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Lyrics submitted by I Shoot Starz, edited by MuuCowOfDeath, guydeboredom

Lost Cause song meanings
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  • +5
    General Commenti have to disagree with noliesjustloveXxX (although i understand its just an opinion)
    in august my boyfriend of 3 years and i broke up. he decided he didn't want a girlfriend anymore and i was devastated.
    three months before, however, i remember listening to this song and feeling like i understood what Beck was trying to convey. Over those three years, I had put in the majority of the effort into the realationship in hopes that someday he would return it. I never felt like he loved me, but I loved him so much that I wanted it to work. Shortly after the breakup, I realized that there was nothing I could've done to make him change, no matter how much I loved him.

    8 months later and we finally get around to exchanging each others things. He says he's been depressed and wants to be friends after 8 months of not even acknowledging my pressence. I decide to give it a shot and he tells me that we should get together sometime. Two weeks later, he's a show with another girl and doesn't say anything to me. This is when this song hit home. Things haven't really changed, he's still a lost cause. During those two weeks, I still was the one putting in the effort, and if we kept going it wouldn't be any different.

    I think this is what happened with Beck. Its hard to keep going when you give your all and you don't receive it back. Love is about equality but some people just don't understand that and you can't change them, no matter how much you fight for it.

    This is a brilliant song.
    XmisfitXgirlXon May 02, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentMy interpretation of this song is that the girl he was with is crazy or chronically depressed or something like that. I think he's tried to help her for a very long time, but when someone won't help themselves there's really nothing you can do. Which is why I think he's decided to leave her; he knows he can never stop her drowning in insanity("I'm tired of fighting...fighting for a lost cause"). He knows that she's a lost cause and there's nothing he can do for her. "Wearing your wounds" is a line that is a bit obvious in my interpretation; she's a cutter and therefore has psysical wounds as well as emotional.
    I think he really loves her, and we see that in the first line. She looks very pitiful and he finds it hard to leave her, but he needs to get out of the relationship.
    I think the two first lines in the last verse: "There's a place where you are going you ain't ever been before" might refer to death. He thinks she won't be able to cope for much longer and predicts that she will commit suicide.
    I don't know, that's just my unterpretation...
    caramiacaramellaon February 18, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe first verse Beck describes two things; the breakup and the bitterness of it

    “sorry eyes cut through bone” describe how it feels to hear the other person wanting out. They can apologize all day, but in the end, it hurts. His reference to the words “ cut through bone” helps us understand this, I mean our bones gives us structure, without it we’re just skin on the floor and this is how much damage that person’s words have caused. The next line states how it’s so hard to let go, even when someone wants to be left alone. The last two lines, followed by the chorus, is very bitter. Beck is simply saying, sure you’ll feel the pinch from the breakup, and you’ll find someone new, but in the end you’ll never find what you’re looking for. Thus, why we hear him say “you’re a lost cause” as you can see, Beck only sees negativity, as anyone would from a breakup, it’s beautiful.

    The second verse supports what Beck claims as the other person being “a lost cause”. The lines “there’s so many people you use to know…” is his way of asking himself how can someone come to know so much about somebody else, and then vamoose?. “this town is crazy” is his way of expanding that question to others like that person. His answer or conclusion in the end is “nobody cares” which is a very blunt answer, because he’s assuming no one cares- again, more bitterness.

    The song takes a turn in the last verse, it’s sort of a twisted reality check for him. He states “I’m tired of fighting” meaning he knows the relationship can’t be salvaged, so he agrees with the breakup, but with that comes again that bitterness, the next few lines is his way of saying you’ll end up with someone who’s not going to be watching over you, nor will they be there for you. The sarcastic line “is that what you thought love was for?” is him chuckling saying, who needs that kind of stuff when it comes to love?

    I think what I like the most is the way he chooses to drag certain words like “wounds” “Bones” “go” He highlights them. Overall, the song is great and I like how you can sort of hear him exhaling in the end, like it's over. the song is over, the relationship is over, i've let my emotions out. Anyways that’s my meaning.
    beatseekeron August 01, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOf course this song is about a breakup. His girlfriend cheated on him, so that's what "Your sorry eyes..." part is about. She's sorry for what she did but the damage was already done, so he's not giving second chances, even if her sorry eyes beg him for another opportunity. This song is similar to things that happen to almost all of us at least once, yeah, it happened to me, a girl cheated on me and I gave her a 2nd chance, but it was incredibly hard to trust her again, we tried to be ok again for almost 3 years, but in the end we had to break up. I was fighting for a lost cause.
    I guess the "there's too many people" verse is about how everyone knew what she was doing but she also knew their secrets, so he felt that behind him a whole world of lies was happening and nobody saw it wrong, nobody cares. Great song.
    deegrayon October 21, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationIts about a guy falling for a narcissistic girlfriend. Atleast it hits home for me in this way.
    carnesauron March 08, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti always thought that part was "is that what you thought love was for"
    Cranberriedon April 27, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is very close to my heart, because this song describes my mythological ex, that is the first girlfriend I ever had, she's one of those girls that are impossible to let go of, because you know that you're missing so much by letting go. This is my interpretation of the song, and it's probably influenced from my experience with her, so... take it with a grain of salt.

    This song, to me, describes the way a suicidal, self-harming, depressed person is pushing everyone away from their lives (for whatever reason, to me it was because she found another man, and I'll explain why this reason comes into play in particular in this song,) and it is told from the perspective of the girl's boyfriend, as he is being locked out of her life.

    "Your sorry eyes cut through the bone"

    She is breaking up with her boyfriend, evident from the sorry eyes from the guilt of having to break his heart. He states that they cut through his bones, the strongest thing his body leans on, I think that this is partly because she is the one hurting him, and he takes it an insult that she is sad while he is the one that is supposed to be heartbroken. This is how I felt.

    "They make it hard to leave you alone"

    This line shows that he still loves her, and that the love is probably not reciprocated now, the sadness in her eyes makes it hard for him to leave, because he's grown attached to her and he knows that she needs help.

    "Leave you here wearing your wounds"

    Here we see the speaker implying that she cuts herself, and her sorry eyes of guilt and sadness make it hard for him to leave her all by herself, wearing her scars for everyone to see. He wants to help her, but he probably does this more so because he loves her. After all, we are selfish creatures, and all we do is for self-gain. I think Beck kept that in mind as he wrote this song.

    "Waving your guns at somebody new"

    This is the line I mentioned earlier, I think it implies that the girl left him for another man, most likely because she never loved him enough to abandon her promises for a man who she found to satisfy her desires better. I think that this line might also implicate that she has a temper, and a sense of control in a relationship, because the speaker states that if he leaves her, she will start waving her guns (which I think is an analogy to taking your anger out on someone else, on your new boyfriend,) at someone new, perhaps that is why she wanted to leave.

    "Baby you're a lost cause"

    A pretty simple line, yet perhaps one of the most powerful in the song. She can't be helped, she has too many problems to be helped, and he realizes this as he is starting to let go of his love for her. Sometimes, you are too deep in your love to someone, that when you suddenly break up with them, it becomes clear to you that they are much different than the person you fell in love with, or the person you were thinking to fall in love with. This is a perfect example for that.

    "There's too many people you used to know
    They see you coming they see you go"

    This line also reminds me of my ex, because after she broke up with me and went to her new boyfriend, she started losing contact with everyone else; she had lost most of her friends, even her best friend, and in the end she also lost me as a friend and a person to lean on (because her new boyfriend was incompetent, and pretty spineless. I left because it was an insult that she left me for him and had to go on with my life anyway,) all this lead her to cut and maybe worse things... I don't know. Anyway, this is what the line describes; there are too many people she used to know, but because of her problems and her mistreatment of others due to these problems, we all left her life. Although she still sees them coming and going, they are almost strangers now.

    "They know your secrets and you know theirs

    This line continues the previous two; they were her closest friends, they knew her secrets and they knew hers, but she distanced herself from everyone except this new person she replaced the speaker with. She found something to put her anger and problems and energy into, and now everyone else in her life fades away.

    Because of this, I can sense some spite and hatred in the speaker's words, I think he hates her guts but can't bear not to love her at the same time. Once again, this is the precise feeling I felt.

    I also think that this comes from the place of being afraid to be vulnerable; I think an unconscious reason that she left him was that she was scared that it was getting serious, and was afraid to lose him, I think she replaced him with someone whom she thought was a safer bet, only doing this from a selfish place to ensure her own sense of ownership and the control of her more secure relationship, and therefore not really loving him as much as she loves herself.

    "This town is crazy; nobody cares"

    I think this means that everyone who used to be in her life doesn't care about her as much as he does, and he calls them crazy for it. He says they don't care. That is partly true, maybe he only cares more, but the more probable reason they left is that they tried, but after trying time and time again they had figured out that she was a lost cause before him, and realized that it was futile to let her stay in their lives. This is probably the result of his denial that she is poisonous to him, wanting to get her back and being there for her for a while after she broke up with him for the slim chance that she would ditch everything to run back into his arms. As the person speaks in this song, he comes to the same conclusion; she is a lost cause.

    "I'm tired of fighting
    Fighting for a lost cause"

    He's tried of trying to get her back/trying to help her/trying to sympathize with her and love her, because she either spits in his face with her new and "improved" boyfriend, lashes out on him or simply is cold to him. All of this helps him reach the conclusion that he deserves to be happy too, and that he should finally let go. She is a lost cause, she is too deep in her own problems to be normal again, and he won't be with her anymore.

    It could also mean that their relationship is a lost cause, and his efforts are just as futile as helping her is.

    "There's a place where you are going
    You ain't never been before"

    This might imply that he knows that by living like this, she will end up killing herself, because everyone who could have helped her through had left her and her new boyfriend is merely a toy she plays with, incapable of saving her. In a way, she caused this, he might be angry at her for that. She is going the unknown, whatever is after death, something she's never seen before.

    It could also simply mean that she is setting herself up in a situation where she is more vulnerable to pain and suffering than she ever was.

    "No one left to watch your back now
    No one standing at your door"

    With everyone leaving her life, no one will be there to watch over her, no one will save her from suicide and cutting attempts, this emphasizes how incompetent her new boyfriend might be. It might also mean he's abusive, but this is a little bit of over-analyzation.

    "That's what you thought love was for"

    This is the most powerful line in the song. This is what she thought love was for; to serve her own selfish purposes and needs. She thought that her partner should serve her own purposes, therefore it was ok to replace her old one (the speaker) if she found it to make her happier, and the speaker mocks her for that, because by doing this she missed the very essence of romantic love; being vulnerable. She's shielded herself up in a secure relationship, but it is a relationship with a person who is empty of character, unable to intrigue her in his own ways, not bringing anything new into the table by means of being himself. She is only using him. He's not a partner as much as he is her tool to self-fulfillment.

    The speaker finds this disgusting, and tells her that this is her twisted take on love. I think by finding this out, he decides that he doesn't love her anymore, because he doesn't want to be with a person who thinks that this is the purpose of love.

    This song is so powerful to me because it sums up a year in my life which was cloudy with pain, self-hatred and, mostly, regret. I think it is a journey both Beck and I have made to discover the true nature of a person who we thought was perfect for us, but once the love faded and the heart has mended, we could finally see the person as who they truly were. But in the end, is it really their fault?

    We all just want to be loved, sometimes, we make the stupidest promises and vows without knowing that the feelings will fade away a fortnight later, and so we leave someone heartbroken once we find out it wasn't the best bet to put your promises on. What we should take from this song is that love fades away, and even the best relationships can die for so many reasons. Please; don't tell someone you love them before you come to an understanding of what love is to you, because you might just be doing exactly what this song describes to someone else. Instead, live in the moment, love the present you have and don't book the future without knowing what it holds.

    Thank you for reading :)
    DS98on September 24, 2015   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation“Your sorry eyes cut through bone”
    [the sudden feeling of gravity right in the core of your soul when your eyes make contact even for a second with someone you love that has hurt you or has such an ability to effect you. Its their eyes, you cant define why you love them but it’s the eyes of someone that you resent and you feel like all your inhibitions have gone even for a second while you’re looking into them.]

    “Make it hard to leave you alone”
    [you love them, you want to f***ing help, protect them, stop them hurting despite its their own guilt gnawing at them for what they did to you. You want to talk to them, whether it be loving content or hate. You just crave any words from their mouth or their touch or breath].

    “Leave you here wearing your wounds”
    [They’re like a dog licking their own wounds. They’ve committed an animalistic crime in the relationship and they must live with it. And because it is in fact you that has really been the victim you know you have to leave for you’re own sanity. They’re a scab that you have to stop picking].

    “Waving your guns at somebody new”
    [We all know the damage a gun can do, they’re imposing all the damage on others that was imposed on him. There is a thin line between love and hate; he seems to be jealous of the people having the guns waved at them].

    “There’s too many people you used to know
    They see you coming, they see you go”
    [Two possibilities. A) Enemies made from people that where once friends or lovers but lost due to her behavior mentioned above or B) People disregarded as a result of a long-term relationship. The second line suggests a lack of commitment to them never the less].

    ‘They know your secrets and you know theirs’
    [This initially made me think of intimate talk between two people that have a soft spot for each other, most likely not between the two main players here but between her and the other man/men. She has shared her deepest thoughts and secrets with other people. It is interesting this is mentioned over and above the sexual act itself.]

    “This town is crazy, nobody cares”
    [He feels like another brick in the wall, everyone is going about their duties doing what they can do to survive or get a quick fix, even if it means sleeping with someone’s partner. This line simultaneously depicts the little empathy human beings sometimes have for others hurt].

    “There's a place where you are going
    You ain't never been before
    No one laughing at your back now
    No one's standing at your door
    That's what you thought love was for”
    [Everyone has given up, they don’t even have time to pity her because of what she’s done. She is going to a very lonely place; she doesn’t have all the puppets she controlled knocking for her and her venom. I love how calmly he sings this whilst there is just so much resentment, a beautiful contradiction. The last line is seemingly referring to her warped perception of love, to get people on her side and obtain things; I deduce that she had been using people].

    She’s a lost cause and he’s tired of fighting to help her at his own expense.
    Smallfryon January 08, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe person he's singing about has an addiction (to alcohol or drugs). She can't break her addiction and it's tearing him apart because he loves her and he wants to help her. She knows it, too. She's a lost cause because she is in complete denial of her addiction.
    "Your sorry eyes cut through the bone
    They make it hard to leave you alone
    Leave you here wearing your wounds
    Waving your guns at somebody new".
    To me: she knows she's an addict. When she's sober, she apologizes and says she will change...he believes her once again...but while in her alcohol or drug induced state, she is vicious and hurtful with her words. He also is hurtful with his words ("leave you here, wearing your wounds"). With no one else to attack she lashes out at the people closest to her...her children or other family members ("waving your guns at somebody new")

    "Baby you're a lost cause"...obvious that he feels she is beyond help and he is frustrated because he loves her and has tried to help.

    "There's too many people you used to know
    They see you coming, they see you go
    They know your secrets, and you know theirs
    This town is crazy; nobody cares".
    To me: All her friends are alcoholics or using some sort of drug. They know who she is (an addict). She goes to parties with them. But yet she has a "normal" family life with her children and husband. She volunteers at her children's school, she's on the PTO, she has a job. She's everyone's friend. She's perfect in everyone elses eyes. That's the secret...and...she knows everyone else in her circle of "friends" holds the same secret. But, she thinks she has all these "great" friends...they're not...she needs to get away from them so she can heal and become sober and happy.
    "There's a place where you are going
    You ain't never been before
    No one left to watch your back now
    No one standing at your door
    Is that what you thought love was for"?
    To me: She's in her own private hell. He won't be there for her anymore unless she changes. Her "friends" will not be at her door supporting her because they are sick (addicts) themselves. She mistankenly thinks that her friends love her...when it's impossible because they are addicts as well...
    lifeabeachon April 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is soo great. So Different. gotta love it!
    I Shoot Starzon September 07, 2002   Link

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