"Hard Enough" as written by Brandon Flowers, Daniel Roland Lanois, Jenny Lewis and Benjamin Patrick Lysaght....
You let me into your life on a whim
And there was magic and fire in the night
In loving I was just a little boy
I made mistakes that caused you so much pain
All I know is that I'm older now

Some people think that it's best to refrain
From the conventions of old-fashioned love
Their hearts are filled with holes and emptiness
They tell themselves that they're too young to settle down
Girl I promise that I'm older now

And this has been hard enough on you
I know it's been hard enough on me
Been telling myself that I can roll with the changes

And when the water gets high above your head
Darling don't you see,
While this has been hard enough on you
It's been hard enough on me

I wasn't looking when we built these walls
Let me spread my dreams at your feet
Let's not let time's bitter flood rise
Before my thoughts begin to run
I think I'm getting older now

And this has been hard enough on you
I know it's been hard enough on me
Been telling myself that I can roll with the changes

And when the water gets high above your head
Darling don't you see,
While this has been hard enough on you
It's been hard enough on me

Can't stand the thought of another, talking to you sweet my dear
Where would I be tonight if you hadn't held me here, in your arms?

And this has been hard enough on you
I know it's been hard enough on me
Been telling myself that I can roll with the changes

And when the water gets high above your head
Darling don't you see,
While this has been hard enough on you
It's been hard enough on me


Lyrics submitted by SOAD16

"Hard Enough" as written by Brandon Flowers Benjamin Lysaght

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, A SIDE MUSIC LLC D/B/A MODERN WORKS MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Hard Enough (feat. Jenny Lewis) song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentWhen I listened to this song for the first time, it sounded like it was maybe about Brandon and his wife. They met when they were both really young, married very young, and through his whole career, stuck by each other, and even began having kids. Obviously Brandon being a musician and all, especially an extremely famous one, can't be easy for a wife or girlfriend, etc, all the time, especially with groupies constantly throwing themselves at him, him always being away, and like any human being, the temptations that's out there, especiallyyy in that industry. Brandon has even commented in past interviews that initially, the whole "rock star/celebrity" life really shocked him and indirectly hinted that he's gone through some stuff because of it; "Been telling myself that I can roll with the changes" - obviously it hasn't been easy constantly adjusting to the changes that keep coming in his life. Maybe the song is just his way of letting his wife know, hey, you're not in this thing alone & I go through a lot too. And that throughout it all, she's stuck by him and thanks to her for that, look where they are now, especially him = "Where would I be tonight if you hadn't held me here, in your arms?"

    But that's just my take lol.
    rissaaon October 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHard enough is the marriage is hard song. Everyone hears that marriage is hard. But you don’t really understand the difficulty until you are married. It is essential to understanding this song, however, so I’ll give it a go.

    When people get married they mostly think romance. My true love is going to love me forever. Maybe they even wrote their own vows to be really romantic. But what newlyweds quickly confront is that the old vows, for better for worse, richer for poorer, sickness and in health actually sum up marriage pretty well.

    Compare shacking up vs getting married. Most young people tend to think that the only difference is a party and a piece of paper. Hardly. When you live with somebody and something goes wrong--and it will, nothing kills the heady romantic feelings like laundry and peeing in front of each other--you immediately start to question if this the right person for you. Are you meant to be together? If nothing else, after a while you might bail because you are tired of asking the damn question.

    When a married couple comes across their first real problem, they don't get rehash their decision. They have a revelation of, “Crap, I'm stuck with this person for the rest of my life.” At this point the struggling spouse--these questions don’t always happen to spouses at the same time--can either say this marriage stuff is bunk and walk out, launch a score keeping war, engage in sex manipulation, or other assorted games that won’t end well. Or, the spouse can decide that marriage really is forever and work toward a practical solution. Trust me when I say that the decision is often a scary leap of faith. It does little good to complain that the decision should have been made earlier. The reality of your choice and its consequences don’t hit you until after you are married. (I am happy to say, that if you take the leap and choose to worry more about what kind of wife you want to be than what kind of husband he is, it gets much easier. If he has the same outlook, then you can weather anything.)

    For most marriages, this leap of faith spot comes from relatively mundane things, budgeting, dividing household chores, holiday plans with families. You’d be surprised how quickly score keeping--I cooked last night so you cook tonight or we always go to your brothers so for Thanksgiving we should go to my mom’s--can cause real problems. Rissaa is right. Flowers’s marriage started out with bigger issues. Between the rock star environment, young children, travel, etc. the potential for scorekeeping in this marriage is astronomical. The resolve required to avoid it, probably exhausting in the beginning.

    With that in mind, to the actual song. The first verse is straightforward. They met and it was a quick, hot start. By the “on a whim” Flowers is setting the scene for she didn’t realize how hard marriage to him might be. I’m going to guess that Flowers didn’t have many previous serious girlfriends. “I was just a little boy” is probably more a reference to experience and maturity rather than age. He did some unspecified screwups which caused her lots of hurt. But he’s learned from them. More over, the “older now” lines are all different. The “All I know” is a bit of a defeat as he can’t go back and change what he did. He feels guilty about those mistakes and that guilt has aged him, in a lost innocence kind of way.

    Second verse is alludes to how he must have had to persuade her to marry him. By modern standards they are too young to get married, so should they just shack up for a while. No, the people who don’t get married are have lives with “holes and emptiness,” either because shacking up isn’t better in the long run or because they just avoid commitment in general and live hook up to hook up. She must have also been worried about whatever happened in the past and how he would handle his future rockstar life. Hence, “Girl, I promise that I’m older now.” He’s learned. He can do this.

    Third verse, I wasn’t looking when we built these walls/Let me spread my dreams at your feet. Guessing again, but I think he means that he didn’t truly realize the realities of marriage and fatherhood. He went in thinking of stars and romance. He didn’t notice the import of what he was doing. To his credit, few do. He’s having to spread his dreams at her feet because marriage and family life don’t dovetail nicely with the rock star life. He realized that he was at her mercy in a way. He can’t do what he does without her blessing and sanctuary--he explores that more in Crossfire. Let’s not let time’s bitter flood rise--that’s all the score keeping, grudge holding. “Before my thoughts begin to run” I think refers to the mental pruning that one must do in a marriage, especially if caught in “time’s bitter flood.” Despite popular theory, you shouldn’t say everything that comes into your head; you shouldn’t allow a “what if” thread to sneak into your thoughts. Resentment and paranoia are not a fun combination. He’s realized this. He “thinks [he is] getting older now,” not from guilt, not as an argument, but because he is truly maturing.

    Finally, I think there is a little of the paranoia in the next line after the chorus: “can’t stand the thought of another”. He’s worried. Marriage and fatherhood are hard. He’s asking a lot from her. She fell for him on a whim, he begged her to marry him, and he still has a calling for his music. (Yes, a calling. That will come up again in other songs.) What if she left for someone who was around more? Where would he be without her? Again see Crossfire for how important she is to him.

    The chorus is about each of them acknowledging that this is hard on the other. I think he means they are trying not to keep score, trying to keep the other’s difficulties in their thoughts. By trying to “roll with the changes”, they are trying to adapt the demands of husband/father and wife/mother. Its just a lot harder than they though.
    AHLondonon October 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt starts out "You let me into your life on a whim and there was magic and fire in the night"
    And I think it says "In loving I was just a little boy"

    "When we spread my dreams at your feet
    Let's not let times build the flood rise"

    Should be "Let me spread my dreams at your feet/Let's not let time's bitter flood rise"

    And the chorus ends with "Been telling myself that I can roll with the changes"
    kbb02on September 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGood one rissaa
    sarahjon October 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am not sure that this song means anything about marriage, I personally took it as a letter to an ex. Might help that I am in a similar situation but i think of a younger guy that has just broken up with his girlfriend. really messed it up, "I made mistakes that caused you so much pain". But since then has grown up, didn't understand what love was when he entered the relationship. "All I know is that I'm older now". What she might not understand that even though he made the big mistakes and she did the breaking up it has been extremely hard on him as well. Even though she might think that she possesses the only reason to be sad. "While this has been hard enough on you
    It's been hard enough on me". I think that the guy has a new understanding of life not right or wrong but merely experiences, interpreted however the individual feels is correct. "Where would I be tonight if you hadn't held me here, in your arms?" Meaning that he is thankful for the time that he was able to spend with her. And that it has shaped who he is today. The guy always has doubts though as evidenced, by "Been telling myself that I can roll with the changes". I could definitely be wrong, but the best part about lyrics or any written word is that once the author writes it he no longer owns the work, the people who read it make their own meaning of it.
    chris24on January 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentShe is not deceived easily- It was nothing to do with him and her.
    If he was that stirred about it, she thinks he should just forget about it. No one forces him to believe or do what he does not feel comfortable with.
    The truth is she does not judge him and wanted to be there if he needed, and she is totally fine with whatever he chooses. She is not going to go against his agency.
    notsobatty7on June 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this songs' about mistakes of the past. When we're young, we do stupid things we regret as we get older and wise.
    beachparty28on September 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWot makes Flowers so perfect? I'm so envious!
    JohnstonPon September 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    MemoryThis song hits me the hardest. I just rediscovered it on my iPod. I dated this guy all through high school and we were really close. Suddenly, he made a mistake I couldn't bear so I left him. I recently graduated last week and well hearing this song makes me think about all the times we had together and how painful letting go is. We were too young to fall so hard for each other but we did. He was my first love and I was his first real girlfriend. I hope in time we can sort things out. As for right now I don't think I can speak to him. (FYI He got another girl pregnant while we were on a break we didn't speak for months. He said he thought he was in love with her so I got freaked out and left.)
    Alexisrexison June 01, 2012   Link

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