This is a song with the same four chords I use most of the time
When I've got something on my mind
And I don't want to squander the moment
Trying to come up with a better way to say what I want to say

People were mean to you
But I always thought you were cool
Clicking down the concrete hallways
In your spiked heels
Back in high school

It's good to be young, but let's not kid ourselves
It's better to pass on through those years and come out the other side
With our hearts still beating
Having stared down demons and
Come back breathing

People were mean to you
But I always thought you were cool
Clicking down the concrete hallways
In your spiked heels
Back in high school

You deserved better than you got
Someone's got to say it sometime 'cause it's true
People should have told you you were awesome
Instead of taking advantage of you
I hope you love your life now
Like I love mine
I hope the painful memories only flex their power over you
A little of the time

We held on to hope of better days coming
And when we did we were right
I hope the people who did you wrong
Have trouble sleeping at night

People were mean to you
But I always thought you were cool
Clicking down the concrete hallways
In your spiked heels
Back in high school


Lyrics submitted by Zopilote Steel, edited by ailments

You Were Cool song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +9
    General CommentAs to the spiked heels thing, for a hint to one possible interpretation: Gender is not specified in this song.
    Eccentricityon September 01, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis one always puts a lump in my throat, heard it here first:
    youtube.com/…

    Seems pretty straight forward but you'd think spiked heels meant popularity.
    teddyhoseon February 01, 2011   Link
  • +3
    My OpinionThis song would be good for To Write Love On Her Arms. It is jsut an amazing song. Made me cry the first time I heard it.
    Badgermoleon April 19, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentNobody could get away with this song except John Darnielle.
    Michael Fureyon April 10, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAbsolutely what I thought, Eccentricity.
    Miss_Susanon November 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI believe this song is about himself. I think he is looking back to when he was in high school and viewing himself as the adult version looking back on his teenage years. Maybe he wore spiked heels and got made fun of it by other students and now he is saying to he’s past self “I always thought you were cool”. He says “I hope you love your life now, like I love mine” meaning that things have gotten better after this bad experience, one day things are better than he could of imagined. Instead of saying I hope you never think about those bad times aging he say “I hope the painful memories only flex their power over you
    A little of the time” meaning he remembers those hurtful things brought about by the other students and it’s still hard for him to forget what happened to him, and that’s why he says “I hope the people who did you wrong
    Have trouble sleeping at night” because him, himself has had trouble sleeping at night because of these painful memories and wishes the same symptoms of his pain to the people that did him wrong. He also says “We held on to hope of better days coming
    And when we did we were right”. Meaning that he always believed that if he could get through this bad time in his life, good things and better days would come, and he was right.

    I really love the way this guy wrights his song. I just saw the mountain goats May 10th 2019 at the One Cannery Row in Nashville and they did not disappoint. Great band, great songs, good times.

    Also I’m pretty baked so I could just be over analyzing this, but it’s really fun to do. That’s your homework for tonight; get high, listen to a song, and really dig out the deeper meaning, even if it’s not right.
    tjcampbell90on June 04, 2019   Link

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