I had a feeling once
That you and I
Could tell each other everything
For two months
But even with our oath
With truth on our side
When you turn away from me
It's not right

I think you're a Contra (x4)

My revolution thoughts
Your little arrows of desire
I wanna trace them to the source
And the wire
But it's not useful now
Since we both made up our minds
You're gonna watch out for yourself
And so will I

I think you're Contra
I think that you lie
Don't call me Contra
Till you've tried

You wanted good schools
And friends with pools
You're not a Contra
You wanted Rock' n' Roll,
Complete control
Well, I don't know

Never pick sides
Never choose between two
But I just wanted you, I just wanted you
Said never pick sides
Never choose between two
But I just wanted you, I just wanted you

I think you're Contra
I think that you lie
Don't call me Contra
Till you've tried



Lyrics submitted by Shaedyn, edited by kevinuriza, BbyGma

I Think Ur a Contra song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +10
    General Comment
    26 min ago

    Rated 0
    I feel like contra is short for contradiction. They both say they want something but aren't willing to admit to what they really want. They start off with a really strong "two month" connection. But in contradiction to their feelings they fall apart despite their connection because of personal walls that keep them from possible happiness.

    The woman in the song "turns away" from him because he can't really give her what she dreams of; some fairytale of "good schools and friends with pools". She has decided that this is what is most important even though she has said "never pick sides, never choose between two" (love and practicality?). And she has claimed to be into rock and roll but instead is opting to submit to the mundane.

    And he has been letting this happen. Despite his feelings he is letting her disconnect herself, perhaps to protect himself? He preached her same "never pick sides" bit, but instead of choosing to fight for her he is letting them separate themselves while accusing her of being contra while not recognizing it in himself. And maybe this song is him trying to reach out. But is it enough in time?
    Jorbyon January 12, 2010   Link
  • +9
    Song MeaningThis is what Ezra said about the song in his Track-By-Track guide to "Contra", to NME:

    "It’s the first song that I’ve sang entirely in falsetto and the vocal feels more exposed because of that. It’s a conversation between two people and the way they’re using the word ‘contra’ is to say, “You’re the opposite of me.”

    Say you break up with your girlfriend and suddenly you feel like they’re a totally different person to you, but obviously that’s not the whole story because at one point you felt very tender towards them.
    We have so many signals in our life telling us to make decisions between two things, but usually it’s not as simple as that. Some people would say a choice between two things is no choice at all.

    We thought of calling the album 'Contra' before this song was even written — to me it makes perfect sense as the title of this album because in some way every song has something to say about being forced into a dichotomy, that every choice is always either A or B.

    You can apply it to politics, culture, religion or personal relationships. We’re fighting against the dumbing down of choice."
    pjfsupertrampon December 15, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General CommentAOL asked Ezra what "contra" meant, this was his response:

    "Well contra just means against, and that's the primary association that we have with it. Even though to other people it means something much more specific, but it basically means against. So, I think to call somebody a contra, is trying to put them into a box and say that their like the opposite of you. It's you versus them."
    fishleaderon January 11, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHe's saying he went into a relationship or whatever, and it turned out to be opposite of what he thought it would be.The girl he's aiming this towards ended up wanting something else, not him. All he wanted was her and she turned away and went into a different direction.

    -"You said, 'Never pick sides, Never choose between two' Well I just wanted you, I just wanted you."
    I think he's saying she CONTRAdicted her own words, because she chose to leave him for better things.
    Andie4on January 16, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation"When you turn away from me
    It's not right"

    this part of the song means, i think, that just because that they were together, all the bad things his partner were doing, weren't suddenly ok.

    then he goes on to say "i think youre a contra," or, "hey, your not with me on this are you."

    "Your little lies of desire
    I wanna trace them to the source and the wire
    But it's not useful now"

    here the singer is talking about how he recognizes there were problems, and he wants to know where they came from, but it's not like it would matter as they've gone there separate ways (You’re going to watch out for yourself
    And so will I).

    "I think ur a contra
    And I think that you’ve lied
    Don’t call me a contra
    Till you’ve tried"

    ^^this is where the beauty is, and also alot of ambiguity. this could be a call and response type thing. if that's so, the lieteral translation might be along the lines of, "you were lying to me, you were against me." "don't say that, you don't know what's going on. Until you've been in my shoes you don't know why i do what i do." the second person is trying to justify her, or his, behaviors.

    BUT! if this isn't a call and response portion of lyrics, but all a single thing, its saying, "you were lying and against me, im not the one at fault, don't try and pin this on me! you haven't even tried to make this work smoothly."

    the last half of the song it feels like their trying to rake out whats going on between them,

    "You wanted good schools and friends with pools
    You're not a contra
    You wanted rock and roll, complete control
    Well I don't know"

    i guess it would make sense that the first couplet is not a contra,
    but the second couplet is an obvious one; rock and roll and complete control are definitely contradictions. the "well i don't know" is a response as though to say "well, i know it looks that way;"
    it really goes back to that Conn92 said about being two-faced.

    "You said,
    'Never pick sides
    Never choose between two'
    Well I just wanted you
    I just wanted you"

    here the singer seems to be explaining more on how the girl, or other person, seemed to be against him, or at least not with him, when all he wanted was that other person. it reminds me of "Fidelity" when Spektor says, "i've never loved nobody fully, always one foot on the ground."

    well anyway, this song has been stuck in my head for days, and i really love it. but it's been driving me crazy trying to figure out what story it's telling. i just wanted to type down all my thoughts on it somewhere...
    ifizzy142on January 27, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"contra" is slang for counter-revolutionary, which is doublespeak for a revolutionary, an anarchist.

    The point of the song is that this person claims to be a "contra" and he's buying it and maybe even he's falling in love with this person. Then they start telling each other things for real (life goals like having a house in a good school district and neighbors with swimming pools) and he realizes that this person isn't a contra, they're just a normal person, but, despite her earlier "contra"ish declaration that a person should never choose between two things, he's still in love with her and he chooses her.

    It's about young love maturing with the lovers. The people grow up, and so does their love. Vampire Weekend is the greatest band of all time.
    nominalaeonon July 08, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat is "a contra"? A girl who changes her mind or never really loved you at all? A cheat? A liar? What do you make of that word?
    Chatizon January 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel like this is almost an argument he is having with himself. Like he is reviewing his past relationship, and he's trying to rationalize and forgive himself for things he did, or things she blamed him for. He starts to remeber why he loved her, saying "you're not a contra" and then he goes back to feeling that she is at fault for his pain. Whatever it means I think this is a beautiful song.
    panic3893on March 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI took the line in the middle to mean she changed but he hasn't. They met young, got close, had fun, and either the relationship progressed or they got older and she started to look toward the future "good schools, friends with pools" while he was perceiving the relationship as fun and free. Now he's torn concerning whether or not she changed too suddenly or he didn't grow up fast enough. They are contras, but it's unclear who is in the wrong or if they just went their separate ways. He's also having a hard time holding it against her.
    joeshmo39on September 27, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionThis song describes how i feel now.... i shed a tear or two when listening to this :\
    contra233on November 01, 2010   Link

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