"My Friends" as written by and Laura Beatrice Marling....
My friends, my dear friends
And lovers, oh my lovers
I'd leave you for them

They got a hand on my back

Mama has money now and Mama has friends
She's making rags for some uptown hags
With their money in bags
And why are you so sad?

Why are you always so sad?
Why do I not understand?
Why don't I see what it is you see?
Why can I live and just be?

I'm full of guilt
I am full of guilt
You're very tall, you're very handsome
You have it all, your skin smells like man

And I, you never know how I ache
You will never know how I ache
Don't touch that in grace

Ever considered the sea?
I heard you had to be strong
Why not float around with me?
It won't take you so long

You can go where I'm at
You can hang around with me
And a few good men will go where they all
Where they all not be
And a few good mothers go for what they,
What they all not teach

And I long for a touch or reminder of us but,
But it must not be

And a few strong branches over water reach for what they all not reach

I hope your mother knows where it is you have been
I hope your mother knows what it is you have seen
She'd be so proud
She will never know how I ache


Lyrics submitted by waywardgirl

"My Friends" as written by Laura Beatrice Marling

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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My Friends song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis is my favourite song off of her new album. It just makes me smile every single time I hear it, especially "I long for a touch / A reminder of us / But it must not be." I just -- I can't. This song is beautiful, makes me love Laura all the more every time I hear it.
    marnolinoon September 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionMy friends, my dear friends
    And lovers, oh my lovers
    I'd leave you for them

    They got a hand on my back

    Mama has money now and Mama has friends
    She's making rags for some uptown hags
    With their money in bags
    And why are you so sad?

    Why are you always so sad?
    Why do I not understand?
    Why don't I see what it is you see?
    Why can't I live and just be?

    I'm full of guilt
    I am full of guilt
    You're very tall, you're very handsome
    You have it all, your skin smells like man

    And I, you never know how I ache
    You will never know how I ache

    Ever considered the sea?
    I heard you had to be strong
    Why not float around with me?
    It won't take you so long

    You can go where I'm at
    You can hang around with me

    A few good men will go where they all
    Where they all not be
    And a few good mothers go for what they,
    What they all not teach

    I long for a touch or reminder of us but,
    But it must not be

    And a few strong branches over water reach for what they all not reach

    I hope your mother knows where it is you have been
    I hope your mother knows what it is you have seen
    She'd be so proud
    RoyDeSmeton September 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm pretty sure that in the lines

    "And a few strong branches over water reach for what they all not reach"

    &

    "A few good men will go where they all
    Where they all not be
    And a few good mothers go for what they,
    What they all not teach"

    it should be 'ought' and not 'all'.

    twentytwopageson September 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so wonderful. It makes me feel both happy and sad at the same time.
    nawnaw22on November 07, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always thought that she said, "your skin smells like lemonade," but maybe not? It seems that I'm the only person who thinks this.
    kait18on June 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"My friends, my dear friends
    And lovers, oh my lovers
    I'd leave you for them
    They got a hand on my back

    Mama has money now and Mama has friends
    She's making rags for some uptown hags
    With their money in bags"

    We begin by Laura stating that her friends mean the world to her and that she would never choose anyone over them. This is similar to when we were children and friends came before anyone and they seemed like the most important people in your life. But as we all know, this changes when we mature and we meet someone we love on a deeper level than a friend. She also references her mother and how she is doing better for herself. Observations we do not make as children but rather as young adults, she is growing up in the song.

    "And why are you so sad?

    Why are you always so sad?
    Why do I not understand?
    Why don't I see what it is you see?
    Why can I live and just be?"

    Here we see her talking about young adult years. She continues to reference her mother and asking her why she is sad. To better understand why this question exists in the song one must recognize that Laura has written many songs about mothers and women in general and how the traditional role women are expected to fulfill in society is a very unfulfilling and empty life. Perhaps the most obvious example of this can be found in Rambling Man and I speak because I can. At this maturity level she begins to notice her mother is unhappy even though she is making a better life for herself. She wrestles with this because she is not old enough to understand why she's sad but she knows her mother is sad. She doesn't understand why she can live without the same sadness her mother carries with her. In the last line she is basically asking yourself why she's any different than her mother.

    "I'm full of guilt
    I am full of guilt"

    Laura feels guilty that she cannot understand the sadness her mother carries.

    "You're very tall, you're very handsome
    You have it all, your skin smells like man

    And I, you never know how I ache
    You will never know how I ache"

    Here she meets a man. To better understand the second half of this meeting where she speaks of herself aching, we must remember Laura writes from an introspective place and as such many of her lyrics involve her talking to herself. This way of writing is apparent in the last 2 lines. She met a man and for a second she thinks to herself that he will never understand where she's coming from and what burdens she carries. This seems to disappear later in the song.

    "Ever considered the sea?
    I heard you had to be strong
    Why not float around with me?
    It won't take you so long

    You can go where I'm at
    You can hang around with me"

    This part of the song is conveying the man must leave. Laura makes many references to the sea in many of her songs. We can take it literally and the sea can reference perhaps that he is a sailor. Or the sea represents life and the motions life goes through and how unpredictable life can be. Instead of him leaving, Laura asks him to stay. Instead of the sea(life) taking him away from her, why not stay with her? She can take care of him.

    "And a few good men will go where they all
    Where they all not be
    And a few good mothers go for what they,
    What they all not teach"

    This part of the song is built off the previous lines and she continues to try and reason with him and giving him reasons why he shouldn't leave. She is saying that not everyone ends up where they should be in life. Good men end up in bad places and good mothers sometimes do not practice what they preach. If so many people can take life paths that they shouldn't, why can't the man she loves stay with her then.

    "And I long for a touch or reminder of us but,
    But it must not be

    And a few strong branches over water reach for what they all not reach"

    Here we see that her pleading didn't work. He's gone. She wants a touch or reminder of what they used to be but she knows it cannot be. She seems to mature in this part of the song a great deal and recognizes that she had to let him go but that doesn't stop her from wanting him. Branches over water reach for what they ought not reach, and she longs for something she cannot have.

    "I hope your mother knows where it is you have been
    I hope your mother knows what it is you have seen
    She'd be so proud
    She will never know how I ache"

    Here we see Laura saying goodbye and letting him go in a very poetic way. She hopes someone sees in him what she saw. It's a bittersweet goodbye. She must let him go but she still loves him. The last line brings the song full circle and we see Laura begin to understand that as you go through life you carry with you sadness that some people will never understand, like her mother.

    This song is a beautiful song about love and life. The instrumental in the song even helps us get more immersed in the journey she is taking by starting off slow and eventually becoming faster paced with more calamity, much like life. Laura Marling is a folk genius and this is one of her greatest masterpieces.
    adamsdjron December 29, 2014   Link

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