"I Wanna Be the One" as written by Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, Sam Means and Nate Ruess....
Were you named for the river that surrounds*
All my biggest my mistakes or the way that I made it out
All the muscles in my mouth never smiled or said profound things
Until the day she handed you to me

Now for all the steps you'll take and all you'll overcome
I wanna be the one to put in a song
Take every single tear for all the world to hear
I wanna be the one to put it in a song

Cigarettes are raining hard on the Upper East Side
She brings me a cake we celebrate I have arrived
And I know that it's been sang before but you're my human holiday
I put my hands to the table and dare say the love of my life
And your brother with his best friend
Shares a name I'm gonna need
Really couldn't bring me down

For everything you lost and all you overcome
I wanna be the one to put it in a song
Take every single tear for all the world to hear
I wanna be the one to put it in a song and make it last forever

Clever comes in truth when truth begets the past
Its sends its call out to the moon
And the moon can see the beauty that surrounds your heart as it pounds
It starts the beat inspiring me until I make the sound

I wanna be the one, I wanna be one, I wanna be the one

For everything you lost and all you overcome
I wanna be the one to put it in a song
Take every single tear for all the world to hear
I wanna be the one to put it in a song


Lyrics submitted by SomthinCorporat, edited by Mellow_Harsher, jumpshark

"I Wanna Be the One" as written by Jack Antonoff Andrew Dost

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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I Wanna Be the One song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentWhen Nate was with The Format, he has a section on their website titled Dear Nate, where people could ask him questions and he would answer. Somebody asked him for some lyrics from the new format album, and he responded with

    "All the muscles in my mouth
    never smiled or said profound things
    Until the day she handed you to me"

    So he's been working on this song for quite some time.

    He also talked about how he was very excited because he had just become an uncle, so I'm pretty certain that this song is about his niece/nephew (I can't remember which one he has).

    diablos3on August 15, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti'm not doubting nate said that..but it's about his niece. it's in writing, on the Dear Nate section of the formats website...way before sam and anita (his wife) had their daughter.
    Longevity1on November 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOther than stating the fact that this is an amazing song:

    "I know that it's been said" is "i know that it's been sang"

    "shares a name i'm gonna need- really couldn't bring me down" is "shares the name of an inebriate- it couldn't bring me down"

    "its sends" typo

    -thanks for putting up the lyrics, let me say that i love this song and its warmth.
    lihron January 06, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is absolutely gorgeous. I choose to hear lover/girlfriend rather than daughter or niece. The latter ruins it for me.
    SweetCheeks2on February 19, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is about Nate's relationship with Rachel Antonoff.
    He's a bit of a narcissist so all of his lyrics is about him and perhaps his insecurities.

    This is his song to Rachel and his love for her. He stayed with the Antanoff family when he moved from AZ to make the record. So the lines about her mother handing her off to him and all that make sense. I think they must have gotten much closer during the time he broke up his old band and got through that to get FUN. started.

    One HUGE correction to the lyrics above.


    "And your brother with his best friend
    Shares a name I'm gonna need
    Really couldn't bring me down"

    SHOULD BE:

    And your brother with his best friend
    Shares the name of an inebriate
    Really couldn't bring me down. (IN THE LINER NOTES)

    My take on this is that Rachel's brother is Jack (Antanoff) and his best friend is Daniel (the photographer). So it's Jack Daniel's - the whisky. Which is an inebriate. It's very clever of him. And they must have both been acting up a the party.
    mike66on October 02, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a catchy song, I'm excited to hear an album version of it!
    Maelglonon February 24, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOn the OurNameIsFun twitter, Nate says that it is "I know that it's been sang before, but you're my human holiday." Sang rather than said..
    Maelglonon May 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song!
    ShallowDepthson August 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel like this song is about having a daughter or son? Does Nate have a kid?
    xAshleyViciouson August 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about Sam Means and his girlfriend who just had a kid. He said it at the show in Tempe. Its a masterpiece like the rest of the album.
    Dancer21on September 01, 2009   Link

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