We lay on the bed there
Kissing just for practice
Could we please be objective?
'Cause the other boys are queuing up behind us
A hand over my mouth
A hand over the window
Well, if I remain passive and you just want to cuddle
Then we should be ok, and we won't get in a muddle
Cause we're seeing other people
At least that's what we say we are doing

So how are you feeling?
I don't think you can be dealing
With the situation very well
You take a lover for a dirty weekend, that's ok
But when it's over
You are looking at the working week through the eyes of a gigolo

You're kissing your elbow
You're kissing your reflection
And you can't understand why all the other boys are going for the
New, tall, elegant rich kids
You can bet it is a bitch, kid
But if they don't see the quality then it is apparent that
You're going to have to change
Or you're going to have to go with girls
You might be better off
At least they know where to put it

We lay on the bed there
Kissing just for practice
Could we please be objective?
'Cause the other boys are queuing up behind us
A hand over my mouth
A hand over the window
Well, if I remain passive and you just want to cuddle
Then we should be ok, and we won't get in a muddle
Cause we're seeing other people
At least that's what we say we are doing
We're seeing other people
At least that's what we say we are doing
We're seeing other people
At least that's what we say we are doing


Lyrics submitted by ReActor, edited by parulidae, anthonyyyg, mdznr

Seeing Other People Lyrics as written by Christopher Geddes Campbe

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Hipgnosis Songs Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Seeing Other People song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

47 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +9
    General Comment

    this is definitely song about gay experimentation. they're practicing kissing to see what it's all about, but fool themselves by saying they're seeing other people. and it's OK, because one is passive and just wants to cuddle, they're not really GAY gay bc they're not really having sex.

    but then one of them laments why he isn't having success with guys and his friend says he should either "change" (act more gay and attractive) or just give it up and go with girls, at least they know where to put it" as in, knows where to put the penis.

    great song, gay or no gay lol.

    muaddib420on February 13, 2007   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    I think it's clear that they're both men. It never occurred to me that this song could be about a man and a woman, and I don't buy it for a second. The references are pretty transparent: "the other boys" (I'm confident that the antecedent of "other" is the subject, not the singer, of the song-- a man wouldn't tell a woman "the other boys are queueing up behind us") and "looking at the working week through the eyes of a gigolo" (by definition, gigolos are male). And the tone of the song just sounds very Polari to me: "You can bet it is a bitch, kid..." is pretty camp. Besides, "kissing just for practice" and the potential for getting "in a muddle" suggest that this is something unfamiliar, and "hand over the window" suggests that it's something they're trying to conceal.

    ElectraInsteadon November 14, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    I've always viewed this song a little bit differently. I always saw it coming from a guy's perspective as the girl he really likes basically calls the shots in the relationship. The dude cares for her so much and doesn't want to lose what he has, so he lets her make the call on "seeing other people", despite his views on the matter.

    "Could we please be objective? Cause the other boys are queuing up behind us"

    To me, that makes it sound like he's putting up with all her BS of dating other people, while that's not at all what he wants to do. Also, the line;

    "Cause we're seeing other people At least that's what we say we are doing"

    This to me sounds like he's kind of bitter sounding as he states that, "well it's ok for you to kiss other guys because we're 'seeing other people' anyway".

    wolf66on May 23, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    I think the definitive answer to this whole debate is contained in a clear mistake to the printed lyric above -- it's "you're looking at the working week THROUGH th eyes of a gigolo", NOT "IN the eyes." Also, the "know where to put it" mistake has been noted. Therefore the narrator's partner as portrayed by Stuart as a male (regardless of his public comments), but rather than turn the debate to focus on the gay vs. gay experimentation angle, it's perhaps more fruitful to view this as an extension of the Morrissey lyric paradigm, in which words are intentionally ambiguous NOT only to the hide the truth from the uninitiated (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) and allow mum and dad to hum along without suspecting anything, but to elevate the song to the level of art with appeal to all orientations. Thus, 'Hand in Glove's' line of "everything depends upon how near you stand to me" could appeal to listeners as either same sex in a environment viewing this as a taboo, or an opposite sex pairing with someone deemed unsuitable by the onlooking crowd. It's the outcast in general Morrissey was appealing to, and any 'proof' regarding his personal lifestyle (celibate or not) can't lessen the impact on hetero listeners.

    JSBachon October 03, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    For one thing: "We won't get into trouble" - "We won't get in a muddle" I agree with Schizima, the piano part is super similar to the Charlie Brown melody. I think it's about two guys who aren't gay but are "kissing just for practice", and they decide being gay isn't worth it. Just my interpretation, though.

    MoonArcher92on March 02, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    These lyrics are some of the most... hard-hitting I've ever heard, but I guess that's a personal thing. To me, it's about a couple of boys "kissing just for practise." The phrase "other boys" suggests they're both boys, as does "gigolo" and all that lot. "Hand over the window," and "at least that's what we say we are doing" imply some sort of nervousness or shame about their sexuality; they are actually attached to each other but they feel they shouldn't be. "At least they know where to put it" hints at the awkwardness of sex between boys, and... yeah, that's what I understand from it. Stuart Murdoch is a real poet. He really is a genius at writing about teenage awkwardness and obscurity. As a 16-year-old, Belle and Sebastian really mean something to me.

    BlackAndrewon July 31, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    i'm certain its about two boys "the other boys are queueing up behind us" "you're going to have to go with girls, at least they know what they are doing" also, its well known that stuart murdoch's brother is gay and this song as well as a few others from tigermilk are written about him/from his perspective.

    fugitiveinkbloton August 26, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    i agree with everyone who says this song is about two boy. the first time i heard it, without even hearing all the lyrics, i just got that feeling. it seemed so obvious, and yet at the same time it was difficult to pinpoint what exactly made me feel that way.

    being better acquainted with the lyrics now, there are so many little clues that in combination spell out the obvious fact that it's about two young men.

    "just for practice," seems to indicate that at least one of the boys isn't comfortable with the situation and is trying to assure himself that he's not gay - they're just fooling around for practice.

    as other people have said, "all the other boys," pretty much spells out that the two parties involved are male. "a hand over my mouth" and "a hand over the window" both denote feelings of secrecy and of shame.

    as others have said, "kissing your elbow" refers to the old folktale about how touching your elbow with your lips will change your sex. the part about "going off with girls" spells out that whoever he's fooling around with now is clearly not female. "at least they know where to put it" showcases some of the awkwardness in early experimentation - not knowing how it works, etc.

    there's only a few of the clues. many other people have dissected the others. i don't think there's anyway this song isn't about two boys, but at the same time it doesn't matter who it is about. it's a great song. and judging from the amount of responses here, listeners like it and can relate to regardless of the sex of the characters.

    poppyseedgrungeon March 21, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I always thought it was about two people who decide that their relationship just isn't working so they're going to "see other people," but they're still attached. They claim to just be cuddling and kissing for practice, but really they still care for each other. So they have to "be objective" and decide where they actually stand with each other.

    iamtheshoshieon July 19, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    i reckon it's about two guys(gigolo, not a girl), having a secret relationship that's supposed to be "just for practise" but is getting more than that and confusing their feelings etc

    hoitsmithon July 20, 2007   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
Gentle Hour
Yo La Tengo
This song was originally written by a guy called Peter Gutteridge. He was one of the founders of the "Dunedin Sound" a musical scene in the south of New Zealand in the early 80s. From there it was covered by "The Clean" one of the early bands of that scene (he had originally been a member of in it's early days, writing a couple of their best early songs). The Dunedin sound, and the Clean became popular on american college radio in the mid to late 80s. I guess Yo La Tengo heard that version. Great version of a great song,
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
Blue
Ed Sheeran
“Blue” is a song about a love that is persisting in the discomfort of the person experiencing the emotion. Ed Sheeran reflects on love lost, and although he wishes his former partner find happiness, he cannot but admit his feelings are still very much there. He expresses the realization that he might never find another on this stringed instrumental by Aaron Dessner.
Album art
Amazing
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran tells a story of unsuccessfully trying to feel “Amazing.” This track is about the being weighed down by emotional stress despite valiant attempts to find some positivity in the situation. This track was written by Ed Sheeran from the perspective of his friend. From the track, we see this person fall deeper into the negative thoughts and slide further down the path of mental torment with every lyric.
Album art
Plastic Bag
Ed Sheeran
“Plastic Bag” is a song about searching for an escape from personal problems and hoping to find it in the lively atmosphere of a Saturday night party. Ed Sheeran tells the story of his friend and the myriad of troubles he is going through. Unable to find any solutions, this friend seeks a last resort in a party and the vanity that comes with it. “I overthink and have trouble sleepin’ / All purpose gone and don’t have a reason / And there’s no doctor to stop this bleedin’ / So I left home and jumped in the deep end,” Ed Sheeran sings in verse one. He continues by adding that this person is feeling the weight of having disappointed his father and doesn’t have any friends to rely on in this difficult moment. In the second verse, Ed sings about the role of grief in his friend’s plight and his dwindling faith in prayer. “Saturday night is givin’ me a reason to rely on the strobe lights / The lifeline of a promise in a shot glass, and I’ll take that / If you’re givin’ out love from a plastic bag,” Ed sings on the chorus, as his friend turns to new vices in hopes of feeling better.