"Refugee" as written by Tom Petty and Michael W. Campbell....
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Lyrics submitted by oofus, edited by dylanite

Refugee song meanings
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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
  • +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
  • +3
    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
  • +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 26, 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
  • 0
    General Commentno, really! the echo part on the chorus when tom goes "you don't, have, to live like a refugee" and then there's an echo that goes, "don't have to live like a refugee." to me the echo sounds like sting.
    i must admit, this is the only tom petty song i like...go fig.
    bouncehoperon June 13, 2007   Link

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