If you, if you could return
Don't let it burn
Don't let it fade
I'm sure I'm not being rude
But it's just your attitude
It's tearing me apart
It's ruining every day

I swore, I swore I would be true
And honey so did you
So why were you holding her hand?
Is that the way we stand?
Were you lying all the time?
Was it just a game to you?

But I'm in so deep
You know I'm such a fool for you
You got me wrapped around your finger
Do you have to let it linger?
Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger?

Oh, I thought the world of you
I thought nothing could go wrong
But I was wrong, I was wrong

If you, if you could get by
Trying not to lie
Things wouldn't be so confused
And I wouldn't feel so used
But you always really knew
I just want to be with you

And I'm in so deep
You know I'm such a fool for you
You got me wrapped around your finger
Do you have to let it linger?
Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger?

And I'm in so deep
You know I'm such a fool for you
You got me wrapped around your finger
Do you have to let it linger?
Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger?

You know I'm such a fool for you
You got me wrapped around your finger
Do you have to let it linger?
Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger?


Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by TheMirzaei

Linger Lyrics as written by Dolores Mary O'riordan Noel Anthony Hogan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Linger song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

122 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +19
    General Comment

    what a fabulous song this is. it's about wanting someone who has kind of fucked you over. you really know you shouldn't want to be with him anymore, but logic really doesn't mean a lot when you care about someone so much.

    catherinekson June 10, 2002   Link
  • +12
    General Comment

    What I really like about the song is just the general feeling that you get from the combination of the background music and the singer's voice. I don't even pay attention to the words anymore, I just let the feeling wash over me. I played the melody on the harmonica for my friends once, and they still got the meaning of the song: all the hurt and betrayal and foolish loyalty and hope. The meaning is obvious, but the artists managed to utilize the entire song (instruments + voice + words) to convey that meaning.

    fyrefoxon May 09, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    This is such a beautiful song. It's about how her guy let her down but she still loves him and she knows it's stupid to keep loving him but she has to go w/ her her heart. I personally can't relate but it's still a really good love song.

    emo_SavestheDayon April 24, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    of course, it always lingers... (sigh)

    juliashopeon July 05, 2002   Link
  • +6
    My Interpretation

    Too me this song is about someone who she was dating.

    "Don't let it burn, don't let it fade"

    This guy is distant. Her feelings for him are beginning to dissapear the longer he waits to contact her.

    "It's just your attitude, it's tearing me apart it's ruining every day"

    She really likes this guy and she has become a fool for him. But she can feel something is off about him when he's very distant and confusing by the way he's acting, not knowing where he stands gives her that bad feeling in her stomach, she can't stop thinking about him, wondering what he's thinking and what he wants with her which ruins her days because she can't think off anything else except him.

    "I swore I would be true and honey, so did you"

    They both commited to a relationship where they wouldn't date others.

    "So why were you holding her hand, is that the way we stand?"

    She finds out that the bad feeling she had before is real. She sees him with another girl. He was distant and confusing because he was lying. She's now questioning where they stand in the relationship they have because he told her that he wouldn't be with another girl. This guy is making it more confusing.

    "But I'm in so deep. You know I'm such a fool for you. You've got me wrapped around your finger"

    Even though she knows he's an asshole she can't seem to let him go because the feelings she has for him have grown to deep.

    "Do you have to let it linger?"

    She knows it's wrong to still like him so much and she wants him to let her go because she can't let him go. He holds on to her even though he doesn't want the same thing she wants, a commited relationship.

    "I thought the world of you. I thought nothing could go wrong. But I was wrong"

    She was blinded by her feelings for him, she didn't see what a douchebag he actually was. Now that she's seen what an ass he is she realizes how wrong she was about him but she's still a fool for him.

    "If you could get by, trying not to lie. Things wouldn't be so confused and I wouldn't feel so used"

    He makes it all so confusing by lying, if he could just stop lying and started telling the truth she wouldn't have to feel used by him.

    "But you always really knew, I just want to be with you"

    He knows that she only wants him yet he keeps lying to her about how he feels about her. Holding on to her, keeping her thinking about him everyday.

    It's such a beautiful but sad song. I'm surprised any guy could do this to sweet Dolores.

    I'm going through the exact same thing atm and this is my go to song all the time. Love can be such hell sometimes =(

    chimpsson April 22, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    The song basically highlights the fact that when you really like or love someone, even when they hurt you, your love doesn't die immediately. Feelings can't be turned on and off like a light bulb. It takes time to heal, esp. when the heart is involved. It hurts so much when this happens because even know you know you should just let it go, you cant seem to. That is why the words "such a fool for you" makes so much sense. We become colossal idiots when we're in love.

    coolercanson January 15, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    the cranberries are my life force and this song is my world.

    bunny rabbiton May 15, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    yea, foolish loyalty. like what fyrefox said. i can relate to the song.. cause im foolishly loyal. grins i just love this song so much.

    bitterstaron May 22, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    i only have praise for this song. bcoz it clearly defines exactly how i am feeling for being so damn hurt and inlove to a guy who just treated me like a big joke. i even bought my own copy so i can listen to it as many time as possible. if anyone asks how i feel about my hurting experience i just say listen to LINGER! cranberries rule!

    kirbieon May 12, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    This song simply hits the spot for me. Pregnant girlfriend nearly miscarried and freaked out, moved home to her mum 7 hour drive away and now ignores all contact with me saying she wants to do this on her own now. I feel completely betrayed and lost. Foolishly i listen to this song constantly.

    "I'm in so deep, I'm such a fool for you" "Dont let it burn, dont let it fade"

    The longer you shut me out babes, the more of my daughters life I'll be missing. Dont let it linger :-( x

    anfoolon April 15, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
The Night We Met
Lord Huron
This is a hauntingly beautiful song about introspection, specifically about looking back at a relationship that started bad and ended so poorly, that the narrator wants to go back to the very beginning and tell himself to not even travel down that road. I believe that the relationship started poorly because of the lines: "Take me back to the night we met:When the night was full of terrors: And your eyes were filled with tears: When you had not touched me yet" So, the first night was not a great start, but the narrator pursued the relationship and eventually both overcame the rough start to fall in love with each other: "I had all and then most of you" Like many relationships that turn sour, it was not a quick decline, but a gradual one where the narrator and their partner fall out of love and gradually grow apart "Some and now none of you" Losing someone who was once everything in your world, who you could confide in, tell your secrets to, share all the most intimate parts of your life, to being strangers with that person is probably one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. So Painful, the narrator wants to go back in time and tell himself to not even pursue the relationship. This was the perfect song for "13 Reasons Why"
Album art
Son Şansın - Şarkı Sözleri
Hayalperest
This song seemingly tackles the methods of deception those who manipulate others use to get victims to follow their demands, as well as diverting attention away from important issues. They'll also use it as a means to convince people to hate or kill others by pretending acts of terrorism were committed by the enemy when the acts themselves were done by the masters of control to promote discrimination and hate. It also reinforces the idea that these manipulative forces operate in various locations, infiltrating everyday life without detection, and propagate any and everywhere. In general, it highlights the danger of hidden agendas, manipulation, and distraction, serving as a critique of those who exploit chaos and confusion to control and gain power, depicting a cautionary tale against falling into their traps. It encourages us to question the narratives presented to us and remain vigilant against manipulation in various parts of society.
Album art
No Surprises
Radiohead
Same ideas expressed in Fitter, Happier are expressed in this song. We're told to strive for some sort of ideal life, which includes getting a good job, being kind to everyone, finding a partner, getting married, having a couple kids, living in a quiet neighborhood in a nice big house, etc. But in Fitter, Happier the narrator(?) realizes that it's incredibly robotic to live this life. People are being used by those in power "like a pig in a cage on antibiotics"--being pacified with things like new phones and cool gadgets and houses while being sucked dry. On No Surprises, the narrator is realizing how this life is killing him slowly. In the video, his helmet is slowly filling up with water, drowning him. But he's so complacent with it. This is a good summary of the song. This boring, "perfect" life foisted upon us by some higher powers (not spiritual, but political, economic, etc. politicians and businessmen, perhaps) is not the way to live. But there is seemingly no way out but death. He'd rather die peacefully right now than live in this cage. While our lives are often shielded, we're in our own protective bubbles, or protective helmets like the one Thom wears, if we look a little harder we can see all the corruption, lies, manipulation, etc. that is going on in the world, often run by huge yet nearly invisible organizations, corporations, and 'leaders'. It's a very hopeless song because it reflects real life.
Album art
Punchline
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran sings about missing his former partner and learning important life lessons in the process on “Punchline.” This track tells a story of battling to get rid of emotions for a former lover, whom he now realized might not have loved him the same way. He’s now caught between accepting that fact and learning life lessons from it and going back to beg her for another chance.
Album art
Head > Heels
Ed Sheeran
“Head > Heels” is a track that aims to capture what it feels like to experience romance that exceeds expectations. Ed Sheeran dedicates his album outro to a lover who has blessed him with a unique experience that he seeks to describe through the song’s nuanced lyrics.