"I Must Belong Somewhere" as written by and Conor Oberst....
Leave the bright blue door on the whitewashed wall.
Leave the death ledger under City Hall.
Leave the joyful air in that rubber ball today.

Leave the lilac print on the linen sheet.
Leave the birds you killed at your father's feet.
Let the sideways rain and the crooked street remain.

Leave the whimpering dog in his cold kennel.
Leave the dead star lit on her pedestal.
Leave the acid kids in their green fishbowls today.

Just leave the sad guitar in its hard-shelled case.
Leave the worried look on your lover's face.
Let the orange embers in the fireplace remain.

Cause everything - it must belong somewhere.
A train off in the distance; bicycle chained to the stairs.
Everything - it must belong somewhere.
I know that now - that's why I'm staying here.

Leave the ocean's roar in the turquoise shell.
Leave the widower in his private hell.
Leave the liberty in that broken bell today.

Leave the epic poem on its yellow page.
Leave the gray macaw in his covered cage.
Let the traveling band on the interstate remain.

Cause everything - it must belong somewhere.
Soundstage in California; televisions in Times Square.
Everything - it must belong somewhere.
I know that now - that's why I'm staying here.

Leave the secret talks on the trundle bed.
Leave the garden tools in the rusted shed.
Leave those bad ideas in your troubled head today.

Leave the restless ghost in his old hotel.
Leave the homeless man in his cardboard cell.
Let the painted horse on the carousel remain.

Cause everything - it must belong somewhere.
Just like the gold around her finger or the silver in his hair.
Everything - it must belong somewhere.
I know that now - that's why I'm staying here.

In truth, the forest hears each sound - each blade of grass as it lies down.
The world requires no audience - no witnesses...no witnesses.

Leave the old town drunk on his wooden stool.
Leave the autumn leaves in the swimming pool.
Leave the poor black child in his crumbling school today.

Leave the novelist in his daydream tune.
Leave the scientist in his Rubik's Cube.
Let the true genius in the padded room remain.

Leave the horse's hair on the slanted bow.
Leave the slot machines on the river boat.
Leave the cauliflower in the casserole today.

Leave the hot, bright trash in the shopping malls.
Leave the hawks of war in their capitol.
Let the organ's moan in the cathedral remain.

Cause everything - it must belong somewhere.
They locked the devil in the basement; threw God up into the air.
Everything - it must belong somewhere.
And you know it's true - I wish you'd leave me here.
You know it's true - why don't you leave me here?


Lyrics submitted by apocalypse84

"I Must Belong Somewhere" as written by Conor Oberst

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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I Must Belong Somewhere song meanings
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72 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentAre you guys kidding me? You have completely misinterpreted the meaning of this song.

    It's completely and totally ironic. Leaving the poor black child in his crumbling school or leaving a true genius in his padded room... these are both persons that don't belong where they supposedly belong today. Conor is saying how he doesn't belong anywhere. This is especially appropriate, given that this song was written and performed while on tour. Conor places images in this song of people and things that actually do belong where they are currently located today, such as the televisions in Times Square or the sound stages in California. This causes contradiction in his song, which makes the irony and sarcasm even more apparent.
    giveupon April 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love songs like this.
    repetitive, but at the same time, each individual line is in its own way compelling.

    "Leave those bad ideas in your troubled head today"
    i love that one... feels like a reason to ignore suicidal thoughts.
    just hang on for a little longer.
    sarahplaysguitaron November 16, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI disagree with most comments here, I think it is a deeply personal song.

    He lists up obviously displaced things and people ("killed bird at your fathers feet", "widower in private hell", "black child in crumbling school", "epic poem on yellow page").
    These are things we can all relate to, so they seem to be in the right place, but are actually there because of bad circumstances.

    The real message comes through only a few lines "the gold around your finger, the silver in his hair".
    In line of view of all the other displaced things he obviously thinks that the marriage is also displaced, maybe she is a lost lover or something.

    "I'm staying here", "why don't you leave me here?"
    And she does not need him any more, although he wants to stay.

    About "the world requires no audience, no witnesses" I beliebe he is saying that there is no reason to be anywhere just because of the world. The only reason to be somewhere is because of other people.

    It seems like a deeply depressing song to me, listing up things that go wrong in this world, feeling unwanted and having to leave, but with no place to go to, because no place matters, only people, loved ones. And the only reason for him to stay is getting married and wants him to leave.
    AerysTargaryenon January 15, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw this at Town Hall NYC on the 26th... It was really good. Then I heard it on the NPR thing last night too, but did anyone else think they sounded a bit off? Conor's voice, the instruments... (It seemed that way with Tilly too) Maybe it's just me.
    landl0ckedblueson January 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is new. I heard a live recording of this, I forget where and when it was.

    In the version I heard, I don't know about the rest of them, but the lyrics were
    "The world requires no AUDIENCE" instead of "The world requires no nobody else."
    brokenspoonson January 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh you're probably right brokenspoons...i knew it didn't sound like he said "nobody else" but obviously i was a little absent-minded at the time.

    fixed. thanx
    apocalypse84on January 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti loved this one. <3 so wonderful.

    npr.org/templates/story/…
    LulusXeon January 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmeanings kinda obvious, everything belongs somwhere, things that often get overlooked, Heard it last night in Portland, wow.
    ericbob503on February 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe real title is definitely "I must belong somewhere"
    just_forget_meon February 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with "giveup" and also am glad that conor doesn't like cauliflower either.

    i really love the tune of this song.
    do i run rare?on April 16, 2005   Link

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