"Could've Been James Dean" as written by Jaron Lowenstein and Evan Lowenstein....
Another cold day
Three weeks in a row
I spend more time getting dressed than
Where it is I go
There are people on the streets
Shaking out their hands
Some to say hello others
Stay as warm as they can
I'm stopping in
For a hot cup of coffee
With an old bum who says
He could've been James Dean
Now the chief of police
Has asked him to leave
I say no, no, no
This man's with me
He makes me laugh
He makes me smile
And sometimes I cry
And he wrecks my mind
With a simple smile
Sometimes I believe in God for a while
Now I give a nod to Lucy
She knows my name
I've been around a lot here lately
Wow...someone knows my name
There's Dylan on the jukebox
A song from highway 61
James says he knows Dylan
That he wrote this one

(Chorus)
James has got a real name
But he prefers James
It reminds him of his youth
When he had a body just like yours
He says no one ever gives a damn
Unless they've got something to sell
It's a long way back
When you've fallen through hell
I'm stopping in
For a hot cup of coffee
With an old bum who says
He could've been James Dean
The chief of police
Has asked him to leave
And he whispers to me
As he tugs on my sleeve
You make me laugh
You make me smile
And sometimes I cry
But you never wrecked my mind
With a simple smile
Sometimes I believe in God for a while


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

"Could've Been James Dean" as written by Jaron Lowenstein Evan Lowenstein

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Could've Been James Dean song meanings
Add your thoughts

1 Comment

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentThis is probably my favorite Evan and Jaron song because it seems so simple, but when you really think about it, it can be quite deep. I think I read that they actually wrote it about an actual bum they met, but the way they write it is much deeper. This bum is someone that, obviously, no one else thinks much of because he's just a bum. To the narrator, though, he's an interesting person, who is really just like anyone else. He could have been someone, but he's just a bum now. I think the narrator actually relates to him because he seems to think no one really notices him until Lucy does, and everyone just notices James negatively. It's another cold day, and James probably doesn't have much to wear (while they make a point of saying that they spend more time getting dressed than where they go), but everyone is also cold to him. It kind of makes other people seem selfish because they treat him badly and "no one ever gives a damn, unless they've got something to sell." Unlike everyone else, it's clear that James and the narrator genuinely like each other. It sounds like they probably have gotten coffee more than once because they like to talk and hear each other's stories. They both seem to have a big impact on each other's lives since they're pretty much alone....
    Lizzo13on June 03, 2007   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