Flowers for Charlie, you know
I'm not a good G.I. Joe
Because I always aim low
And I won't fight you

Popularity war
I'd be a clown in the corp
Taking over the store
It's a cop out

I don't want to win
New friends anymore
There's a world within
But I can't call out

Kiss me quickly
I'm in a hurry
And I've got worry enough
Trying to stay around

Brought you a flower
From the other side
It's a free world
You don't have to hide


Lyrics submitted by dragonflower44

Flowers for Charlie song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentWould the name have anything to do with the book Flowers for Algernon? I was just curious, since the main character's name is Charlie...
    ChibiLolitaon April 19, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"charlie" is actually smith's childhood step-father who was a pervading source of strife and pent-up resentment in his life. smith had suspicions that charlie may have physically (or sexually) abused him as a child. whatever the case, charlie was a very dark force in his life. this song was written (i believe) after charlie sent a letter to elliott saying he was a changed man and apologizing for the abuse (though he denied the sexual abuse). i believe this song was elliott's small way of forgiving him.
    NightNeverSleepson November 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe guy that runs sweetadeline.net 's name is charlie...maybe just a coincidence
    Arienetteon October 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCharlie is also slang for American military men, which goes along with "i'm not a good g.i. joe."
    Dante Sinton December 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhere did you hear this about charlie being his stepfather? I know he had a lot of problems with him (obviously) and have read some things where he said it was in the past and he wasnt gonna make him feel bad about it for the rest of his life but im curious how you made that connection to this song?
    lisalynnon January 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti found out that was his name, it goes along with the earlier songs he wrote 'no confidence man' and 'some song' in which he mentions charlie. oh and some of the lyrics posted here are incorrect.. the one thats most obvious is:
    'this is meaningless' in the live version i have he sings
    'its a free world'
    lisalynnon January 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyes, it is his step dad and flowers are a symbol of forgiveness........so he's forgiving his step dad and maybe himself. just a thought.....beautiful song either way.
    lost_in_twlighton April 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentinteresting..........very interesting....................RIP
    badgeon May 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentinteresting..........very interesting....................RIP
    badgeon May 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"flowers for charlie, you know
    i'm not a good g.i. joe
    because i always hang low
    and i won't find you"

    I hear this part as "I'm not a good g.i. joe because I always aim low," which makes more sense if he's saying he's not a good fighter or soldier, in a sense. Besides, the hang low makes me think of the ears song.

    But, yeah, it's definitely about his stepdad.

    BTW, did anyone else catch the main melody in this song (the notes when he sings "flowers for charlie," "kiss me quickly," etc.) to be the exact same melody as in John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)"? (when Lennon sings the line "War is over"). It's the exact same notes (Eb, D, F, Eb) in both songs. It makes sense to me, since Elliott idolized Lennon. Just a thought.
    Leftofcenter321on June 12, 2005   Link

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