See you there
Don't know where you come from
Unaware the stare from someone
Don't appear to care that I saw you, and I want you too
What's your name? Because I have to know it
You let me in and begin to show it
We're terrified, because we're heading straight for it, might get it
Your favorite song plays on the background
All alone but you turn it up now
And everyone is rising to meet you, to greet you

Turn around and you're walking toward me
I'm breaking down and you're breathing slowly
Say the word and I will be your man, your man

Say when
And my own two hands will comfort you
Tonight, tonight
Say when
And my own two arms will carry you
Tonight, tonight

Come close and even closer
We bring it in, but we go no further
We separate two ghosts in one mirror, no mirror

Later on, if it turns to chaos
Hurricanes coming all around us
See the crack, pull it back
From the window, you stay low

Say when
And my own two hands will comfort you
Tonight, tonight
Say when
And my own two arms will carry you
Tonight, tonight

Come across you lost and broken
You're coming to, but you're slow in waking
You start to shake
You still haven't spoken, what happened?
They're coming back and you just don't know when
You want to cry but there's nothing coming
They're gonna push until you give in, say when
Now we're here and it turns to chaos
Hurricane coming all around us
Another crack throws you back from the window
You stay low

It all began with the man and country
Every plan turns another century
Around again another nation, fallen
Maybe God can be on both sides of the gun
Never understood why
Some of us never get it so good, so good
Some of this was here before us
All of this will go after us
It never stops until we give in, give in

Say when
And my own two hands will comfort you
Tonight, tonight
Say when
And my own two arms will carry you
Tonight, tonight

Say when
And my own two hands will comfort you
Tonight, tonight.


Say When song meanings
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69 Comments

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  • +15
    General CommentI think this song is about a couple who got to know each other deeply. But somehow they never got close enough to each other as they both wanted for unexplained reasons. The girl seems to go through difficulties in her life, and the guy is always there, but he needs her to tell her when because she hides her problems so well. At times, they don't speak. The guy is left wondering what happened, but it's something too deep. He leaves the issue knowing that she just might explain what happened when she's ready for him to comfort her. The guy has long realized that many do not have a shoulder to lean against, and he stays with her even if she won't speak to him, waiting for her to say when, to comfort her, to be there for her.
    3xXon December 23, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think 3xX is right on the meaning. The lyrics are grand.
    azncravin08on January 08, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIdk it's just a thought but I think it's about war.
    Like two people who got to know each other really well while there country is at war or something like that?

    Tis just a thought...
    ladyoftheknightton June 03, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI also read this interpretation of the lyrics:
    Maybe God can be on both sides of a coin
    Never understood why
    Some of us never get a shoulder, shoulder

    Some of this was here before us
    All the rest will go after us
    Never stops until we get there, get there
    jacksont123on December 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfor all those people who think every song by the fray is about love and relationships and blahblahblah, please listen to their songs and read the lyrics a little closer.

    this song is about the war.

    basically he's saying "i'm scared, but if you (the government) say when, i'll be there to protect my country"


    "You been the song playing on the background
    All along but you're turning up now
    And everyone is rising to meet you, to greet you"
    --the threat of war has been there all along, but now it's coming full force and we're prepared for it.

    "Turn around and you're walking toward me
    I'm breaking down and you're breathing slowly
    You say the word and I will be your man, your man
    Say when and my own two hands
    Will comfort you tonight, tonight
    Say when and my own two arms
    Will carry you tonight, tonight"
    --i'm scared, but all you have to do is ask, and i'll give myself to this country

    "Maybe God can be on both sides
    Of the gun, never understood why
    Some of us never get it so good, so good"
    --(my favorite line) he's referencing the fact that both sides here claim they're fighting for God and depending oon how you look at it, we're both wrong and we're both right.

    "Some of this was here before us
    All of this will go after us
    It never stops until we give in"
    --the trouble was here before us, and it will continue to live after our deaths until someone is brave enough to step up and give into peace.

    there's a lot of this song i don't completely understand, but thats what i love about the fray. there's no listener who can honestly say they know the meaning of every fray lyric. i love it :)
    jeniusAlwayson May 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think it's about a boy who loves his friend, but she's in an abusive relationship.

    I see you there, don't know where you come from
    Unaware of a stare from someone
    Don't appear to care that I saw you and I want you

    What's your name 'cause I have to know it
    You let me in and begin to show it
    [love at first sight and they become friends]

    We're terrified 'cause we're heading straight for it, might get it
    [they both like each other, but she's too dedicated to her boyfriend]

    You been the song playing on the background
    All along but you're turning up now
    And everyone is rising to meet you, to greet you
    [she used to be a wallflower, but is slowly "budding" and has become popular? it also could be that he's known her all along, but never noticed his feelings, i'm not sure.]

    Turn around and you're walking toward me
    I'm breaking down and you're breathing slowly
    You say the word and I will be your man, your man
    [he's having a hard time dealing with loving her but not being able to show it, but she's calm as can be]

    Say when and my own two hands
    Will comfort you tonight, tonight
    Say when and my own two arms
    Will carry you tonight, tonight

    We're coming close and then even closer
    We bring it in but we go no further
    We're separate, two ghosts in one mirror, no nearer
    [their relationship can't go any further than it is now]

    Later on if it turns to chaos
    Hurricane coming all around us
    See the crack, pull it back from the window, you stay low
    [she fights with her boyfriend]

    Say when and my own two hands
    Will comfort you tonight, tonight
    Say when and my own two arms
    Will carry you tonight, tonight

    Come across you lost and broken
    You're coming to but you're slow in waking
    You start to shake, you still haven't spoken, what happened
    [he comes to comfort her after the blowout]

    They're coming back and you just don't know when
    You want to cry but there's nothing coming
    They're gonna push until you give in or say when
    [the "they" is him specifically]

    Now we're here, and it turns to chaos
    Hurricane, coming all around us
    Double crack throws you back from the window, you stay low
    [her boyfriend comes back to see her friend there and it just escalates]

    It all began with a man & country
    Every plan turns another century
    Around again, another nation fallen

    Maybe God can be on both sides
    Of the gun, never understood why
    Some of us never get it so good, so good
    [symbolic for the war between the couple]

    Some of this was here before us
    All of this will go after us
    It never stops until we give in
    [about the cycle of abuse possibly?]

    Say when and my own two hands
    Will comfort you tonight, tonight
    Say when and my own two arms
    Will carry you tonight, tonight

    Say when and my own two hands
    Will comfort you tonight, tonight

    i'm probably reading way too much into it, but that's just what i get out of it.
    Ximenaon May 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is really about war, the coming war... and about God,
    "Say when
    And my own two hands will comfort you
    Tonight, tonight
    Say when
    And my own two arms will carry you
    Tonight, tonight"

    God is telling us that He will be with us in times of "chaos"
    He will fight for the nations who believe in Him, and He also be the one who will rescue the people who will be persecuted by the war.

    "Maybe God can be on both sides
    Of the gun, never understood why
    Some of us never get it so good, so good"

    This is really about he LAST WAR when God will rescue those who love Him.
    "I'm coming back and you just don't know when
    You want to cry but there's nothing coming"
    But will never see Him literally, 'cause you know, He's a big big God... but we will feel Him as He will "carry us" from the ground.

    But nobody knows when will the end time comes.... I think the writer wrote this song to interpret his feelings towards the Last War coming... But he's afraid that he'll lost his faith to God for he is being "shaken" by the world.

    Say When -- 'he also dictates the signs of the end times...

    "Now we're here and it turns to chaos
    Hurricanes coming all around us
    Another crack throws you back from the window
    You stay low"

    cause in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 says
    "for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night."

    Somebody has to correct the LYRICS. please.
    joyceey16on October 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree, this song is pretty straightforward I think.

    3xX is dead on.
    SimplyDreamingon January 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"All began with the man of country
    Every plan forms another century
    You're around again, another nation, fallen

    Maybe God can be on both sides
    Another gone, never understood why
    Some of us never get a shoulder, shoulder

    Some of this was here before us
    All the rest will go after us
    Never stops until we get there, get there"

    This part makes me think it's about two lovers, but then the guy went to war... or i'm not sure exactly, but it has something to do with the world at war, cause of the line: "Maybe God can be on both sides,"
    which could refer to like religious wars.

    holy frick, this is currently nearly beating You Found Me as my favorite song from the new album right now. there's so much emotion in it... it's overwhelming.
    hplo2PWNZon January 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBest song on the new album. Hands down.
    Simply breathtaking.
    jdaniels_11on February 05, 2009   Link

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