Talk to me now I'm older
Your friend told you 'cause I told her
Friday nights have been lonely
Change your plans and then phone me

We could go and get forties
Fuck goin' to that party
Oh, really, your folks are away now?
Alright, let's go, you convinced me

12:51 is the time my voice
Found the words I sought
Is it this stage I want?

The world is shutting out for us
Oh, we were tense for sure
But we was confident

Kiss me now that I'm older
I won't try to control you
Friday nights have been lonely
Take it slow but don't warn me

We'd go out and get forties
Then we'd go to some party
Oh, really, your folks are away now?
Alright, I'm coming
I'll be right there

Lyrics submitted by Stoney, edited by toastedegg, kevspaulsen

12:51 Lyrics as written by Julian Casablancas

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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12:51 song meanings
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  • +7
    My Opinion
    This song is about more then just having sex for the first time. Sure, 12:51 is the time it happen, but in my opinion, there's more to the lyrics then just doing it. It's about an older guy who is falling in love or has taken an interest in dating a younger girl. I'm guessing the girl is around 18, 19 years of age, but is still living with her parents ('Oh really, your folks are away now? Alright, let's go, you convinced me') while he is around early to mid-twenties tops. ('We could go and get 40's, Fuck goin to that party'). '12:51 is the time my voice Found the words I sought... Is it this stage I want?' He's asking himself if he should do this, if he should pursue this relationship and take things further. He knows that if he has sex with her, they'll be entering a new stage in their relationship. Then he talks about how the world is 'shutting down on them' (parents not allowing it, friends against it, etc.) and that it's intense, sure; but they were/are confident in what they did and their relationship. On the next lines, he's saying, 'hey I'm older, but I'm not going to control you or pressure you into anything'. Even though he's sightly older, he's reassuring her that he's not going to push anything on her, he'll let her make her own decisions and choices. The he tells her to take things slow on him, because he's new to the experience of dating someone a little younger (or dating someone he really likes) but he doesn't want her to 'warn him' because he wants to learn and make his own decisions as well on his own. (He doesn't want warning sings or worry about the relationship, he just want to enjoy it despite anything.) At the end, it seems their relationship will work, but they know they are taking a risk on it. They are going to make the best of it no matter what happens and just have fun. This is my opinion about the song, but on a lighter note: I LOVE the beat of the song! It's a shame it's only around 2 minutes with 30 seconds, wish it was longer! So catchy, probably one of my top 5 from the Strokes. :)
    BeautyWithPersonalityon February 09, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General Comment
    Julian said it was about "the moment right before you fuck".
    boomerstyleon May 03, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment
    hahahaha how does anyone not know what 40s are??
    thehappysongon February 28, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Comment
    >>> Well, I didn't know what a 40 was until just now. Could it be that >>>it's a term used only in the US, and expecting the rest of the world >>>to understand is typical American arrogance? Yep, in case you didn't notice, the Strokes are American. Are they supposed to sing only worldly phrases that everyone knows?? If you want to understand english lyrics by a band from the USA , then yes it helps to know a little American slang...
    bugmenoton December 14, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Comment
    Room on Fire is the arc of a relationship. In the first song, she breaks up with him and it crushes him. After breaking off contact with her altogether in the third song, 12:51 comes a little ways down the line. This is the beginning of them getting back together, with him saying he's older, more mature, and more relaxed. The rest of the songs on the album continue the story, with him realizing that he really doesn't like her all that much, and had just built her up in his mind and fell in love with the concept of her.
    Rakothon February 24, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    Wow. That was not supposed to post that many times. I'm so sorry.
    Bananakinson April 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    Well, I didn't know what a 40 was until just now. Could it be that it's a term used only in the US, and expecting the rest of the world to understand is typical American arrogance? Those who think this is purely a song about partying are wrong. There's a deep and affecting sense of melancholy at its centre, and it is perhaps about looking back on a good time, like other songs by the Strokes (in many ways, we'll miss the good old days, some day). Fridays have been lonely, he could go out and get drunk, but he doesn't really want to, he wants to get off with a girl whose parents are away instead. But it's not a happy song. It's about loneliness despite sex and drinking. Anyone who doesn't understand that is just not listening properly.
    ntwjoneson July 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    kiss me now that im older. best line? i think so
    stroked_on_julianon April 04, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    I think it's about a guy that liked a girl at a younger age and things didnt really fly so now theyre older (talk to me now, im older) and hes getting back together with her and from then on, pretty much about what all the other posts have said.
    areboursson April 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    When I first heard this song I figured it was just about getting drunk and trying to get laid when your in high school. But I started thinking(maybe even over thinking) about the song and couldn't just accept that this really great song that has such depth in it's music had such shallow lyrics. My personal interpretation of the lyrics is that Julian is trying to comment on the fickleness of change and the futileness of trying to change one's behavior. The beginning of the song lays the groundwork for the singer's pushy relationship with his potential lover. The singer is emotionally reckless and very depressed I think. He thinks that getting drunk and having sex with this girl he has been longing for will change the way he feels about his life. This leads to some sort of epiphany for the singer right before he and his girl have sex.( This is 12:51... part) But after this the song resets itself into the same place it started both musically and lyrically. Only difference is that singer is more considerate of his girlfriend's plans and feelings in this verse. The song ends with Julian flatly and unemotionally singing the same lines he did before his life outlook changing sex. He is still going out and getting drunk of 40s and having sex with his girlfriend in her parents house. Nothing has changed for him despite his change in behavior. But this is Julian Casablancas' lyrics were talking about so nawwww this song is about getting drunk and trying to get laid in high school.
    BloodbuzzMOon November 29, 2012   Link

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