"Goodbye Stranger" as written by Richard Davies and Roger Hodgson....
It was an early morning yesterday
I was up before the dawn
And I really have enjoyed my stay
But I must be moving on

Like a king without a castle
Like a queen without a throne
I'm an early morning lover
And I must be moving on

Now I believe in what you say
Is the undisputed truth
But I have to have things my own way
To keep me in my youth

Like a ship without an anchor
Like a slave without a chain
Just the thought of those sweet ladies
Sends a shiver through my veins

And I will go on shining
Shining like brand new
I'll never look behind me
My troubles will be few

Goodbye stranger it's been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true

Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane
Will we ever meet again
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain

Now some they do and some they don't
And some you just can't tell
And some they will and some they won't
With some it's just as well

You can laugh at my behavior
That'll never bother me
Say the devil is my savior
But I don't pay no heed

And I will go on shining
Shining like brand new
I'll never look behind me
My troubles will be few

Goodbye stranger it's been nice etc


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

"Goodbye Stranger" as written by Richard Davies, Roger Hodgson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Goodbye Stranger song meanings
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61 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentFantastically used in the Magnolia soundtrack as Donny is walking into the bar for the first time. It gets me every time.

    I think it's about the end of a relationship because of the verse:

    Like a ship without an achor
    Like a slave without a chain
    Just the thought of those sweet ladies
    Sends a shiver through my veins

    Now that he's single, he is looking forward to his freedom to date all those hot 70's chicks. However he seems to run from his problems and one is left to wonder whether he will ever feel at home?
    Stairwaytoheavenon May 02, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYes weed. important to note that the stranger is himself. He's been high for so long that he doesn't even know this man he has become. Because of this, Mary Jane has to go; he wants to be 'present'.
    ShadowManon September 12, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think Occam's Razor applies here: the simplest answer is usually the correct one.

    In other words, everything you need to know about this song is contained in the title and the lyrics. Don't read into it too much. I think this song is about just what it appears to be.
    mr13lckyon January 24, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSimply put, THIS SONG IS ABOUT A ONE NIGHT STAND
    Into the mysticon July 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with several of the angles written here, but on a more broad perspective. I think he is in fact saying goodbye stranger to himself, as he is the stranger. The song is not only about marijuana and women, but anything and everything you can become addicted to. This is a would be letter to himself, if he were to die. I don't necessarily think it means that there would be suicide involved, but that the lifestyle leads so easily to death that this is the letter that's been prepared in the case that his lifestyle kills him. He is saying goodbye to his addictive personality, trying to let go of his lifestyle, as I believe that the references are to many different types of drugs, not just marijuana. As in the lines:

    Now some they do, and some they don't
    And some you just can't tell
    And some they will, and some they won't
    With some it's just as well

    I believe it is referring to people doing drugs in general. Such a risky lifestyle of addiction is a difficult one to break. The beginning of the song is about him running away from himself - early moring lover, must be moving on. He never stays in one place long enough to allow people to see him for who he is. In the following lines:

    Goodbye stranger
    It's been nice
    Hope you find your
    Paradice
    Tried to see your
    Point of view
    Hope your dreams will
    All come true

    he is almost apologetic to himself for not having the strength to beat whatever addiction is involved. Tried to see your point of view, hope your dreams will all come true. I love the beat of the song being so contradictory to such a sad and defeated topic. Love this song, and loved it in Magnolia too.
    elocin4on December 05, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe end of this song rocks
    TheFranzFerdinandon August 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAgree with the comment below that this is about one-night stands. Not only that, but it is an anti-relationship song. The lyricist is saying that he prefers one-night stands to a relationship. "I have to have things my own way to keep me in my youth," is about remaining independent. "Like a ship without an anchor, like a slave with a chain" means that he believes relationships restrict his freedom.

    Anyone who doesn't realize that this song is about one-night stands as a lifestyle choice is clueless, especially all the morons who think this song is about drugs. If that's what you think, you should probably take your face out of the bong and go out and get laid.
    IntLicon August 06, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFunny thing is your all wrong. I know the guy whom this song is about. A long time ago before they were famous Rick Davis played piano in a bar that Mike (guy I know) used to go to. They never really got to know each other that well just that guy you would bro out with given the circumstance. Mike would go over to Rick's place a lot after the bar to hang out, smoke pot, shoot up, and crash for the night. Eventually all good things must come to an end, life moves on and with it they parted ways. This song is written as a tribute to Mike the stranger and the times they shared. Nothing religious
    trevor69on October 29, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo one seems to address the fact that there are two very different voices in this song--the fun-loving, unapologetic, one night stand addict--voiced by Rick, and the tenor voice of verses seven and eight who is saying goodbye to that person--who he addresses with the song's title, "Goodbye Stranger". Why is the second voice saying goodbye to the first?
    Someone suggested that Rick is saying goobye to a former acquaitance with whom he partied--possible, but unless you can back that up with a comment from the author that will have to remain unconfirmed.
    There is a division between the two parties--the stranger says, "I beleive that what you say is the undisputed truth." But that is not going to deter him from his chosen lifestyle. The second voice retorts, "tried to see your point of view, hope your dreams will all come true". There is no discord between the two voices but each is determined to go on their own path.
    One clue may be that the tenor voice says, "Feel no sorrow, Feel no shame, come tomorrow, feel no pain." Why no pain? This life is always painful right up to that last pain, death. Only then does the pain end.
    I think the two voices both belong to the same person and that the second voice is going to end his relationship with the first. He's going to sever that part of himself that he knows he can't control or change.
    He will say goodbye to the one night stands and the drugs--Mary and Jane are obviously marijuana and no song writer could say those words without expecting everyone to take them to refer to marijuana.
    Will they ever meet again? Will he ever return to his old self and old life? One never knows.
    aplknkron November 14, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionGreat song. In my time I was quite a ladies man. And it symbolized everything I was. I loved the ladies. I would love them and leave them. Like the protagonist of the song, my relationships were shallow and short lived.Until one day. I stopped seeing this lady who gave me everything. I was seeing other ladies on the side. After 8 weeks I called her and wanted her back. She said "No." Too much time had passed. It's been 34 years. Part of my soul stayed with her.
    barfly79on October 19, 2013   Link

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