"What a Catch, Donnie" as written by Peter Wentz, Patrick Stump, Joseph Trohman and Andrew Hurley....
I got troubled thoughts
And the self-esteem to match
What a catch, what a catch
Whoa

You'll never catch us
So just let me be
Said I'll be fine
'Till the hospital or American Embassy
Miss Flack said I still want you back
Yeah, Miss Flack said I still want you back

I got troubled thoughts
And the self-esteem to match
What a catch, what a catch
And all I can think of
Is the way I'm the one
Who charmed the one
Who gave up on you
Who gave up on you

They say the captain
Goes down with the ship
So, when the world ends
Will God go down with it?
Miss Flack said I still want you back
Yeah, Miss Flack said I still want you back

I got troubled thoughts
And the self-esteem to match
What a catch, what a catch
And all I can think of
Is the way I'm the one
Who charmed the one
Who gave up on you
Who gave up on you

What a catch
What a catch
What a catch
What a catch

I will never end up like him
Behind my back, I already am
Keep a calendar
This way you will always know

I got troubled thoughts
And the self-esteem to match
What a catch, what a catch
And all I can think of
Is the way I'm the one
Who charmed the one
Who gave up on you
Who gave up on you

Where is your boy tonight?
I hope he is a gentleman
Maybe he won't find out what I know
You were the last good thing
We're going down, down in an earlier round
And sugar, we're goin' down swinging
Dance, dance, we're falling apart to halftime
Dance, dance, and these are the lives you'd love to lead
Dance, this is the way they'd love
If they knew how misery loved me
This ain't a scene, it's a goddamn arms race
This ain't a scene, it's a goddamn arms race
One night and one more time
Thanks for the memories
Even though they weren't so great
He tastes like you, only sweeter
Growing up, growing up

I got troubled thoughts
And the self-esteem to match
What a catch, what a catch


Lyrics submitted by thoseguiltyeyes

"What a Catch, Donnie" as written by Joseph Trohman Andrew Hurley

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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What a Catch, Donnie song meanings
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  • +16
    General CommentPete Wentz has said that this song is supposed to be from Patrick's perspective. Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack were famous for their duets, like "Where Is The Love". But, Donny was also a schizophrenic and his committed suicide. Pete has also suffered from suicidal thoughts, and an attempt not too long ago. I believe this song is him telling his best friend, that he's sorry and that he's never going to do it again. He is also trying to remind Patrick how brilliant he is, and what a catch he really is despite his self esteem issues.

    I think Pete wrote in the parts of older Fall Out Boy hits to remind Patrick of all the wonderful things he has done musically. I also think he had all the singers of other bands sing them, because Patrick had produced and help most of those bands get where they are now.

    Although, Headfirst Slide isn't necessarily a big Fall Out Boy hit, the lyrics, "I will never end up like him. Behind my back, I already am." are Pete's way of saying that he won't be like Donny Hathaway. He won't give up on himself. He won't give up on Patrick. He won't give up on their friendship or the band itself.


    tessamariewason August 21, 2011   Link
  • +9
    General CommentAll of the songs sung at the end link into the theme of "being the other man" that's featured throughout "What A Catch, Donnie"

    Grand Theft Autumn:
    "When I wake up, I'm willing to take my chances on the hope I forget that you hate HIM more than you notice I wrote this for you"
    This song goes back to the very start, when the girl(Let's call her Miss Flack) didn't even know the guy(Donnie) existed; and he's basically hoping someday she'll realise how much of a dickhead her boyfriend is and leave him.

    Sugar, We're Going Down:
    "Oh, don't mind me I'm watching you two from the closet, wishing to be the friction in your jeans. Isn't it messed up, how I'm just dying to be HIM"
    In this song we get the impression that he has been with her briefly - "Just a notch in your bedpost" but that she is still going out with the other man.

    Dance, Dance:
    "Why don't you show me the little bit of spine, you've been saving for HIS mattress"
    This song is about the moment when she tells him that she's going back to the other man, but she's "no good with words" (maybe she used this as a reason why she didn't tell him sooner?) and he asks her to show some spine; basically to accept the consequences of her actions.

    This Ain't A Scene:
    To be honest this song doesn't fit in as well as the others, but the fact that the words of the course are
    "I'm the leading man, and the lies I weave are oh-so intricate"
    makes it seem like he is finally the only man in her life...

    Thanks For The Memories:
    The words for this song are pretty self-explanatory if you read them. The fact that the title is written "Thnks fr th mmrs" gives us the impression that it was a text that she sent him; ending thing between them. She adds insult to injury by saying
    "he tastes like you only sweeter"

    Growing Up:
    This song is pretty self-explanatory too:
    "She begged me "Don't hate me", she spun me a story .... She never meant a thing to me"
    This song is when he realises he is better off without her and that the whole bad relationship was just part of 'growing up'.

    Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet:
    This whole song is about being the other man, however in an older sort of way - "Does your husband know the way that the sunshune gleams from your wedding band?" It feels like a more mature version of Grand Theft Autumn.





    This medley of songs brings us through their whole relationship; and helps us to understand "What A Catch, Donnie" because we can then see that after all this time, since Grand Theft Autumn, he "still wants [her] back".


    Just my thoughts on it anyway :]
    Iluvzmekittyon November 16, 2008   Link
  • +7
    Song MeaningPatrick said in an interview for a UK music magazine that this song was Pete writing from his point of view, and that he (Pete) 'really nailed me'. So following on from that, here's what I reckon this song means:

    OK so I don't know every line, but I think the general gist of this is how Patrick is obviously underconfident and has 'troubled thoughts/ and the self-esteem to match' (which is clear from his unwillingness to be the band's frontman) but Pete is reminding him how much he's achieved and how talented he really is, through FOB's music.

    I'm assuming the Donnie referred to in the title is Donny Hathaway, in which case Miss Flack was his writing partner - Pete is Patrick's writing partner, so maybe that line Pete is referring to himself and the way that he is always willing to 'take [Patrick] back' and will always be there for him, which is kind of a continuation from 'Saturday' (which has lyrics by Patrick) and kinda gives off a 'us two against the world' vibe.

    And I wonder if the line 'I'm the one/Who charmed the one/Who gave up on you' has something to do with Pete's suicide attempt years back, and Pete acknowledging that although Patrick didn't see it coming and gave up on him in a way, he understands and forgives him.

    I dunno, anyway that's what I reckon this song is, a kind of personal thing about the whole of FOB's career and Pete and Patrick's relationship (which Pete has, cleverly, written from Patrick's perspective). Maybe the Elvis Costello line switches back to Pete's POV, and he's almost saying 'I'll never end up as troubled and underconfident as Patrick, but secretly, I already am'. That would explain why it needed a different singer.

    Yeah sorry this went on a bit!
    last_seen_wearingon February 09, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is epic. Seriously epic.
    I can see this being a encore closer at all their future gigs.
    SpaceMuffinon October 14, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThey say the captain
    Goes down with the ship
    So, when the world ends
    Will God go down with it?
    i love that line
    BeMyUnholyon October 14, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe artists who sing the final lines from their old songs ..

    * Elvis Costello - Headfirst Slide into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet
    * Gabe Saporta - Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy
    * Travis McCoy - Sugar, We're Goin' Down
    * Brendon Urie - Dance, Dance
    * Doug Does - This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race
    * Alex DeLeon (The Cab) - Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
    * William Beckett - Growing Up
    BrettFlora25on October 14, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song scares me. It feels kind of like a farewell.

    It feels like the end of Fall Out Boy.

    I didn't realize that there were other people singing, at first. I still can't pick out Travi's voice, even though I know which line he sings. It's almost like they're all trying to sing like Patrick. Costello, the most different, just sounded like a very stuffy, mid-sobbing Patrick.

    So, onto explanation. The most common dictionary definition of "flack" is someone who provides publicity. This whole album seems like it's about regret, and wanting to do life over without being swallowed up by fame. With this line, it undermines the whole album in a very important way. It's like saying "well, here's what I said, and I wish I could mean it, but I'm too weak."

    Patrick sings about being fine "'til the hospital or American Embassy." I'm thinking this line refers to being sick at heart, including homesickness, ergo the "American Embassy." While talking about God and the world ending, it's kind of bitter, it seems. I'm not sure of the relevance, but it's a great line.

    The second most important part of the song is the chorus. The chorus is about feeling inferior and feeling like a backstabber. "Troubled thoughts and a self-esteem to match," and "I'm the one who charmed the one who gave up on you."

    The most important part, though, I think, is when they have the brief cameos from other singers. It's about how music, namely theirs, is more than just music. It's something universal. All of the songs [save the last, "Growing Up,"] are singles. Also, if you read them as one single unit, they become a song of their own, not just "parts of other FOB songs".

    I will never end up like him
    Behind my back, I already am
    Keep a calendar
    This way you will always know
    Where is your boy tonight?
    I hope he is a gentleman
    Maybe he won't find out what I know
    You were the last good thing
    We're going down, down in an earlier round
    And sugar, we're goin' down swinging
    I'll be your number one with a bullet
    Dance, dance, we're falling apart to halftime
    Dance, dance, and these are the lives you'd love to lead
    Dance, this is the way they'd love
    If they knew how misery loved me
    This ain't a scene, it's a goddamn arms race
    This ain't a scene, it's a goddamn arms race
    One night and one more time
    Thanks for the memories
    Even though they weren't so great
    He tastes like you, only sweeter
    Growing up, growing up

    This section is about being something you don't want to, wanting a girl you can't have, and then watching it fall apart. Then it's about realizing what your life has come to, and getting over it, and finally coming to realizing that you've grown.
    Starless__Eyeson December 24, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIluvzmekitty, your intrepretation is spot on, except for one part of Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet:

    I will never end up like him.
    Behind my back, I already am.
    Keep a calendar, this way you will always know.

    It seems like he is telling himself that he will never end up like Donnie and be cheated on, though he knows that he already is being cheated on. The Calendar bit is as saying "Remember this as the day that you threw away the best thing that would ever happen to you."

    Its extremely weird how all those songs seem to fit into this one, its like the final puzzle piece. All of those songs were great by themselves, but now they all are unified into one context. Thats amazing!
    GuardianEricon December 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentok, i'm probably wrong, but here is some interesting info.

    donnie - donnie darko - this type of film is right up fob's alley

    miss flack - as mentioned above, there was a singer 'roberta flack' - in donnie darko the old lady is called roberta sparrow. tenuous, i know..

    keep a calender - donnie darko keeps a calender, one of the more important parts of the movie.

    you'll never catch us - frank tells donnie he can do whatever he wants and he won't be caught.

    the concepts of god/fate/predeterminism, etc are prevalent throughout 'donnie darko', the line about God going down with the world when it ends fits. in fact, im almost certain donnie asks his science teacher if this is the case.

    the more i go on, the more i am convincing myself i am right..

    finally, another way to interpret the lines

    "...I'm the one who charmed the one who gave up on you" could be
    "I'm the one who charmed 'The One' (soulmate), who (also) gave up on you" ie; i charmed you, and i also gave up on you - although donnie doesnt give up on gretchen, he does sacrifice his life for her, giving up the chance to try and live out the 28 days differently in order to keep her alive (and not have her run over), which he could have done... i guess he didnt want to take the risk, therefore giving her up??

    well i'm convinced lol, dont know about you guys...

    revilodrawon December 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm sorry but I am apparently the only one who sees nothing in this song at all. Its one good repeated couplet over and over then the captain and ship thing (which was already done by brand new) set to a slower marching tempo mixed with the hits thing at the end. I know its supposed to feel epic but its just seems overdone and not really saying anything other than "look how far we've come". To me you have to say something real or profound to warrant to be "epic". Not just pound out some tune that sounds vaguely like every other semisweet celebration song.
    sickle2on December 27, 2008   Link

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