"Nothin'" as written by and Townes Van Zandt....
Hey mama, when you leave
Don't leave a thing behind
I don't want nothin'
I can't use nothin'

Take care into the hall
And if you see my friends
Tell them I'm fine
Not using nothin'

Almost burned out my eyes
Threw my ears down to the floor
I didn't see nothin'
I didn't hear nothin'

I stood there like a block of stone
Knowin' all I had to know
And nothin' more
Man, that's nothin'

As brothers our troubles are
Locked in each others arms
And you better pray
They never find you

Your back ain't strong enough
For burdens doublefold
They'd crush you down
Down into nothin'

Being born is going blind
And buying down a thousand times
To echoes strung
On pure temptation

Sorrow and solitude
These are the precious things
And the only words
That are worth rememberin'

Lyrics submitted by karma sutured, edited by zetruz

"Nothin'" as written by Townes John Van Zandt


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Nothin' song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment"They'll *crush* you down - down into nothin'"
    GS155on April 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionLine 13 - should be "As brothers", not "These brothers"

    4th and 3rd to last lines - should be "And bowin' down a thousand times, To echoes strung on pure temptation", not "And bowin' down a thousand time, The echoes strong of pure temptation"

    Unbelievable song.
    zenithmbron October 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere are a lot moments that sound like drug references, it could be about how they can crush you, etc, and the desire to not let the people you love see the destruction.
    But I also feel like it could be about seeing someone you love and respect do something completely heinous, which you can't tell anyone about, but which shakes everything you thought you knew about a person.
    "Didn't see nothin" " brothers our troubles are
    Locked in each others arms" the line about temptaion could refer to the overwhelming desire to speak of it.
    Domaithianuson April 14, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFeels to me as though the two verses starting with "As brothers" and "Your back ain't strong enough" are his addiction speaking to him; telling him that their fates are tied together and he's not strong enough to stand up to life without it.

    Every time I hear this song I come up with different ways to understand the lyrics. Phenomenally beautiful piece of writing.
    midnightcarouselon November 21, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds like its about a junkie. The "mama" he mentions could be trying to help him get clean but he doesn't want help, "Take care into the hall", but tell my friends im fine, and not usin nothin. As far as him burning out his eyes, maybe he's referring to the feeling of his first hit, or maybe saw a friend o.d. but was too high to do anything about it, standing like "a block of stone" knowing nothin. "Brothers" are the other junkies, and none of em feel they're strong enough to kick the habit. Oh and "being born" turned on to the drugs.
    yourgodlouon October 05, 2015   Link

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