"Without You I'm Nothing" as written by Brian Molko, Stefan Olsdal and Steven Hewitt....
Strange infatuation seems to grace the evening tide.
I'll take it by your side.
Such imagination seems to help the feeling slide.
I'll take it by your side.
Instant correlation sucks and breeds a pack of lies.
I'll take it by your side.
Over saturation curls the skin and tans the hide.
I'll take it by your side.

tick, tock [Repeat: x3]
tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tock

I'm unclean, a libertine
And every time you vent your spleen,
I seem to lose the power of speech,
You're slipping slowly from my reach.
You grow me like an evergreen,
You've never seen the lonely me at all

I,
Take the plan, spin it sideways.
I,
Fall.
Without you, I'm nothing.
Without you, I'm nothing.
Without you, I'm nothing.
Take the plan, spin it sideways.
Without you, I'm nothing at all.


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Without You I'm Nothing" as written by Stefan Olsdal Brian Molko

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Without You I'm Nothing song meanings
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  • +9
    General CommentI think that it tells the story of a relationship. There's a guy and a girl, and the song is told from the guy's point of view. He's thinking about the girl, as is evident in the first verse.

    Strange infatuation seems to grace the evening tide (I can't stop thinking about you)
    I'll take it by your side (But it's worth it to be near you)
    Such imagination seems to help the feelings slide (Things aren't going that well with us now, but I can pretend they're fine)
    I'll take it by your side (I can handle this as long as you're with me)
    Instant correlation sucks and breeds a pack of lies (Thinking about us together is a lie)
    I'll take it by your side (But I don't care, because I'll take the pain as long as it's with you)
    Oversaturation curls the skin and tans the hide (I'm with you so often I'm becoming numb to the world)
    I'll take it by your side (It's worth it to be near you)

    The clock ticking part, in my opinion, is the man's realization that things might not end so well, and what they're doing now may be over soon. He feels the clock is ticking, and it's really inevitable that something is going to happen. The second verse is definitely one of the defining parts of the song for me, and the way that Brian Molko sings it, and all of the emotion in his voice is amazing.

    I'm unclean, a libertine (I'm not good enough for you, I'm a tainted, I'll hurt you)
    And every time you vent your spleen (Every time you get angry and blow up at someone)
    I seem to lose the power of speech (I don't know what to say, I don't want to do anything to make you leave)
    You're slipping slowly from my reach (I'm scared I'm losing you slowly as things get worse)
    You grow me like an evergreen (You make me feel tall and strong, as if I can do anything)
    You never see the lonely me at all (I pretend that I'm fine, that you're fine, that we're fine whenever I' m around you)

    I think the third verse is the man trying to change what's going to happen, because he knows that if he loses the girl then life is worthless and he will be worthless. The "take the plan, spin it sideways" portion makes me feel like the man is trying to change the original plan that fate had sent in motion for him and his lover. And all of the times he says "without you I'm nothing" is him reflecting on the fact that there would be nothing left to him if he lost her. One of the most powerful lines in the entire song is the closing line, "without you I'm nothing at all." The emotion behind those words is evident, and it is completely brilliant.
    LikeRebelDiamonds28on February 08, 2008   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI can't believe I'm feeling this way about you, it's strange.
    I'm not going to deny it though
    I'm going to imagine that I don't feel this way, it makes it easier.
    Instant realization sucking me in and making me lie to you about the way I really am.
    I've been exposed to too much of you. I live and breathe you. It's killing me.
    time goes by
    I'm tainted.
    Every time you talk to me
    I get tongue tied
    You're slipping away from me
    I just seem to grow more attached to you though.
    You've never the real me, the way I really am. Lonely, depressed, everything you are not. We are opposites and I'm a liar.
    I'm planning on never talking to you again.
    But as soon as I see you, it changes.
    I fall. It means nothing now, I forget all about it.
    Without you, I'm Nothing.
    I can never be rid of you.
    Without you, I'm nothing at all.
    shadiaon April 12, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Commentwow, this song hit me hard. it is by far the most emotional and powerful of all thier songs
    i love the way the song builds up and up to "without you i'm nothing" i think thats what takes the song to a whole new level coz you wait for it as its buliding up. the guitar break near the end is awesome and really fits in with the buildup

    i think its possible this song is about unrequited love. this person is singing there heart and soul out about the person they love so dearly but they don't love them back in the same way.

    "I'm unclean, a libertine
    And every time you vent your spleen,
    I seem to lose the power of speech,
    Your slipping slowly from my reach.
    You grow me like an evergreen,
    You never see the lonely me at all"

    those six lines are so powerful and by far the best lines of the song.

    this song is in my top 10 songs of all time its mindblowing
    Blind*21on March 31, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentHow come every Placebo song is an ode to drugs or sex to you guys?
    To me, this is simply a song about needing someone (it could be related, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, or simply a friend) so desperately you just can't picture you existing without them. It is a beautiful but disturbing song about needing.
    praychon September 29, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful, in a really melancholy way. To me it shows how you can be so caught up in someone/something that it becomes you, and you're left with nothing. With amazing guitar and brian's voice, it's amazing. I quote another user to sum it up perfectly "the guitar at the beginning sounds like it's crying"
    forbiddensnowflakeon November 22, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationEveryone's interpretation is interesting to read :)

    I always interpreted it as a love/obsession song about a specific person. It seems much too strong of a song to not be about someone specific. I don't know about a one sided relationship. It seems more like a discrete relationship between someone with maybe a conventional upbringing or image and someone who would not be accepted by a conventional group of peers/family. A social mismatch. I agree with One Small Instrument on that. It seems really clear to me with the "Strange infatuation" and "I'm unclean, a libertine" lyrics. The relationship is not accepted by other people... hence "strange". And the stress from that is making said "libertine" realize that the relationship is falling apart. Venting your spleen is venting feelings of anger and spite. And I don't think it's so much anger or spite towards the other person in the relationship... more like anger and spite at the situation and complications from the relationship having to be discrete. And when it happens the other doesn't know how to respond... and it grows so the relationship is slipping. The srange infatuation gracing the "evening tide" just seems like it's something hidden planned and careful. And "You grow me like an evergreen, you've never seen the lonely me at all"... an evergreen never loses it's needles it looks the same year in and out. It seems to be a constant when it really does change and grow. So being grown like an evergreen is like changing and maturing in a relationship without the relationship changing. And without the other person acknowledging or allowing changes. They just see the constant, the person who will always be there for them and they take it for granted. They don't understand how empty the other feels when they're not with them. And the one singing the song is running out of imagination and sureness. They see that time is running out. They try and spin things in their head to cope, but when the end of the relationship seems obvious it only hits them harder... and they fall. Then they plead. "Without you I'm nothing at all."

    It's very sad to me. But very very passionate and warm.

    Thats my own personal interpretation. A cinderella story without a happy ending.
    soundscenarioon October 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentpowerful song by placebo. all placebo lyrics have hidden meanings. i dunno... this one in particular talks about fake love (so does every song in WYIN). I think it should be considered fake love to be dependent on someone. i think it speaks about a one-sided relationship, you know, like one always has to do the sacrifices and everything while the other one doesn't really give a damn. but the other person (the one who does all the sacrifices) doesn't want to accept that the other person can't love him back. ok, my brain is not working. darn it. but yeah, i think, well for me it's kinda like that.
    allergicon January 22, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think its about just despertly wanting someone to stay with you, even though they may treat you like complete shit. god, i love this song..
    erasethesunon June 19, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's kinda like an obsession....well that's how i take it anyway...he's so infatuated with someone, who obviously doesn't feel the same about him....
    Kezon June 30, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is simple and intriguing at the same time.
    I agree about the obsession, but its not with one person, but with the gender in general. They are so infatuated with the other sex that they are 'nothing without them' [Strange infatuation seems to grace the evening tide. I'll take it by your side.] Every person they like, they get a strange obsession with them
    [Instant correlation sucks and breeds a pack of lies.]
    They know that thinking of them together will only be a lie.
    [Oversaturation curls the skin and tans the hide.
    I'll take it by your side.]
    Thinking about them too much hurts.
    [And every time you vent your spleen,
    I seem to lose the power of speech]
    Everytime they get rejected, it makes them choke up and lose self confidence
    [Your slipping slowly from my reach.]
    Will they ever find the 'one'

    Maybe. Placebo are just amazing
    caberdogon June 29, 2003   Link

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