Time to leave this town
Now your dreams have all let you down
No one here will miss you now
Time to wakeup and look around

Used to be a lovely boy
Lovely boy
Lovely boy
Used to be a lovely boy

Turn away and turn our heads
Just a hopeless dreamer she said
Eyes of cloud and feet of lead
Find a shore that needs you instead

Used to be a lovely boy
Lovely boy
Lovely boy
Used to be a lovely boy
Time on your hands
World at your feet
No adventure left incomplete

Da da da da da da da da da da da da da

Find aplace where you can hide
From the love that holds you inside
Time so unkind
Like an old friend leaves you behind.

Used to be a lovely boy
Lovely boy
Lovely boy
Used to be a lovely boy
Time on your hand


Lyrics submitted by Dance With Me Lois

He Used to Be a Lovely Boy Lyrics as written by Timothy James Rice-oxley Richard David Hughes

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

He Used To Be A Lovely Boy song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

11 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General Comment

    Just because I'm silly, I'm going to give my interpretation... regardless of how obvious it sounds.

    Since Tim is the one who writes all the lyrics, and Tom has had hardships this past year (thank goodness he's getting better!), I believe this song was written about Tom.

    "Time to leave this town Now your dreams have all let you down No one here will miss you now Time to wake up and look around" Meaning that it's time to leave wherever they're from, because they're not going to go anywhere there and all their dreams will fail. Maybe this is how Tim feels Tom felt (too many names!) and when he says, "No one here will miss you now/Time to wake up..." Tom maybe felt no one liked him enough in the first place, and by waking up and looking around, he was oblivious.

    "Turn away and turn a head Just a hopeless dreamer she said" When he turned away to do what he did, people turned to watch, as in, when he turned away from his life, people started to follow him. Of course, there was the lack of faith there, as some girl called him a hopeless dreamer.

    "Eyes of cloud and feet of lead Find a shore that needs you instead" Tom's view of the world while high, with cloudy eyes and heavy feet to find a place he fit better. By shore, maybe he means America?

    "Time on your hands World at your feet No adventure left incomplete" He has so much time, the world adores him and his music, and by 'adventure' I think he implies that there's no rock left unturned in Tom's world (by rock, I mean drugs?) and he does everything a rockstar is supposed to.

    "Find a place where you can hide From the love that holds you inside Time's so unkind Like an old friend leaves you behind" This is Tim's narrative, where he talks about how he adores Tom, but he's leaving him behind for this new lifestyle. "Time's so unkind" means that they all grow up too fast, and that it's not been a happy ride. He probably feels left behind by Tom's change in personality.

    The "He used to be a lovely boy" chorus is describing how Tom used to be before he fell into drugs.

    Just my interpretation, though. It sounded better in my head, I guess.

    Dance With Me Loison December 21, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    This is a song written from the heart of a nostalgic Zelda fan. It reflects the feeling identifiable by many of the former generation of gamers who experienced the transition from "A Link to the Past" and "Link's Awakening" (early-mid 1990s) to "Ocarina of Time" (late 1990s). It is written mostly with OoT as its backdrop. In it this sentimental Zelda fan longs for a simpler, more classic style. He lauds OoT while simultaneously acknowledging he himself has aged with the classic games and no longer fits in with the younger generation who embrace the new style. This is a nostalgic love story at its core.

    "Time to leave this town / Now your dreams have all let you down / No one here will miss you now / Time to wakeup and look around"

    A very appropriate nod to the opening of "Ocarina of Time", in which the main character Link--the "lovely boy" in our story--wakes up and looks around after a nightmare about another time and place. (He sees in the dream the enemy that, unbeknownst to him, he will have to eventually track down and slay.) "No one here will miss you now" speaks to his not being of the Kokiri race and his impending need to leave the village--something reinforced by some encounters he has with a bully and a conversation about destiny between him and the Great Deku Tree. Note also that the first word of this song is "time," a theme integral to many Zelda games.

    "Used to be a lovely boy / Lovely boy / Lovely boy / Used to be a lovely boy"

    Our chorus, in which we identify Link as representative of the Zelda franchise. Being always a non-speaking playable character, he evolves as the player evolves. This is the nostalgia of "lovely" times had playing the game in the classic style, epitomized in the character Link.

    "Turn away and turn our heads / Just a hopeless dreamer she said"

    Link, upon leaving Kokiri Forest, converses last with his childhood friend, Saria. He is turning away from the Kokiri life. "Turn our heads" may also be an obscure acknowledgement of the change from a flat (early 1990s) to three-dimensional (N64, so late 1990s) gaming experience, or even simply the ability for characters to now turn their heads in such an environment (as opposed to less fluid graphics in prior years). "Just a hopeless dreamer she said" is a knowingly inaccurate perspective attributed to Saria to express a personal and unsure feeling that the life of gaming was perhaps silly anyway.

    "Eyes of cloud and feet of lead"

    References to two separate and distinct aspects of OoT--(1) Link's eventual ascension of Death Mountain, the state of which can be determined from the clouds circling above it (this is also where Saria can be seen at the game's end with the other sages); and (2) the iron boots Link uses to sink to the bottom of lakes and other bodies of water during the game, an item first introduced in the Zelda series by OoT.

    "Find a shore that needs you instead"

    Water plays an important role in OoT, and this is no different. This may be a reference to Zora's Domain, a location frequented throughout the game and, perhaps most notably for this song, immediately before the time shift from child Link to adult Link. (Jabu-Jabu is the last dungeon before traveling through time.)

    "Used to be a lovely boy / Lovely boy / Lovely boy / Used to be a lovely boy / Time on your hands"

    The last part there is a reference to the Triforce on the back of Link's left hand, the mark of a hero.

    "World at your feet"

    A reference to Hyrule Field and the vast, three-dimensional world first introduced in OoT.

    "No adventure left incomplete"

    An obvious reference to the dungeon/adventure nature of Zelda games. There are always specific missions that must be completed in order to progress through the game.

    "Find a place where you can hide / From the love that holds you inside"

    Link is the reluctant and humble hero. The dual meaning refers to the player himself (or herself of course) and the desire to grow up and move away from Zelda and other games while still feeling the nostalgia and the draw back to it.

    "Time so unkind / Like an old friend leaves you behind."

    Link comes into adulthood through time travel and discovers his childhood friend Saria has not aged at all. He leaves her behind in age, and she leaves him behind by moving on with her life to be a Sage. It's a kind of symbolic waltz between the two characters.

    "Time on your hand"

    An appropriate finishing line. Time is the central theme of the game, the Triforce rests on Link's hand, and the player feels some final nostalgia for a time when he had more time to spare--youth and the free-spirited nature of it all. The notes sung for this line also end inconclusively, as though there is no real solution to the problem of longing for the classic style and simpler times.

    tyler10491on January 10, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Hmmm, I personally like to apply most songs to a broader scope... Tim is very talented in that way. He can write songs that are so specific and yet broad enough to apply to many situations.

    I think it's about a love based relationship that failed. It's urging this guy to move on and let go of his old life... "time to wake up and look around." It's about clinging onto the past and a hopeless relationship. "He used to be a lovely boy" before... things went badly... She perhaps though he was just a hopeless dreamer and gave up on him. "Find a place where you can hide from the love that holds you inside... time's so unkind" meaning it's time to put away those feelings... though it may take a long time.

    I love the line "Time on your hands, world at your feet... no adventure left incomplete." -Lovelllly song

    oddone460on February 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Such a beautiful song. :c

    Dance With Me Loison August 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Agreed. Keane's most underated song.should of been on the album along with Let it Slide.

    tombozon December 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I would have LOVED to see this on the album! It's about 48375938292x better than "Put It Behind You," which is the only Keane song I just cannot stand.

    Dance With Me Loison December 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    im thinking shores just means dockhand

    phs1234on March 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    im thinking shores just means dockhand

    phs1234on March 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    @Dance With Me Lois: I like a lot your interpretation of that song. Seems very convincing to me. :)

    aLongDecemberon August 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Such a beautiful song, i just can't stop listening

    innuendo14on May 18, 2011   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Show Me a Little Shame
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
He certainly did earn that reputation.
Album art
Fortnight
Taylor Swift
The song 'Fortnight' by Taylor Swift and Post Malone tells a story about strong feelings, complicated relationships, and secret wishes. It talks about love, betrayal, and wanting someone who doesn't feel the same. The word 'fortnight' shows short-lived happiness and guilty pleasures, leading to sadness. It shows how messy relationships can be and the results of hiding emotions. “I was supposed to be sent away / But they forgot to come and get me,” she kickstarts the song in the first verse with lines suggesting an admission to a hospital for people with mental illnesses. She goes in the verse admitting her lover is the reason why she is like this. In the chorus, she sings about their time in love and reflects on how he has now settled with someone else. “I took the miracle move-on drug, the effects were temporary / And I love you, it’s ruining my life,” on the second verse she details her struggles to forget about him and the negative effects of her failure. “Thought of callin’ ya, but you won’t pick up / ‘Nother fortnight lost in America,” Post Malone sings in the outro.
Album art
Son Şansın - Şarkı Sözleri
Hayalperest
This song seemingly tackles the methods of deception those who manipulate others use to get victims to follow their demands, as well as diverting attention away from important issues. They'll also use it as a means to convince people to hate or kill others by pretending acts of terrorism were committed by the enemy when the acts themselves were done by the masters of control to promote discrimination and hate. It also reinforces the idea that these manipulative forces operate in various locations, infiltrating everyday life without detection, and propagate any and everywhere. In general, it highlights the danger of hidden agendas, manipulation, and distraction, serving as a critique of those who exploit chaos and confusion to control and gain power, depicting a cautionary tale against falling into their traps. It encourages us to question the narratives presented to us and remain vigilant against manipulation in various parts of society.
Album art
Cajun Girl
Little Feat
Overall about difficult moments of disappointment and vulnerability. Having hope and longing, while remaining optimistic for the future. Encourages the belief that with each new morning there is a chance for things to improve. The chorus offers a glimmer of optimism and a chance at a resolution and redemption in the future. Captures the rollercoaster of emotions of feeling lost while loving someone who is not there for you, feeling let down and abandoned while waiting for a lover. Lost with no direction, "Now I'm up in the air with the rain in my hair, Nowhere to go, I can go anywhere" The bridge shows signs of longing and a plea for companionship. The Lyrics express a desire for authentic connection and the importance of Loving someone just as they are. "Just in passing, I'm not asking. That you be anyone but you”
Album art
Holiday
Bee Gees
@[Diderik:33655] "Your a holiday!" Was a popular term used in the 50s/60s to compliment someone on their all around. For example, not only are they beautiful, but they are fun and kind too ... just an all around "holiday". I think your first comment is closer to being accurate. The singer/song writers state "Millions of eyes can see, yet why am i so blind!? When the someone else is me, its unkind its unkind". I believe hes referring to the girl toying with him and using him. He wants something deeper with her, thats why he allows himself to be as a puppet (even though for her fun and games) as long as it makes her happy. But he knows deep down that she doesnt really want to be serious with him and thats what makes him.