Well now who am I to say?
If all I know is what I heard
With the things some people say
You can never be to sure
But who cares where you find comfort
I'm no one to deny
Anybody what they need to take them through a night

Because who am I to say
What you should do behind close doors

Well now who am I to say?
I've been trouble almost all my life
I took pleasure in such things most wouldn't entertain not at the darkest of times
So you take your pills and poison
Drink yourself to death
Give yourself away until you ain't got nothing left
Because who am I to say that there's anything wrong with that

Yeah but why do you call at such hours every time
Saying I don't need no money, I've just been thinking of you tonight
Oh, but who am I to say?
Maybe you had good intentions at heart
Maybe you took truer aim and it was me who missed my mark
But for every word of anger, left unexplained, for every time that I turned you away
Who am I to say that it wasn't for the better, girl?

Who am I to say?


Lyrics submitted by rockisgroovy

Who Am I to Say song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI love this song. Love it. Couple of corrections though.

    "Yeah but why do you call
    at such hours every time" (Instead of "It's so childish every time)

    and

    "Maybe you took truer aim and it was me who missed my mark" ( Instead of "Maybe you took true to your rein and it was me who missed my mark")

    And finally

    "But for every word of ANGER left unexplained, for every time that I turned you away" (Instead of, "But for every word of ANCHOR, left unexplained, for every time that I turned you away")

    I think this is a song about what Justin's dad (Steve Earle) told him when Justin was going through his drug problems. At one point Justin was his dad's guitarist and his dad had to kick him out of the band because he couldnt get his act together. Very well written and a beautiful song.
    Stig Kinsingtonon July 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSo I just heard this song a few hours ago on the Acoustic Cafe' radio show. Annnnd loved it. It seems to me that acoustic guitar was bred for regret and self loathing. If a song can make you stop and listen to the lyrics and appreciate the emotion found there, then the artist has done his job. Bravo.
    Lyric_rioton August 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentword! fixed it. i love this song too. saw him live with the felice brothers.
    rockisgroovyon August 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf it wasn't for the second-last line "Who am I to say that it wasn't for the better, girl?", i would think Justin was satirizing authority figures by making up a hypothetical situation in which, instead of punishing somebody for drugs or alcohol or something else, the person in power took the time to admit that he/she does exactly the same thing but there's no one to call them on it, like President (Harding?) making it no secret that he drank alcohol in the White House during Prohibition when it was illegal for the rest of the country.

    With that second-last line, however, I have no idea. Did a relationship with a girlfriend end because they were both abusing something and would've sounded hypocritical to stop each other's respective addictions, but there were a lot of fights when one/both were drunk/high? Or maybe one did try to stop the other person and they started fighting over perceived hypocrisy? OK, so I have an idea, never mind.

    Oh, but who am I to say?
    Maybe you had good intentions at heart
    Maybe you took truer aim and it was me who missed my mark
    But for every word of anger, left unexplained, for every time that I turned you away
    Who am I to say that it wasn't for the better, girl?

    Maybe Justin, the speaker of the addict (he could be narrating a fictional situation), is apologizing to his ex for chasing her away for trying to get him help, but he finally did get help after she left because he realized she was right and he was wrong (or out of shame of how he treated her?), and maybe they each found somebody else and are better off.
    Castle742on June 22, 2010   Link

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