"Call It What You Want" as written by Paul Richard Epworth and Mark Foster....
Call it what you want
I said just call it what you want

Yeah we're locked up in ideas
We like to label everything
Well I'm just gonna do here what I gotta do here
'cause I gotta keep myself free
You're ducking and moving just to hide your bruises from all your enemies
And I'm in the crossfire dodging bullets from your expectancies

We've got nothing to lose
You better run and hide
Yeah you've crossed the line
I've got a knife behind my back [just sayin']
We've got nothing to prove
Your social guides give you swollen eyes
But what I've got can't be bought so you can just
Call it what you want

You've taken your words and you take your judgements
And stick them onto everything
If it don't conform to what you were born into,
Then you run the other way
You say,"Now what's your style and who do you listen to?" Who cares?
Well that rat race ladder-climbing fake-face smile's got nothing on me

We've got nothing to lose
You better run and hide
Yeah you've crossed the line
I've got a knife behind my back [just sayin']
We've got nothing to prove
Your social guides give you swollen eyes
But what I've got can't be bought so you can just
Call it what you want

Lyrics submitted by Admx94

Call It What You Want song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +11
    My InterpretationWell... I feel like this song is pretty self-explanatory. But in a nutshell, it is about how today's society is full of conformists and how people are so quick to judge others that are "different". Basically, it says,"Don't judge me, I know who I am... and... Why are you so caught up in being like everyone else?". E N J O Y
    Admx94on June 09, 2011   Link
  • +6
    My InterpretationI've just been bouncing around to this song..It's so catchy.

    I think it's about not wanting to fit into 'neat' little boxes in society...Going against the social norms..Doing your own thing on your own time.

    But also as a band they could be saying that they're not gonna do what's expected of them in a 'Mainstream' way...They won't be bought so they can just be another Rat in the Rat Race.
    rochey1on September 17, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentPeople are so into social lives, gossip, being noticed, etc. But I'm gonna do my own thing and be myself "cause I gotta keep myself free" from other people's societal requirements. I'm going to be MYSELF, not the person everyone wants to see.

    And while you're loosing sleep over your social status ("your social guides give you swollen eyes"), I'm getting caught up in your nonsense ("I'm in the crossfire dodging bullets"). But since "we've got nothing to prove," I'm not letting it get to me.

    Also, "You've taken your judgments; and stick them onto everything. If it don't conform to what you were born into; you run the other way." Either you're a very sheltered child, or everything and -one who tries to be different, you run away from.

    I can see right through your rat race ladder-climbing fake-face smile....
    blueskies21on August 06, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAdmx94 took the words right out of my mouth. I find it humorous how so many of you judge others while claiming it's not good to judge. Some have also labeled it an age issue. Funny, but every human being (regardless of age) forms judgements about people and events many times daily. We base our lives on judgements. Our moral codes or lack thereof are based on judgements. Our legal system is based on judgements. Who we allow into our close circle of friends and what we wear are based on judgements. Those who dress differently in an attempt not to look cookie-cutter because they've judged them snobs or materialistic or egotistic are no different (no better) as they have not viewed each human as an individual (and often they themselves look much like those in their social group....just a different type of conformist). The goal in life should be to live life to the best of ones ability (and if Christian to the best of God's intentions) while not causing harm to others. The rest is all just bull sh*t....
    ASweetPeaon September 27, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentNot too sure about the lyrics, but I'm fairly certain the video talks about the danger of idleness. The beginning of the video starts out with scrolling words that say: "Idle minds are the devil's workshop.".
    Then, it shows the band members all idle, doing nothing, and then later shows what that can lead to. The video shows examples of: Lust, Mark Foster punching a hole to look at some snazzy women. Gluttony, It shows Mark eating and eating and dirty plates stacking up and down. Violence, when Mark is sitting all alone on a balcony, doing nothing, some "Foster the People" fans with the words "FOSTER" on their shirts dance up and down in joy. Mark then lifts up his hand and his fingers form the shape of a pistol. He "shoots" and blue liquid comes out of the fans. But, the fans still jump around in joy. (Not sure what that's about). Isolation, it shows one of the other band members naked in a bathtub filled with red liquid. Later it shows him get up with his hands around his head, like he is going through a spiritually and or rough time. (Nothing objectionable is shown at all)
    Johndrive1on November 26, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is directly after pumped up kicks on the album...after that ppl it's self explanatory...just sayin'.
    But I also think it is about society and it's quick to judge attitudes. Kinda like this guy before me said.
    Others comments plz!
    aberdeeenon July 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI couldn't understand the signification of all the scenes in the clip, but I think that the band wants to show that they don't want to follow rules and regulations of society. They dress clothes winter when it's hot, they play the instruments (drums) on the rain and other scenes demonstrating their independence with "the rules" of the word.
    They want to demonstrate too that they don't sing for fans and that they are independent of them. Because the band wants to sing and think what they like and not what other people like.
    Marceloodoon March 12, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think they are talking about music media judging and labeling their music, they have an original sound that doesn't fit neatly into the rock, pop, or urban" charts It reminds me of when Primal Scream sampled the Reverend Jessie Jackson on their Screamedlica album, "Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, all those are just labels we know that music is music".

    Some people like to operate inside the box, some people on the outside of the box.
    mrwhite11111on August 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe imagery of the video makes me think of ketamine.
    GusFerrarion November 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation@Johndrive1 Nice interpretation. There are a lot of interpretations that I think the video has.

    The one you just wrote about goes hand in hand with my primary interpretation of it: Fame isn't what Foster the People is about, they won't be your stereotypical spotlight addicts. Your interpretation is showing what fame can do to you.

    My interpretation their rebellion against the fame stereotype. When that business man is there, Mark Foster is singing about enemies meaning the band isn't about money. They won't let the industry control them or they know they can't let that happen. The shooting of the fans is also apart of this and where I disagree with you. I don't think that has to do with violence due to fame because he's actually rebelling against the fame stereotype with this action. He's basically saying that he won't let such fanatic fans or groupies get to his head.

    The burning of the instruments and music equipment I think represents how they'll break away from the industry if they can't be themselves.

    I also feel like the star scene is them controlling their destinies.

    Lastly this is apparently set in the same place of the scene where Lady Gaga falls of a balcony in her Paparazzi video supporting the theme of fame's dark side.

    You're description really added to it. Good thinking.
    epitoMEon November 30, 2011   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