"Somebody That I Used To Know" as written by and Walter Andre De Backer....
Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it's an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I'll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
No you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know
Now you're just somebody that I used to know
Now you're just somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I'd done
And I don't wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know

But you didn't have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don't even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
No you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know
Somebody, I used to know
(Somebody) Now you're just somebody that I used to know
Somebody, I used to know
(Somebody) Now you're just somebody that I used to know
I used to know, that I used to know, I used to know somebody


Lyrics submitted by 60_miles_an_hour, edited by PoonKnows, Nemo123

"Somebody That I Used to Know" as written by Walter Andre De Backer Luiz Bonfa

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Somebody That I Used To Know song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentI agree that Gotye blending into the mosiac is about his feeling of loss of significance, and Kimbra's emergence from the paint is her standing out for Gotye. I also agree that the song depicts the personal reflections of Gotye and Kimbra -- they are not literally arguing face to face, but rather monologing.

    However, I would argue that Gotye is /not/ over the relationship and is only now coming to terms with the blow of the break-up. The subtext is brilliant.

    1. He expresses no understanding that Kimbra had been feeling hurt in their relationship for a long time. In fact, all he talks about are his own feelings -- alienation, unhappiness, resignation -- oblivious to the indubtible impact of his animosity on Kimbra. When Kimbra proposed their break-up after enduring his unhappiness it was very serious for her -- for Gotye, it was just a nebulous sigh of relief. ("Well you said that we would still be friends, But I'll admit that I was glad that it was over") Even when Kimbra expresses that she wants out of the relationship, he still fails to fully emotionally engage in Kimbra or their relationship. Demoting their relationship to a friendship works perfectly for him.

    2. The break-up was much harder on Kimbra. She'd been battling alone for their relationship for a while and then when she became exaspirated, he didn't even seem to mind their conclusion. Angry and hurt, she distanced herself. Gotye is stunned by the severity of her reaction. Only when Kimbra stops letting Gotye walk all over her does she emerge from environmental noise/mosiac to become a whole entity for Gotye.

    3. We hear Gotye use the phrase "somebody that I used to know" in his own monologue, but it's clear from Kimbra's use that he doesn't always employ his sentimental, introspective tone with that phrase. After breaking final ties (having friends retrieve her things, changing her number) he inflicted that term on her as retaliation for her 'cutting him out.' Kimbra throws his words back in his face: "You said that you could let it go, and I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know." When Gotye was finally confronted with the wound of her absence he reacted with anger instead of compassion. With a boy's wounded pride, Gotye chastizes Kimbra's emotionality, cruelly implying that she's beneath him because she just can't get over their break-up, and that the intensity of her reaction is innappropriate. Meanwhile he's tormented by her distance.

    The title phrase's meaning performs a spectacularly poetic piroutte from dismissive apathy into an explosive, aching wist.
    lftmnschon July 13, 2012   Link

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