You torched a Saab like a pile of leaves
I'd gone to find some better wheels
4, 5 meters running round the bend
When the government agents surround you again

If Diane Young won't change your mind,
Baby, baby, baby, baby right on time

Out of control but you're playing a role
Do you think you can go til the 18th hole
Or will you flip-flop the day of the championship?
Try to go it alone on your own for a bit

If Diane Young won't change your mind,
Baby, baby, baby, baby right on time

Baby baby baby baby right on
Baby baby baby baby right on
Radi-adi-adi-ate your light on
Radi-adi-adi-ate your lifetime
Baby baby baby baby right on
Time, time, time, time, time
Baby baby baby baby right on time
Let 'em go
If Diane Young won't change your mind
Baby baby baby baby right on time

Irish and proud, baby, naturally
But you got the luck of a Kennedy
So grab the wheel and keep holding it tight
Til you're tottering off into that good night

If Diane Young won't change your mind,
Baby, baby, baby, baby right on time

Baby baby baby baby right on
Baby baby baby baby right on
Radi-adi-adi-ate your light on
Radi-adi-adi-ate your lifetime
Baby baby baby baby right on
Time, time, time, time, time
Baby baby baby baby right on time

Nobody knows what the future holds
And it's bad enough just getting old
Live my life in self-defence
You know I love the past 'cause I hate suspense

If Diane Young won't change your mind,
Baby, baby, baby, baby right on time


Diane Young song meanings
Add your thoughts

20 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +7
    General CommentThis song is Ezra reflecting on a breakup and on the give/take/competition/thinking that couples do about each other after they separate. It's a modern turn on a Springsteen-style track. Where Springsteen would have been all passion and focus on the present moment, Ezra's getting at the subterfuge that defines modern urban love, especially after a separation.

    "You torched a Saab like a pile of leaves
    I’d gone to find some better wheels"

    Her 'torching the Saab' represents that she threw away what they had together, but it was his fault too -- he'd already started looking for other relationships.

    "If Diane Young won’t change your mind,"

    'Diane Young' represents getting old -- so the lyric could read 'If gettin' old won't change your mind'. It's a reference to the Diane Young Anti-Aging Salon on E 79th st in UES manhattan -- and also a double entendre for 'dying young'. He's saying that the existence of the anti-aging salon (and things like it) should remind her that she might die young -- she will get old -- she won't be young forever, and maybe that realization should make her think twice about their relationship.

    "Out of control but you’re playing a role
    Do you think you can go til the 18th hole
    Or will you flip-flop the day of the championship?
    Try to go it alone on your own for a bit"

    She's playing the role of the young, single, urbane woman, but is she really willing to go all the way with it and risk being single forever? Good luck...

    "Irish and proud, baby, naturally
    But you got the luck of a Kennedy
    So grab the wheel, keep on holding it tight
    As I go it alone into that moonlight"

    She's too proud to give their relationship another shot, but can she really handle being on her own? Can she really steer her own life without him? Is she really willing to risk losing him forever?

    "Nobody knows what the future holds
    Said it’s bad enough just getting old
    Live my life, they say it’s too fast
    You know I love the past, ’cause I hate suspense..."

    This is the crux of the song -- Ezra's getting old and he's starting to give up worrying about what will happen between them. He loves thinking about this past relationship because it's a person that he knows and he'd rather not endure the "suspense" of getting to know and falling for anyone new...

    "If Diane Young won't change your mind
    Baby, baby, baby, baby right on time."
    But if getting old hasn't changed her mind about giving him another shot, then that's "right on time" -- i.e., it isn't meant to be yet, and he's cool with that.
    pummeron March 31, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThis isn't an interpretation so much as it's just a point for discussion...

    But couldn't "Diane Young" be a homophone for "dyin' young?" It would fit especially given the lyrics of the very last verse.

    Just a thought.
    soybobombon April 22, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General Commentits quite easy to tell the song is "DYING YOUNG" not diane young. fun play on words.
    davidbion May 09, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationSoybobomb nailed it.

    I'd almost be willing to wager my left nut that this song is indeed about "dying young", not a woman named "Diane Young".

    This verse in particular makes it especially clear:

    Irish and proud, baby, naturally
    But you got the luck of a Kennedy
    So grab the wheel, keep on holding it tight
    Til you're tottering off into that good night.

    The verse is bathed in irony. "Irish and proud" shows how the person believes they're lucky. "But you'e got the luck of a Kennedy" for those of us who have paid attention in our history courses, we'll remember the strange number of Kennedy's that have died young in either freak accidents or in JFK's case, assassination.

    In another verse Ezra sings:
    "Out of control but you’re playing a role
    Do you think you can go til the 18th hole
    Or will you flip-flop the day of the championship?"

    Again, Ezra is implying that the person won't last until the end and will just burn out quickly.

    "Diane Young" is definitely a homophone for "dying young" as first suggested by Soybobomd.
    lofgeron May 04, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think that the song is about a kid of someone important or rich, yet they don't take their responsibilities seriously.

    "You torched a Saab like a pile of leaves" Saab, the Swedish car, was burnt by the kid for fun.

    "If Diane Young won’t change your mind" Diane Young isn't a name, i think it mean "dying young." And if dying young doesn't change your time, then you're right on time.

    "Nobody know what the future holds
    Said it's bad enough just getting on
    Living my life is ...?
    I love the past days I used to spend" The kid doesn't know how his life will turn out, his way, or the way of his parents. But the expectations are nearly painful him/her. Yet, the days of when you are young are the best because of the lack of responsibilities.
    ferris98on March 18, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationGoing along with the theme of "Dying Young" It seems to me like "Do you think you can go til the 18th hole" is along the lines of making it to someone's 18th birthday..
    nicaprigon June 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"But you got the luck of a Kennedy
    So grab the wheel and keep holding it tight Til you're tottering off into that good night." Is a reference to the Chappaquiddick incident
    ComradeJNCon June 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt's obvious this song is about dying young. (Diane Young = Dying Young)

    But they are expressed in very different meanings.

    On the first part, it's talking about a secret agent or criminal who's plan didn't go well, so government agents are surrounding him and he's about to die. On the second part, it's a man in a golf tournament, but he might screw up on the championship, which would probably kill him inside with disappointment.

    "If dying young won't change your mind, then baby baby baby baby right on time." Ha. That's a play on words. If dying young wasn't going to change any of the example people's minds to do better or try to survive, then they would just die young. Right on time.

    The last parts are just him explaining more about how life is unpredictable, and how people can die at any second.
    riceman22on June 12, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI think this song might have two meanings:
    -The young live reckless lifestyles
    -The life of an IRA soldier
    The first meaning I think is explained by a few people already
    The second aspect is my thinking in which the people in the song are Irish Republican Army (IRA) soldiers. The IRA were an Irish military rebel group in the 1920s.

    The first verse:
    -This talks about torching a Saab which might be the result of an explosion or an act of defiance
    -This also talks being surrounded by government agents who the IRA rebelled against

    The second verse:
    -Talks about going to the 18th hole or living a long life and playing the role of an IRA soldier
    -Also talks about flip-floppping the day of the championship which could mean backing out when the time for action comes when certain death is on the line

    The third verse:
    -Obviously the IRA are Irish and Proud
    -They also have the luck of the Kennedy because the IRA soldiers are very likely to die like JFK
    -The rest of the verse might be emphasizing that the IRA have to maintain there resolve and execution in their plans until they die

    The fourth verse:
    -I think the sound of this verse coming off the chorus is supposed to symbolize a bomb exploding or the attack beginning after a very quiet chorus which represents the calm before the attack and the patience before the strike
    -This beginning might be saying that although the IRA wouldn't know how their actions will effect things or if their lives will end they but they'd rather fight and die than just get old and die.
    -They live their lives in self-defense of the people and they love thinking of the past to distract themselves of their imminent demise and the suspense of death.

    The Chorus:
    -I think the thought of dying young wouldn't change the IRA's mind so they are right on time to fight.
    -I'm not too sure about this. It might be waiting for a timed bomb which has to go off right on time.
    -As I said earlier I think the last extended chorus which is sang very quietly indicates the waiting for a bomb to explode or a fight to commence

    These two song meaning might be used to compare the youth of the USA today who are risking and wasting their lives by doing drugs and alcohol and denying responsibility and the heroic IRA who fought for their country and lived their lives for others and not themselves.
    .
    ocrespoon September 04, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning'You torched a Saab like a pile of leaves
    I'd gone to find some better wheels
    4, 5 meters running round the bend
    When the government agents surround you again'

    the song is about 'dying young' (word play with 'diane young'). so this section of lines is about going against the law. Setting an expensive car on fire is a pretty great metaphor: it's essentially taking what society considers 'luxury' but then saying 'screw you' to the man and going against the grain.

    'Out of control but you're playing a role
    Do you think you can go til the 18th hole
    Or will you flip-flop the day of the championship?
    Try to go it alone on your own for a bit'

    When people adopt that way of thinking, it usually comes off as if they're playing it up: aka a role. Can you REALLY live that way? Using a golf metaphor, can you make it all the way to the '18th hole' (going though life) without changing your mind halfway through ('flip-flopping')? With the last line, they ask of people adopting this culture to step back and think about what they really want without any of society's influence.

    'Irish and proud, baby, naturally
    But you got the luck of a Kennedy
    So grab the wheel and keep holding it tight
    Til you're tottering off into that good night'

    this verse touches on luck, characterizing a person who claims that their Catholic faith is enough to keep them good from dying young. But the lyrics challenge them back by talking about the famous Kennedy family, who were notorious for their 'Kennedy Curse' of dying young, despite their Catholic upbringing. So the lyrics essentially say don't rely on luck: just keep on going through life with a strong head about you, even if you totter along the road.

    'Nobody knows what the future holds
    And it's bad enough just getting old
    Live my life in self-defense
    You know I love the past 'cause I hate suspense'

    The song finishes off with Vampire Weekend suddenly getting off their high horse on promoting a live fast die young lifestyle. They question: what does the future hold anyway? Deep down, like a lot of society members these days, they cover up their insecurities about death and dying.
    Sean01on November 01, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain