"Better Than This" as written by Timothy James Rice-oxley, Tom Chaplin and Richard David Hughes....
Is this what you meant?
Is this
What you dreamed of?
When you were making
Your plans
Shaking the dirt off?
Do you feel like you
And I belong?
(Oh, ah, oh)
Just keep your eyes
On the road
And nothing can go wrong

You could do so much
Better than this
You could do so much
Better than this

I've been checking my sums
Oh where did the time go?
Holding my photograph up
To the window
Through the paper
A refracted sun
(Oh, ah, oh)
I can see all the things
I wish that I'd done

You can hang your hopes
On the bedsits masses
You can put your faith
In the foreign
You can tell yourself
You can do your best
You could do so much
Better than this

Get a grip on yourself
Get a grip on yourself
Could have been something
But you're too late
And you
Wouldn't want it anyway

Just a photograph
From the wrong time
'Cause there
Is no soap star
Holding your hand
You can see yourself
In a freeze-frame
Must be someone else
Using your name

And everyone
Will be the same
And everyone will glow
And everywhere
You'll see your name
In every shop window

It's better than this
You could do so much
Better than this
You could do so much
Better than this
You could do so much
Better than this


Lyrics submitted by Runaway Muse

"Better Than This" as written by Timothy James Rice-oxley Richard David Hughes

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Better Than This song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is quite simple and straightforward: Set your goals high
    MLBfreek35on September 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh god i can't stop runing this song in my head
    You could do so much better than this
    You could do so much better than this
    i guess the meaning is so clear ...
    thank you keane ,,,,
    best band
    roogenaon September 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNice song!! It's kinda Ashes to Ashed, from David Bowie meets Queen and Keane XD
    Great chorus!! =D
    Keane forever!
    ThePringleson October 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationYeah I agree that it's saying to set your goals high..
    I get the impression it's someone looking at someone else saying look at the mess you've made of your life, you could have been so much more? Dunno.. Good song, anyway :)
    Jcramson January 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is not entirely about setting your goals high, it definitely seems like that on the surface but I think this song is written from a view of "disenchantment with how we view ourselves and forget who we really are as well as disenchanment with celebrity and riches".
    its ironic in that the message to "set your goals high" is there but there is also a "be realistic about your goals and don't live your life wishing for the impossible and forget your true self because YOU WILL be disappointed" - which is the case with many of us today....wanting to live like celebrities and wishing for eternal wealth..etc


    "Is this what you meant?
    Is this what you dreamed of?
    When you were making your plans,
    Shaking the dirt off?
    Do you feel like you and I belong?
    (oh ah oh)
    Just keep your eyes on the road and nothing can go wrong"

    A relationship obviously is going wrong. the other party had hoped for the best relationship ever and now that reality hit the fan, the cant face it but still live like everything is okay.

    "I've been checking my sums
    Oh where did the time go?
    Holding my photograph up to the window
    Through the paper and refracted sun
    (oh ah oh)
    I can see all the things I wish that I'd done"

    again...time has gone by and the person comes to realise that they have lived a lie all along and didn't really do the good things they wanted to do.

    "You can hang your hopes on the medicine
    You can put your faith in the phone-in
    You can tell yourself you doing your best
    You can do so much better than this"

    reference to how we always turn to things like medicine and phone ins (possibly some money winning TV phone in stuff ??? ) to sort our problems out instead of sorting them out our problems and being realistic about it!


    "Get a grip on yourself
    Get a grip on yourself
    Could have been something, but you're too late
    And you weren't invited anyway

    'Cause the photographs show the wrong man
    'Cause there is no soap star holding your hand
    You don't see yourself in the freeze frame
    Must be someone else using your name"

    wished for a life in the lights and now alas, life has passed by and there hasnt been that BIG break yet.....there never was going to be one right from the word go!

    "And everyone will be the same
    And everyone will glow
    And everywhere, you'll see your name
    In every shop window

    It's better than this
    You can do so much better than this"

    last verse I interpret it as "if everyone wanted to be celebrity, rich and famous...then everyone would be the same, everyone would glow, rich and famous" but because of variety how we are all unique in our own good and equally special ways, life is better than what we see on telly, in the magazines etc!

    So lets have better hopes and aspirations!


    (thats my interpretation!)




    ilviveon March 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHere are some moments that make me feel there is no "other party".

    "Is this what you meant?
    Is this what you dreamed of?
    When you were making your plans,
    Shaking the dirt off?

    It's not the kind of questions a boyfriend asks, u know. It seems like the guy's talking to himself.

    "Do you feel like you and I belong?"

    This phrase may confuse you, but who hasn't talked to himself as to a another person or hasn't talked to his inner voice? And this inner voice replies as conscience:

    "Just keep your eyes on the road and nothing can go wrong"

    And this phrase just illustrates all the previous sentences:

    "Holding my photograph up to the window
    Through the paper and refracted sun
    I can see all the things I wish that I'd done"

    So what do we got? The guy's driving a car, or just drives by, sees his own picture somewhere on the board, maybe with friends, dunno, and thinks of his life, playing with a picture and watching the sun through it.
    kaatakillaon November 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt's about someone thinking about how everything turned out so different than intended, how they could have done better.

    ---

    Is this current life situation what was supposed to happen? Am I supposed to be in this situation?

    I could have a better life.

    I've lived a while now, but I haven't accomplished very much. I have many regrets.

    I've taken measures to feel better about my life, and not having to achieve everything. I take medicine for it, I talk to people about it, I try and tell myself I'm doing alright. But I know I can do better.

    Too bad, it's too late, what my life is is what it is and I can't change what has happened already.

    I was expecting to fall in love with some beautiful star, maybe. But I can't see myself with the star. It's almost like that was someone else's expectations for the future, cause there's no way I could have done that.

    I could have been something big. I could have been socializing with stars, my name could have been known by everyone.

    I could have a better life.
    StellaSymphonyon August 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI can relate to this song in a big way, I was in a relationship with somebody for 16 years from a young age and I tried to do the right thing when we had a son together at 18. Essentially I did not fulfil my ambitions or my potential and whilst I knew deep down I was with the wrong person I kept my eyes on the road took a steady job and generally accepted a life which was not what I had dreamed of. It took me a long time to do something to change that and make a decision not to settle for things in life if I wasn't happy or fulfiled. Essentially I felt like I was living somebody elses life which I think is kind of the meaning of this song. 2 years ago I made the decision to end the relationship and have found myself starting to realise all my life ambitions and finding my natural level that I should have been at had I not got into the relationship. I also met the sort of person I was destined to be with all those years ago. It poses a question of take a look in the mirror and make a decision, if you are truly happy with the person you see and the life you have then great and have no regrets but if not then 'get a grip on yourself' and do something about it.
    paulvenableson February 05, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan't believe David Bowie doesn't get a writing credit on this! That is lifted straight out of Ashes to Ashes, and everyone in the studio has to know it at the time of recording. Not sure if it's supposed to be a subtle nod to him, but it ain't subtle.
    Kens522on October 31, 2015   Link

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