"Smile" as written by John Baldwin Gourley and Brian Joseph Burton....
I don't need to talk about the world, alright?
I just want to sleep with a smile tonight
And I don't want to talk about the hungry people
People down and out
Sleep when the sun goes down
When I wake up early in the morning
I don't watch the news
I just wake up with a smile by you
And I don't want to talk about the world
I just want to smile, and smile some more

We watch the sun come up
But take it down to hide it
It seems like the spring has come and gone
It felt like forever

I don't need to talk about the world, alright?
I just want to sleep with a smile tonight
And I don't want to talk about the hungry people
People down and out
Sleep when the sun goes down
When I wake up early in the morning
I don't watch the news
I just get up with a smile by you
And I don't want to talk about the world
I just want to smile, and smile some more

When I feel fine, I feel good
That's what happy people do
And how are you?

When I feel fine, I feel good
That's what happy people do
And how are you?

Let's watch the sun come up
To take it down to hide it
Seems like the spring has come and gone
It felt like forever

We'll watch the sun come up
To take it down and hide it
It seems like the spring has come and gone
It felt like forever

Wait 'til the summer comes
Then you'll find me there

I'd like to try to forget that times have changed
And we all live and die
Plastic soldiers, never growing older

I'd like to try to forget that times have changed
And we all live and die
Plastic soldiers, slowly growing older

And I'm sorry for the love you lost today
But I thank you for the love I know today

I'm sorry for the love you lost today
But I love you for the love I need today


Lyrics submitted by SephNite

"Smile" as written by Brian Joseph Burton John Baldwin Gourley

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Smile song meanings
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  • +6
    My Interpretation"I don't want to talk about the hungry people, people down and out": The singer doesn't want to try and act concerned and responsible for the sorry state of the world. Instead, they simply want to be happy with the people they know and their own life: "I just wake up with a smile by you". This fits with the album's theme, "be evil". The message isn't that the lyricist wants to be evil and malicious, rather it is about rejecting a false sense of morality; people act concerned with others' suffering by reading the news, talking about horrific events, etc. It's implied that others impose this false sense of moral uprightness on us, but in reality getting torn up about the world doesn't add anything to our lives nor does it help those who are suffering.

    "I'd like to try to forget that times have changed. And we all live and die": The way we live now and our attitudes about the world continue to completely change, and ultimately we all die. The singer chooses to not concern themselves with existential problems.

    "Plastic soldiers, never growing older". In the first song on this album, Plastic Soldiers, the author talks about how they got "lost in the summer". In this song, after a difficult period, "summer" is ahead again: "It seems like the spring has come and gone, It felt like forever". Likewise, in the first song, we are "plastic soldiers, only growing older," but by letting go of the sad context of life, we are "never growing older". Ultimately, the author is sad for the tragedies everyone else is facing, but chooses to be happy in this moment with the love they know today.

    _______________________________

    Also, the line "But I love you for the love I need today" may actually be "But I'm happy for the love I made today." This fits in with the message earlier in the song about enjoying life and letting go of fruitless heartache for others' pain.
    glyphon July 28, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThere are so many problems with the world that it's overwhelming. Better to just tune all of that out when you can and try to find (and create) what happiness you can with the people for whom you care.

    I don't think John is mocking the speaker like he was in "Purple Yellow Red and Blue." Both speakers are choosing escapism, sure. But rather than escaping all the crap by pursuing pure hedonism, this guy is selectively ignoring the awful to enjoy the beautiful. "There's so much good to be found, and it'd be nice if I could tune out all of the bad every once in a while ["I'd like to try to forget..."], stop worrying about mortality ["never growing older"], and just smile with you and pretend that the happiness can last."
    erie_boundon June 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationMy take on this song is similar to my take on "Purple, Yellow, Red & Blue," but from the opposite perspective. It's told from the point of view of someone who has become heavily disillusioned from the constant onslaught of technology-provided information (the internet) and is trying to disassociate himself from the horrors of the modern problems that are online-- the "hungry people" and "the war" are metaphors for technozombies who engage in anonymous arguments over the third world and various military conflicts but never making a true point.

    The storyteller says that "we watch the sun come up just to take down and hide it," I think what he means is that people are so attached to their computers, cell phones and internet that they don't sleep right, anymore (nobody goes to "sleep when the sun goes down" anymore), and that we've hidden "the sun" aka the light of day, reality, connection to the real reality, the real flesh only to hide behind the dots of light traveling up and down the information superhighway.

    So, then he says he just wants to 'try and forget that the times have changed,' in the days since about 2001, humanity has gotten a technological boost a thousand times more advanced than the technological progresses made during World War I and World War II combined, and that we're all just "plastic soldiers" SLOWLY growing older using our computers who are also "plastic soldiers NEVER growing older."
    Serumon August 28, 2013   Link

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