Something's beating on the wall on the other side
Strange lovers moan
Each other's names on by sheets
For the very first time
One of them's James
The other's some name she changes every time she lies across his bed

But the light of the moon leads the way towards the morning
And the sun, the sun's well on its way too soon to know
And, oh my God, whatever, etcetera

If I could I'd fold myself away like a card table
A concertina or a Murphy bed
I would but I wasn't made that way so you know instead
I'm open all night and the customers come to stay
And everybody tips but not enough to knock me over
I'm so tired
I just worked two shifts

But the light of the moon leads the way towards the morning
And the sun, the sun's well on its way too soon, to know
Oh, my God
Oh, my God, whatever, etcetera
Etcetera


Lyrics submitted by matches malone

Oh My God, Whatever, Etc. Lyrics as written by Ryan Adams Bradley Smith Pemberton

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Oh My God, Whatever, Etc. song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment

    this song seems to be about having a jaded outlook on relationships. You've been through so many and you still can't find "the one." He'll have any encounter because he doesn't care anymore. He's given up on finding her. He's tired.

    "And, oh my god, whatever, et cetera"

    He wishes that he could conserve what left of him. Hideaway and not allow for his heart to get broken anymore.

    "If I could I'd fold myself away like a card table
     A concertina or a Murphy bed"

    People aren't born to live as loners. We're social beings that NEED love. Need that sense of fulfillment.

    "I would but I wasn't made that way so you know instead"

    Here he allows to be used. He's tired but he still hasn't found that love that he is searching for.

    "I'm open all night and the customers come to stay
     And everybody tips but not enough to knock me over
     I'm so tired
     I just worked two shifts"
    sweetcarolinaon July 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    this song reminds me of a broken girl who maybe stays at a dirty run down hotel with "clients" who come every hour to be "serviced" it makes me think of how she's sad and broken, and doesn't really like being where she's gotten to, but it's where she's at.

    GabrielDeRoseon June 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I heard an interview where Ryan said he came up with the most ridiculous titles for songs that he couldn't possibly write about. One of them was this song, and I think we can all agree it worked. Great song!

    scratcheron October 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Ryan Adams is one of my favorite artists of all time!

    Strange lovers moan Each other's names on by ? sheets? (the lyric is Each other's name on by the hour sheets)

    I think that's one of the most important words (hour), because it makes me feel as if the song is about a "working woman" or prostitute.

    I agree with Gabriel, i think it's a beautifully written song about someone who chose a career (prostitution) and she is unhappy with it.

    "Strange lovers moan Each other's names on by ? sheets? For the very first time One of them's James The other's some name he changes every time she lies across his bed"

    "The other's some name SHE changes..." James happens to be her customer's name, but she has an alias. She changes her name when she's with customers. She wants to change, but i get the feeling that she's stuck.

    mistywaters02on March 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Obviously about prostitution, and the mindset/thought process of a prostitute. I particularly like the sentiment of "oh my god...whatever...etc". In my opinion the "oh my god" being a faked cry of pleasure...hence the whatever and etc that follows.

    auberginepieon March 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I'm a little late to the show but here's my take, =)

    I think it's written from the perspective of the front desk clerk at one of those seedy motels where sketchy folk grab a room by the hour ( "on by the hour sheets" ), for themselves and their escort.

    He's hearing everything going on through the paper thin walls in the room adjacent to his front check in desk, all while working the night shift (two shifts in fact), noticing the sun coming up and how tired he is.

    The tenants tip due to the nature of whats going on, but considering the shady individuals that show up, probably not much.

    The escort changes her name every time, giving an alias. James happens to be the guy in this narration.

    Also an amazing personification (or whatever the grammatical term is??) in saying considering the awkward situation he is in, he wishes he could be something that allowed him to hide and not be noticed. Fold himself away.

    And finally, the last line of the chorus, ties it all together, is what he emphasizes this escort goes through every time after so many times. Faked pleasure, followed by the reality of apathy - whatever, etc. It's all the same.

    This just makes sense to me given that it was a song writing exercise in coming up with the hardest phrase to craft a song around.

    lsm285on December 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It could also be about his time in NYC. He spent a lot of time in the Chelsea Hotel. Thin walls. "Lady of the Evening" next door. He finds himself alone. Wants to roll himself away like a card table... Plays for tips at night...

    steviedlyricson March 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Good song. Not a big R.A. fan, but this one is more interesting than many of his others...

    SweetCheeks2on March 15, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I feel like it’s about a kid growing up in a broken home whose mother might be a prostitute? Like having to grow up way too fast because you’ve seen some awful things.

    l116410777on August 08, 2021   Link

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