"Lord Only Knows" as written by and Beck Hansen....
Ah!
You only got one finger left
And it's pointing at the door
And you're taking for granted
What the Lord's made on the floor

So I'm picking up the pieces
And I'm putting them up for sale
Throw your meal ticket out the window
Put your skeletons in jail

Cause Lord only knows it's getting late
Your senses are gone so don't you hesitate
To give yourself a call let your bottom dollars fall

Throwing your two bit cares down the drain
Invite me to the seven seas like some seasick man
You will do whatever you please and I'll do whatever I can

Titanic, fare thee well, my eyes are turning pink
Don't call us when the new age gets old enough to drink
Cause Lord only knows it's getting late
Your senses are gone so don't you hesitate

Move on up the hill there's nothing dead left to kill
Throwing your two bit cares down the drain
Odelay, odelay, odelay, odealy odelay, odelay
Just passing through
Odelay, odelay, odelay, odealy

Going back to Houston
Do the hot dog dance
Going back to Houston
To get me some pants


Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Lord Only Knows" as written by Beck Hansen

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Lord Only Knows song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentBest song on Odelay. Too bad the lyrics are too...abstract
    buddha boyon December 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI thought I got it at the beginning, but now I'm lost. WTF?
    whj247on June 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSomehow this song means a lot to me, although I don't know why... it always puts me in a good mood relentless of the fact that I can't understand it.
    whelp22on October 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeck's lyrics don't make any sense as usual, but that doesn't mean he doesn't make good music. I think the best part of this song is when he screws up on his solo.
    wudthefxupon October 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfuck man. i was hoping for interpretation. i love beck, but honestly... is he a bob dylan lyrical genius or a drugged out nonsensical musician? i am hoping that this song is too personal to beck to make sense of, just like all the others i dont understand. i love beck so much.
    NeonBlondeon September 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song brings back a lot of memories (as does the rest of the album.) The lyrics are perfectly fine in my opinion. And the last part about the "Hot Dog Dance" is actually a re-written ryhme that Beck made up when he was a kid.
    crashkaboomon December 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhy is beck always saying "the lord" when he's a scientologist or whatever? Kinda odd... this song really makes no sense but it's fun to listen to. Anyways, I'm off to houston... gonna get me some pants.
    DJgifon November 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a song about ending a relationship.

    The first verse is him kicking her out. "You've only got one finger left, and it's pointing at the door" means that he has counted down, and he now wants her out.

    he's had enough of her crap. he's "picked up the pieces" in the past, but is letting her go. he has been supporting her as her "meal ticket", but not anymore. he is now holding her accountable for her terrible actions, "putting [her] skeletons in jail."

    "'Cause Lord only knows it's getting late
    Your senses are gone so don't you hesitate
    To give yourself a call, let your bottom dollars fall
    Throwing your two bit cares down the drain"

    This verse is his suggestions of what she does now. Lord only know's it's too late to make up. She's shocked, so she should dig deep, call in her last favors if she wants him back. She should not dwell on petty stuff, because this is more serious than her "two bit cares."

    "Invite me to the seven seas like some seasick man
    You'll do whatever you please and I'll do whatever I can
    Titantic, fare thee well, my eyes are turning pink
    Don't call us when the new age gets old enough to drink"

    The third verse is her attempt to get back together. She invited him to a bar or a restaurant, "the Seven Seas." She makes an ass of herself, he gets tired and leaves. Their relationship is doomed like the titanic, and he is tired of it, making his eyes bloodshot or "pink". She says they have entered a "new age." things are different. He doesn't care, he isn't going to wait for her to mature to the point when things are "old enough to drink"

    "Going back to Houston
    Do the hotdog dance
    Going back to Houston
    To get me some PANTS..... "

    The coda is about him moving back to where he came from. He is going to be in a better relationship. One where HE wears the pants.

    johnnypinstripeon December 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeck is my (Gen X, I'm same age) generation's Dylan, no question.

    'Cause Lord only knows it's getting late
    Your senses are gone so don't you hesitate
    To give yourself a call, let your bottom dollars fall
    Throwing your two bit cares down the drain

    Frikkin genius. Layered meanings going on here. This was written in early 90's, pre cell phone. People used to use these things called pay phones, often with quarters. When he says give yourself a call, let your bottom dollars fall, he's talking about quarters (2 quarters = bottom half of a dollar). Obviously, 'bet your bottom dollar' is a ref on another level - but sticking with this "first layer" of interpretation, we've got the pay phone thing going on. Throwing 'two bit cares down the drain' = throwing two quarters (two bits) down the pay phone drain.

    On another level, it sounds like a dysfunctional relationship has run it's course. I always visualize a 'trailer trash' type of scenario with one of those Jerry Springer type chicks you see on the tv .. don't know why, maybe it's the lazy, laconic rhythm of the melody and overall tone of the song ..
    Hawkeye2008on September 19, 2010   Link

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