Want more real attention
At my expense guess you forgot to mention
You talk good, I'll eat glass
I heard you read my mind behind my back

Outside, I'm waiting
By the car when you're hesitating

Take a good look
Take a photo
Write about it in your tiny notebook

Don't you know?
You're out cold
Don't you know?
It's our dance-floor

T.K.O.
Hear it on the radio
T.K.O.
Play it on your stereo
T.K.O.
Watch a live video
T.K.O., T.K.O.

Got your money safe
Want to be "in"
Everyday it just gets closer to you
I'll say my piece
And when it's over you'll be on your knees

I got this soul thing
On the go
Read about it at your Barnes & Noble

Don't you know?
It's our dance-floor
T.K.O
Hear it on the radio
T.K.O.
Play it on your stereo
T.K.O.
Watch a live video
T.K.O., T.K.O.

Night is young
And we all know what's up
Beyond the seventh sun
The ocean calls us

Away from..

Don't you know?
It's our dance-floor
T.K.O
Hear it on the radio
T.K.O.
Play it on your stereo
T.K.O.
Watch a live video
T.K.O., T.K.O.


Lyrics submitted by pronoun

TKO Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

T.K.O. song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commenttry Technical Knock Out.. to my understanding (i don't watch boxing), its when one of the boxers isn't actually knocked out, but the ref stops the match becuase he feels the other boxer cannot go on.
    eddoon December 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentT.K.O. also stands out for TOTAL KNOCK OUT. so it could have something to do with that, rather than the company that makes boxing equipment, although both lend themselves to the media violence theory. however, for some reason i don't think that's what it's about.
    mad_world87on December 04, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is about going on in the face of criticism because you’re awesome. Sort of a “dance like no one’s watching” theme.

    “Want more real attention/at my expense guess you forgot to mention” means the subject is struggling for an audience while the speaker already has one. “You talk good, I’ll eat glass/I heard you read my mind behind my back” suggests there’s a relationship where the speaker once trusted the subject. It hurts, but she’s over it.

    “Take a photo/Write about it in your tiny notebook” is directed at a certain type of person or profession who puts others down to raise themselves up, like trolls on social media or tiny-notebooked critical media types.

    The chorus uses media examples like radio, stereo, video to indicate media saturation. Kathleen Hanna said it was about “taking over the dance floor”; one of the things she did at her riot grrl shows was yell “girls to the front” so girls could be safe in the mosh pit. She’s always advocated making space for women. This is similar in that it’s about taking over the musical airwaves with a TKO — technical or total knock out — despite being dismissed. “Don’t you know?/You’re out cold” means your criticism is irrelevant, we are already bigger than you and have a larger voice. “Read about it at your Barnes & Noble” is like saying you may have a short tweet or a page of criticism, I got a whole book; my work is more important than yours.

    “Night is young/And we all know what's up/
    Beyond the seventh sun/The ocean calls us” means we’re already doing our own thing and way beyond your superficial criticism.

    It’s a catchy pop-hook song with loads of irony because the bubbliness of the anthem belies the simple triumph in the message, which is all about enjoying life and status and goals beyond people’s criticism of how you do it.
    EloraBoraon April 30, 2021   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsuch a good song
    jackfroston November 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is gonna sound really dumb but what does tko mean?
    squee_4_meon November 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTKO is a company that makes boxing equipment.

    The video has JD in boxing gloves, one of the lyrics is "You're out cold," the song talks a lot about media (Radio, Stereo, Live Video read it at Barnes and Noble) and the lyric "write about it in your tiny notebook" sounds to me like a reporter's notepad. So I think this song is about violence in the media, yeah?
    evanneon December 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou play by the books, and we know what's up. we know you're actually just the impersonators, so really it's not even worth pretending.
    bryceon December 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAwsome song!
    newkickson December 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyes, TKO stands for Technical Knock Out; I actually think this song has a double meaning; the first one is "Look at us we're awesome and listen to our amazing song cause we kick a$$" but I think the second meaning is the same thing but making fun of those people that are actually like that and how the media just overplays EVERYTHING
    Reizvollon January 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is so cool lol i like it
    Bubblezon February 02, 2005   Link

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