He waved hello silent like a mime
There's no changing my mind
I won't walk the stairs with you tonight
Going nowhere
The clock moved a quarter of a turn
The time it took a cigarette to burn
She said you got a lot of things to learn
Going nowhere

Saw you move a certain way
Missed you a lot
Return to this abandoned place
Should a been forgot
Echoes drown the conversation out
Echoes that only seem to bring about
A silent expression
Things you may allow
Going nowhere

The steps made a pattern
I'd never seen
I felt like a kid of six or seventeen
I was off in some empty day dream
Going nowhere
It's dead and gone matter of fact
Maybe for the best
Said some things you can't take back
Honestly I guess

The old records
Sitting on the floor
The ones I can't
Put on anymore
He walked over to her like before
Going nowhere
Going nowhere
Going nowhere

Lyrics submitted by RomanCandle

"Going Nowhere" as written by Adegbenga Otamayomi Adetokumbo Adejumo John Legend

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Going Nowhere song meanings
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  • +7
    General Commentsituational lyrics here are simply brilliant: a 15-minute smoke and a silent wave, exaggerated and sadly familiar from across the party or room or street. I see people noise not allowing a voice greeting. I see a slightly unsurprising run-in with a recently estranged love interest. Someone with whom things were going nowhere. The writer's recount of memories involving this person is instantaneous the moment he sees her, and from his dark unnoticed nook across the crowded party, he is again painted with misfortune and thoughtful disappointment (echoes drowning out conversations); in a place of which he is not unfamiliar. I feel that bitterness is not as prominent here as in other elliott songs, more like a regretful sort of harsh lament came at me from the first time i heard this song in lines like "there's no changing my mind" and "it's dead and gone as a matter of fact/ maybe for the best"
    last houron May 04, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song helped me get over a girl. especially the lines:
    "It's dead and gone, matter of fact
    Maybe for the best"

    the lines
    You said some things you can't take back
    Honestly I guess
    always had a double meaning to me. they could mean like a person said some things that they couldn't take back, or that the person was saying that some things you can't take back, like time or love
    ElliottSmithon June 06, 2008   Link
  • +2
    Song ComparisonI've been wondering if Elliott was a fan of Edna St. Vincent Millay. She was a popular American poet, who died tragically in 1950. There are a few parallels between her life and Elliott's. She was often suicidal, was an opium addict for some time, and wrote many very beautiful poems with extremely dark content and themes. I've noticed that there could be a reference to her in "Twilight", when he says "Because your candle burns too bright," which is like one of Millay's most famous poems,

    "My candle burns at both ends
    It will not last the night;
    But ah, my foes and oh, my friends -
    It gives a lovely light."

    Also in this song the line "The time it took a cigarette to burn" reminds me of this one by Millay:

    "Only until this cigarette is ended,
    A little moment at the end of all,
    While on the floor the quiet ashes fall,
    And in the firelight to a lance extended,
    Bizarrely with the jazzing music blended,
    The broken shadow dances on the wall,
    I will permit my memory to recall
    The vision of you, by all my dreams attended.
    And then adieu,--farewell!--the dream is done.
    Yours is a face of which I can forget
    The colour and the features, every one,
    The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;
    But in your day this moment is the sun
    Upon a hill, after the sun has set."

    It's a pretty rich poem, with quite a few lines you wouldn't be surprised to find in an Elliott song, except he'd probably modernize the language a little bit, obviously! It could be just a coincidence, but I think there's nice similarities between the two. The one above is one of my favourite Edna St Vicent Millay poems, and "Going Nowhere" is one of my favourite Elliott songs!
    quantitasfacitvenenumon April 25, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentim in love with elliott smith
    MusicIsMyCrackon February 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about a couple splitting up and him feeling everything is falling apart.
    Sad but beautiful song.
    tronistroyon April 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI find this song to be absolutely beautiful. It breaks my heart listening to it, but it's brilliant.
    kimthestrangeon April 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's beautiful.
    elleonon January 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's beautiful.
    elleonon January 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell said, Last Hour.
    ohyeahohnoon March 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song gives me chills
    jboon March 09, 2007   Link

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