"Miss Misery" as written by and Steven P. Smith....
I'll fake it through the day
With some help from johnny walker red
Send the poison rain down the drain
To put bad thoughts in my head
Two tickets torn in half
And a lot of nothing to do
Do you miss me, miss misery
Like you say you do?

A man in the park
Read the lines in my hand
Told me I'm strong
Hardly ever wrong I said, "man, you're mean"

You had plans for both of us
That involved a trip out of town
To a place I've seen in a magazine
That you left lying around
I don't have you with me but
I keep a good attitude
Do you miss me, miss misery
Like you say you do?

I know you'd rather see me gone
Than to see me the way that I am
But I am in the life anyway

Next door the tv's flashing
Blue frames on the wall
It's a comedy of errors, you see
It's about taking a fall
To vanish into oblivion
Is easy to do
And I try to be but you know me
I come back when you want me to
Do you miss me miss misery
Like you say you do?


Lyrics submitted by BlueAndStarry, edited by Lerxst

"Miss Misery" as written by Steven P. Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Miss Misery song meanings
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72 Comments

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  • +14
    General CommentI believe most of you missed the meaning. To me, this is one of the most beautiful and accurate descriptions of major depression in modern music. Elliott's "Ms. Misery" is within him - it is the darkness from which he attempts to extricate himself. Sadly, this may not be possible and he knows this. "I know you'd rather see me gone
    than to see me the way that I am," he retorts within himself. There is hope here, as in "but I am in the life anyway," but it is impermanent and he ultimately resigns: "I try to be but you know me, I come back when you want me to."

    When it is understood that Elliott's words are directed towards himself, we are immediately gripped by the knowledge that they foreshadow his fate. We can hope that Elliott has found some release from the suffering that resounds in these words - and those of us that found in him a truly empathic soul can be thankful that he gave us a voice of uncompromising honesty.
    acmon June 29, 2004   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIt has recently come to my understanding that Elliott was heavily inspired by Danish existentialist Soren Kierkegaard. Upon hearing this, I was reminded of this excerpt from the aesthetic 'Either' portion of Kierkegaard's famous Either/Or:

    "Besides my other numerous circle of aquaintances I have one more intimate confidant -- my melancholy. In the midst of my joy, in the midst of my work, he waves to me, calls me to one side, even though I physically stay put. My melancholy is the most faithful mistress I have known; what wonder, then, that I love her in return."

    When coupled with that aphorism I view Elliott's Miss Misery as an attempt to find some form of consistency in one's life, even if it's rooted in depression. The end result sparks both regret and gratitude, and all attempts to break the relationship apart end in complete failure due to the reliance one has built for oneself on the paradoxical mode of living.
    treehousewizkidon May 24, 2005   Link
  • +5
    Song MeaningI'll try to break it down piece by piece, but overall you should be aware that "Miss Misery" is the concept of misery, not a person being represented. When depressed, there can be an attachment with feelings of sadness, so this is a song written like a ballet for "mysery".

    I'll fake it through the day
    With some help from Johnny Walker Red
    (Johnny Walker is whisky, so he is drinking to get through the day, implying that he's depressed but masking his feelings)

    Send the poison brain down the drain
    To put bad thoughts in my head
    (This is an alcohol reference, also aknowledging his depressive or nagative thoughts, often a sign of alcohol abuse)

    Your two tickets torn in half
    And a lot of nothing to do
    (It doesn't say what the tickets are for because it's irrelivant, but it implies that he went "wherever" with someone else, the other "person" being "mysery")

    Do you miss me, Miss Misery
    Like you say you do?
    (Depression "misery", is coaxing him back to "her")

    A man in the park
    Read the lines in my hand
    Told me I'm strong
    Hardly ever wrong I said man you mean
    (I took this more literal, talking about a fortune teller whom said he was strong based on his palm reading. I believe Elliot is questioning the man on his prediction of Elliot's strength, since Elliot knows he is depressed and weak emotionally)

    You had plans for both of us
    That involved a trip out of town
    To a place I've seen in a magazine
    That you left lying around
    (I believe this is an actual trip that was planned, but more of a retreat than a fun vacation. I should also point out that when he says "you" left lying around, he is still refering to himself in a depressive mood. When people are depressed they often don't take care of chores, which is why the magazine is laying around)

    I don't have you with me
    But I keep a good attitude
    Do you miss me, Miss Misery
    Like you say you do?
    (When "misery is not around he has a good attitude, in good spirits)

    I know you'd rather see me gone
    Than to see me the way that I am
    But I am in the life anyway
    (This is about suicide, "misery" would rather see him dead than living a "normal life")

    Next door the TV's flashing
    Blue frames on the wall
    It's a comedy of errors, you see
    It's about taking a fall
    (Blue frames on the wall sets the mood for watching tv late night, this sets up the play on words he uses next to describe "the comedy of errors". Sort of like when a clown slips on a banana and we laugh, but translated into an emotional sense. This also plays into the first line "fake it through the day", how we laugh at things that's aren't funny to help us cope)

    To vanish into oblivion
    Is easy to do
    ("oblivion" is a great word to describe the mind of someone in a depressive state, numb or spaced out)

    And I try to be but you know me
    I come back when you want me to
    Do you miss me, Miss Misery
    Like you say you do?
    (This is restating "misery's" power over him, he will always return, which is the attachment or dependency to sadness I stated earlier)
    Cierra1985on August 20, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've always enjoyed that it could be:

    "Do you miss me? (Do you) miss Misery like you say you do"

    or

    "Do you miss me, Miss Misery, like you say you do"
    bagofbeefon October 21, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMiss Misery could also be his addictions,

    I try to be
    But you know me
    I come back when you want me to

    also the chorus...

    Do you miss me, miss misery
    like you say you do?

    his addiction is being characterized as an ex girlfriend who lies about wanting him and being good for him. He knows its not the right thing to do, but he always goes back to her, and his addiciton
    WeezDayon May 15, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbeautifully written song, it doesn't get much better...
    weezerockon September 28, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think Miss Misery is a recycling depression, whom the narrator is so commonly found with, it is like a lover.
    moldbyhandon November 14, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLike acm said, this is a beautiful song written about Elliott's depression. He was an amazing, painfully honest artist whose words will hopefully help others.

    I think because of the fact that this song was featured in "Good Will Hunting," the meaning was misunderstood.
    padriacmyprinceon December 11, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with the last few comments, the timing of the song's placement in the film gives a false impression. The song can be interpreted as being about his own depression, but it can also be about a codependent relationship, that is, about two people with problems and the damage that they do to eachother.
    RocketDogon December 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think this song is both about a breakup AND depression... miss misery is a double meaning to me.
    schizorageon August 11, 2005   Link

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