"Personal" as written by Amy E Millan, Torquil John Campbell, Christopher Allen Seligman, Evan Whitney Cranley and Patrick Mcgee....
Wanted single F under 33
Must enjoy the sun, must enjoy the sea
Sought by single M, Mrs. Destiny
Send photo to address, is it you and me?

Reply to single M, my name is Caroline
Cell phone number here, call if you have the time
28 and bored, grieving over loss, sorry to be heavy
But heavy is the cost, heavy is the cost

Reply to Caroline, thanks so much for response
These things can be scary, not always what you want
How about a drink? The Ancient Club at noon
I'll phone you first I guess, I hope I see you soon

I never got your name, I assume you're 33
Your voice it sounded kind, I hope that you like me
When you see my face, I hope that you don't laugh
I'm not a film star beauty, I'll send a photograph, I hope that you don't laugh

Note to single M, why did you not show up?
I waited for an hour, I finally gave up
I thought once that I saw you, I thought that you saw me
I guess we'll never meet now, it wasn't meant to be, it wasn't mean to be
I was sure you saw me but it wasn't meant to be

Wanted single F under 33
Must enjoy the sun, must enjoy the sea
Sought by single M, nothing too heavy
Send photo to address, is it you or me? Is it you or me?

Is it you or me?
Is it you or me?
Is it you or me?
Is it you or me?


Lyrics submitted by reflectlight, edited by katie034

"Personal" as written by Christopher Allen Seligman Amy E Millan

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Personal song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentFirstly, I think the instrumental pieces after Caroline's messages to Single M are intentional, he's in no hurry to reply. Whereas Caroline's instant replies reveal vulnerability, a bit of desperation and some insecurities.

    Single M has mixed emotions. After Caronline's first reply to him, you feel he's trying to reassure her in his message, but at the same time, voicing some of his own concerns "These things can be scary / Not always what you want". This can be taken two ways: 1. he's a player and is trying to bring her around. 2. he has his own issues. But most likely, a bit of both. He ends his reply to her with "I'll call you first I guess" ensuring (in his mind) that he remains in control of things and dictates how fast/far things progress.

    Caroline replies again, revealing even more vulnerabilities and a lot of insecurities. The fast paced nature of her reply pretty much reveals all her cards to him whereas he's a lot more guarded with his emotions and personal information throughout (intentionally so, obviously). Single M realizes she expects him to help her overcome these issues and he isn't able to reassure her this time for whatever reason. Maybe he feels guilty, that he took on more than he can chew. This is obviously a woman who pours her heart out without the least bit of motivation, so he isn't sure how to handle her.

    He doesn't reply to her the second time, but he does go to their meeting spot. He recognizes her from the picture she sent him, they make eye contact, she doesn't know it's him (can't be sure) but she feels it all the same. He can see so much emotion/hurt in her eyes, and he knows that he's made a mistake, that he can't use her for his own (possibly selfish) motives (sex, casual relationship).

    Caroline's last message to him, after she was stood up, comes across more angry than hurt at first, but then crumbles apart near the end where she feels they made a connection and could have been, but didn't happen.

    Both of the characters come with their issues, the man comes across as a commitment-phobic (or possibly a guy burnt by another woman) whereas the woman reveals she's vulnerable and trying to overcome hurt that was probably caused by someone like Single M in the first place. In the end though, Single M is left battling his own demons with, "Is it you or me?" -- who's to blame for his inability to see things through? Was it him or her?

    It's amazing how such a simple song can convey such powerful and strong emotions from both sides. Heart breaking but earth shatteringly stunning.
    jahjahjehon February 18, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General CommentMany good things have been said and I'll try to summarize it somewhat.

    I think Rokr got it quite - look at the title. This song is about being "personal" in different ways.

    First, it's about the actual nature of those internet dating platforms and I'm quite surprised no one has talked about that yet. While everything seems totally meaningless, spontaneous and not personal, there are actually deep feelings behind all that happened. The music illustrates this, I think: Notice how the melody of the singers is actually very monotonous almost throughout the whole song, while it is the music - the thing that only the listeners hear - that reveals its actual tragic nature. Only when she writes him after he didn't show up her voice changes very slightly, has more melodic peaks. And when she finally sings "I was sure you saw me", when she rests a moment on that high note of "sure", that is actually the only time emotions really show up. But then she leads on - "it wasn't meant to be."

    Then, it's about the way the two characters deal with their emotions and with intimacy.
    I half agree with clashippy: "therefore, girls over-analyze, boys lead on"
    But I'd rather say - they both over-analyze, and they both ultimately lead on. I also think in the end they both blame themselves, but this is not so evident in the case of him, because the fundamental difference between them is that she talks, while he doesn't.
    And that's the magic of it - that is, I think, why he didn't show up in the first place, and also why he didn't tell her anything: Being personal is just a weight is not able to bear.

    As for all the speculations, I think it's part of this song that we actually don't know what's going on. We only have their private (another hint!) messages, and we have the thoughts of Caroline (notice that we don't know his name at all): so first we get just her perspective, but only at the end does the male character himself question the story, very faintly (again cfr. the musical interpretation), thus adding a wholly different perspective. We are left with a look at both sides, which somehow tells us nothing - and somehow everything.
    Fryieon February 03, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentRe St Jude Club

    St Jude is the Patron Saint of desperate and lost causes.
    thereturnofthekooshon September 22, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is beautiful.
    theALLYnesson July 11, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love how 'single m' just carries on looking for another 'single f' and forgetting the previous one just like that.

    its just all too harsh, especially when he added "nothing too heavy" at the end
    fadetotheSkyon July 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentabout the "is it you or me" line...

    in my opinion, I don't think that it's so much a reflection of the woman's thoughts as j2los suggested, especially since Torquil is singing the line. it seemed to me to be his question to himself as he ponders why he couldn't go through with the initial date. maybe he's wondering if, instead of it being some fault on the woman's part (either emotional or physical), it could be some weakness on his part. and since he hinted at some previous experience with these sorts of things in the third verse ("these things can be heavy..."), maybe this isn't the first time this has happened to him.

    I think the line brings a hidden emotional depth to the male character in the song, in subtle way that Stars often do. and it's a great contrast between the woman and the man - while she puts herself and her emotions completely out there, he has hidden them all away.

    orrr, maybe he's just an asshole. great song anyway.
    sleeptonighton September 22, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIts "The St. Jude club at noon" Not "This ancient club at noon"
    Loch Ravenon May 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentis it possible there's significance in the difference of 'is it you AND me' at the beginnign vs 'is it you OR me' at the end? idk what it could be though.. just pointing it out

    i like what choisek said tho, nice nice

    i was so oblivious to this meaning until now thankyou all, dearly.
    lisasonodaon July 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirstly, what an absolutely beautiful and completely tragic song. The more I listen to it the more brilliant it becomes; the build up between single m and Caroline, the introduction of her nervousness and eagerness about the date to overcome her loss, single m's disregard to her loss by ignoring it and simply mentioning how the personal column can "be scary", the final verse that lulls you in and and then delivers the line that pushes the whole story down the cliff: "nothing to heavy". And to finish off, the ambiguous "is it you, or me?". For such a simple song, it's incredible how deep it goes; just incredible.

    Of all people here, I think Pocketmoonlight above has got the closest to the meaning of this song, although there's one small thing that I disagree with him and most of what has been written here: single m DEFINITELY went to the "St. Jude club at noon" (note: not the 'Ancient club' as on the lyrics page ;). It's one of the things that are central to the song. He went there, full of doubt and fear, and saw Caroline there. For a moment they made eye contact, before single m decided that he couldn't go though with it and left. That moment is the beauty of the song; that both their futures came down to one single moment that was decided by their pasts, and both are left wondering would could have been: "is it you, or me?".

    And I'm in the non-fat camp. As far as I'm concerned, Caroline could have been the most beautiful girl on the planet, and single m still wouldn't have stayed. It goes a lot deeper than simply appearances - Caroline may have been the one who admitted to being "heavy", but for single m, his past experiences have had an even heavier cost.
    robbibton September 14, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationin the beginning she says "Grieving over loss; Sorry to be heavy, but heavy is the cost"
    i take this quite literally; from what many of my friends have gone through
    she probably lost someone close (i'd assume her boyfriend, which i say because if you take
    into consideration the fact that she's in personal ads..you know?) and kind of packed
    on some weight from emotional eating and stress etc.
    and i believe that in the end, he was questioning if his "standards" i guess we'll call
    them, were set too high. is it her weight, or is it just him being a total arse?

    that's how i see it. [shrugs] still a beautifully true song.
    seattlevineson January 16, 2009   Link

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