"I Know Him So Well" as written by Tim Rice, Benny Goran Bror Andersson and Bjoern K. Ulvaeus....
Nothing it so good it lasts eternally.
Perfect situations must go wrong.
But this has never yet prevented me,
Wanting far too much for far too long.

Looking back, I could have played it differently,
Learned about the man before I fell,
But it took time to understand the man,
Now at least I know I know him well.

Wasn't it good
(Oh so good)
Wasn't it fine
(Oh so fine)
Isn't it madness
He can't be mine.
But in the end he needs a little bit more than me
(More security)
He needs his fantasies and freedom
I know him so well.

No one in your life is with you constantly
No one is completely on your side,
And though I move my world to be with him,
Still the gap between him is too much.

Looking back I could have played it differently,
One or a few more who can tell,
But I was ever so much younger then,
Now at least I know I know him well.

Wasn't it good
(Oh so good)
Wasn't it fine
(Oh so fine)
Isn't it madness
He can't be mine.

Didn't I know,
How it would go from the start If I knew,
Why am I falling apart.

Wasn't it good
Wasn't it fine
Isn't it madness,
He can't be mine.
But in the end he needs a little bit more than me.
(More security)
He needs his fantasies and freedom.
I know him so well.

It took time to understand him.
I know him so well


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings

"I Know Him So Well" as written by Bjoern K. Ulvaeus Tim Rice

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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I Know Him So Well song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationNothing it so good it lasts eternally.
    Perfect situations must go wrong.
    But this has never yet prevented me,
    Wanting far too much for far too long.

    Here she is saying that nothing good last forever, eventually, with everything wonderful in life it must come to and and that even means love. But, even though the idea is out there is hasn't stopped her from believing in eternal love. She wants so much out of life and has so many expectations for such a long time that she is love is this idealistic haze.

    Looking back, I could have played it differently,
    Learned about the man before I fell,
    But it took time to understand the man,
    Now at least I know I know him well.

    Here is she reflecting on how she could've prevented the failed relationship from playing out too long. Instead of just wainting for love to knock on her face, she should've been really getting to know the person before she fell in love because once that happened, there was no seeing reasonably any longer. But, it took such a long for to finally grasp him. But, she takes with her that she knows him well, possibly better than most because she seems to pride herself on that (because he was such a hard person to crack).

    Wasn't it good
    (Oh so good)
    Wasn't it fine
    (Oh so fine)
    Isn't it madness
    He can't be mine.
    But in the end he needs a little bit more than me
    (More security)
    He needs his fantasies and freedom
    I know him so well.

    Here she is saying that the entire love/relationship was wonderful and crazy and perfect and wondering why she can't have him. But, she realizes he needs more than her. He needs to live in his dream world and having many different things. He isn't the type of man to find the woman of his dreams and happily settle down. He lives at an outrageous pace and has his only completely different idea of happiness. And that's why she knows him so well, so well that she does understand why they aren't together any longer. It's coming the acceptance of why the relationship failed and accepting it openly and regretting nothing.

    No one in your life is with you constantly
    No one is completely on your side,
    And though I move my world to be with him,
    Still the gap between him is too much.

    Here, she says no one in your entire life is with you from beginning to end. People do come and go (whether because they choose to, move away, pass on, whatever). But, she believed she could defeat this great odd and shifted her entire world for his comfort, so he could still have his life and have her. And still, it wasn't enough for him

    Looking back I could have played it differently,
    One or a few more who can tell,
    But I was ever so much younger then,
    Now at least I know I know him well.

    She reflects again and realizes she could've been different and prevented the relationship from furthering even more. She claims that even back then people said the relationship didn't seem right but she hadn't listened. And she blamed on her youth and inexperience with serious relationships (true love). And she realizes she at least knows him well. She stuck with the longest and is possibly the only ex-girlfriend of his to understand and not be angry with what happened. She is upset that it didn't play out the way she imagined it but she understands that these things happen and though they're terrible she at least learned from it.

    Wasn't it good
    (Oh so good)
    Wasn't it fine
    (Oh so fine)
    Isn't it madness
    He can't be mine.

    She cherishes how good it was and perfect but absolute madness and chaos. And she realizes that they could never be together. As wonderful as the time was that they had together it would only ever be that small fraction of time. They were never going to have more because they both were hopeless romantics in their own way.

    Didn't I know,
    How it would go from the start If I knew,
    Why am I falling apart.

    Here she questions herself on why she didn't stop herself, why she didn
    to see this all from the beginning. She knew better than all of this and fell for it like everyone else. She hates that she's falling apart from a bad love. She hates that she fell for the trick of falling in love because now she was hurt from it - the very thing she feared most.

    Wasn't it good
    Wasn't it fine
    Isn't it madness,
    He can't be mine.
    But in the end he needs a little bit more than me.
    (More security)
    He needs his fantasies and freedom.
    I know him so well.

    Here, she ends with saying it was wonderful while it lasted but he can't be mine. He needs his life and I know that for sure about him.

    It took time to understand him.
    I know him so well

    Here, she says finally that for her to understand everything she did about them, as a couple and even him alone, it took a great deal of time, so much time that it gave them enough time to fall in love with one another. And now, AFTER the fact of the relationship ending she knows him better than anyone else.
    mercurianqueenon November 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think the end of the song is ironic. Despite the fact that both women profess to "know him so well," one thinks the relationship failed because he needs "more security" while the other thinks he needs "his fantasies and freedom." These two views of what he needs seem polar opposites to me. Despite what they say and believe, neither woman knows him as well as they think.
    Wheatbreadon September 26, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe singer seems to have a split personality in this song, until you realise: this song is two women singing about the same man. One is his wife, the other is his mistress.

    The song is from the musical Chess. It is sung by Svetlana and Florence about Anatoly. Svetlana is his wife, and Florence is his mistress. Each thinks he is going to leave her for the other.

    So Florence sings "He needs security", and Svetlana sings "He needs his fantasy and freedom".
    robin11648on January 27, 2017   Link

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