"Real Men" as written by and Joe Jackson....
Take your mind back- I don't know when-
Sometime when it always seemed to be just us and them.
Girls that wore pink, boys that wore blue,
Boys that always grew up better men than me and you.
What's a man now, what's a man mean?
Is he rough- or is he rugged, cultural and clean?
Now it's all changed- it's got to change more.
We think it's getting better, but nobody's really sure.

And so it goes, go round again,
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

See the nice boys dancing in pairs,
Golden earring, golden tan, blow-wave in the hair-
Sure they're all straight, straight as a line.
All the guys are macho, see their leather shine.
You don't want to sound dumb, don't want to offend,
So don't call me a faggot, not unless you are a friend.
Then if you're tall, handsome and strong,
You can wear the uniform and I could play along.

And so it goes, go round again,
But now and then we wonder who the real men are

Time to get scared, time to change plan,
Don't know how to treat a lady, don't know how to be a man.
Time to admit, what you call defeat,
'Cause there's women running past you now-
And you just drag your feet.
Man makes a gun, man goes to war,
Man can kill, and man can drink, and man can take a whore.
Kill all the blacks, kill all the reds,
If there's war between the sexes then there'll be no people left.

And so it goes, go round again,
But now and then we wonder who the real men are
And so it goes, go round again,
But now and then we wonder who the real men are
And so it goes, go round again,
But now and then we wonder who the real men are


Lyrics submitted by l!nzy

"Real Men" as written by Joe Jackson

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Real Men song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI think in this song, the writer is trying to describe the feelings of a man who realises that he is gay. In passages like "don't know how to treat a lady, don't know how to be a man", the person is in a state of confusion and cannot truly understand his feelings. He no longer knows what a man is.
    Amelieon July 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song also seems to be about how boys and girls are raised differently (blue vs. pink etc.). These male/female roles are changing slightly but its hard to say how much. As thehe man in the song grows up he is gay... Because of homophobia he is left to wonder if he is a "real man." He then takes a gun and goes to war... He does all the things that stereotypes tell us "real men" do. Toward the end of the song a strong statement is made about sexist and racist violence. The last line (and so it goes, go round again / but now and then we wonder who the real men are ) to show a contemplation about what really makes a "real man. This song is a powerful statement agaist sexism, sexist roles and stereotypes, racism and homophobia.a stromg message that we need to redefine what we see as a "real man."
    chungjikon May 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt was originally written and performed by Joe Jackson. Not a Tori original, but she does a spectacular version of it.
    Arianrhodon May 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI actually like her version better than Joe Jackson's. I think the way she sings it forces you to absorb each and every line...very powerful.
    batwingon December 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPansy Division did a remake of her remake.
    grelingon August 09, 2007   Link
  • -1
    General CommentGender lines blurring and men can't get used to not being the strong one. Don't understand why they have a problem with that, it's not like they're getting weaker but they feel like so!
    justlingon September 29, 2006   Link

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