"I Am.. I Said" as written by and Neil Diamond....
L. A.'s fine the sun shines most the time
And the feelin' is laid back
Palm trees grow and rents are low

But you know I keep thinkin' 'bout
Making my way back

Well I'm New York City born and raised
But nowadays I'm lost between two shores
L. A.'s fine
But it ain't home
New York's home
But it ain't mine no more

I am
I said

To no one there
And no one heard at all not
Even the chair
I am
I cried
I am said I
And I am lost and I can
Even say why
Leavin' me lonely still

Did you ever read about a frog
Who dreamed of being a king
And then became one
Well except for the names and a few other changes
If you talk about me
The story's the same one
But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I've tried
But it won't let me go
And I'm not a man who likes to swear
But I never cared for the sound of bein' alone


Lyrics submitted by Ice, edited by 병용1151, ShinyAeon

"I Am...I Said" as written by Neil Diamond

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I Am.. I Said song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentIs there any way he is being deep and philosophical with the resonance of Descartes(?) with the "I am" (I think therefore I am), then he's talking about how no one heard at all, which makes me think about, if no one is around to hear me, am I real (if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, did it make a sound?); so when "not even the chair" comes in, it makes me think of Plato's discussions about reality and "is this chair real" (he uses a chair as an example if I recall correctly). Probably totally off base and it means nothing and I'm just over-thinking the whole thing.
    montgomery67on November 29, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe chair is a reference to the psychiatrist's chair. Diamond battled with this song for 6 months following a near-breakdown after divorce and a move from NY to LA. His failure to land the part of Lenny Bruce in the movie Lenny left him close to breaking point and Diamond was depressed. Diamond eventually took a 4 year sabbatical from performing after his landmark appearance at the Greek Theater in LA in 1972. I am I Said has a far deeper meaning than most casual listeners imagine. The song is a masterpiece by a great songwriter. By his own admission, Diamond spent months in psychotherapy and this song explains wonderfully his thoughts and feelings at the time. In Gestalt therapy, a patient projects his thoughts into an empty chair while a counsellor looks on making notes. This may well explain the meaning of the word chair. It is too easy to dismiss the 'chair' as a trite attempt to make a rhyme but Diamond is nothing but meticulous in his lyric writing and he has said that IAIS underwent countless rewrites until it said exactly what he wanted it to say. Diamond no doubt felt so alone and so alienated that he must have felt that no-one was listening to his tortured cries - not even the (psycho-analyst's) chair.
    shilo507on March 21, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentfor this song is sad. It depicts being lonely and realizing that you are lonely or alone (emotionally). the saddest part of the lyric for me is that he is talking to the chair saying I am .... I cried to the chair and the chair can not hear him ( it has no ears). Making him even more alone. At one point in my life going through a failed relationship , trying to date and find someone new and not finding anyone who was worth it. And realizing myself I am in fact alone. It was sad phase for me. I just pictured myself alone, dying alone and not having anyone to even hear me say...I am ...
    musicgenius123on April 30, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI have listened to this song a hundred times and always thought it was somewhat senseless. One day it came to me, "I am" is what God calls himself in the bible. It's arguable to me that in a fit of lonliness and dispair that a man should call out to God for help. But sometimes, no matter how hard you scream, he doesn't seem to hear you. He feels like even God has abandonded him. (But he hasn't)
    IknowIknowon May 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song was written by Neil when he moved to LA to audition for the part in the movie Lenny (the movie was based on the life of Lenny Bruce). He didn't get the part and he wrote this song about how he felt at the time, the first part was written on the first day he auditioned and the song was eventually finished after he was turned down. During an interview with Larry King, Neil described that he started writing this song because he felt like he was about to explode since his audition didn't go well.
    Eralstudon June 11, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBuilding Eralstud's historical account of the song, I'd add that the lyrics tell a story of a man in a period of transition. The story is one of a man struggling with loneliness and identity. Ultimately, he has no one to support him but himself, which is not enough.
    blue113on January 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe chair comment is completely uninspired and inane.

    I get the point of his loneliness, but if this is an attempt to be poetic, it doesn't work.
    mflaton March 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen this song came out a boy my parents knew hung himself and my mother commented on how she thought that the song expressed what the boy probably was feeling before his suicide. Completely and utterly alone. His proclamation that "Hey I'm here. I exist! crying for help, yet no one could hear him-not even the chair. The imagery and the angst in Diamonds delivery ...It's a powerful song.
    ULIAJAYon December 29, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWe weren't content to be a frog, so we strived to be a king. Success turned hollow, and life turned to quiet desparation, and the utter pain of existence. We've all been there.
    LogicalDreameron May 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts a nice sounding song. Loneliness in leaving where you come from perhaps?
    Squirt_gunon June 20, 2008   Link

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