"Not A Friend" as written by and Louis Knox Barlow....
I'm not a good friend, I'm not a friend at all
It's never resolved, I'm nervous when you call
My words are limp, and my mind is dry
I try to be polite, but I feel like I'm stuck for life
I follow my heart, it leads me far from you
No matter how close we are, I'm far, far away
I have too much now to fill my day today
I'm not a good friend, I'm not a friend at all
I don't need obligations to our crippled conversations
I'd never tell you, it's something you should know
I'm not a friend at all, oh, please let me go
Somehow I don't trust you
I don't trust myself
And I may never forgive you
'cause I can't forgive myself
Somehow I don't trust you
I don't trust myself
And I may never forgive you
'cause I can't forgive myself
Don't break my stride
Don't break my stride
Don't break my stride
Don't break my stride






Lyrics submitted by typo

"Not a Friend" as written by Louis Knox Barlow

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Not A Friend song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentActually, I think it's about being too "nice" to end a friendship.

    You don't really like this person, but you're too polite to tell them. Which in a way is even worse than being honest...you're leading them on.

    "My words are limp, and my mind is dry
    I try to be polite, but I feel like I'm stuck for life
    I follow my heart, it leads me far from you
    No matter how close we are, I'm far, far away."

    Every conversation is kind of awkward and one-sided because you're not invested in it like they are. You probably give one-word answers and don't know how to get out of it. When they talk, your mind is somewhere else. Sounds mean and it is, but haven't we all experienced it? And you don't wanna hurt their feelings but you don't wanna talk with them either?

    "I have too much now to fill my day today
    I'm not a good friend, I'm not a friend at all
    I don't need obligations to our crippled conversations
    I'd never tell you, it's something you should know."

    You're always "busy" when they call or ask to hang out. You wish you could tell them that you're uninterested, but it's not easy to let someone down like that. So you just continue to avoid them even though you know the right thing is to tell them the truth: you're just not that into them.

    "I'm not a friend at all, oh, please let me go."

    You're silently wishing they'll be the first one to end the "relationship" so you won't have to do the dirty work yourself. It's selfish, but it's the truth for people who hate confrontation and hurting people's feelings...they just let things go on and on until it builds and blows up in their face. Everyone ends up unhappy.

    "Somehow I don't trust you
    I don't trust myself
    And I may never forgive you
    Cause I can't forgive myself."

    Moral of the story: it's ALWAYS better to be honest even when it's a harsh truth. Getting someone attached only to F them over is worse than telling them up-front that they're not you're type. I know this all sounds really self-centered but when you're shy and nervous it's like the worst feeling ever. But you have to screw your nervousness and just get it over with lol. No secrets, no dodging phone calls and facebook chats!

    This is the kind of song that prefaces a "disappearing act." You're too chicken to break off a friendship/relationship so you just stop answering their texts, calls, messages, and just avoid-avoid-avoid until they forget about you. COLD.

    Wow...talk about long drawn out personal interpretation...:)
    Aquarius121on June 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song really sums up the feelings that occur after you take a friendship to "the next level" when you just should have just kept it platonic... the uncomfortable interaction, the "obligations to... crippled conversations," the betrayal of trust... the closer you were before, the more it hurts after.

    moral of the story: think twice about fucking a good friend... you may wind up losing them.
    wickedsprouton April 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have to kind of agree with what wickedsprout said, but it could also be about how a friend fucked him/her over.
    dirty_pillowson January 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think both of you are right.

    It's definitely about how much a relationship changed by just one simple thing that could have been prevented.
    smartfool17on May 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthat happened to me once
    juninon September 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, I also think it's about regretting taking a relationship to the next level. I also think it's partly about not being able to commit to a romantic relationship, for fear of opening up yourself completely to another person.

    Another awesome song from the Bakesale LP. What a classic album.
    leamancon July 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think the song meaning is not as complex as the other posts say it is. I think it is simply about a romantic relationship that has ended where one person wants to remain friends & the singer does not. We've all been there. "Let's keep in touch. We can still be friends." For practical purposes, this song expresses that it is more realistic to cut ties entirely with your ex.
    Hunny76on January 22, 2014   Link

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