When I was young, younger than before
I never saw the truth hanging from the door
And now I'm older--see it face to face
And now I'm older--gotta get up clean the place

And I was greener, greener than the hill
Where flowers grew and sun shone still
Now I'm darker than the deepest sea
Just hand me down give me a place to be

And I was strong, strong in the sun
I thought I'd see when day is done
Now I'm weaker than the palest blue
Oh so weak in this need for you


Lyrics submitted by Sweet Blue Way, edited by papple

Place To Be song meanings
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42 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentThe first stanza is showing how when we're young we don't realize how fucked up the world really is. We're completely innocent and everything's great. Once we get older we see how messed up things are and we have to take responsibility for ourselves.

    When he says he was "green" it means he is inexperienced. Things were much more optimistic when he was still a child I assume he is trying to say. Now that he is older he can't really find a place to belong.

    I'm not sure what he's trying to say in that last stanza. I don't know if he means he is weak because he needs the person, or if he is saying he needs the person in his time of weakness. You can apply it however you want though.

    Amazing damn song. Nick Drake is a genius with more talent with his guitar and with his voice than I could ever achieve in a lifetime of practice. I try though lol. Sometimes he reminds me of John Mayer, only not as poppy.
    Egghead15229on June 19, 2005   Link
  • +7
    General CommentEvery time I think I have a favorite Nick Drake song, I find another one.

    Like this one.
    aventurineon December 14, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis song is about lost innocence and depression to me, but not necessarily because of love for a woman. It might be that he is weak in his need for depression itself. When you feel really bad it can be quite a relief to shut down emotionally instead of facing your woes, it might even turn into a habit to plunge into depression when things are tough. He realizes that he needs to do something, to clean up the place, but his depression has made him feel weak and without hope. All he wants is for depression to let go of him and give him a place where he can be happy.
    Or maybe that's me...
    bladeton May 19, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentSuch a beautiful song. I think this song can be interpreted in a few ways. I feel like Nick drake is singing to "death" when he references "you".
    In the springtime of life, (Where flowers grew and sun shone still) when he was a young boy he was innocent, naive to the realities of life and death (never saw the truth hanging from the door), but now he feels so weak, so down (deeper than the darkest blue) and he see's death face to face, although he thought he would make it to the end of life (I thought I'd see when day is done), but instead asks for a place to be, an early departure.

    Could also be interpreted in a romantic sense. This person has been humbled by his/her experiences. Now that they have grown, they realize that they've been blind to the truth that was right in front of them. Now they understand the extent of their feelings for that person and how amazing that person is, and they realize how foolish they've acted/treated that person and they want to get up and clean the place - make things right. They feel so deeply for this person that they are weak.
    jdoeon December 31, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDrake has the most amazing deliveryin this one. It's all here, lyrically entwined in that fading voice. pain, loss, longing, love, humility, understanding.
    Gforce38on October 10, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Place to be" was one of the last songs Nick wrote befor he died. This song is very dark and depressive but also so beautiful that It's hard to find a words for it.
    Labertascheon May 26, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree with Egghead's comments for the most part. Nick Drake has the theme of nature deeply engraved in some of his songs, and instead of 'green' meaning inexperienced, I think it just means 'full of life'. As for the last stanza, I don't think he's talking about someone in particular, just anyone that will save him from fading away.
    The lyrics in this song remind me alot of the ones in 'Cello Song, in how they both reflect on a brighter childhood, and a darkness coming into his life later on.
    SnowIsGoneon August 23, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"When I was young, younger than before
    I never saw the truth hanging from the door
    And now I'm older--see it face to face
    And now I'm older--gotta get up clean the place"

    To me this song is about the cruel awakening of what the world or what life really is about. It's about the loss of innocence. this loss of seeing the world through rose colored glasses is depressing, you lose hope and you long for a place to be at peace away from this world. I recently turned 20 and moved out of my house last year and moved to the other side of the country. This song speaks to me. the first verse talks about being young and innocent not seeing the world for what it really is. when you get older the truth hits you in the face you are more aware of things. your whole perspective changes. you see the good and the bad, the "trash" and can't help but want to make this world a better place and clean it up.

    "And I was greener, greener than the hill
    Where flowers grew and sun shone still
    Now I'm darker than the deepest sea
    Just hand me down give me a place to be"

    Greener meaning full of life and seeing positively and being happy. now he's depressed and see's the dark side of life and just wants to be at ease and be at peace away from this world. this life.

    "And I was strong, strong in the sun
    I thought I'd see when day is done
    Now I'm weaker than the palest blue
    Oh so weak in this need for you"

    once had energy and the will to survive and the strength to keep going. had strength but now no longer has hope. no longer has a need to live.

    really a sad song yet a great one :)
    Teenyon November 04, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song seems to be a poignant observation of growing older and suffering depression.
    Really is sad.
    mammadaddioon March 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentone of my favorite drake songs... you're in a rough spot not knowing what or where to go and it's almost asking someone above for help and to just give me a place to be so that i feel i'm in place with the world. i'm lost and need direction.
    shelby_nubon May 30, 2007   Link

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