"How We Operate" as written by Benjamin Joseph Ottewell, Ian Thomas Ball, Paul Blackburn, Oliver James Peacock and Thomas William Gray....
Calm down
And get straight
It's not our eyes
It's how we operate

You're true
You are
I'd apologize but it won't go very far

Please come here
Come right on over
And when we collide we'll see what gets left over

A little joy
A little sorrow
And a little pride so we won't have to borrow
Wherever you lead, I'll follow

Turn me inside out and upside down
And try to see things my way
Turn a new page, tear the old one out
And I'll try to see things your way

Please come here
Please come on over
There is no line that you can't step right over
Without you well I'm left hollow
So can we decide to try a little joy tomorrow
'Cos baby tonight I'll follow

Turn me inside out and upside down
And try to see things my way
Turn a new page, tear the old one out
And I'll try to see things your way

The way that we've been speaking now
I swear that we'd be friends, I swear
'Cos all these little deals go down with
Little consequences, we share, we share

Turn me inside out and upside down
And try to see things my way
Turn a new page, tear the old one out
And I'll try to see things your way

And I'm gonna love you anyway
Try to see things your way
Try to see things your way
Try to see things your way

Lyrics submitted by snc8698

"How We Operate" as written by Ian Thomas Ball Benjamin Joseph Ottewell

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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How We Operate song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis is a great song. The first thing I noticed was the music, but it is actually a great love song. I mean "love" not of the butterflies and poetry sort, but the long-term, life-partner sort. It's pretty straight-forward I think, but really touching.
    In the beginning, I think he's done something hurtful. Not necessarily infidelity, but that's a good guess from the lyrics, especially, "You're true. You are. I'd apologize but it won't get very far." Basically, "You're true to me, but I wasn't true in return. What can I say? I've hurt you, what good will an apology do?"
    He is saying that as humans, we xxxx things up a lot. Sometimes we make terrible mistakes, and we made poor choices. It's part of our nature, it's what we do, it's HOW WE OPERATE. That's a pretty somber acknowledgement, but the song manages to have a positive message.
    The basic theme I get is that despite our flaws and weaknesses, we can still love each other. I especially love the lyric "When we collide, we'll see what gets left over." To me that says, let's put it all on the table. Reveal ourselves to each other and see what we can make of it. That's real love and intimacy to me. I also sense this with "There is no line that you can't step right over." He is telling her that she can be close to him and there's nothing they can't share.
    My absolute favorite line of all is "turn a new page, tear the old one out." That is a wonderful motto for relationships. Sometimes you have to let things go. You can't allow resentment and grievances from the past to poison you. He is offering to try to see things from her perspective. And he is letting her know that she can know him inside and out, and asking that she try to see where he is coming from as well.
    And last, yet another nugget of wisdom in " can we decide to try a little joy tomorrow?" So often, being happy or joyful really is nothing more than a state of mind or a choice. Instead of fighting and continuing to see the negative in each other, they can decide to be joyful for the love they share.
    missjen5on December 23, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is cliche, but its pretty obviously about how his relationship works. It sounds to me like he's describing his semi-disfunctional marriage.
    Vandy4g63on December 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with most of what missjen said, but I disagree about he's saying he hasn't been faithful. I read it more as he's accused her of not being true and is now admitting he was wrong.

    So many good lines in this song, it's pretty great, one of their finest (and they have a fair whack).
    xdvron March 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think missjen5's interpretation is pretty right on, but i had a different interpretation of the "...inside out" group of lyrics-stanza-whatever. for me, it seems that he is describing the sequence on events---kinda like an emotional montage..1."turn me..." describes the hurt pain 2."try to see..."knee-jerk reaction/defense mechanism 3. "turn the page..." realization/understanding the situation 4."and i'll try..." remedy/ apology.
    to me, this is the secret to any relationship. everyone gets hurt by someone at some point in time...and MOST of the time it was because of a mis-understanding...and the point is life is better when THAT person is in the loop.
    4coolioon December 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with everything Missjen said.

    It’s about unconditional love and intimacy. It’s about loving somebody, warts and all, and asking them to do the same. It’s almost impossible to spend a lot of time with anyone and not hurt each other in a major way at some point. It’s about learning how to let go of the “bad” and focus on the positive. As Missjen said, it’s about CHOOSING to be happy and bask in the joy of a relationship rather than sulking over its failures.

    I agree with Missjen that they have reached some sort of crossroads in the relationship. It may not be about him being “untrue,” but perhaps she is pointing out some way he has hurt her, and when he says “You’re true. You are,” he is saying, “You’re right. I screwed up. There’s pretty much no apology that will undo it, but if it helps, I will spend all night telling you where I was coming from and listening to you do the same.”

    Most of us who have been in a long relationship (friendship, romance, or sometimes even family) knows that sometimes a HUGE problem, the kind that almost breaks you up, can sometimes make you stronger than you ever were. It forces you to put everything on the table and finally sort through all the little problems that have been adding up.

    In the bridge, he says “All these little deals go down, with little consequences we share.” The “little deals” could refer to either compromise or betrayals. Both parties in a relationship share the benefits and burdens of compromise. And both suffer the consequences of betrayals. Either way, they’re in it together.

    The line he adds to the final chorus says it all: “And I’m going to love you anyway.”

    It’s also a great motto for getting along with all people. You try to see things my way. I’ll try to see things your way. And I’m going to love you anyway.
    bluemoon5on September 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno comments? shocked. I personally think how we operate is a great song
    mnlax17on August 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is great, love the intro, sounds eerily good!!!
    go-kartmozarton August 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGomez did a great job with this song. and i agree with missjen5. good job. =)
    one worth leavingon January 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmissjen,
    I don't think I've read a better song interpretation than yours. I've been listening to How We Operate a lot lately, and whenever I do, I read your comment. Thank you.
    Blackwellon March 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is just amazing.

    The raw emotion that it conveys is just.. wow.

    i agree with missjen as well.

    OneWithBigFeeton March 31, 2007   Link

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