"How" as written by Adam Levine, Jesse Royal Carmichael, Mickey Madden, James Valentine and Sam John Farrar....
I have been searching for your touch
Unlike any touch I've ever known

And I never thought about you much
Till I'm broken down and all alone

No I don't understand the meaning of love
I do not mind if I die trying, oh

Took you for granted
When you lifted me up

I'm asking for your help
I am going through hell
Afraid nothing can save me
But the sound of your voice

You cut out all the noise
And now that I can see mistakes so clearly, now
I'd kill if I could take you back
But how?
But how?

I can feel it in my guts
What's going on with him now

Don't patronize me with lies
I'ma man, be a woman now

I have been bound by the shackles of love
And I don't mind if I die tied up

Took you for granted
When you lifted me up

I'm asking for your help
I am going through hell
Afraid nothing can save me
But the sound of your voice

You cut out all the noise
And now that I can see mistakes so clearly now
I'd kill if I could take you back
But how?
But how?
But how?
But how?

Why must we be so ugly
And please do not speak ill of me
Why does the one you love
Become the one who makes you want to cry

And why?
Why?
Why?

No I don't understand the meaning of love
I do not mind if I die trying
I do not mind if I die trying
I do not mind if I die trying


Lyrics submitted by teewahby

"How" as written by Adam Noah Levine Sam Farrar

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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How song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    My InterpretationI have always been a fan of Maroon 5 but it's been a few years since I've listened to them. I've been having some major issues lately, however, and turned to their music to help me through it. I heard this song and it really hit home. I started listening to it a lot and finally had to look up all the lyrics. When I did, the resemblance to what I was going through was uncanny, I mean like word for word my issues. This may just be my opinion but I don't see how it can be taken any other way. Here goes:

    I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR YOUR TOUCH/
    UNLIKE ANY TOUCH I’VE EVER KNOWN/

    He misses his wife/girlfriend's touch. They might be separated or possibly just fighting but he longs so badly to touch her or be touched by her.

    AND I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT YOU MUCH ‘TIL I’M BROKEN DOWN AND ALL ALONE —

    He didn't treat her well enough/pay enough attention to her until it was too late, now he wishes he had.

    THOUGH I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF LOVE I DO NOT MIND IF I DIE TRYING/

    Though he loved her deeply he wasn't good at showing or expressing it, but now he's willing to die to try to learn and make it right between them.

    TOOK IT FOR GRANTED WHEN YOU LIFTED ME UP —

    About the same as I was saying earlier, he regrets that he didn't show his appreciation more.

    I’M ASKING FOR YOUR HELP, I AM GOING THROUGH HELL/
    AFRAID NOTHING CAN SAVE ME BUT THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE/

    He's very torn up, afraid he'll lose her for good. He's in such a bad place the only way he feels he can find his way out is with her.

    YOU CUT OUT ALL THE NOISE/

    Life was far better with her in it.

    AND NOW THAT I CAN SEE MISTAKES SO CLEARLY NOW/

    He realized everything he did wrong.

    I’D KILL IF I COULD TAKE YOU BACK —
    BUT HOW/ BUT HOW/

    Pretty self-explanatory.

    I CAN FEEL IT IN MY BONES WHAT’S GOING ON WITH HIM NOW/

    Here's where it gets pretty crummy. Because he neglected her, didn't pay enough attention to her, didn't show her daily how much he really loves her, she had to go elsewhere to feel needed. She began an affair with another man. He hasn't got proof but he's pretty sure it's happening.

    DON’T PATRONIZE ME WITH LIES, I’M A MAN, BE A WOMAN NOW —

    She denies the affair is happening, he tells her to man up (or woman up, in this case... Great line Adam!) and just admit it.

    I HAVE BEEN BOUND BY THE SHACKLES OF LOVE/
    AND I DON’T MIND IF I DIE TIED UP —

    He's so in love with her even still that he feels shackled to her. Can't live without her.

    TOOK IT FOR GRANTED WHEN YOU LIFTED ME UP —
    I’M ASKING FOR YOUR HELP, I AM GOING THROUGH HELL/
    AFRAID NOTHING CAN SAVE ME BUT THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE/
    YOU CUT OUT ALL THE NOISE/
    AND NOW THAT I CAN SEE MISTAKES SO CLEARLY NOW/
    I’D KILL IF I COULD TAKE YOU BACK —
    BUT HOW/ BUT HOW —

    All explained already.

    WHY MUST WE BE SO UGLY/

    They've become so hurt and angry at each other that they can no longer communicate effectively. They always fight, misunderstand what the other means, escalate and say horrible things that they can't take back.

    PLEASE DO NOT THINK ILL OF ME/

    He wants her to believe him when he says she takes the things he says the wrong way. She always hears the negative in anything he says vice the positive that he really meant.

    WHY DOES THE ONE YOU LOVE BECOME THE ONE WHO
    MAKES YOU WANT TO —
    CRY/CRY/CRY —

    Pretty self-explanatory. I'm sure he knows the answer but here it is anyways: only the ones we love so deeply, give all of our heart and soul to, are the ones who are able to hurt us so badly when they say nasty things meant to hurt us. If anyone else told us the same things, we'd punch them in the face and forget all about it but when our true love says it to us it just rips us apart.

    THOUGH I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF LOVE
    I DO NOT MIND IF I DIE TRYING.

    Same as before but maybe a little more. Of a hint of an "I can't (or maybe even won't) live without you.

    As I said, just my interpretation but I couldn't see it any other way if I tried. It helps my situation to listen to it, mainly because misery loves company. I can so relate and in a strange way, it feels a bit good to know that others have been through similar situations and felt the same way.
    Nibixon November 27, 2015   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionI believe the question mark part near the end is "Why must we be so ugly/And please do not think hell of me"


    This is one of my faves on the album but truly, the entire thing is fantastic. This album >>>>>> It Won't Be Soon Before Long, IMHO. Sosososososo good. So good. (i know, i know, tell you how i really feel haha)

    seriously tho...

    "I'm asking for your help
    I am going through hell
    Afraid nothing can save me
    But the sound of your voice"
    &
    "I don't understand the meaning of love
    I do not mind if I die trying..."

    LOVE IT.
    jenshack21on September 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Why does the one you love
    Become the one who makes you want to die"

    God I love that lyric. Just perfect.
    RedHotBlackKeyson September 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionSome of the lyrics above are wrong.
    This is straight from the album insert.

    I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR YOUR TOUCH/
    UNLIKE ANY TOUCH I’VE EVER KNOWN/
    AND I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT YOU MUCH ‘TIL I’M BROKEN DOWN AND ALL ALONE —
    THOUGH I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF LOVE I DO NOT MIND IF I DIE TRYING/
    TOOK IT FOR GRANTED WHEN YOU LIFTED ME UP —
    I’M ASKING FOR YOUR HELP, I AM GOING THROUGH HELL/
    AFRAID NOTHING CAN SAVE ME BUT THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE/
    YOU CUT OUT ALL THE NOISE/
    AND NOW THAT I CAN SEE MISTAKES SO CLEARLY NOW/
    I’D KILL IF I COULD TAKE YOU BACK —
    BUT HOW/ BUT HOW/
    I CAN FEEL IT IN MY BONES WHAT’S GOING ON WITH HIM NOW/
    DON’T PATRONIZE ME WITH LIES, I’M A MAN, BE A WOMAN NOW —
    I HAVE BEEN BOUND BY THE SHACKLES OF LOVE/
    AND I DON’T MIND IF I DIE TIED UP —
    TOOK IT FOR GRANTED WHEN YOU LIFTED ME UP —
    I’M ASKING FOR YOUR HELP, I AM GOING THROUGH HELL/
    AFRAID NOTHING CAN SAVE ME BUT THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE/
    YOU CUT OUT ALL THE NOISE/
    AND NOW THAT I CAN SEE MISTAKES SO CLEARLY NOW/
    I’D KILL IF I COULD TAKE YOU BACK —
    BUT HOW/ BUT HOW —
    WHY MUST WE BE SO UGLY/
    PLEASE DO NOT THINK ILL OF ME/
    WHY DOES THE ONE YOU LOVE BECOME THE ONE WHO
    MAKES YOU WANT TO —
    CRY/CRY/CRY —
    THOUGH I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF LOVE
    I DO NOT MIND IF I DIE TRYING.
    lilbeebins88on September 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think he made mistakes, i.e ending it with her, and now he can see the mistakes he made walking away cause he has realised he cant live without her. Cant move forward and move on. thinking he'd rather die trying to understand love than to never love again.
    Lennox4on November 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think its about having feeling for someone and the difficulty of telling them your feeling.
    smilewithstyleon November 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionOkay, here's the thing. Beautiful song, no doubt about that. But there's a part that really bugs me:

    I'm a man
    Be a woman now

    I mean... Seriously, Adam? And what's that supposed to mean, anyway?
    heyweirdkidon September 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOMG! I LOVE MAROON 5! THESE GUYS ARE AMAZING!!! I HAVE ALL THEIR ALBUMS! :)
    megallion October 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"And I never thought about you much...Till I'm broken down and all alone" Obvious meaning. This song is about five YEARS of the life of a man I know. He fell in love with the wrong person and got used by her. The only time she wanted him was when she felt too lousy to spend a lot of time with her BOYFRIEND. Oh, no. It wasn't one boyfriend. It was a string of boyfriends and a string of excuses. She made him promises. Even set a date. That date came and went. And now after so much time she expects him to believe his same ol' lies. She counts on him being stupid as she waits for the sun to rise and her to return fulltime to her boyfriend...and then another. THAT is what this song is about. It's about using someone...taking love for granted; taking friendship for granted; taking compassion for weakness; and using another to get what one needs...temporarily.
    6GUNSALLYon December 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI took the lyrics a different way and I'll interrupt my take on the lyrics bit by bit. The reason I thought of it this way is mostly because it parallels a personal situation, not line by line but in general (Just a little disclaimer should anyone I know see this and read too much into it lol)

    I have been searching for your touch
    Unlike any touch I've ever known
    And I never thought about you much
    Till I'm broken down and all alone
    No I don't understand the meaning of love
    I do not mind if I die trying, oh
    Took you for granted
    When you lifted me up

    From line three down sounds like a friend, a confidant, that has seen you through all the rough stuff, that at times was taken for granted when you were caught up in something/someone, the first two lines sounded like lets just say the line of friendship may be getting a little blurry

    I'm asking for your help
    I am going through hell
    Afraid nothing can save me
    But the sound of your voice
    You cut out all the noise

    Sound like he's going through something and he's asking her to help him get through it even though he may have hurt her when she was an after thought to him before

    And now that I can see mistakes so clearly, now
    I'd kill if I could take you back
    But how? But how?

    Here's where I could see why it may be about an ex now that I've read that here, but to me it sounds like he's realized putting her on the back burner and doing whatever he was doing was a mistake, he wants bring her back into his life, and possibly realized she means more to him than just a friend.


    I can feel it in my guts
    What's going on with him now
    Don't patronize me with lies
    I'm a man, be a woman now

    He see things aren't the same now she's moved on a bit, there's more to it, and he's trying to figure out .. (Don't patronize me with lies... I'm a man, so be a woman now..) he's saying just be honest don't play games,

    Why must we be so ugly
    And please do not speak ill of me
    Why does the one you love
    Become the one who makes you want to cry

    My take, basically things don't turn out as simple and easy as he hoped, she hasn't been sitting around waiting for him and isn't just going to drop everything now that he's come back around

    No I don't understand the meaning of love
    I do not mind if I die trying..

    ^ That one is simple... Don't give up on love.. keep trying
    VexedVirgoon February 27, 2013   Link

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