I don't mind losing a girl to herself
A quiet love is better than none
And I don't mind losing a friend to a friend
If only to be a reasonable man

And I don't mind waiting if it's for the best
A careful heart is better than none
I don't mind painting my back with the past
Pictures in resolute pain
Smoothing the laugh o'er the lane

But if it happens to you
The same kind of deal
I recommend fire
Instead of the fool

I don't mind shaking your hand at the door
If only to be a resolute man (Pictures in resolute pain)
If only to be a resolute man
If only to be a resolute man

But if it happens to you
The same kind of deal
I recommend fire
Instead of the fool

I don't mind shaking your hand at the door
If only to be a resolute man (Pictures in resolute pain)
If only to be a resolute man
If only to be a resolute man

If only to be a reasonable man
If only to be a reasonable man


Lyrics submitted by carabine

Reasonable Man (I Don't Mind) song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentInteresting song, full of regret.

    My take - it's about being too cautious and accommodating in life. You can lose your girl & your friends for want of speaking up and intervening, you can wait instead of taking action, you can shake someone's hand when you want to hit them.

    The singer has done all of these things, because he reasons/rationalises that "a careful heart is better than none". But because of this he has suffered great pain, which he now carries around with him.

    The twist is that he suggests that others NOT follow his example - "if it happens to you/the same kind of deal/I recommend fire/instead of the fool". In other words, don't be a cautious, hesitant fool who sees everything he values slip away - instead fight (apply 'fire'). The sadness in the song is thus that he is aware of his own characteristics of hesitation and inaction, but is unable to escape them despite the pain they cause.
    caitsith01on April 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst comment?
    Anyway, I think this could be about being in love with someone but having to pretend that you're not, because you're afraid, or know, that if you express your feelings you will (or might) lose the one you love. And so you love from a distance.
    However, you don't want the person you're in love with to act the same way because it's painful and it's not getting you anywhere, except seeming to be together from the outside. That's how I think of it anyway..
    brainisinthedirton April 02, 2009   Link

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