If you believe in the power magic,
I can change your mind
And if you need to believe in someone,
Turn and look behind
When we were living in a dream world,
Clouds got in the way
We gave it up in a moment of madness
And threw it all away

Don't answer me, don't break the silence
Don't let me win
Don't answer me, stay on your island
Don't let me in

Run away and hide from everyone
Can you change the things we've said and done?

If you believe in the power of magic,
It's all a fantasy
So if you need to believe in someone,
Just pretend it's me
It ain't enough that we meet as strangers
I can't set you free
So will you turn your back forever on what you mean to me?

Don't answer me, don't break the silence
Don't let me win
Don't answer me, stay on your island
Don't let me in

Run away and hide from everyone
Can you change the things we've said and done?


Lyrics submitted by Ice

Don't Answer Me song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +7
    General Comment

    I had the greatest love affair of my life once, and all of a sudden she completely checked out and disappeared. She wouldn't answer my letters or take my phone calls. I almost never found out what happened. (Later I found out she was an alcoholic and had started drinking again, and attempted suicide.) I think "Don't Answer Me" really means "OK, go ahead then, be that way, don't answer me. What do I care?" Meaning he's dying for an answer.

    MarkTomCaton July 12, 2008   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation

    This is one of the rare cases where the lyrics seem rather clear to me.

    Picture a man and woman in a "magical" relationship that unfortunately breaks down in a very nasty way, with hurtful words and actions exchanged.

    Imagine she is very strong-willed, determined not to "lose" the battle because she fears showing weaknesss more than losing what could be a beautiful love.

    I'm not suggesting that all the details are laid out in the song, but these hypothetical descriptions might give a feel for what is being said:

    If you believe in the power of magic, I can change your mind And if you need to believe in someone, Turn and look behind

    He can probably see that she's not happy, and he's asking her to give him--to give them--the chance to let magic work.
    She doesn't need to be looking for someone to believe in--he's right there in her past.

    When we were living in a dream world, Clouds got in the way We gave it up in a moment of madness And threw it all away

    They had it all and yet threw it all away, letting misunderstandings interfere.

    Don't answer me, don't break the silence Don't let me win Don't answer me, stay on your island Don't let me in

    He's not suggesting this. It's more like a mocking of her behavior. I could see him thinking: "You refuse to listen to what I say because it might mean you have to let go of the anger." "Instead of reaching out for what we could have, you throw up passive-aggressive barriers and think that's 'winning,' even though it hurts us both."

    Run away and hide from everyone Can you change the things we've said and done?

    "You act as if you can just hide and all the accusations and actions will go away...but we hurt each other and that won't change on its own. The hurt won't go away unless we face it, not hide from it."

    If you believe in the power of magic, It's all a fantasy So if you need to believe in someone, Just pretend it's me

    If you truly believe in the power of magic or redemption, then you know you can make your own reality through your own actions.

    It ain't enough that we meet as strangers I can't set you free So will you turn your back forever on what you mean to me?

    So...are you going to sit in pain and isolation, all to avoid "giving in"...Can't you open up to me again, despite what we went through?

    Gondringon November 22, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I can see the points some people are making. Like he's saying fine just go a way. I see it slightly different though.

    He starts by listing the beginning of the relationship when they were lost in each other and the passion of a new relationship. During this time they didn't take an honest look at the other. As things progressed, some cracks appeared. When things were the perfect setting that things were in the beginning, she shut him out and blamed him for the problems.

    Most of the rest of the song is him listing the things, almost sarcastically, that she is doing to shut him out. That he feels she is the one putting up barriers to them growing through their problems.

    Derfon August 02, 2017   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    This song is about how fragile relationships and love can be... how you can leave someone for no good reason in a moment of madness and regret it forever.

    When he realizes what he had lost, he tries to fix things, to talk with her and get her back. But she won't answer. She got too hurt by his previous behavior or words. She might still miss him, but decided that it's better to stay in "her island" than to risk suffering over him all over again. She "wins" the game. He loses, as she's gone forever. But in reality they both lost.

    He keeps wishing someone could change the things they've said and done - maybe if he did believe in this magic, she would answer him.

    indstrlgalon November 29, 2018   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I love this song. I think it is about two persons who were in a relationship but then seperated in a moment of madness. And now they have somehow met up as strangers and the singer is saying Don't answer me as it will make me win this fight, just run and hide and think if we can change the things that happened.

    cedrikon January 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I don't know, I think the meaning of this song is pretty basic. A lot of people read too much into APP and their 'concept albums'. The reality is, much of their music had NOTHING to do with the overall concept, and Woolfson has admitted as such.

    I don't think you have to shoehorn a meaning into this one folks. It's clearly a love relationship gone bad where the protagonist bitterly dares his love not to speak to him. She will win, but will she really? She's out on her own island without him, is that preferable?

    ctlizyrdon September 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is song is really beautiful. This song is about a person trying to get someone back, I think. Possibly he knows how much he's hurt her and doesn't want that to happen again. He can't set her free from him, only she can and if she needs anything he'll be there to guide her. That's what I think IMO.

    MuzickLvron June 17, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Though now i fully support the view of the second comment, for me due to some wonderful selective perception for a long time it meant something completely opposite (ironically, I would like to keep my previous impression, but now I can't) It was a song coming from a man who some time in the past experienced romantic disappointment and came to the realisation of how fragile Love is and maybe how impermanent He is. A song from a man who's lonely heart had been wondering for a long time eventually coming at rest near someone who he adores, but only from a distance. And soon almost fatefully that someone turns out to be in love with him too. And now as their delicate dance is inevitably pulling them closer and closer to each other there comes this fear of endings and disillusion, that the beautiful and keen fantasy, his muse, would vanish and leave after only the steam of ordinariness and a couple of another faint hearts.

    Odinityon February 02, 2017   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    When I listen to this song I think of the love of my life, and my biggest heartbreak. I take the lyrics and this song as me trying to get her back months after splitting, I message her telling her how I feel but I dont want an answer because I know what she'll say and I know I wont like it, I know it'll just add to the heartbreak I was barely starting to recover from.

    14682968465132on October 16, 2022   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    This is my concept album interpretation and I think it fits in with what AP is trying to convey. There is a super deep message Eric is trying to present that is consistent with the picture of the Ammonia Avenue cover of a dizzying, array of pipes. You are having a conversation with technology (AI?). The lyrics suggest the steady encroachment of technology into our lives and our weakness to confront it. Who needs magic or God when we have all this wonderful technology? And if you have trouble accepting this encroachment of technology, just look at our history of progress so far. We lived peacefully with nature, but gave it up in the pursuit of progress for the sake of progress, clouding our judgement. We try to run away from it but it is a steady, relentless presence, like the wall of sound in the music. Technology becomes our God and it needs us to sustain it. It becomes something we struggle to master (a stranger to our norms and often our intuition). We look to it for all our answers, yet it can't provide them. We may try to run away from it, yet we are powerless to change the technological progress that has already been made and what we say (together with technology) we will do.

    vimana2on November 23, 2023   Link

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