"James" as written by and Tracyanne Campbell....
James, he came to my place
He said he had to see my face
He hopes that we can still be friends
In his own way, he'll love me til the end

And, James, he came to the door
Wanting to know for sure
Why love gets up and goes
I'm sorry, but it had no place to grow
Oh, James. My love for you is stronger, don't you know?

I'd like to celebrate you, dear
All in all, it's been a pretty good year
I looked deep within myself
I got scared by just how hard I fell
Oh, James. You broke me, I thought I knew you well.

Oh, you had me
Honey and me, oh, sun and the moon
I'll be fine by June
I could tell that you weren't well
Oh, James. You broke me, I thought I knew you well

Oh, can't you see you belong with me?
I could tell that you weren't well
Oh, James. You broke me, I thought I knew you well


Lyrics submitted by bornbackwards

"James" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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James song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentIt sounds like she's singing to a someone who committed suicide. I could be wrong but it would make sense seeing how they dedicated the record to a James Dunbar.
    goddamitgregon November 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:)
    JimmieNeverDieson May 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe youtube vid is so so nice. she seems like a humble lass.
    i cant figure out whether james hurt her or the other way around..
    cassandridason May 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLyrics transcribed from the booklet included with the "My Maudlin Career" CD. Parts in brackets were erronesouly left out of the booklet lyrics despite obviously being a part of the song. Parts enclosed in parentheses are in the booklet lyrics despite not actually being in the recorded version. Sans the bracketed and parenthetical parts, everything else from the booklet checks out to my ears.

    James he came to my place
    He said he had to see my face
    He hopes that we can still be friends
    In his own way he'll love me until the end

    [And] James he came to the door
    Wanting to know for sure
    Why love gets up and goes
    I'm sorry but it had no place to grow
    Oh James my love for you is stronger don't you know?

    I'd like to celebrate you dear
    All in all it's been a pretty good year
    I looked deep (inside) [within] my self
    I got scared by just how hard I fell
    Oh James you broke me
    I thought I knew you well

    You and me
    Honey and Bee
    Sun and the Moon
    I'll be fine by June
    I could tell that you worried well
    Oh James you broke me
    I thought I knew you well
    Oh James you broke me
    I thought I knew you well

    Can't you see you belong with me
    I could tell [that] you weren't well
    Oh James you broke me
    I thought I knew you well
    Oh James you broke me
    I thought I knew you well
    BrentLongon July 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song so much.

    definitely not the deepest or most profound song ever, but this is easy to relate to. so much that it makes me sad just listening it :(
    maja is the batmanon August 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove this album and this song in particular. I don't see the suicide here. I see that she and James were together. James wronged her somehow, cheated maybe. They broke up. Cue song - first verse, James goes to her hoping they can be friends despite what he did; he will still love her.

    Second verse she says her love for him is stronger. Third, she says it was a good year. She fell in love with him; that scared her; and when it went wrong he broke her - broke her heart. She though she knew him but maybe she didn't based on what he did.

    At the end she's saying can't you see you still belong with me. I would love to know what Tracyanne was thinking on many of these songs - are there any interviews out there?


    dallasite14on March 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI definately felt it was about suicide the first time I heard it. A guy simply hurting her doesnt seem to fit in with the music. Besides, who "celebrate"s someone who has dumped them or cheated? Also, the line "i knew you werent well" suggests depression. Im glad someone else saw this too.
    cfinlay90on April 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningAt first, I thought this song was about a breakup. But now that you guys mentioned it, I think it's about suicide too. And for some reason, I see them as best friends, not lovers.

    James, he came to my place
    He said he had to see my face (For the last time, before he committed suicide.)
    He hopes that we can still be friends (Friends!)
    In his own way, he'll love me until the end (In his own way - not like lovers, but like best friends.)

    And James, he came to the door
    Wanting to know for sure
    Why love gets up and goes (He's depressed, and asking her why life doesn't treat him well.)
    I'm sorry, but it had no place to grow (She's pointing out that he never lets anyone into his life in the first place. He's too depressed. I think.)
    Oh James, my love for you is stronger, don't you know? (Maybe after James died, she realized how much he meant to her and how much she loved him.)

    I'd like to celebrate you, dear (Celebrating his life.)
    All in all, it's been a pretty good year
    I looked deep within my self
    I got scared by just how hard I fell (She lost her best friend and is scared of what she'll be without him.)
    Oh James, you broke me
    I thought I knew you well (She thought she knew him well, because they were best friends. But he still killed himself.)

    You and me
    Honey and Bee
    Sun and the Moon (They were close like a honey and a bee, the sun and the moon.)
    I'll be fine by June (Hoping she'll stop mourning by then.)
    I could tell that you worried well (I have no idea, but I think this lyric is significant.)
    Oh James, you broke me
    I thought I knew you well
    Oh James, you broke me
    I thought I knew you well

    Can't you see you belong with me? (As best friends.)
    I could tell that you weren't well (Depression.)
    Oh James, you broke me
    I thought I knew you well
    Oh James, you broke me
    I thought I knew you well

    I don't know. Do you think I overanalyzed it?
    goodbyegirlson June 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJames is her boyfriend who although she loves him she realises deep down its not going to last forever because he has done something to hurt her emotionally and she can see the relationship has run its course.
    He realises he has done wrong but can't ever have her back, and needs to see her one last time and just to make sure.
    She knows they are well suited really but the betrayal she feels is stronger .
    pommon July 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentshe definitely say she thinks its a bit jazzy

    anyway, i think she's definitely talking about a broken relationship, both parties have feelings for eachother and she's trying to move on. i get the feeling that james' return is more of him feeling shitty and trying to fall back on her and thats what breaks her
    ZachTFLdon February 21, 2011   Link

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