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All along it was a fever
A cold sweat, hot headed believer
I threw my hands in the air I said show me something
He said, if you dare come a little closer

Round and around and around and around we go
Oh now tell me, now tell me, now tell me now you know

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can't live without you
It takes me all the way
I want you to stay

It's not much of a life you're living
It's not just something you take, it's given
Round and around, and around, and around we go
Oh now tell me, now tell me, now tell me, now you know

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can't live without you
It takes me all the way
I want you to stay

Oh the reason I hold on
Oh 'cause I need this hole gone
Funny you're the broken one but I'm the only one who needed saving
'Cause when you never see the light, it's hard to know which one of us is caving

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can't live without you
It takes me all the way
I want you to stay, stay
I want you to stay, oh



Lyrics submitted by thrwmyhrtawy., edited by liatard, Yazardshir, iris003, mike, Afry121301

"Stay" as written by Justin Parker, Mikky Ekko

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Stay song meanings
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60 Comments

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  • +14
    My Interpretation:Just a few thoughts:

    - Rihanna didn't write the song, Justin Parker, Mikky Ekko did, so I'm highly doubtful it's about Chris Brown

    - Not every song in the world is about drug use, most people in the world are capable of having profound experiences and emotions [both good and bad] without the use of drugs or alcohol.

    I think it's about two people struggling with intimacy and the sense of vulnerability that comes from realizing you need the other person as well as how fear can cause you to sabotage something you want so badly. That fear is causing her to distance herself out of an unneeded sense of protecting herself and he's calling her on it, reminding her that she needs to be open to receiving love and living life:

    "It's not much of a life you're living
    It's not just something you take, it's given"

    And she's admitting that even though she's still struggling with the fear:

    "Not really sure how to feel about it
    Something in the way you move
    Makes me feel like I can't live without you
    It takes me all the way
    I want you to stay"

    Her need for him has outweighed that fear of vulnerability"

    "Oh the reason I hold on
    Oh 'cause I need this hole gone"
    jteeteron February 28, 2013   Link
  • +11
    My Interpretation:I see two people who are so drawn to each other with unbelievable amounts of chemistry... despite both of them being in long term relationships with other people, possibly even married. All along their affair was incredibly passionate and deeper then just two people rebounding or escaping poor relationships. She is in denial about the love developing between them, but can't stay away from him... while he dares her to do the impossible: step out of a bad relationship where she is being mistreated or at least not loved the way he loves her. She keeps him at arms distance and around they go...their hot and cold, on and off, friends and lovers, ashamed and passionate. She pretends not to care when he leaves in the middle of the night or goes back to the other woman in his life...but she holds back from asking him to stay even though he tells her he's falling for her. Maybe she's scared he won't. Finally, she reaches a breaking point and throws her hands in the air ready to give into the love she's been minimizing for so long and begs him to stay with her. Turns out he saves her from a horrible mistake and bad marriage to someone who can't love her or feel for her the way he does. "I'm the only one who needed saving" Now they are teaching each other about love "it's not something you take it's given." They are stepping into the scary territory or being together...which once seemed impossible. When they look back they both aren't sure what to think about their romance "how to feel about it" because both were unfaithful...but they acknowledge that deep stronger then lust feeling that connects them and that their love is real. I think it's a positive song about two people meant to be together... they fill the void in each other "I need this hole gone" and defeat the odds stacked against them...this song is a conversation between these two lovers looking back at their romance and stepping forward, not about the demise of a relationship.

    To me it's about two people falling in love despite a million and one complications and what once felt impossible is suddenly real: they are together...doing this thing...a relationship against all the odds but even though they both care very deeply about one another they both still question each other's feelings for the other.

    This song completely spoke to my soul. Especially because the last 8 months I've been falling in love with my best friend and not even knowing it while both of us recently went through the process of ending our long term relationships to be with each other...which was incredibly painful and is still trying...but we definitely fill that void in each other

    I think the song can speak to people in lots of different ways... I loved reading about peoples drug addiction interpretation and others.
    Lify13on April 08, 2013   Link
  • +8
    General Comment:"Funny you're the broken one but I'm the only one who needed saving" is probably my favorite line as well. guys, HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE.

    As much as two people can hurt each other, they can also develop an unconscionable longing for each other. It doesn't make for a healthy relationship though when two people don't know how to show or express love yet feel so intensely 'in' love. This is probably one of the more complex top 40 songs I've heard in a long time.
    takobeamon February 16, 2013   Link
  • +6
    General Comment:This song is about a relationship in chronology.
    It started as banter between two friends before turning into something more.
    "Do you want this? No, yes, no, yes" Round and around.
    She isn't sure how she feels about it but she feels she can't live without him.

    My favourite part is 'It's not much of a life you're living, it's not just something you take, it's given'
    This denotes conflict, perhaps suggesting that the relationship has become one-sided? She isn't sure how she feels about it but she knows that she still can't live without him. Round and around.

    The reason she holds on to him and the relationship is because she feels empty, she is lonely in the relationship. She wonders why she was the one who needed saving because he makes her feel that she has something wrong with her, but he is the one who is broken.

    Even after everything she is still confused and she still can't live without him.
    TLCon March 07, 2013   Link
  • +6
    General Comment:A casual fling gone wrong. It was intense from the start and even though he warned her not to get too attached, he dared her to come a little closer. She threw her hands in the air and walked like the lamb to the slaughter. At the start they play this cat and mouse game, daring each other not to have feelings but eventually she caves. She doesn't want to need him and it terrifies her how much she does, but there's nothing she can do now. Even though the "relationship" is killing her, she can't let it go - she wants him to stay.

    Despite his best efforts, he cares about her too but he can't give her the love she so desperately needs. Because the irony is that he's just as damaged as she is. He can't let anyone in but she tries and tries because in those tiny insignificant moments when he does, she sees the man he could be if he'd only stop pushing her away.

    That's what she clings onto. And people look at her like she's crazy and at times she thinks maybe she has gone fucking crazy but nobody can see what she sees. She sees what's buried deep in his heart behind the bitterness and the anger and she loves him for it.

    "It's not much of a life your living" - This works both ways. She says it to him because even though he seems happy, she thinks he's lying - how can anyone be truly happy alone? It's not much of life she's living because she stays in this destructive relationship holding onto the scraps of his affection, hoping that one day he'll come around to her way of thinking.

    "The reason I hold on, Cause I need this hole gone"

    One of the saddest lines in the song. She' saying I am so overwhelmingly lonely without you it kills me. There's a giant hole in my life when you're not around, and that's the reason I hold on. It's not for the good times we've had it's actually because I feel like I cannot live without you. I feel empty.

    "Funny you're the broken one when I'm the only one needed saving" - She's bitter. He was supposed to be the one to save her but the irony is he's just as damaged as she is. It's ironic, they both need saving but it can't happen because they're both as lost as each other.

    She's saying, I give up trying to pretend and to fight it and even though you don't want to hear it, I don't feel complete without you. So she doesn't care, she'll take the abuse. Even though she knows he can't give her what she needs, she wants him to stay. Even though it kills her, she wants him to stay. That's enough - for him just to stay.



    ririfeveron June 25, 2013   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation:I think it is about two people who are learning to love. The girl has become numb to love and has taken on a lifestyle of destruction. A guy comes a long... dares her to actually give him a chance rather than just letting him be another fling... It petrifies her to open up her heart because she has become a master at being numb...

    He tells her that her life isn't about meaning... that shes just existing... within each other, they begin to exist. They begin to feel. He saw her for who she was because he was the same way.... He was just as hurt as she was. They struggled with love and trust... round and round they went. It was hard to let go of being numb, and truely allow themselves to feel the love they had for one another. If they let go and began to feel, it meant they had to feel the pain in their heart too... the girl finally did... she finally let go of the life she was living and began to feel. She excepted the pain, and let the love begin to heal her. She finally allowed herself to want him to stay instead of pushing him away.
    bighearton March 20, 2013   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation:I've been thinking about this song for a few days, as I cannot get it out of my head. I'm finding what makes music so meaningful is our independent ability to relate to lyrics and melody.

    The two singers are in love with each other, they both feel the strong connection. She's more guarded than he (which is why I tink we see the sickness reference in the first lines), but seems to give it shot, yet still not completely letting her guard down. They go around and around w/ their emotions. she's confused and conflicted if she wants to pursue things still, and he calls her out on it--that's when we see his frustration.
    On his end, he's frustrated b/c he knows how he feels, but just can't seem to understand what needs to happen in order for each of them to just let go.
    To me it's obvious that each of them has been hurt in the past as well as hurt others, and there's this fear that it will happen again, which again is why there's this dance in their relationship that they each know they truly want to get past, but are confused as to how to do so. You see this in parts of the song where it's a duet--that verifies they're thinking the same thing and have the same fears--just in different manners, and the video helps explain this because they're both alone, but in similar settings w/ the bathtub/bathroom.

    It's amazing that they can have the same exact lines, but with completely different meanings behind them...in the end they're in love.

    Love, its a Mother F&*ker....
    austinguyon March 22, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General Comment:For me this is a song about a relationship that wasn't meant to be serious, but even early on it wasn't just physical. There was this connection between the two of them. And quickly it turned into something it was never intended to be. Now life is happening, the circumstances are so different and are pulling the two apart. But there are so many feelings involved. And hes going to leave, but the girl doesn't want him to. Because deep down they need each other.
    LambtonQon May 05, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General Comment:Ha 'Here it goes' is correct ..... Man, this really is a heartbreaking song in my opinion. And alrighty.....

    So, I think this is about a relationship that never should have began in the first place. As I see it, this girl is in love with someone who is in someway already taken and unavailable, whether it be through marriage or just a relationship of some sort.

    Either way, they started some type of relationship and I really don't think she planned on falling for him, but ultimately she did. And I think she loves him now., or at least she thinks she does.



    ---- "All along it was a fever... A cold sweat, hot headed believer"

    It was the cliche falling in love scenario where nothing else makes sense, a pure rush and everything becomes disillusioned, like a "fever". you choose to ignore the things you don't want to see or believe ... like a "hot headed believer."



    -- "I threw my hands in the air I said show me something"

    And again, in my interpretation of this, she seemed to accept the situation ... for AWHILE.... and now she's at the point where she really can't take it anymore. there's been a lot of empty words and promises. so she's begging anything to hold on to at this point... a reason to believe it will it get better, things will change.



    --- "He said, if you dare come a little closer"

    Ha, as awful as it is.... he (the dude in this situation) is on a completely different level and mindset then she is. So, here she's begging him for the littlest sign of compassion and hope, and he completely does not hear her or what she is saying just register type of person. Or, and most likely, he simply doesn't give a shit. It's all about HIM.

    Whether it's oblivion, narcissism, or just plain dickheadness, he just wants her, and i think for the obvious reasons that predate mankind. It's almost like cat and mouse. And the mouse doesn't know any better. And even if Miss Mouse does know better, again, she's choosing to ignore it.



    -- "Round and around and around and around we go"

    The above line is pretty clear for anyone who has ever been in any relationship that isn't working. And for this particular song (and my interpretation of it), she's a smart girl/woman/chick/whatever. she's in a cognitive, psychological and moral battle all the damn time. And it's a true roller coaster of emotion. And also questioning yourself as to what your capable of handling and taking. Hence, "round and around". From when the girl says it, I think she's simply referring to her emotions and mindset (not so for the guy... and i think when he refers to this later in the song, for him it's simply about a never ending argument... again, TWO DIFFERENT MINDSETS).



    -- "Oh now tell me, now tell me, now tell me now you know"

    She wants answers, whether it's good or bad. She want's resolution. She believes he holds the truth and the ultimate answer as to whether or not this might actually work out for them.




    -- "Not really sure how to feel about it ... Something in the way you move .... Makes me feel like I can't live without you ... It takes me all the way"

    I think she really does love/like this guy. She's enchanted. There's something different about him. Just simply being around him makes her feel different too.



    "It's not much of a life you're living"

    Ha, now here the guy comes him. And, unfortunately, it seems at this point in their whirlwind "romance" that he's actually the voice of reason. Whatever emotional toll this has taken on her, it simply hasn't for him, or at least not in the same way. But this particular part I think refers back to whatever human aspect his might hold... I think he realizes what he is putting her through is not right, or nice. It's limiting her in so many ways. And breaking the type of spirit and optimism that he was first attracted to. She's not living the life she should, whether it's dealing with him or other external life circumstances (ie. work, family, other extra "circular" activities, etc.).



    --- "It's not just something you take, it's given"

    Again, he's being reasonable. Or a jerk. He either sees whatever he can give her, as little as it might be, a "gift". And from that perspective, he's just think he's freaking awesome and any one fortunate to come around him is blessed. OR... this could mean that we choose our own fate. Everyone of us chooses at every second of every day what direction to take our life in. If we don't like a situation, we have the capability to get of it. we don't have to "take" it... we choose it ... hence, "given"



    --- "Oh the reason I hold on ... Oh 'cause I need this hole gone
    Funny you're the broken one but I'm the only one who needed saving"

    Pretty sure this is one of the most powerful parts of this song. They both are holding on, but for very different reasons. She's empty. He's lost.



    -- "'Cause when you never see the light, it's hard to know which one of us is caving"

    This part still makes me think what it might mean. Yes, you never see the light... you lose hope and you drive yourself into a state of mind you usually would be in, and again, nothing is clear. you can't even tell who's to blame for what and if there really are issues. Or this just something in your head?





    Anyways, that's my take on it. I never really like Rihanna songs, but i do like this one. And maybe, just maybe...... it's because it resonates with me right now in my life. But that's the beauty of music, right?? We see truth and insight when we're searching for it.
    Mat747on April 19, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My Opinion:After thinking of this song for days while I was driving, or trying to sleep, or any otehr quiet time of my brain, I have come to the conclusion that this song is about a relationship that is doomed. I am sure some of us have been in this type of relationship where the BS keeps going on and on and we feel like we are on a crazy merry go- round where we want off, but just can't seem to make the final push to do so. We love the person, but are so tired of the ride. This is one of Riahanna's most powerful songs to date and everything from the melody to the the lyrics grabs you first time hearing it. I sincerely hope she finds a man that can love her like she deserves, or she can love like love deserves. Rihanna is an amazing talented woman who is beautiful and just a tad crazy I think and I am so proud of her. This song def. shows her emotional status and gives us a glimpse into her heart.
    SoDoneWBSon March 28, 2013   Link

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