"Some Boys" as written by and Benjamin Gibbard....
Some boys are filling, some boys are filling the hole
They're making the killing at the top of the billings
Their role, and that's all that they know
But some boys don't listen, some boys don't listen at all
They don't ask for permission, they lack inhibitions
No walls, and they get what they want

But some boys don't know how to love

Some boys are singing, some boys are singing the blues
Joylessly flinging with the girls that they're bringing to their rooms
And then leave them, they're through
Some boys are sleeping, some boys are sleeping alone
'Cause there's no one that's keeping them warm through the evening
They know that they're on their own

'Cause some boys don't know how to love

Some boys are filling, some boys are filling the hole
Some boys are sleeping, some boys are sleeping alone

Some boys don't know how to love
No, some boys don't know how to love
No, some boys don't know how to love
No, some boys don't know how to love

They won't get what they want


Lyrics submitted by TDDx8

"Some Boys" as written by Benjamin Gibbard

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Some Boys song meanings
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  • +5
    General Comment^ I don't think that's quite it. You may be on the right track, but using the wrong evidence.

    I actually thought that this was about two different spectrums of boys (the good and the bad/those who get what they want, and those who don't), but I think it's actually four.

    The first set of boys is on the first verse:

    "Some boys are filling
    Some boys are filling the hole
    They're making a killing at the top of the billing
    It's their role and that's all that they know"

    These are the winners. They're filling the holes, or the emptiness in their lives with someone else. Making a killing at the top of the billing refers to being the lead in a play (the billing are those playbooks you get when you see a play that tells you about the show and it's actors). So he's a winner all around, and that's all he knows as a winner. These guys get love.

    Second verse is another set of boys:

    "But some boys don't listen
    Some boys don't listen at all
    They don't ask for permission
    They lack inhibitions
    No walls and they get what they want"

    These boys are exactly what they sound like. Reckless, confident, the outlaws, and they get what they want because they are so determined and ambitious to do so. Of course these boys are winners too, but we're getting close to the bad side. These guys get love

    Third set of boys:

    "Some boys are singing
    Some boys are singing the blues
    Joylessly flinging
    With the girls that they're bringing
    To their rooms
    Then leave when they're through"

    These guys are sad, but they're sort of evil too. They sleep with women constantly, and one-night stands with that. The women come and go, and since they're "joylessly flinging" it's more about having "sex" than making passion and love. These guys have no love.

    The last set of boys:

    "Some boys are sleeping
    some boys are sleeping alone
    Because there's no one that's keeping
    Them warm through the evening
    And they know
    That they're on their own"

    These guys are the absolute loners. Who knows if they are bad, or if they're good. Maybe their love is just in their fantasies, but they're on their own forever.

    Actually, the "Some boys" that don't know how to love can be the fifth can final set of boys. If you compare the four other boys to the some boys don't know how to love, well who is really the judge of how to love? The fifth set of boys are those who can't show love. The first boys show love through being winners, and being the best at what they do. The second boys get the love whether the one being loved likes it or not. The third boys thinks love is never for one person, and that it shouldn't be focused on just one either. The fourth knows that they'll forever be alone because the way they can show love may not be what others are attracted to, but they at least try to show love in their fantasies. Those boys who don't know how to love, well they're just heartless.
    Effortson May 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI'll go ahead and add a totally different interpretation. I think he may be talking about only one type of boy in this song. The same boys who are at the top of the billings have no inhibitions and "get what they want", they have flings and then find themselves alone. These boys, the ones meeting all of these descriptions, are the ones who don't know how to love, which is why, in the end, they "won't get what they want".

    In particular I think while many people are suggesting that verses 3 and 4 are about different boys, these especially fit together as just one set of characters, since at the end of verse 3 they leave the girls, and at the start of verse 4 they're sleeping alone, which is the only logical continuation. It seems at least quite plausible that this means they're the same protagonists that we're following through at least those two verses. The other ones seem to also fit together nicely in just one trajectory.

    In some ways I think the song is a little smaller and more limited in scope, says a little less overall, if it's just talking about one set of boys as in my interpretation. So maybe I'm wrong :) But I do think it seems like a clearer interpretation of the lyrics this way.
    nsteinmeon December 07, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHere is my interpretation of this song (explanation after each verse):

    "Some boys are filling, some boys are filling the hole
    They're making the killing at the top of the billings
    Their role, and that's all that they know"

    filling the 'hole' can have a double meaning (i.e. guys who want to have a girl because for the moment she will displace his sadness/loneliness; also a sexual connotation which is pretty obvious). These are the boys that are seducing the A-list kind of girls. Unfortunately, "that's al that they know"

    "But some boys don't listen, some boys don't listen at all
    They don't ask for permission, they lack inhibitions
    No walls, and they get what they want"

    This verse to me is talking about boys who take advantage of girls -- whether or not he is fully capable of understanding that the girl said no or too intoxicated (i.e. lacking inhibitions) to care. These boys get what they want (i.e. sexually).

    "Some boys are singing, some boys are singing the blues
    Joylessly flinging with the girls that they're bringing to their rooms
    And then leave them, they're through"

    These are the boys that are so sad and 'filling the holes' of their despair by sleeping with women. They are 'players' and get a lot of women but they don't enjoy it because they yearn for something (i.e. someone) to take burdens of sorrow away from them. Since these boys get so many girls they don't respect them yet at the same time want someone to make them feel better.

    "Some boys are sleeping, some boys are sleeping alone
    Cause there's no one that's keeping them warm through evening
    They know that they're on their own"

    These are the boys that lack a significant other and have no one to come home to after work. They are sad and sleeping alone because they know the only person they can rely on is themselves.

    "Some boys don't know how to love
    some boys don't know how to love
    some boys don't know how to love
    some boys don't know how to love
    They won't get what they want"

    I think this repeat is representative of the fact that all boys are the same, some boys are ladies mans, some boys are assholes, some boys are too shy to ask out a girl. Either way, all of the types of guys never get what they want which is love.
    countycourtshipon April 18, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think each stanza is a different type of guy who doesn't know how to love:

    The first is the one who fills that empty spot were he needs love with work. a workaholic where all he knows is ignoring the emptiness with work.

    the second is the one who takes advantages of girls ex.thier drunk or they said no and simply takes their "love"

    The third are the ones who are not satisfied with life so they fill that hole with one night stands who mean nothing to them

    The last type is the one that is lonely and knows he can't/isn't worthy of love and doesn't even try to find it even though he needs it

    Each stanza progressively gets more sad and then it ends with the fact that none of them will find love because they don't know how too.
    ModernRelicon July 08, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think that largely, the song is acknowledging how our society has certain expectations of men, and that searching for meaning in the context of societal pressures and paradigms of masculinity can be difficult for many men, if not futile.

    It may be important to note the usage of the word "boys", rather than "men" - the activities mentioned in the song (work, sex) are activities that we usually associate with grown men, adults. The fact that the song is "some boys" rather than "some men" attaches ideas of naïvety and innocence to the song.

    Instead of portraying these boys, whose actions are hardly admirable, as simply perpetrators of cruelty, the song paints them as victims of cluelessness, clutching at straws, trying to give their lives meaning in a confusing world.

    In short, I feel that it is a song that is highly empathetic towards misguided men, and although it in no way endorses these behaviours, it is not, in fact, merely a critique.
    codesandkeyson July 28, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My Opinioninteresting track for sure.

    pretty self-explanatory when it comes to the meaning.

    sonoflifeon May 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know if it is quite that cut and dry. To an extent, I feel like this is aimed at two kinds of boys, because of the shift in tone from verse 3 to 4. There are those who are confident and aggressive and dangerous (verse 2 & 3), and those who lack those traits, and see that as a kind of personal weakness and internalize it (verse 1 & 4). The catch, though, is that both types still end up sleeping alone.

    Damn, what a great song.
    TheDrinkNinjaon May 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dont know if this is way off but could this be referring to john mayer?

    "Some boys are singing
    Some boys are singing the blues
    Joylessly flinging
    With the girls that they're bringing
    To their rooms
    Then leave when they're through"

    lightsinthewoodlandon May 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song I hated it...but now it's one of my favorites of the album. I think it's very similar thematically to his song "Tiny Vessels" from an earlier album, which tells a story of a one-night stand. The main idea in this piece is the emptiness of sex without love. I won't go into the specifics, Efforts already did couple posts ago, hah, but I think what this song is saying is that both people that are literally by themselves and people who are just carelessly having sex without any meaning to it are equally 'alone'.

    Some boys are filling
    Some boys are filling the hole
    Some boys are sleeping
    some boys are sleeping alone

    "filling the hole" of course takes on multiple meanings, but I think it's quite obvious that there is a sexual connotation here.

    Some boys don't know how to love
    Some boys don't know how to love
    Some boys don't know how to love
    Some boys don't know how to love
    They won't get what they want

    Repeats this over and over for all the different kinds of guys (including those that are getting laid) that are really sad and unhappy.

    Just my thoughts on this. Very interesting song.
    randomperson8on June 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this was an immediate stand-out on the new album. I like how it approaches the the idea from both sides: guys who mistreat and objectify women, and guys who shyly don't know what to do about their own hearts.

    The first verse ends with the former "getting what they want," namely sex. But not love...

    The second verse is about the latter group, those who know love is more valuable than sex, but have no idea how to get to there.

    The last line really stings in that sense: "They won't get what they want."

    Hooray for Death Cab getting track placement correct yet again. This is the perfect track 3.
    davidecoyoteon October 11, 2011   Link

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