"Basket Case" as written by and Sara Bareilles....
One, two, three, four

I don't want to talk about it to you
I'm not an open book that you can rifle through
The cold hard truth that you'll see right to
I'm just a basket case without you

He's not a magic man or a perfect fit
But had a steady hand and I got used to it
And a glass cage heart and invited me in
And now I'm just a basket case without him

You're begging for the truth
So I'm saying it to you
I've been saving your place
And what good does it do?
Now I'm just a basket case
Now I'm just a basket case

I don't say much and it'll stay that way
You got a steel train touch and I'm just a track you lay
So I'll stay right here underneath you
I'm just a basket case and that what we do

You're begging for the truth
So I'm saying it to you
I've been saving your place
And what good does it do?
Now I'm just a basket case

Won't somebody come on in and tug at my seams?
Oh, send your armies in of robbers and thieves
To steal the state I'm in, I don't want it anymore

You're begging for the truth
So I'm saying it to you
I've been saving your place
And what good does it do?
Now I'm just a basket case
Now I'm just a basket case
Now I'm just a basket case
Now I'm just a basket case


Lyrics submitted by evmg21

"Basket Case" as written by Sara Bareilles

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Basket Case song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI can't believe this song only has 6 comments, it's probably my favorite song off Kaleidoscope Heart.

    I think think what makes this song so beautiful is its honest simplicity; I can relate to being in this place.

    Here's my verse by verse interpretation:

    One, two, three, four...

    I don't want to
    Talk about it to you
    I'm not an open book
    That you can rifle through
    Cold hard truth that you'll see right to
    I'm just a basket case without you

    The last person she wants to talk to about the break-up is the guy who broke her heart, and she's afraid that he'll see that without him she's just a "basket case."

    He's not a magic man
    Or a perfect fit
    He had a steady hand and I got used to it
    And a glass cage heart and invited me in
    Now I'm just a basket case without him

    He wasn't a perfect guy, but he opened his heart to her and she grew to love him. Now, she doesn't know what to do without him.

    Begging for the truth
    So I'm saying it to you
    I've been saving your place
    And what good does it do
    Now I'm just a basket case
    Now I'm just a basket case

    He's asking her to tell the truth about how she feels, but it makes no difference if she does because regardless, she'll still be without him.


    I don't say much and it'll stay that way
    You gotta steel train touch and I'm just the track you lay
    So I'll stay right here, underneath you
    I'm just a basket case and it's what we do

    She's still not ready to talk about it with him, and she knows that she would give anything to be with him. Since she is so miserable without him, she'll take whatever love she can get from him.


    You're begging for the truth
    So I'm saying it to you
    I've been saving your place
    And what good does it do
    Now I'm just a basket case

    Won't someone come on in and tug at my seams
    Or send your armies in
    Robbers and thieves
    To steal the state I'm in
    I don't want it anymore

    She's hoping that someone else can come into her life to distract her from the emptiness she feels. She doesn't care who it is, as long as someone can take the pain she has felt from losing him.

    You're begging for the truth
    So I'm saying it to you
    I've been saving your place
    And what good does it do
    Now I'm just a basket case
    Now I'm just a basket case
    Now I'm just a basket case
    Now I'm just a basket case


    betweenthelines1024on May 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningJust went to her concert last week and she explained this song and it totally changed the way i felt about. Its NOT about a guy. Its about a very good friend of hers and their friendship ended and she was a wreck. But fortunately a while later they made ammends. I love this song even more now that its about a girlfriend not a boyfriend.
    concertfreakon October 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWithout this person she is lost. Good song!
    m2991on September 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfirst of all, i'm pretty much in love with this song. its the best one off the album imo. but anyway, i think this song is about a guy she falls for that she can't seem to live without, and he just gets her even though he's not the kind of person she usually goes for (he seems to be cold, definitely not perfect). she loves him a lot, but nothing happens between them even though she'd give him everything if he asked for it.
    crimewaveeeon September 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI took it to be about her falling for a guy who she really grew to love, he's not perfect but he makes her feel, but her own reservations made it difficult to open up to him. He thinks she's cold, she's afraid of revealing too much and ending up showing him just how messed up she is on the inside, but because of that he leaves her or at least is pulling away if she won't open up. But she's still scared that she'll get hurt, that she'll just be "a track he lays" because she feels like his personality/inner strength overpowers her, and if she gives up too much he'll just leave anyways - she's stuck on her own perception of her faults.

    More broadly, it's about the tenuous struggle between wanting to give the one you love what they want and open up, and being scared that doing so will drive them away and leave you shattered. Sometimes, it just feels like you're going to lose either way...
    elle86on September 29, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just went to her concert a couple of days ago, and she said that this was written right after she nearly lost someone very important to her. She didn't elaborate any more than that other than that in the end it, it turned out to be okay. I love this song. It's open to personal interpretation.
    Hayley33on October 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think something can be said for the progression of how she uses the "basket case" lyric.

    First is "Now I'm just a basket case without you"
    Second is "Now I'm just a basket case without him"
    The last half of the song becomes "Now I'm just a basket case."

    It seems to me there is definitely a distance she sets up here. She goes from addressing "him" directly to simply being a basket case in a general sense.

    Regardless - I love this song. Sara B. can do no wrong.
    Keelayon April 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningShe's talking to an ex, that meant a lot to her. Like the love of her life. He probably left her, and she found someone else, but she doesn't love him like she loved the ex. But she does love him, and she feels lost without them.
    SandWolfsbane109on September 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I saw her in concert, she said this song was very, very personal to her. It was about losing someone who means the world to you, and how when it happens you feel like you'll never be okay again without them. Hence, a "basket case". And boy, does this song hit so close to home for me. And I hope, just like with Sara, that he and I can work it out.
    yeahhitslaurennnnon July 02, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know if this song is about a guy or a friend, but I think it doesn't matter. it's a perfect song either way you think it's about a relationship or a friendship.
    adrianosaon November 06, 2014   Link
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