It's not a silly little moment
It's not the storm before the calm
This is the deep and dyin' breath of
This love we've been workin' on

Can't seem to hold you like I want to
So I can feel you in my arms
Nobody's gonna come and save you
We pulled too many false alarms

We're goin' down
And you can see it too
We're goin' down
And you know that we're doomed
My dear
We're slow dancing in a burnin' room

I was the one you always dreamed of
You were the one I tried to draw
How dare you say it's nothing to me
Baby, you're the only light I ever saw

I'll make the most of all the sadness
You'll be a bitch because you can
You try to hit me, just hurt me
So you leave me feeling dirty
'Cause you can't understand

We're goin' down
And you can see it too
We're goin' down
And you know that we're doomed
My dear
We're slow dancing in a burnin' room

Go cry about it, why don't you
Go cry about it, why don't you
Go cry about it, why don't you
My dear, we're slow dancin' in a burnin' room
Burnin' room, burnin' room
Don't you think we outta know by now?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don't you think we outta know by now?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?
Don't you think we outta know by now?
Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?

Lyrics submitted by InfraRecon, edited by Shannon20

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room Lyrics as written by John Clayton Mayer


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Slow Dancing in a Burning Room song meanings
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  • +11
    My InterpretationI love listening to this song after going a while without playing it; it feels like I'm hearing it for the first time every time.

    From the second this song starts, it's obvious that it is a song of heartbreak and sadness. I don't think that there's any hidden meaning - I just think it's about two people who are in a relationship, and they both feel that it's coming to an end, but neither are willing to actually break up yet. I think that both had gotten so comfortable and secure in the relationship that not being together scares them. I get the sense that both feel so out of control of what's happening to their relationship - especially the line "You try to hit me just to hurt me, so you leave me feeling dirty
    because you can't understand we're going down."

    My favorite line of the entire song is "how dare you say it's nothing to me - baby, you're the only light I ever saw." I think that encompasses the entire feeling of a breakup, and how both people usually blame the other and initially feel very bitter toward each other. Despite the fact that he's obviously in pain, he's acknowledging that she is/will always have an important part in his life.
    Skyefallson July 01, 2012   Link
  • +8
    General CommentThe song "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" describes the final moments between two people who are together, but inevitably know their relationship is coming to a close. When he says: "Can't seem to hold you like I want to so I can feel you in my arms", it shows how the relationship has run its course and no longer has the spark that it once had. However, within the song I believe the the love between the two is acknowledged when he says: "My dear we're slow dancing in a burning room" where the act of slow dancing signifies a tenderness and special moment while all-the-while the fate of their failed relationship is imminent with the burning room. The song mixes the reflection of good moments: "Baby, you're the only light I ever saw", and tumultuous fighting: "You try to hit me just to hurt me so you leave me feeling dirty". "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" overall paints a picture of many couple's lives throughout life; where the end of the relationship is inevitable but there is a certain sadness because of how meaningful the journey and memories were with the other individual.
    hgray10on April 23, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI'm basiclly going through this song right now and it sucks a lot.

    I see it as a relationship that has been going on for a while now and it just seems like they are on their last leg of it. They've "pulled to many false alarms" which I take as they have broken up and got back together numerous times and this last time is finally it for both of them.

    When he says, "How dare you say it's nothing to me, baby you're the only light I ever saw." I see that as an argument after they have broken up and she says something like, "Maybe you never really cared." His response is, you were the only girl I ever saw and wanted to be with.

    The part that is, "Don't you think we ought to know by now, don't you think we would have learned somehow?" That hits me really hard. With me and my ex-girlfriend, we broke up so many times and got back together and you would think that we would have learned that it just wasn't working. But we kept at it and we were 'Slow dancing in a burning room."

    This song is absoltuley amazing and just explains everything I am going through. It's good to find these songs where the artist can express your thoughts better than you can.
    sportsfreak588on April 04, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think the song is actually about two people who love each other deeply and want to be together, but for one reason or another can't be because the circumstances of their lives won't allow it. They are enjoying their time together as much as possible, and are savoring their love while it lasts, but they know that the obstacles their relationship must face will make it impossible for things to last forever, which makes the situation that much more tragic.
    yank183138on May 05, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Commentdoes anyone else feel like it's winter, and the rain is just pattering against the window, as evening is beginning to fall when they listen to this?

    it's not just the lyrics that make this such an amazing song either, it's that steady beat, it's that feeling. it's nostalgic. i keep getting the feeling that it's two people holding on despite knowing that they're doomed, even if they want it to last - not all the time, though. why do i think this? the title alone gives me that idea; they're not fighting, they're not running, they're not screaming at one another - they're slow dancing. in a burning room. they're making the last of the good moments last, while they can, and they're unwilling to let go, even if it means they'll eventually be hurt ...

    but they know they have to let go soon.
    ohmyitsvivon June 16, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentSimply put - this song is about a relationship slowly coming to an end. Both people in the relationship know the relationship is ending but they still cant let go of each other even though they know things are coming to an end. The "slow dancing in a burning room" is symbolic of how both people in the relationship know they need to get out of their relationship but are waiting as long as possible to do that because its hard for them to leave each other so they keep coming back to each other again and again. They both know the relationship isnt working but still havnet learned "Don't you think we oughta know by now? Don't you think we shoulda learned somehow?"
    From personal experience people can love each other and things can just not be working in a relationship causing it to end. This is one of the best break up songs ever. It shows how truly amazing and genius John's song writing is.

    jmloversvon August 10, 2009   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThis is my favorite song of all time. It is about two people who are destined to break up, but they have grown to love one another and have become comfortable in the abusive environment they live in together.
    The first stanza is about how their relationship is taking it's last deep breath, and dying. How the disease will never be cured, how the storm will never be calmed.
    The second stanza is about how whenever he holds her in his arms, the warm embrace turns violent. Every time this happens, someone comes to help, but this has happened so many times that the people have stopped coming.
    The chorus is about how their relationship is never going to get better and they know it. The line "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" is about how their relationship (the room) is crashing and burning with them inside. They decide to savor their last few moments together and just hold each other in their arms.
    The third stanza is about how they were never meant for each other, even from the beginning, but they still love and care about each other very much.
    The fourth stanza describes a violent fight; her hitting him, him pushing her off and then feeling guilty for hurting her.

    This song is so creative and beautiful. I can't help myself from crying every time I hear this song.

    divadivina99on April 18, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionI think it's about a relationship that hasn't really happened. But deteriorated before it could even start...
    Whatever it's about, it's a beautiful song. Gorgeous.
    Sweetlove311on April 15, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation'I was the one you always dreamed of
    You were the one I tried to draw.'

    From the first time I heard that line, I believed I knew exactly what he meant:

    Since childhood, I've always had a recurring dream of a girl whom, when I met her in my dreams, was perfect. Not just a perfect woman, but a woman that seemed made for me. But, as dreams are, the image of her was vague. I knew exactly how she made me feel in that dream, but if someone asked me to describe her, or 'draw' her, I would not be able to. I could try, but the attempts would never do justice to the perfection that she was in my dream.

    This dream girl, and the connection I felt with her, was the ideal I've been chasing my entire life.

    I met a girl that was the embodiment of that girl in my dreams. We fell in love at first sight, connected perfectly, and loved each other the way movies try to make you believe you can, and the way most people say is unrealistic. We were together for 5 wonderful years, but the circumstances in our lives (long distance the entire time, and other family problems) caused us to eventually break up. These circumstances were our burning room.

    I never stopped loving her, but tried to move on. She told me that she stopped loving me, even though she was crying while breaking up with me. She dated someone in between, but realized that, although the match looked good on paper, the connection was missing.

    I have been dating a wonderful girl for two years now. She's loving, kind, supportive and beautiful. I know I'm lucky to have her. My friends and family love her. I love her, and could probably have a pretty happy life with her, but I know that I would never be as happy with her as I was with the girl I tried to draw. The connection is not nearly as strong and it always feels like an effort to keep things going. Although there was effort in the first relationship, that was against external issues. In the current relationship, the effort is to connect, not fight, and to understand each other.

    After leaving the previous man, dream girl purposely didn't date anyone for over two years and spent the time figuring herself out. I've learned recently that she still loves me, and would do anything to be back with me. Most of me wants to give up what I have and be with the girl I've dreamed of since childhood. To live the dream for the rest of my life. I also feel that if I am going to have these doubts for the rest of my life, and never feel as strongly for the second girl as she does for me, then that's not fair to her (I would not want that anyways).

    But another part of me wonders if I'm being greedy and wanting too much when I already have something very good. And I wonder if we should have learned by now, or if we should work out our issues and be together. I also fear that my friends who were there to pick up the pieces when we broke up would feel that we pulled too many false alarms.

    Anyways, this song really speaks to me.
    ShingoYabukion October 08, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBest Break-Up song ever.
    StrangeBrew89on July 13, 2006   Link

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