"Unrelated Thing" as written by John Linnell and John Flansburgh....
Do you smile 'cause I'm funny? said the man
I wasn't joking and I meant the thing I said
Not at all, not at all
Said the woman to the man
I was thinking of an unrelated thing

Unconnected and free
No relationship to anything

How come you never look me in the eye?
Aren't you listening to me said the man
Not at all, not at all
Said the woman to the man
I'm still thinking of an unrelated thing

Somewhere other than here
Something else besides the man

Please explain the expression on your face
Then I'll know what's beneath it said the man
No you won't, no you won't
Said the woman to the man
I'll be thinking of an unrelated thing
I'll be thinking of an unrelated thing

Lyrics submitted by Spacecow

"Unrelated Thing" as written by John Linnell John Flansburgh

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Unrelated Thing song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think this is one of the more sadly insightful songs ever written about human connection. "Please explain the expression on your face/Then I'll know what's beneath it said the man/No you won't". In the end, even if we were to try our hardest to really, actively communicate with someone about their inner selves, we still would have no guarantee that they are being honest with us. Even the direct words of someone you love will always be a distortion of their true thoughts You can't know someone who doesn't want to be known. This song could just just about the frustration of a flighty woman who refuses to engage with the male narrator. But it's such a simple song that you can easily read a lot of subtext into it. This could also be about the last days of an unhealthy relationship, about the woman's need to extricate a toxic lover from her mental headspace. Whether it is just about a normal healthy couple or a dysfunctional couple, I think the song implies that none of us might ever be able to truly know the people who we feel we should know best of all. And if that's the case, how disconnected is the human race as a whole?
    HardYoungsteron April 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a pathetic excuse for a piece of music... AND I LOVE IT!
    belthazaron June 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. I laugh every time the beat drops out, and he sings it pretty well too. They really capture the frustration some people can cause.
    15characternameon May 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFascinating song about the human condition. I love creative artists. This song is great as it tells a story about humans not communicating well. It reminds me of my friend and her two girls. I watch as she attempts to speak with them, and although they answer they haven't heard a word she said. They had one eye on the televsion, one eye on their cell phone, and their minds were thinking about the guy and girl they wanted to date. Spouses tend to do this as well. Anyway, great poetic song, not just linear lyrics.
    IllToast2Thaton January 21, 2013   Link

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