"What We Had" as written by and Alexei Perry Dan Boeckner....
It's cold
a plain diamond
nobody's here, just empty space
It's all moving, breathing
stuck to the ceiling, don't mean a thing

and what we had don't mean a thing
and what we had is already gone

it's all
a plain diamond
nobody's here, just empty space

they're all our eyes are saucered to see
as if hands might float right down from above
and change this place
nobody here, don't mean a thing

and what we had don't mean a thing
and what we had is already gone

I sit outside with the rain now
and time rolls slow
I sit outside with the rain
and time rolls slow
but they may never shut off
but they may never shut off



Lyrics submitted by euthanasia27

What We Had song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentDan's lyrics almost mimic his riffs- catchy and original, yet oddly familiar.
    heremywolveson December 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite Handsome furs song by far.
    CaseyWildroseon June 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere's a couple of God references or some higher spirit to change the feeling/atmosphere that he's experiencing. I didn't realize how depressing this song was until I read the lyrics. You can't really understand them when they're song, but the sounds are nice.
    moth fighton September 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso one of my favourite handsome furs song, the music definately doesn't sound typically down but you can still pick up on the sad vibe.

    Before I knew the lyrics I imagined that this song was about an ex lover, "and what we had don't mean a thing and what we had is already gone". And then when he sings "I sit outside with the rain now and time rolls slow", I sort of took this as meaning, he's watching his ex lover from the outside, move on with someone else but he still hasn't - the rain signifying his depressed state and time feeling like it rolls so slow because he hasn't found someone else yet.

    After I read the lyrics on here though, I interpreted it as sort of being about an abandoned farm or town. Maybe it became unfertile, or just deserted for whatever reason. Where then you can interpret "and what we had don't mean a thing and what we had is already gone", accordingly. All the work and effort they put into the farm/town doesn't mean a thing anymore because it didn't work out, and now all the crops have died and the buildings are crumbling - "what we had is already gone". So then when he sings "as if hands might float right down from above and change this place" - as if God or whatever else, might some day make the ground fertile again, or make the conditions more livable.

    Then the whole rain part at the end is just about waiting and hoping for such things to happen. He's outside because all the buildings have crumbled, so he's just sitting in the rain, waiting. At the same time realising though that it may never happen - 'but they may never shut off'. I also always thought this song had a country vibe to it with the way the guitar is played so that's how I probably moved into the mind frame of this being small country town/farmer related. With my initial interpretation, I did imagine the story taking place in a country town. Hence why he might be watching the new romance of his ex lover unfold from the outside because country towns are small and he would be running into them regularly.
    italiancarneon January 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionIt's "I sit outside with the radar", at least according to the liner notes.
    JonMcPon July 28, 2010   Link

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