"Thirteen" as written by Alex Chilton and Christopher Bell....
Won't you let me walk you home from school
Won't you let me meet you at the pool
Maybe Friday I can
Get tickets for the dance
And I'll take you

Won't you tell your dad, get off my back
Tell him what we said 'bout 'Paint It Black'
Rock 'n Roll is here to stay
Come inside where it's okay
And I'll shake you

Won't you tell me what you're thinking of
Would you be an outlaw for my love
If it's so, well, let me know
If it's no, well, I can go
I won't make you


Lyrics submitted by aniota

"Thirteen" as written by Christopher Bell Alex Chilton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Thirteen song meanings
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34 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentI actually disagree with the older man/young girl thing. Everything about the song suggests more of an innocent, middle school crush sort of thing. The title, I think, means that's they're both thirteen. I don't think there's really anything perverse about the lyrics, save possibly one... and I actually think that line was only thrown in there cause it fit the rhyme scheme.
    But getting tickets for the dance- the school dance I assumed, talking about music... I assumed the outlaw line was more wanting to be like Bonnie and Clyde, which also strikes me as a very middle school romantic fantasy.
    Plus, as allmusic was so kind to point out, the way the tempo quickens in the third verse, to me, suggests a very thirteen year old kind of nervousness.
    Plus, as the other guy said, Chilton says on the live CD it was written when he was 13. Though I don't have the CD to confirm this myself.
    TheSilverNobleon July 17, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General Commentno one really addresses the "Paint it Black" reference. "Paint it Black" is a song about a guy whose girlfriend dies and how that sends him into a deep depression. the line "tell him what we said bout 'Paint it Black'" confounded me for a while, but i think i get it now. i can imagine the two adolescents getting really melodramatic about their love and the boy saying that he'd react the same way if the girl died, and that that's how much they mean to each other. while conveying this to the dad via the song might not be the best choice, it shows how simple and naive they are, and it also reemphasizes that they are as in love with music and rock and roll as they are with each other. so amazing.
    moodyzeppelin12on January 19, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis probably won't add a lot to the discussion but if the "Paint It Black" mention is a reference to the Rolling Stones song then Chilton couldn't have written it when he was 13--at least not that line--because he was born in 1950 and that song came out in 1966.
    dbarker02on September 02, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhere is their any hint of humbert humbert type shit in the lyrics ?

    it's a song about innocent, albeit melodramatic teenage love, and that's it.
    TheNipperon December 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPersonally one of my all time favourite songs. It depicts that nostalgic, totally innocent love of being a young teenager so perfectly. It even sounds magical and nostalgic too. It's simple to understand, and fits perfectly with the descriptions of such simple pleasures of youth. My favourite line is "would you be an outlaw for my love?" - reminds me of something a kid says to a girl to impress her and sound a lil badass and god it's adorable. Then when he says "if it's so well let me know, if it's no well I can go - I won't make you" - always makes me smile. So childish and innocent. Most gorgeous, nostalgic song ever.
    obstacle2on January 31, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsigh..what a great song. I can never remember how it goes when I try to think of it on the spot but it always creeps up on to me in those little unexpected moments. Why am I the first comment on this? :(
    happyclam17on April 25, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentjust a pure pop song of pure teenage love. has a very nostalgic feeland probably wouldn't sit well with many teenagers of the post-Dawson's Creek age. whatever, though. this is a timeless classic.
    mr.mr.onbrokenwingson July 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first verse of this song is an amazingly good description of middle-school innocence. Truely wonderful. Alex Chiltin shoud get his due.
    butterboyon February 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so sweet. "Paint it Black" of course is by the Rolling Stones. I can imagine the boy and his girl listening to the song and discussing how meaningful it is. But not on this website. Heh.
    notemilyon March 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgod how i love love love big star.

    check out chris bell's solo stuff, it rocks. (i am the cosmos)
    schwinnon March 15, 2005   Link

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