Because of this, I think she cuts ties with her "darling".

    "Just when I've figured it out
    Well darlin' it's you I'm without"

    When she finally figures out the truth (which is still unknown), ultimately she is without her "darling" who is no longer around to provide her the strength and wisdom she much cherishes.

    "Well I'm stubborn and wrong,
    But at least I know it
    I keep movin' along
    Until I can get through this"

    Much like me, she understands she is "wrong" (with the way she ended her relationship with her "darling") but "knows" this is the case with her ""stubbornness" as a way of protecting her inner-self. However, she persists with her separation and "moves along" until she can get through her misery ("through this").
    ccthamon August 12, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWoah no comments for this one? This song is so true. To me is about how this world is dark now it'a hard to disern who's on your side and
    "Well, give me a year or two
    And I’ll mend my ways and see these mistakes and
    When I see the truth
    Well, darlin' trust me
    When I can’t see
    I’ll be coming back; I’ll be coming back to you"
    I think is saying when find finally figure out the truth about these so call heroes I'm leaning on you again.
    Oriana2on August 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPersonally, I think the song has a theme of redemption to it. At the beginning, the speaker sings of feeling hopeless and weak without the presence of the one called "Darling" and she has no guidance of telling apart the "heroes and thieves" in her life. In order to make up for her foolishness, she sings this song as a way of helping her through life without having much comfort. It will take time (Give me a year or two), but she has faith that she will "mend her ways and see these mistakes" she has made or will make in life. The first mistake is realizing how she ever tried to live without her "Darling".
    Mykaylaon May 26, 2015   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI believe this song has this meaning based on my following experiences:

    "Well, disaster it strikes on a daily basis
    And I'm looking for wisdom in all the wrong places"

    With troubles and problems ("disaster on a daily basis"), she sought after advice and wisdom with her so called "darling", but it appears that her search for the truth is in the ("wrong place"), which implies that her darling is not who she thought they were (could be friends/ family).

    "But still wanna laugh in disappointed faces"

    I believe this means (according to my interpretation and experiences) that "disappointed faces" refers to her close friends who are heroes and thieves, who are not true to themselves and are let down by others. This implies she understands their pain, but "wants to laugh" as they departed her and got their medicine.

    "And you can't help me
    I'm blinded by these"

    I believe her "darling" is not one of those heroes and thieves she refers to... but with the way she is "blinded" (i.e. her loss of trust with others), she does not believe her darling can "help her", as her feelings with others (and maybe society as a whole) has given her doubts that her "darling" could just be like everyone else.

    To be continued....
    ccthamon August 12, 2016   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"I'm without your comforting logic like
    These days are the ones I'll miss
    And I seek a solitude
    That I can't find without you"

    Whilst she determines and seeks the "truth", she is caught in the dilemma where the "solitude" provided by her isolation, she no longer has the "comforting logic" and fresh perspective of a valued companion, and admits she "misses those days" and is lost ("can't find herself").

    Well it seems like I'm getting closure somehow
    A flicker of peace that I finally found
    Thank you for believing in me now
    Cause I do need it

    When she gets "closer" to the truth, she realises her "darling" was her only saving grace and had "believed in her" from the start.

    Give me a year or two
    And I'll mend my ways
    And see these mistakes
    And when I see the truth,
    Darling trust me, when I can see
    I'll be coming back
    I'll be coming back to you

    I think this means that she requires "a year or two" (i.e. time) to fix ("mend") herself and problems caused by these heroes and thieves (i.e. her previous allies who deceived her). Her "mistakes" make her stronger and she finds herself coming back to her "darling" after realising the "truth" (i.e. who is a hero and who is a thief).

    Anyhow, that's just my opinion based on my recent relationships with my friends.
    ccthamon August 12, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOMG!!! I can't wait to get VC's new CD!!! I love her voice, her lyrics, & the way she plays the piano!!! she's AWESOME!!! this song is sooooo gooood!!!
    ayanaon August 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst, I have to say that this song is soo beautiful. I have to agree with Oriana. I think that she's in this world full of people, and its hard to tell who's good and who's bad, and I think that the only person she can really trust to stay constant is her "darlin".
    Embody Musicon August 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song! But I would have to slightly disagree with what oriana and embody said - I think it's more about how the narrator is trying to sort out through the deception that is surrounding her (personified through "heroes and thieves"), but because of this, she has also separated from whomever she calls "darling." after all, she says "darling its you i'm without." so she's not with him. I think the guy she's talking about in the song has a less cynical, more optimistic perspective on life; he's a comfort to her, but until she is finally ok with whatever truth she was seeking, she can't be with him because of their differences.
    pretty_in_pink13on October 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song! But I would have to slightly disagree with what oriana and embody said - I think it's more about how the narrator is trying to sort out through the deception that is surrounding her (personified through "heroes and thieves"), but because of this, she has also separated from whomever she calls "darling." after all, she says "darling its you i'm without." so she's not with him. I think the guy she's talking about in the song has a less cynical, more optimistic perspective on life; he's a comfort to her, but until she is finally ok with whatever truth she was seeking, she can't be with him because of their differences.
    pretty_in_pink13on October 05, 2007   Link

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