I'm thinkin' 'bout the times you drove in my car
I'm 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

Well, I told you that the light goes up and down
Do you notice how the wheels go 'round?
And you better pick yourself up from the ground
Before they bring the curtain down
Yes, before they bring the curtain down

I'm 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


Lyrics submitted by PJ10

Badge Lyrics as written by George Harrison Eric Patrick Clapton

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Badge song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentHere'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

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