"Payphone" as written by Adam Levine, Benjamin Joseph Levin, Ammar Malik, Daniel Thomas Omelio, Johan Karl Schuster and Cameron Jibril Thomaz....
I'm at a payphone trying to call home
All of my change I spent on you
Where have the times gone, baby it's all wrong
Where are the plans we made for two

Yeah, I, I know it's hard to remember
The people we used to be
It's even harder to picture
That you're not here next to me

You say it's too late to make it
But is it too late to try
And in our time that you wasted
All of our bridges burned down

I've wasted my nights
You turned out the lights
Now I'm paralyzed
Still stuck in that time
When we called it love
But even the sun sets in paradise

I'm at a payphone trying to call home
All of my change I spent on you
Where have the times gone, baby it's all wrong
Where are the plans we made for two

If Happy Ever Afters did exist
I would still be holding you like this
All those fairy tales are full of shit
One more fucking love song, I'll be sick

Oh, you turned your back on tomorrow
'Cause you forgot yesterday
I gave you my love to borrow
But you just gave it away

You can't expect me to be fine
I don't expect you to care
I know I've said it before
But all of our bridges burned down

I've wasted my nights,
You turned out the lights
Now I'm paralyzed
Still stuck in that time
When we called it love
But even the sun sets in paradise

I'm at a payphone trying to call home
All of my change I spent on you
Where have the times gone, baby it's all wrong
Where are the plans we made for two?

If Happy Ever Afters did exist
I would still be holding you like this
All those fairy tales are full of shit
One more fucking love song, I'll be sick
Now I'm at a payphone

Man, fuck that shit
I'll be out spending all this money
While you're sitting round wondering
Why it wasn't you who came up from nothing
Made it from the bottom
Now when you see me I'm stunting
And all of my cars start with a push of a button

Telling me the chances I blew up
Or whatever you call it
Switch the number to my phone
So you never could call it
Don't need my name on my show
You can tell it I'm ballin'

Swish, what a shame could have got picked
Had a really good game but you missed your last shot
So you talk about who you see at the top
Or what you could have saw but sad to say it's over for
Phantom pulled up valet open doors
Wiz like go away, got what you was looking for
Now it's me who they want, so you can go and take
That little piece of shit with you

I'm at a payphone trying to call home
All of my change I spent on you
Where have the times gone, baby it's all wrong
Where are the plans we made for two

If Happy Ever Afters did exist
I would still be holding you like this
All those fairy tales are full of shit
One more fucking love song, I'll be sick
Now I'm at a payphone


Lyrics submitted by thrwmyhrtawy.

"Payphone" as written by Benjamin Levin Cameron Thomaz

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Payphone song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +6
    My InterpretationI've never been a Maroon 5 fan myself but I really like this song.

    The meaning itself is pretty simple. It's talking about a relationship that ended abruptly (for one of them at least) and not peacefully. The singer of the song is crushed and wants the fairy tell ending, but knows better. While the ex could care less and as such, ruined any chance they had of even being friends afterwards. Then at the end Wiz represents that confidence we use to pick ourselves back up. That voice in our heads telling us to move on, and not take the person back if they ever try to rekindle things.

    I love the chorus in this song a lot. The first time I heard it my friend made a stupid remark about it being a "payphone" and not a "cellphone" and how if he used a cell he could call for free... My interpretation of it is that "I'm at a payphone trying to call home" refers to trying to rediscover himself but "all of my change I spent on you" implies that he was so focused on his significant other, and not his own self, that he doesn't know how to be himself anymore without his ex by his side.

    All in all I think it's a great song. It's easy to relate to. I'm sure most have been in that spot where their feelings want the person back, but in their head they know they need to move on because the person probably isn't right for them.
    Dfeedson April 28, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI agree with Planetearth and Defeeds,

    To add to their interpretations, I believe the reason Levine chose a payphone rather than a cellphone or even any kind of phone, home phone, is because he is describing how lost he is now that he is apart from his ex-girlfriend.

    After their break-up, he lost all his routine familiarties, and is now stranded in a big city, or better yet, deserted. He doesn't feel he belongs anywhere else but with her, she is "home". Therefore, he uses a payphone.
    wordsthenbeaton June 26, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI agree with Dfeeds.

    To expand on that, I think the relationship came to an end and he's coming to grips with the reality of the situation. A part of him wants to believe in "fairy tales" however he is much too jaded for that now. It just won't work, as she "thinks it's too late to make it". He wants to have a go at it for one last try but it is unfortunately in vain. She wants nothing to do with him. He gave her everything and lost himself, while she moved on. He wishes she cared, even though he said he doesn't. He stills seems to be stuck and in disbelief that she really is done.

    The payphone is a metaphor for reaching people he cares about. People that will help him out of this mess. It reminds me of not knowing anyone where he is, and having relied on his partner for his emotional connections. It could metaphorically mean his past self before all this drama dragged him down. He needs to get in touch with the past to let go of his present situation. He is unable to, as he wasted all of his time and energy on this girl. The song relates a lot of wasted time. He is left destitute with only questions of why and bittersweet memories.
    planetearthon May 09, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love the cynicism and bitterness of this song.
    PurplePantheron June 22, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think Adam Levine wrote this song about his ex-girlfriend. The song was released this month, the same month he broke up with Anne Vyalitsyna.

    Just a guess.
    otsukowannabeon April 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe video i suggest you watch the video as i do this!

    Okay so you know like the story of superman or fairytales or spiderman? well its supposed to be like that. parts of different moveis for ephisizing on "farytale" its not real what hes trying to say. it was fake love. "I'm at a payphone trying to call home" refers to trying to rediscover himself. if you notice no one usues payphones anymore they use cell phones but in this instant he uses a payphone because hes "starting all over" "trying to call home" Woudln't he just call her? hes speaking to an operater. the operater is gonna direct his call. he is trying to call home. "all of my change I spent on you" implies that he was so focused on her, and not his own self, that he doesn't know how to be himself anymore without his ex by his side. hence why hes at payphone and hes in teh middle of nowhere. hes lost at the end on a payphone. now if you notice he ( during 2:28) runs off with a car he stole with her. Why would he run off with out her? as he does that hes singing
    "I've wasted my nights,
    You turned out the lights
    Now I'm paralyzed,
    Still stuck in that time,
    When we called it love,
    But even the sun sets in paradise"
    now what is he saying? hes saying it was all a waste im leaving but "even the sund sets in paradise" that means theres and end to everything- esp this relationship.
    Then it proceedss to be a police chase. Meaning (idk how to say it better but ) shes saying "OH HELL NO GET YO ASS BACK HERE WERE STILL IN A RELATIONSHIP" and he clearly doesnt want to be in it.
    Then its wiz's part
    Wiz is there not only because he has his part but to point out to "her" that Im doing 100 times better with out you. and repeats it a couple of times then says how i bet she wishs to be with him so on. and hes there just cos.
    then Adam swerves so that both poilce cars crash meaning he got out of the relationship. as he drives away the "if happy ever after still exist" starts playing as an indication this "farytale is over bitch"
    and then Adam looks sexy as FUCK and ends the video
    aleyah13on December 13, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think this is a song about a person who is looking back and questioning about the breakup and then about their relationship. To me the first line is essentially about the person saying how they spent so much time changing themselves for the other person and in a sort of disbelief they're asking what ever happen to all those plans they had made with each other. They're asking the other person "can we try again?". In the end the person comes to terms with it though. They say that this person does see a future with them anymore and doesnt even try to see what happiness they had in the past, which is communicated in the line "Oh, you turned your back on tomorrow, Cause you forgot yesterday". The person is saying how they're not ok and how they're stuck this sadness of what could have been by saying the lines "I've wasted my nights,You turned out the lights Now I'm paralyzed, Still stuck in that time,When we called it love"
    croquison October 07, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionJust reading the lyrics. Powerful. Heartbreak, reflecting on what we had, but Wiz brings it back up.
    "I�ll be out spending all this money while you sitting round
    Wondering why it wasn�t you who came out from nothing
    Made it from the bottom
    Now when you see me I�m stuntin"

    Screw that person, it was their loss to give that person up.

    Love this song.
    rjdareon April 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMe cago en el universo
    pablo323on August 22, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsome good thoughts here. think, however, that just simply the guy found out she cheated on him. thats the bottom line. Think of the emotional turmoil, pain, and heartache that one experiences when that is found out. Nothing worse. keep that in mind and listen to the song again and you will see that everything fits that scenario. as someone earlier mentioned, the wiz rap thing doesnt really fit, except his last line, which may be referring to "take that piece of sh*t guy you cheated with outta my way and my life'. this really is a brilliant song.
    shvl1981on March 28, 2013   Link

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