"When I Grow Up" as written by and Karin Dreijer Andersson....
When I grow up
I want to be a forester
Run through the moss on high heels
That's what I'll do
Throwing out boomerang
Waiting for it to come back to me

When I grow up
I want to live near the sea
Crab claws and bottles of rum
That's what I'll have
Staring at the seashell
Waiting for it to embrace me

I put my soul in what I do
Last night I drew a funny man
With dark eyes and a hanging tongue
It goes way bad
I never liked a sad look
From someone who wants to be loved by you

I'm very good with plants
When my friends are away
They let me keep the soil moist
On the seventh day I rest
For a minute or two
Then back on my feet and cry for you

You've got cucumbers on your eyes
Too much time spent on nothing
Waiting for a moment to arise
The face in the ceiling
And arms too long
I wait for him to catch me

Waiting for you to embrace me


Lyrics submitted by emerge, edited by tomekpe

"When I Grow Up" as written by Karin Dreijer Andersson

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC , Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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When I Grow Up song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI love this song, I am captive to it.

    I understand it as a sung from an adult who still waiting for a sign of affection (or a show of comfort) that they've had since childhood; a hug from mom/dad or the like. Maybe the person the narrator sings to abdondoned them, or died, or maybe they failed to return the love the child felt for them.

    By the verses:
    1-even when I grow up I'll be waiting for you to come (back) to me
    2-for all the things I'll have, I'll be "waiting for it |you| to embrace me"
    3-I did things for you, drew a picture, but I didn't like it because "I never liked a sad look
    from someone who wants to be loved by you" - like I do.
    4-I'm an adult/my friends trust me/I am responsible/I work- I stay occupied because when I have time to think, I cry for you.
    5-(Cucumber facial?)you spent your time preparing for things that didn't happen, that didn't involve me. I was afraid in the dark.
    And I'm...
    Waiting for you to embrace me.

    bilpdxon July 07, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentFrom the very first time I heard this song I think I understood it but it was on a subconscious level. It immediately got stuck in my head to where I HAD to listen to it again and again because I was so touched by it emotionally. I interpret this song as follows: This is a adult haunted by her memories of childhood. She speaks as a child to a parent or some other very significant person from whom she sought love and approval but never really felt. Just a note about one lyric that seems to have a lot of people perplexed, I offer another take on this: "You have cucumbers on your eyes"- cucumber slices on the closed eyelids are often used to reduce puffiness in the eye area (from crying, lack of rest, etc.) The song is from a child's perspective, and the person this is referring to here is almost certainly a female, possibly the child's mother or an older sister. This was a beauty treatment this woman performed day after day, possibly in preparation for a significant event, such as a wedding. From the child's point of view this behavior is puzzling, it seem like such a waste of time... young children do not comprehend vanity because they are not yet conscious of their appearance "too much time spent on nothing waiting for a moment to arrive". The child does not see the point of this ritual at all. It's taking attention away from her as the beloved person is focused more on herself. The child put her soul into everything she does, like her drawing of a of a funny man... can't this person see that? Wouldn't it be nice if Karin would just tell us all what she meant???
    scarletmython July 10, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commentit kinda sounds like what god would say to the population.
    blackit3on February 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthen back on my feet and CALL for you??
    tomekpeon February 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think she sings "it goes way BACK" instead of "it goes way BAD"... Play it loud, you'll hear the "ck" rather clearly.
    marciuson April 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentphenomenal
    sithieon January 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song is one of the most strongest songs I've ever heard - and one of the strongest music videos I've ever witnessed.

    It seems to me that she really wants away from all the world and wants to focus on nature. In the video, she wears very "hippy" clothes and almost seems that of American Indian descent. She's trying to say that probably her mother is superficial. Her mom has cucumbers on her eyes while getting pampered and just laying around. She wants to be one with the nature, as she has an eye drawn on her palm, the usually egyptian/Native American symbol of all knowing. She wants her mother to embrace her and actually care.
    mikeyboyon March 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song!

    to me she just wants to be with nature.
    and be embraced by it.

    i could listen to this song all day.

    it feels so...strong to me.
    if you know what i mean?
    maybe not. but this song gives me butterflies.
    yeahYEAHbabeon April 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationen.wikipedia.org/wiki/… could this have any relation...? From the video, I thought she was a Tomte, since there's the whole "When my friends are away" bit. But I don't know anything really of swedish folklore, just wanted to throw that out there in case
    Caelasmaon May 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentstaggering. so so so so good.
    iffy_on July 01, 2009   Link

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