We did somethin' we both know it
We don't talk too much about it
Ain't no real big secret all the same
Somehow we get around it
Listen it don't really matter to me baby
You believe what you want to believe
You see you don't have to live like a refugee (don't have to live like a refugee)

Somewhere, somehow somebody
Must have kicked you around some
Tell me why you want to lay there
Revel in your abandon
Honey, it don't make no difference to me baby
Everybody's had to fight to be free
You see you don't have to live like a refugee (don't have to live like a refugee)
Now baby you don't have to live like a refugee (don't have to live like a refugee) No

Baby we ain't the first
I'm sure a lot of other lover's been burned
Right now this seems real to you
But it's one of those things
You gotta feel to be true

Somewhere, somehow somebody
Must have kicked you around some
Who knows, maybe you were kidnapped
Tied up, taken away and held for ransom, honey
It don't really matter to me baby
Everybody's had to fight to be free
You see you don't have to live like a refugee (don't have to live like a refugee)
No you don't have to live like a refugee (don't have to live like a refugee)
You don't have to live like a refugee (don't have to live like a refugee)
Oh, oh, oh


Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by dylanite

Refugee Lyrics as written by Tom Petty Michael W. Campbell

Lyrics © Gone Gator Music, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Refugee song meanings
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28 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI always thought it was about a person who sabotages her (or his) own success, either because she wants something to complain about, or she doesn't think she deserves any better.

    I think this mostly because of the "somebody must have kicked you around some" line, which i took to mean that Mr. Petty is positing that somebody made the subject believe they are worthless.

    P.S. I think Tom Petty is rated just were he should be. Isn't he widely accepted to be a highly respected and innovative performer / songwriter?
    Hirostratuson July 01, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIt strikes me as a song thats saying, Quit being a Victim, "everybody's had to fight to be free."
    N7Dynamixon November 09, 2011   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI don't know what Tom wrote Refugee about. None of us do but I know for me when I sing the song, I sing it about my relationship. My girlfriend was used and violated by her ex boyfriend and she has told me about it, but requested we don't talk about it "We got something, we both know, we don't talk too much about it." The abuse she went through I understand and I wish she would have told someone, I also wish I could be there to stop it "Somewhere, Somehow, Somebody must have kicked you around some, tell my why you would lay there and revel in your abandon." The chorus "you don't haft to live like a refugee" lets my girlfriend know that now she is with me and I love her very much and Im gonna treat her right because she deserves it, its also saying you don't haft to worry about it cause im here now and im not him.
    rock107329on January 29, 2015   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it's about a woman who has been hurt before and he's telling her that not everyone will do that to her and to not live her life in fear.
    kmk_natashaon March 26, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Tell me why you want to lay there - revel in your abandon"

    This here is a matter of choice.

    While it is probably true that before any one of us may analyze any line of lyric in any song that we should first, as a preliminary measure, consider that only the author(s) can know exactly the creative process and inspiration behind its conception, as well as what was "meant" or otherwise "not meant," it is my opinion nevertheless, that the writer apparently exhibits a certain tone of frustration toward another who chooses not to rise above their own devastation and ruin; be it the subject of tyranny and corruption or otherwise suffering at the hand of some apparent cruelty, above all this sing seems to be about choice.

    * Raise your hand if your companion describes their last companionship, if not their entire world, as a cruel and unfair dictatorship, wherein they are victims of anything and everything.

    ** Raise both hands if you are that victim.


    Furthermore, I feel like if anyone's gonna tell how the cow ate the cabbage it's gonna be Mr. Tom Petty. Sometimes good people take the easy way, and that ain't so good now is it. Moo.
    itdontreallymattertomeon June 03, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the chorus kind of sums up the songs meaning. I totaly agree that Tom Petty and Jethro Tull dont get as much credidt as they deserve for their awesome music. They've done so much for rock.
    FreddieIsMyIdolon January 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWith the current refugee situation this song has new meaning. The refugees are fleeing there country to find a safer and better life. Somewhere somehow someone must of kicked you around some. She's fleeing from a past relationship but Tom is telling her she doesn't have to (we've got something we both know it) they've a good relationship and she doesn't have to live like a refugee.
    Dalton Vargaon July 21, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think its about people complaining about their hardships to people who dont care really

    just my opinion and i like that idea anyways
    love tompetty great artist
    minkoilon March 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment...sounds like Sting is doing back-up? is that just me?
    bouncehoperon April 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsting???nah his voice is too high

    only 6 freckin posts for this song? i'm surprised
    pickleweazleon May 27, 2007   Link

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