"Eight Letters" as written by Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Howard Donald, James Ure, William Currie, Mark Owen, Jason Orange, Christopher James Allen and Warren Cann....
We became the parade on the streets that we once cleaned
Expendable soldiers smiling at anything
Raised on a feeling our lives would have meaning eventually

We were once the answer and then you discover
You're actually just one thing after another
And what was the question and why was the lesson so deafening?

This is all that matters now
And that was all that happened anyhow
You can look back but don't stare
Maybe I can love you out of there

And when I went away what I forgot to say
Was all I had to say:
Eight letters, three words, one meaning

And outside forces didn't make it easy
So I thought I'd go before you leave me
Self-preservation was no explanation for anything

But the truth is more than we'll ever comprehend
I'm just starting to understand, my friend
All of that distance, 'cause I fell in love with the enemy

This is all that matters now
And that was all that happened anyhow
You can look back but don't stare
Maybe I can love you out of there

And when I went away what I forgot to say
Was all I had to say:
Eight letters, three words, one meaning

And when I went away what I forgot to say
Was all I had to say:
Eight letters, three words, one meaning

At last, we meet on no man's land
Just footprints in the sand
We meet on no man's land, at last

And when I went away what I forgot to say
Was all I had to say:
Eight letters, three words, one meaning

And when I went away what I forgot to say
Was all I had to say:
Eight letters, three words, one meaning

One meaning
Just one meaning


Lyrics submitted by fromevery

"Eight Letters" as written by Jason Orange, Howard Donald, Christopher Allen, Warren Cann, William Currie, James Ure, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Robbie / Williams

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, FARRELL MUSIC LIMITED

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Eight Letters song meanings
Add your thoughts

5 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    Song MeaningLike a couple of other Take That songs since their comeback, I think Eight Letters is another song about their reunion - this one mainly from Robbie Williams' point of view.

    "We became the parade on the streets that we once cleaned
    Expendable soldiers smiling at anything
    Raised on a feeling our lives would have meaning eventually"

    Is about their initial rise in the 1990's and possible naivety at the fickle world of the music industry.

    "We were once the answer and then you discover
    You're actually just one thing after another
    And what was the question and why was the lesson so deafening?"

    A point, probably as they were about to split, when they realised they were just another boy band and they weren't invincible or guaranteed anything.

    "And outside forces didn't make it easy
    So I thought I'd go before you leave me
    Self-preservation was no explanation for anything"

    From this point on it seems to come from Robbie Williams' point of view. "Outside forces" suggesting his head was turned by people outside of the band, he left because the band were fed up with him and "Self-preservation" was a poor excuse for his attitude at the time.

    "But the truth is more than we'll ever comprehend
    I'm just starting to understand, my friend
    All of that distance, 'cause I fell in love with the enemy"

    Robbie again, saying he's started to realise what the band meant to him and he seems to regret all the negativity he showed the other four and it was all because he had his head turned (by "the enemy").

    "This is all that matters now
    And that was all that happened anyhow
    You can look back but don't stare
    Maybe I can love you out of there"

    He now wants to move on with the other four (this is all that matters now), hopes they don't dwell on past feelings (you can look back but don't stare) and wants to change their view of him again - "maybe I can love you out of there", "there" being memories of when the rivalry was bitter.

    "And when I went away what I forgot to say
    Was all I had to say:
    Eight letters, three words, one meaning"

    He always loved the band but was never truthful enough to admit it because of "the enemy".

    "At last, we meet on no man's land
    Just footprints in the sand
    We meet on no man's land, at last"

    "No man's land" being a term for land avoided for fear, they're expressing their relief at finally getting back together and forgiving each other.
    sgninaemgnos2on June 15, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My Opinion8 Letters 3 Words 1 Meaning
    I LOVE YOU ?
    RipleyRedDogon June 28, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with sgninaemgnos2. Robbie mainly wrote the lyrics, from what was said in the documentary Look Back, Don't Stare. I'd just like to add a little bit about a few lines.

    The lyric in the first verse is "Raised on a feeling our lives would have meaning, eventually". In the documentary (if you haven't seen it, I recommend it), Robbie says that having the opportunity to join the band was like getting the golden ticket, and they took it and followed blindly because it was their one chance to make something of their lives, and it was only when he was so far in and couldn't turn back that he became unhappy with it, because it wasn't living up to his expectations. That lyric, then, is about the insecurity that was felt particularly by Robbie, worrying that he would come to nothing in the end and taking the first chance he was offered.

    Then, in the chorus, the lyric "you can look back but don't stare"... In Robbie's words, "Cuz it's ugly". So it says, it's ugly and I don't want you to dwell on it, but you can just look back, because to move on we have to know and accept what happened, and acknowledge it all from everyone's point of view. We have to look back; we can't pretend it never happened. To move on, you have to forgive; to forgive, you have to accept.

    Much of the second verse is very telling. "And outside forces didn't make it easy, so I thought I'd go before you'd leave me". On the first half of that, I think the outside forces are specifically the pressure from the media. They were falling apart from the inside, but the additional pressure from everyone else to keep it together anyway made it harder. As for the second half, it's brutally honest. It's Robbie's insecurity again; he was so afraid to be left, so he walked out on them before they could leave him. People will always want to leave, rather than be left. By leaving, he was the one who chose what happened rather than the one being told and having to give in. He had the final word.

    My favourite line in the whole song (and I love them all) is "At last, we meet on no-man's land". It's wonderful. I think the significance is that no-man's land is in the middle of the two fighting sides, and to meet on no-man's land you both have to make your way there. It requires effort on both sides, a mutual desire to end the fight. Both sides climbed up into the space in the middle, and dropped their weapons and met each other half-way.

    That's just my take. However you choose to look at it, these are wonderful lyrics. In my opinion, it's an incredible, honest song, and was a fantastic choice for the final song of the set list on the tour.
    Grace18on September 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think that this song and the lyrics are talking about a relationship that has gone under scrutiny and gone through difficulties, perhaps of an affair and it being made scandalous or other peoples total disregard for the persons involved and have become a joke.

    'We became the parade on the streets we once cleaned'


    The second and third verse talking about the past and troubled times and all is not lost because there is a future and that is the focus but not forgetting to learn from the mistakes.Don't look back, the past is a brief reflection.

    The message and continuity throughout the song and the feeling is; that the man and woman have always loved each other, hence 8 letters, 3 words and one meaning.

    Also, there has been outside forces and negative influences at work, perhaps the ex of the man/woman or even family, enemies, rivals, perhaps out of jealousy, either way they have put pressure on the relationship.And there has been doubt and panic and questioning whether the relationship will survive. And there has been disquiet and tempers frayed and conflict.

    Towards the end verses there is positivity and saying that there is a new start and the relationship will survive and the slate wiped to begin again 'no mans land' an equal ground.

    That's my interpretation of the lyrics.






    Estella9on February 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmaybe it's about their reunion and their past bacause it mostly fits as mentioned above
    but my question is that who was meant to be said 'I love you' (eight letters) ?

    take that songs has become so complicated after their reunion and specially after robbie rejoining
    ( maybe a book must be written : introduction to take that lyrical analysis ;) )
    mamad89on January 14, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain