"I Didn't Understand" as written by and Steven P. Smith....
Thought you'd be looking for the next in line to love then ignore
Put out and put away
And so you'd soon be leaving me alone like I'm supposed to be tonight
Tomorrow and everyday
There's nothing here that you'll miss
I can guarantee you this is a cloud of smoke
Trying to occupy space
What a fucking joke
What a fucking joke
I waited for a bus to separate the both of us and take me off far away
From you 'cause my feelings never change a bit I always feel like shit I
Don't know why I guess that I \"just do\"
You once talked to me about love and you painted pictures of
A never-neverland and I could've gone to that place
But I didn't understand
I didn't understand
I didn't understand


Lyrics submitted by EnjOy IncUbus, edited by cadrashalluckus, Raadcoen

"I Didn't Understand" as written by Steven P. Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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I Didn't Understand song meanings
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  • +11
    General Commentwhat this song means to me is..it seems like its about someone being so depressed that they couldn't find happiness anywhere, not even in his girlfriend. This line especially

    "you once talked to me about love and you painted pictures of
    a never-neverland and i could've gone to that place
    but i didn't understand "

    almost like the other person tried to show him how to be happy and how to cope, and tried to brighten him up in any way possible but nothing was working because at the time he obviously didn't understand happiness. and then to me it seems like he goes into the feelings of knowing the person is better off without you because he knows his feelings will never change. I see that in this line.

    " waited for a bus to separate the both of us and take me off far away
    from you 'cos my feelings never change a bit i always feel like shit i
    don't know why i guess that i "just do" "
    Arienetteon April 19, 2004   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThis is a song about the inevitability of breaking up, when one has such feelings of worthlessness.

    He feels worthless, inferior. And even if the relationship has lasted a long time, and there have been happy moments (which are seen only as a cover - clouds of smoke), he feels in himself that there is no reason for her to love him. That he will always be alone. He is unloved, unlovable.
    zenmasterfuon November 16, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIf i could probably name one song that hits every single emotional cord in my body it would be this one. The song sounds so cold and lacking soul, yet its so powerful. I remember seeing Elliott live about 3 years ago and he performed this song on piano and the entire crowd was just standing there holding back tears.

    basically like everyone before me said, its just about not understanding, and sometimes wanting to understand or not wanting to understand whats going on around you. Basically you put up this wall that keeps this gap inbetween you and the world and no matter what kind of happiness or feelings you come across you can't feel them, you simply can't understand, thus leaving the person emotionless and unable to connect wtih anyone. Always having this unbearable pessimism towards everything that makes those who you know you love drift away from you, no matter how much they show they love or care for you, you still continue to widen the gap making it impossible to love you back.

    just my thoughts.
    RomanCandleon December 16, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentso beautiful.
    I think it's about a relationship where he just wasn't happy, even though the girl was amazing. He just didn't realize it was love at the time. Now he regrets it.
    The reason I think this is because of the "you once talked to me about love and you painted pictures of a never-neverland and I could have gone to that place but I didn't understand"
    again, so precious.
    Winterstale333on February 09, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI pretty much agree with most of you that it's about someone who isolates themselves so much from everyone because they feel unlovable that they become what they've always seen in themselves: someone that no one can ever love. As much as they want to be happy and connect with people, they can't get over the feeling of inferiority.

    it's a lot like Laura in the Glass Menagerie, if anyone's read that.
    moochersminionon March 17, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTo me it sounds like a response to love or caring by an extremely depressed individual with low self-esteem. Not sure if anyone considered this, but maybe it's about Elliott's perception of a particular girl's intentions (hook up and take off), followed by self-deprecating affirmations of this notion, concluding with an admission that he simply couldn't comprehend the love & happiness she could have offered him.
    ohyeahohnoon March 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think the people who are saying that the girl left or used him are forgetting that he's depressed, and that depression is rarely rational.

    The first verse makes me think that she's reaching out to him, but his feelings of worthlessness are causing him to push her away (as opposed to him feeling bitter over her rejection or whatever).

    Aside from that, the majority have hit the nail on the head.

    Incredibly poignant song, especially for me in my current predicament.
    FiendAngelicalon January 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is about a love that somehow ended and he is regretting it and trying to pick apart all the things that he did wrong and how he could have changed it or understood it during the relationship.
    "you once talked to me about love and you painted pictures of
    a never-neverland and i could've gone to that place
    but i didn't understand "

    he feels resentment towards her, thinking that she will just move on and find someone elses heart to break.

    " waited for a bus to separate the both of us and take me off far away
    from you 'cos my feelings never change a bit i always feel like shit".... i think this is about how he wants to forget about her and get away from all the pain she caused him but the pain never leaves.

    mos def one of my fave elliot songs
    sha shaon April 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is one of the saddest songs I have ever listened to.
    heartbreaking and breathtaking.
    dorareeveron April 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is my favorite elliott smith song.

    i love the voices create a melancholy emotion in the whole piece.

    this song is about being rejected and confused.

    "thought you'd be looking for the next in line to love then ignore
    put out and put away
    and so you'd soon be leaving me along like i'm supposed to be tonight, "

    means how this person has done this to him, and is now moving on. there are some hostile feelings.

    "there's nothing here that you'll miss"

    is saying how, he is just agreeing, like saying, "yeah youre better off" even though he is hurt.

    this- "you once talked to me about love and you painted pictures of
    a never-neverland and i could've gone to that place
    but i didn't understand"

    is saying how, he must have cared more, and loved this person but now that the relationship is over with, must have not understood the relationship and he is at fault.

    this song is about confusion and how the person agrees with his love and then is hostile.
    rockisgroovyon June 16, 2004   Link

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