"Manhattan" as written by and Sara Bareilles....
You can have Manhattan
I know it's for the best
I'll gather up the avenues
And leave them on your doorstep
And I'll tip toe away
So you won't have to say
You heard me leave

You can have Manhattan
I know it's what you want
The bustle and the buildings
The weather in the fall
And I'll bow out of place
To save you some space
For somebody new

You can have Manhattan
'Cause I can't have you


You can have Manhattan
The one we used to share
The one where we were laughing
And drunk on just being there
Hang on to the reverie
Could you do that for me
'Cause I'm just too sad to

You can have Manhattan
'Cause I can't have you

And so it goes
One foot after the other
'Til black and white begin to color in
And I know
That holding us in place is simply fear
Of what's already changed


You can have Manhattan
I'll settle for the beach
And sunsets facing westward with
Sand beneath my feet
I'll wish this away
Just missing the days
When I was one half of two

You can have Manhattan
'Cause I can't have you

Lyrics submitted by dontlookaway

"Manhattan" as written by Sara Bareilles

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Manhattan song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis song, as told by Sara on her tour, is about her wanting to move to NYC while her boyfriend, Javier Dunn, wants to remain in Los Angeles. Her desire to move was so strong it ended their relationship of 7 years.
    The song is written from his point of view.
    RDefina13on May 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song's meaning to me was basically a sophisticated way of saying "I'm giving up on this." She talks about the beauties of Manhattan, and how he can have it all, so maybe she's talking about Manhattan as another girl. However, it is more likely that they are slowly sliding away from eachother ("you can have Manhattan, I'll settle for the beach").
    "Holding us in place is simply fear of what's already changed". The only reason they're still together is because they are scared it's going to get worse than it already is, and they don't want to hurt eachother. This is Sara giving it all up, setting him free.
    dreamstar2000on October 29, 2013   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis song made me think of someone leaving Manhattan or refusing to visit Manhattan because it reminds them too much of a lost relationship and the two parties need space from each other.
    EllaMinnowPeaon July 31, 2013   Link
  • -1
    General CommentManhattan. There being past and future in the song, the past where bustle and laughter were how Manhattan was defined, the future where she abandons all of this for the sake that is the prized relationship, the lyrics form a plot that separates her style of life from this other person’s. She associates this other lifestyle with MANhattan and criticizes it because it is too sad and hurried. It used to be comfortable and dreamy to maintain, but she aims to forget this and become her own person. She partners the other person with Manhattan and chooses to veer away from the two that are meant for each other.
    azneel128on August 08, 2013   Link

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