Thinkin' 'bout the times you drove in my car
Thinkin' that I might have drove you too far
And I'm thinkin' 'bout the love that you laid on my table

I told you not to wander 'round in the dark
I told you 'bout the swans, that they live in the park
Then I told you 'bout our kid, now he's married to Mabel

Yes, I told you that the light goes up and down
Don't you notice how the wheel goes 'round?
And you better pick yourself up from the ground
Before they bring the curtain down
Yes, before they bring the curtain down, ooh

Get up, get up, get up (ooh, ooh, ooh)
Yeah, yeah, yeah (ooh, ooh, ooh)
Yeah, yeah, yeah (ooh, ooh, ooh)

Talkin' 'bout a girl that looks quite like you
She didn't have the time to wait in the queue
She cried away her life since she fell out the cradle

Lyrics submitted by PJ10

Badge Lyrics as written by George Harrison Eric Patrick Clapton

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Badge song meanings
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  • +7
    General Comment
    George Harrison played rythym guitar for this under the name "L'Angelo Misterioso", and most of the lyrics were from drunken conversations by George and Ringo. Too bad Harrison and Clapton didn't collaberate on more songs, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Badge were amazing.
    ClicKon December 06, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General Comment
    Here's my meaning I have for the song. It's not based on any information about what the composers meant, only how the words strike me. "Thinkin' 'bout the times you drove in my car. Thinkin' that I might have drove you too far. And I'm thinkin' 'bout the love that you laid on my table." The singer had a girl in his life, she used to drive his car. Their relationship thus one more than just dating. She drove his car. They probably lived together. But things didn't go too well. He took advantage of their relationship, wanted too much from her or expected to get away with things. In the end he drove her to far with this stuff and ended the relationship. Was it that he cheated on her? Was it that he did too many drugs? Did he push her into drugs and that did it? Whatever it was, he pushed too much. But once she was open and loving, she just laid it out on the table how much she loved him. Even though that line comes after the line that he drove her too far, I think he's at first reflects on the end of the relationship and then reflects on how before the relationship went bad that she really did love him. This makes it more pathetic and sad that he drove her away. There also is a double meaning of them making love on a table when the relationship was good. "I told you not to wander 'round in the dark. I told you 'bout the swans, that they live in the park. Then I told you 'bout our kid, now he's married to Mabel." I think the driving her too far must have been getting her into drugs with him. When he was doing that he told her not to let it take her into danger. The image is of a dark park with a carnival happening. She shouldn't wander round there with no sense of safety, just looking for fun and wild times. The implication is that she did anyway. The line about the swans is a line given by Ringo. But what it operates as is a description of the dark park and the danger of wandering around in it in the dark when high or drunk. There are swans living there and one could trip over them, and by implication into the ponds that are there since they live at ponds. He told her all about this, but she did it all anyway. In contrast to this lifestyle he drove her too, they had a mutual friend, "our kid," who has gone the other way with his life- "now he's married to Mable." The singer told her all about this, how there was an alternative to this crazy, wild life of drugs and sex and rock and roll- there's the stable life like their kid got with Mabel. But she rejected this all... "Yes, I told you that the light goes up and down. Don't you notice how the wheel goes 'round? And you better pick yourself up from the ground Before they bring the curtain down, Yes, before they bring the curtain down." There is a carnival in the park. The lights on the rides go up and down. The Ferris Wheel goes round and round, making the lights go up and down. She's off in the dark on the ground, having tripped over the swans while drunk and high. While the carnival is going on, before they close it for the night "bring the curtain down," she has its lights to see to get up off the ground. But it seems she doesn't take his advice. "Talkin' 'bout a girl that looks quite like you. She didn't have the time to wait in the queue. She cried away her life since she fell off the cradle." So he tries to explain things to her with a story of another girl, one very much like her. In fact she looks like her. This girl also wasn't patient enough to make a relationship work past the problems and become stable. She didn't wait int he queue. In fact all she has done is make her life sad and cry about how bad her life is. She's been doing this ever since she was a baby and once fell off the cradle- this may mean she literally fell out of her cradle once and cried, but more likely it means that she's been this way since she grew past needing a cradle. Now did the girl he's talking to listen to him? I don't think so since the real composer of this is not Clapton but Harrison and the girl obviously is Patty Boyd, who was his wife. George did drive her away, although things were looking good to most in 1969, but in a few years she was gone because he drove her too far. The irony is he drove her right into Clapton's arms, who was already madly in love with her. The double irony is that Clapton later did the exact same thing to her until he drove her away too. In the end Patty did find the stable and happy life- but not with a rock and roller.
    LibWingofLibWingon March 20, 2018   Link
  • +4
    General Comment
    George Harrison wrote this in his autobigraphy 'I Me Mine'; "While writing the words we got to the middle part which I call the 'bridge', so I put that on the paper with the words. Eric was sitting opposite me and he looked at the paper - upside down to him - and cracked up: he said 'what's that - badge?' and I said 'it's bridge'. So later Eric called the song Badge. It's funny, now he actually sings in concert at the end of the song 'Where is my badge?'." He goes on to say that Ringo (drunkenly) contributed about the swans in the park.
    mandolinloseron February 25, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General Comment
    Definitely, a man who has at least some grasp on life and reality meets up with a woman who does not, and who was part of his past. The line "Then I told you 'bout our kid, now he's married to Mabel" is rather stunning. That's a Hemingway-like delivery of a LOT of backstory in a few words. Their "past" is not just months or years ago, but at least about twenty years. And while she bore him a son, she took no part in raising him, recently, anyway. The music makes you take notice of that line even if the astounding lyrics didn't.
    rikdad101@yahoo.comon February 28, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    Ah, this song is awesome, especially when heard live. I suggest the 24 Nights version of Badge. This song is a great song, and it is what prompted me to start playing guitar. The live solo is spectacular, as is the man playing it. Anyways, here is what my dad told me about this song: It was origninally written by Eric Clapton during his days with Cream. When he was in the process of writing it, one of his band mates came up to him on the other side of the table, reading it upside down. The original title of it was 'Bridge' but what his bandmate saw from his view was 'Badge'. The name stuck. I think the song is about Eric and a female that he hasn't seen for a while driving around one night when the meet up with each other again. They talk about things that have happened since their last time together. Could it be an ex-girlfriend/wife? (I told you 'bout our kid, now he's married to Mabel') During the chorus, Clapton sings "Where is my Badge?" If the original title would have been used, he would probably be singing "Where is my bridge?", and since they are driving in a car, that would make sense. Who knows, I sure don't. If you have anything to add, go ahead, this was just an educated guess. As the London grafitti states - "Clapton is God" Word.
    Hi5Infernoon August 01, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    i can't believe there are only two comments on this! i freakin love this song...and i totally agree, Clapton IS God!
    TheSyndicate88on May 27, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    What a great song! Random thoughts make up this song...Sometimes life is a series of random thoughts. Love is definitely one of the thoughts in this song. It sounds like the woman is troubled. Maybe he drove/made her this way and she was fragile and she broke. He still cares for her but has no desire to get back with her. George, Eric and Ringo probably smoked a lot and this explains this song....take any meaning you want from the song - that is the beauty of music.
    Sarah from Canada!on April 29, 2019   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Actually.... the story goes like this: George Harrison was writing the song with Eric Clapton, and Clapton mis-read Harrison's musical notation of "Bridge" as "BADGE" and thought that was the title of the song. A "bridge" in the musical sense is defined as:"a part of a song that seems like a departure from the verses and chorus. Bridges are more prevalent in modern and popular music than in older music from a century ago. Sometimes the bridge will move up a half a key and convey the song’s innermost message in an even stronger way. Sometimes the bridge will issue an ultimatum to a lover, or even tell the ‘rest of the story.’ Listen to your favorite music. Locate the verse and the chorus. When the song departs from the verse and chorus you have identified the bridge. This departure from the song will be one or two lines long, sometimes four lines long, and almost will always rhyme, even if the verses and choruses do not rhyme."
    ramen_freakon December 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    This song has a GREAT baseline. It's great when you turn it up really loud and....mmm.
    TFFMOon March 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    Badge is about a cop who arrested his ex girlfriend.he talks to her while driving sharing memories with her and telling her things that have happened recently.- Eric Clapton is god
    theredhoodmanon May 23, 2006   Link

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