You were workin' as a waitress in a cocktail bar
When I met you
I picked you out, I shook you up and turned you around
Turned you into someone new
Now five years later on, you've got the world at your feet
Success has been so easy for you
But don't forget, it's me who put you where you are now
And I can put you back down too

Don't, don't you want me?
You know I can't believe it when I hear that you won't see me
Don't, don't you want me?
You know I don't believe you when you say that you don't need me
It's much too late to find
You think you've changed your mind
You'd better change it back or we will both be sorry

Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh

I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
That much is true
But even then, I knew I'd find a much better place
Either with or without you
The five years we have had have been such good times
I still love you
But now, I think it's time I live my life on my own
I guess it's just what I must do

Don't, don't you want me?
You know I can't believe it when I hear that you won't see me
Don't, don't you want me?
You know I don't believe you when you say that you don't need me
It's much too late to find
You think you've changed your mind
You'd better change it back or we will both be sorry

Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh

Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh
Don't you want me, baby?
Don't you want me? Oh
Don't you want me, baby?


Lyrics submitted by numb

Don't You Want Me Lyrics as written by Philip Oakey John William Callis

Lyrics © DOMINO PUBLISHING COMPANY, BMG Rights Management

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Don't You Want Me song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +6
    General Comment

    Is it just me, or are these lyrics really creepy? So much implicit threat:

    "But don't forget it's me who put you where you are now And I can put you back down, too"

    "You'd better change it back Or we will both be sorry"

    david_lpfanon February 15, 2009   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    I remember first hearing this song in 1982, and being taken aback by Phil Oakey's vocals. I had an older sister at the time, who was in a relationship with a possessive piss jealous boyfriend. He used to emotionally blackmail her with similar lines to the lyrics in this song. The lyrics in this song seem somewhat sinister and creepy to me as a result. But it's still a great song, and one of the quintessential 80's songs.

    GFolauon April 14, 2012   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation

    @david. Yes, absolutely. Creepy, threatening. The ominous, minor chord thumb of the synthysizer, the "We will both we sorry." The whole thing sounds like Star 80 to me, a nasty little portrait of sexual power play and jealousy.

    Smokleron March 26, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    enjoyable song. good rythm, nice lyrics.

    JAYAon May 01, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I always think of the male character in the song as being someone like Andy Warhol -- not necessarily a lover, but an impresario with a lot of cultural influence and self-importance, who "discovers" people and has the power to promote them to superstardom or tell everyone they're washed up.

    sharkycharmingon September 23, 2013   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning

    I don't get the "creepy" vibe that others have gotten off this, but rather more of a "desperate" vibe (as in despair, not clinging). I see it as, the guy did everything he could to build her up, and help her to be a better version of herself than the one he initially met, because he saw the potential in her. And when she awoke to this potential in herself, she thought that she wouldn't need him anymore, that she's outgrown him. He's in despair, because he's just as in love with her as he's ever been, and so he throws out this obviously idle threat about knocking her back down to where she was, hoping she'll realize that he can still help her. But she's obstinate and has grown to be full-of-herself, and stubbornly refuses to hear him out, into what will likely be a Pyrrhic victory. At which point, all he could hope for is that she encounters this same cold realization, and wakes up and comes back to him.

    You might be able to infer that I can relate.

    drego5on June 10, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    There is a really cool version of this song by James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins, and the new girl they had Melissa something. It's a neat cover because they switch roles. Melissa sings the guy part, and James Iha sings the female part. It's funny because he/she (James Iha) is so androgenous. It's a live cover, good one.

    Sleepon June 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i must check out that james iha version... this song always reminds me of the film cocktail, except tom cruise is the waitress in the cocktail bar.

    rara.avison May 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Yeah these lyrics do sound creepy! I think this situation is where the girl breaks up with the guy. The guy is saying something like "You broke up with me after I did so much for you." And he plans on getting revenge. At least that's what I though when I listened to the lyrics.

    "But don't forget it's me who put you where you are now And I can put you back down, too"

    Doesn't that sound like revenge to you?

    Salmonnerdzon January 09, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    So a while back, I went through this really horrible relationship. I totally relate to this song. Its almost like they are both incredibly jaded, but "he" has the mindset that he made her what she is today. And "he" definitely wants credit. "She" simply cannot believe that "he" would think that who she is as a person had/has anything to do with who "she" is.

    Honestly? I think this is a very very very narcissistic song from HIS outlook. He thinks he did her a great deal of positivity when it came to her meager little life as a cocktail waitress. That's what my ex was. A narcissistic sociopath. She thought she owned me and that I should THANK HER for the person I was today. She was also super abusive - she only raised her hand to me once, but those of you that have dealt with verbal and emotional abuse, know its just as bad as physical abuse.

    Anyway. I always loved this song. But it took the version from Young Summer for me to really sit down and read the song lyrics.

    askingtoomuchon August 02, 2017   Link

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