"Stubborn Love" as written by Wesley Schultz and Jeremy Fraites....
She'll lie and steal and cheat,
And beg you from her knees
Make you thinks she means it this time
She'll tear a hole in you, the one you can't repair
But I still love her, I don't really care

When we were young,
Oh oh, we did enough
When it got cold,
Ooh ooh, we bundled up
I can't be told,
Ah ah it can't be done

It's better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love's indifference
So pay attention now,
I'm standing on your porch screaming out
And I won't leave until you come downstairs

So keep your head up, keep your love
Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, keep your love

And I don't blame ya dear
For running like you did, all these years
I would do the same, your best believe
And the highway signs say we're close,
But I don't read those things anymore
I never trusted my own eyes

When we were young
Oh oh, we did enough
When it got cold,
Ooh ooh we bundled up
I can't be told,
Ah ah, can't be done

Keep your head up, keep your love
Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, keep your love

Head up, love
Head up, love

Head up, love
Head up, love


Lyrics submitted by acmctav, edited by blinxbcr, sharkstyle

"Stubborn Love" as written by Wesley Schultz, Jeremy Fraites

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Stubborn Love song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +16
    General CommentThis song caught me within seconds. My interpretation's quite personal to me (But really, when isn't an interpretation personal). For me, this song is about a girl who will never really let herself have what she wants. Whenever she gets too close she runs away and the speaker knows and understands this, he knows how dark inside her head must be and he loves her regardless of it. He knows that when she attacks him, she's really just trying to hurt herself. And then he goes on to say yes it hurts but i'd rather have this than nothing with someone else.
    Head up love is telling her to cheer up (obviously)
    head up, keep your love is reminding her to keep on loving, keep on feeling and not to forget there's good along with the bad.
    Alice.on December 10, 2012   Link
  • +6
    My InterpretationThis is such a beautiful song about loving someone despite their flaws, because let's face it! We all have flaws and true love involves acceptance. The singer here is saying they've made it through so much already that he can't be told that their relationship wont work, because he plans on trying his best to make it work through to the very end. He's telling his lover to keep her head up and don't give up on their relationship because they can make it through anything :)
    SSealeon July 21, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSwoon. I cannot stop listening to this song. These guys are going to be great. Keep a watch on em'. The next great thing, I'm telling ya.
    lovenotlosson May 21, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFavorite Lumineers song. I realize this isn't what they meant by it, but this is what it has meant to me.

    I work in the music industry and it's just so hard sometimes to keep going. To me, the female subject of the song is what the industry is for me. It really does tear a hole in you that you can't repair, but you keep going because you're stubborn and you truly love what you do. I've been inspired by the lines "keep your head up, keep your love [of music]". Even in the hardest moments, I know that I still love what I do because it does hurt so much. I'm not indifferent to it yet.

    When he says "I don't blame you for running like you did all these years," I feel that way towards other ppl who think it's crazy to pursue a dream that entails such hardships, and I would do the same if I didn't feel that I really belonged and deserved to be at the top. Every 6 months, every year, I get closer and closer to that destination. But it's still tough because I don't believe those things. I won't stop or give up until I get there. I guess seeing is believing in my case, no matter how many ppl tell me that I'm either still too far away or I'm so close.
    bananajamon August 10, 2012   Link
  • +2
    Song ComparisonI love the lines
    "It's better to feel pain than nothing at all.
    The opposite of love's indifference"

    Reminds me of the saying "its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." and also at the end of Scarlet Letter when Hawthorne says that love and hate are almost the same thing, not opposites--that not caring is the opposite of both.
    mermy96on November 11, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI agree that this appears to be about a guy that has been routinely hurt by a woman. Based on the first line, "she'll lie and steal and cheat", I get the sense that she potentially has a drug/alcohol/gambling addiction. Hence the need to 'steal'.

    He's not giving up on her. Thinks they are close to overcoming the issue/addiction (but doesn't trust what he thinks anymore).
    mnchuckeron January 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    MemoryI was going through a rough time with a guy and I realized that for a few days while I was feeling down I had this song stuck in my head, and that I was kind of subconciously singing the lines "its better to feel pain than nothing at all" and "so keep your head up, my love" to myself over and over again. It was like God trying to save me from depression...and it worked.
    Amazing song...
    mermy96on November 11, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is about child abuse, and the lifelong damage and pain it causes, even extending to those who come to love the abused, like the author of this song.

    "She'll lie and steal ...cheat,
    ....she means it this time"

    Abused girls have trust issues that cause them to lie and cheat the very ones who honestly love them, then feel guilty and beg forgiveness...

    "She'll tear a hole in you, the one you can't repair
    But I still love her, I don't really care"

    He knows this and knows it’s not really her fault, he really loves her anyway…

    "When we were young,...
    ...can't be done"
    He's remembering when their relationship was young, and though trust and physical love was difficult, they took it slow...and though all his friends said dump her, he kept on with her.

    "It's better to feel pain, than nothing at all,
    The opposite of love's indifference"

    But he can't live without her, and painful though the relationship was, it's better to be with fragile, broken her than to feel "love's indifference"

    "So pay attention now,
    I'm standing on your porch screaming out
    And I won't leave until you come downstairs"
    This is the scene where he is at her doorstep in a city, walk-up apartment.
    When her destructive behaviour started made things go wrong, he tried desperately to get his girl...(to no avail)

    "So keep your head up, keep your love..."

    He’s saying: I know you we're abused, but don't sink down into this destructive behavior, keep your head up, have self respect, you're a good person. Despite your past, Keep your love (pure).

    "And I don't blame ya dear
    For running like you did, all these years
    I would do the same, you best believe"

    Now it seems to be years later…even from when he wrote the song. Apparently, her fear of loving him caused her to leave him. Again, he doesn't blame her for running away because of the feelings engendered from the memory of the abuse, he would have done the same.
    And now she’s even running away from him, someone who loves her...

    "And the highway signs say we're close,
    But I don't read those things anymore I never trusted my own eyes"

    And now she lives only miles away...and the highway signs are a sad reminder for him, and even though the signs say they're close (both geophysically, and maybe emotionally) he's stop "looking", he closes his eyes, because it's just..too...painful….
    So Keep Your Head up Love, I wish you well.
    LigierGitaneson September 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's actually about divorce. If you watch their video, it shows the girl's father looking at the girl through the window and she's got a look on her face like she doesn't want to go. The longer she and her mother are in the car, the more she starts to become herself and even for a few minutes forgets about her father
    fathergodon April 07, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI absolutely adore this song. <3
    "It's better to feel pain than nothing at all"
    Sweetlove311on April 15, 2013   Link

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