You've got a dangerous background
And everything you've dreamed of
Yeah, you're the Dark Angel
It don't show when you break up
And I'm the one who oughta know
Yeah, I'm the one left in the dust
Yeah, I'm the brokenhearted fool
Who was never quite enough

Oh, I'm an insider
I've been burned by the fire
Yes, and I've had to live with some hard promises
I've crawled through the briers
I'm an insider

It's a circle of deception
It's a hall of strangers
And it's a cage without a key
You can feel the danger
And I'm the one who oughta know
yeah, I'm the one you couldn't trust
Yes, I'm the lonely silent one
I'm the one left in the dust

Oh, I'm an insider,
I've been burned by the fire
Yes, and I've had to live with some hard promises
I've crawled through the briers
I'm an insider

I'll bet you're his masterpiece
I'll bet you're his self-control
Yeah you'll become his legacy
His quiet world of white and gold
And I'm the one who ought to know
Yeah, I'm the one you left to rust
And not one of your twisted friends
I'm the one you couldn't love

Oh, I'm an insider
I've been burned by the fire
Yes, and I've had to live with some hard promises
I've crawled through the briers
I'm an insider

I'm an insider


Lyrics submitted by oofus

Insider [Live at Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville,] Lyrics as written by Tom Petty

Lyrics © Gone Gator Music

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Insider song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about a couple that has broken up.
    Someone has cheated on their partner and now she (in this case) is upset."

    "I'm the one you couldn't trust
    Yeah I'm the lonely silent one
    I'm the one left in the dust"

    The last verse is coming from the guy who has been cheated on.
    If you think about it "His quiet world of white and gold." isn't hard to work out.
    Also 'His' as in the other guy.....
    Rodoharaon January 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentListen to this song done on the new DVD concert with Stevie Nicks, IMHO it's a by far better duet that Stop Dragging my Heart Around.

    This song reaches deep, the pain you hear and feel is real and biting.

    They ought to re-release it and watch it climb the charts!!!
    Muddyon December 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful, timeless, and more than a bit wrenching...possibly even a bit too much of the latter to ever be a chart hit (though I do like the sentiment, Muddy). It clearly belongs in the Tom Petty Top Ten, which by now is fairly competitive territory.
    raffishtenant2on July 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful, timeless, and more than a bit wrenching...possibly even a bit too much of the latter to ever be a chart hit (though I do like the sentiment, Muddy). It clearly belongs in the Tom Petty Top Ten, which by now is fairly competitive territory.
    raffishtenant2on July 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow! the whole time i've listened to this song (not very long since i'm 18 and just discovered my love for petty!) i've thought they were singing "heaven inside her" and i thought the title was just supposed to be spelled wrong. i know this sounds really dumb but i liked "heaven inside her" hahah anyways this song is beautiful even more so now that i know the lyrics
    jasssson May 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis was written for Stevie Nicks to sing, but she turned it down, saying that it wasn't a woman's song. So TP recorded it himself, and that made it a song about a man whose lover has left him for someone richer.

    He calls himself an insider because he (now) understands all the planning and scheming she did, and that she never really loved him as she said she did. That's why he's 'the one who oughta know'. He's now sadder and wiser - but she left him with nothing and he doesn't seem to know what to do next.
    treefrogdemonon September 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song is about unrequited love male or female. It evokes a memory of that one beautiful person in your life that you could not have. For whatever reason it was just never meant to be.They never thought the same way about you as you felt about them. Maybe it was because they belonged to your best friend. You met them too late.But, when you went to a party and they were there, you spent hours talking to them and just wanting to be in their presence. And when you drove home alone when the party was over. You wound your way through the streets with tears in your eyes. One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do.
    wayne10906on November 07, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is in my Top 10 list of favorite TP songs. The lyrics are so powerful & moving. It's my favorite duet between Tom & Stevie. Tom wrote Insider for Stevie but he liked it so much he told her he couldn't give it to her so he wrote Stop Draggin' My Heart Around for her which became a big hit. Personally, I think Insider is such a better song. The lyrics are just mind blowing. Anyone that has been in a relationship knows exactly what the line "I've been burned by the fire" means but he's way of referring to having your heart broken is so much more powerful and conveys the feeling so much poetically better. I will never understand how one person could write so many great lyrics like Tom did. It was truly a gift and this song is just unbelievable.
    Lesliemojoon April 01, 2019   Link

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