"Say Yes" as written by Andre Harris, Natalie Stewart and Marsha Ambrosius....
I'm in love with the world through the eyes of a girl
Who's still around the morning after
We broke up a month ago and I grew up I didn't know
I'd be around the morning after
It's always been wait and see
A happy day and then you pay
And feel like shit the morning after
But now I feel changed around and instead falling down
I'm standing up the morning after
Situations get fucked up and turned around sooner or later
And I could be another fool or an exception to the rule
You tell me the morning after
Crooked spin can't come to rest
I'm damaged bad at best
She'll decide what she wants
I'll probably be the last to know
No one says until it shows and you see how it is
They want you or they don't
Say yes
I'm in love with the world through the eyes of a girl
Who's still around the morning after


Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus

"Say Yes" as written by Daniel Gresham Michael Gray

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Say Yes song meanings
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  • +10
    My InterpretationI only read the first page of comments on this song. Long time Smith fan. This is my first post.

    While "The Morning After" is a term associated with sex, I don't believe this song or the feeling behind it came from a one night stand and waking up the next morning wanting to stay with the woman he had been with.

    "We broke up a month ago, I grew up. I didn't know I'd be around the morning after." --- Their entire relationship together (however long or short) is symbolized by one huge passion (ie: love not sex). But he was too "young" (scared of being let down, young and doubtful) to keep it going. They broke up a month ago, and while it felt right at the time, he didn't know he'd be around the morning after. You see, the "morning" is not a morning at all. It's an emotion; a time frame of realizing his mistake. To which he goes on to try and repair hoping that she will say yes.

    This is my first post ever on this site. I don't usually like to go into detail on what I get out of lyrics, or my take on them, but it's 2:45 in the morning and i'm putting myself on warning. ;)
    RomanticKerouacon January 29, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIm thinking that it is about this guy who is so in love with this girl, but they have this relationship that is more like "friends with benefits" but he is falling in love with her and he knows that he isn't suppose to. The first part is so happy because he is there and she stuck around the morning after - maybe she is falling in love too. Then, as in all relationships, things get fucked up. she is gone or she is about to leave and he knows it and he can't do anything to stop her. Then the first two lines are repeated and i think that is showing he is starting over with a new girl in a new relationship. That is my spin - that is what is so great about this song though, it has as many interpertations as readers.
    pretencious_snobon April 30, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song isn't about dying in your sleep.

    it's about making a huge mistake. about letting someone go, because you've become so used to being let down. "a happy day and then you pay."

    it's about wanting that person back, and knowing how you've made a mistake. ("she'll decide what she wants")

    it's about how being with that one girl makes a shitty world beautiful.
    femmesofrussiaon April 15, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree way back with femmesofrussia. Smith is talking about letting someone go because he was afraid of being hurt. ("It's always been wait and see, a happy day and then you pay, and feel like shit the morning after.") So he called things off before they got too serious. Now that she's gone, he realized he made a big mistake, because now that he's out of the situation, he thinks that with this girl, it could've been different. ("But now i feel changed around and instead falling down, i'm standing up the morning after.") Now the ball is in her court. ("I'm damaged bad at best, she'll decide what she wants.") He hopes that she'll say yes.
    becks81on May 19, 2004   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationHe's in love with a woman. They've dated on and off for a while. He loves her and wants her to stay, but he understands he's damaged goods and understands why she wouldn't want to be with him.

    It's hopeful and hopeless at the same time. As they lay together he envisions a future in which she stays with him, and it fills him with hope and joy. At the same time, he sees the odds aren't great of them staying together. So he's afraid. He's upset about the seemingly random nature of relationships, and he feels frustrated because he can't get what he wants.

    But in that moment, as she's spent the night and is still around the next morning, he feels happy. Hopeful. It's a vaguely hopeful song, but ultimately realistic. Which is why it's so fucking great.

    That's my interpretation anyhow. Of course it's 100% correct.
    Kq86on June 25, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentbigspencedog, why exactly would one ask or want a drug to "say yes"?
    indie pretenseon June 15, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentanother classic love/hate song from elliot smith, which is how all of his best songs are written. he sees everything that's wrong with love, he knows how it ends, and yet in spite of that the way he writes about it shows that he knows it's the most beautiful thing in the world. he's happy, he's in love, and he knows that this relationship will be no different, he's at this girl's mercy and sooner or later she'll leave him alone. elliot smith's magic is that he can express yearning like nobody else, and his emphasis is on everything that keeps you away from the things you want most in the world.
    kaffeine_krazyon April 07, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt is a positive song. BUT despite what some people think positive doesn't mean HAPPY-SAPPY-DUMB. It's all about how something positive could rise from negative, or maybe not...but *maybe* yes...
    it makes me smile, it's sad and happy at the same time.
    dorareeveron April 16, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about a relationship that ended but not really, and they ended up together again, even if just for one night and it's about that period of time where it's still good and there aren't questions like what do we do now? It's almost like he's pleading to her to try with him again, to make it work. Just my interpretation, I could be projecting.
    farfronormon May 31, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe morning after refers to the morning after a one night stand. In the morning after a one night stand, the reality of where she is tends to hit, and the girl leaves.

    There's a turning point in relationships when you see the reality of what the other person is like, and you leave or stay.


    He's laying in bed, happy, reflecting.

    "it's always been wait and see
    a happy day and then you pay
    and feel like shit the morning after"

    For him, it's always been a wait until that point (although he was happy before it hit), but then he paid for having a relationship when they got to that point (and she left).

    "now I feel changed ... down I'm standing up the morning after"

    Now that she's remained with him in "the morning after", he's happy.

    "situations get fucked up and turned around sooner or later"

    His relationships always get fucked up at some point (at that turning point)..

    "and i could be another fool or an exception to the rule"

    in this particular relationship, he was just waiting which one of the two outcomes it would be: him being a fool again for trying, or the exception to his feeling that this would always happen...

    "you tell me the morning after"

    it all depended on what she would do the morning after.

    "crooked spin can't come to rest
    I'm damaged bad at best
    she'll decide what she wants"

    It's like he's in a constant car crash, he's in bad shape, and now she'll decide what she wants.

    "I'll probably be the last to know
    no one says until it shows
    see how it is"

    He'll be the last to know if she chose to leave him, nobody says anything until it all becomes clear to him, that's how it is.

    "they want you or they don't
    say yes"

    this part is particularity good:
    'they want you or they dont'
    'they want you or they say no'
    'say yes' (want me)

    and now, back to the beginning:

    "I'm in love with the world through the eyes of a girl
    who's still around the morning after"

    She stayed, and he's in love with everything (enjoys life) through the fact that she wants him.

    "we(/they) broke up a month ago
    n' I grew up I didn't know
    I'd be around the morning after"

    In the live kcrw recording, he sings "we". In the soundtrack he sings "they". The Ben Folds cover sings "meh" (likely because he too doesn't know which it is).

    if it's "they":
    She was with someone, they broke up a month ago and that's how long our couple have been together... all the while, and all his life, he didn't know if (he'd?) be around the morning after. ("I'd be" perhaps because if she isn't in the relationship neither is he, or he becomes after a breakup as disillusioned with a girl as she was with him)

    if it's "we":
    they broke up a month ago, he grew up during that time, realizing that he's "still there the morning after". He goes back, and she's still with him the morning after. (After she realizes what kind of person he is, breaking up with her and all). (as juicyclad said, but different ending)
    slikeon June 13, 2004   Link

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