If I was a cute little kid,
I would show you the painting I did, for you.
But I'm up in the air,
I'm not here and not there.

If I was a sad-eyed eighteen,
I would cut all the holes in your jeans, for you.
But now what can I say,
I'm too little too late.

If I was a middle-aged man,
I would buy you a new minivan, or two.
But I'm stumbling around,
With one foot on the ground.

If I was a hundred and three,
I would share all my boring stories, with you.
But you caught me too soon, now,
Darling what can I do, now.

All along I did what I could,
But you tell me my timings no good. Who knew?

Who knew?

If I was Marty McFly,
I would go back to when we were nine, or ten.
And I'd be your best friend,
Say that I knew you when.

If I was a ghost on your hall,
I would haunt you and walk through your walls, at night.
But I'm flesh and I'm bone,
And I'm stiff as a stone.

All along I did what I could,
But you tell me my timings no good. Who knew?
All along I did what I could,
But you tell me my timings no good. Who knew?

Who knew?


Lyrics submitted by Fictionalhead

Who Knew song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +3
    My InterpretationThis is such a beautiful song and I'm surprised that I am the first person to offer an interpretation. With that being said ... I think there are many different possible interpretations for this song, but this was the first (not the only) that came to mind:

    This song is about feeling inadequate. The narrator wants to give this person the things (some material, though most are emotional) he feels said individual deserves, but he - at least in his mind - falls short and this is shown by the repetitive "If I was ..." scenarios he presents. He is too "old" to feel wholesome ("If I was a cute little kid, I would show you the painting I did for you ...") and too "young" to have the wisdom gained from vast life experiences ("If I was a hundred and three,/ I would share all my boring stories with you /But you caught me too soon ...").

    Fell in love with Back to the Future reference ("If I was Marty McFly,/ I would go back to when we were nine, or ten/ And I'd be your best friend ..."). Not really sure of its significance, but perhaps it is simply the narrator's desire to share something simple and genuine with the song's subject.

    I think it's notable (and very sad) that the narrator places more "living" qualities on the ghost than he does himself. ("But I'm flesh and I'm bone/ And I'm stiff as a stone.") The narrator seems to be existing in state of numbness and, though he does care for the person to whom he wishes he could give all these things, his "timing's no good" and it's "too little too late." He is caught in an awkward phase and does not know how to properly express his feelings at this point in his life.
    thisiswhatimeanttosayon June 11, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe song meaning is very transparent but I can offer a little insight. It's basically his plea to his love, who it appears, ended the relationship because "the timing was no good." His rebuttal is that it doesn't matter, because he would have loved her at any point in time. He playfully makes up scenarios of how he would have proven his love to her at different times in his life: If he were a child he would have been her best friend, if he were a middle aged man he would have spoiled her with gifts (a mini van) and so on all throughout his life. He finally concedes to the reality that she just doesn't love him by saying: " All along I did what I could... Who knew?"
    MelBarxon May 23, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song.
    eatMUSIC87on October 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song makes me think of marriage! :D
    200DiscChangeron September 17, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song always makes me smile :) The protagonist takes the flimsy reason for his rejection ("you tell me my timings no good") on the chin. I like to think he kind of shrugs his shoulders, says "Shooters shoot", and walks away
    MuuCowOfDeathon March 16, 2017   Link

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