I was having this discussion
In a taxi heading downtown
Rearranging my position
On this friend of mine who had

A little bit of a breakdown
I said breakdowns come
And breakdowns go
So what are you going to do about it

That's what I'd like to know
You don't feel you could love me
But I feel you could

It was in the early morning hours
When I fell into a phone call
Believing I had supernatural powers
I slammed into a brick wall

I said hey, is this my problem?
Is this my fault?
If that's the way it's going to be
I'm going to call the whole thing to a halt

You don't feel you could love me
But I feel you could
You don't feel you could love me
But I feel you could

I was walking down the street
When I thought I heard this voice say
Say, ain't we walking down the same street together
On the very same day

I said hey Senorita that's astute
I said why don't we get together
And call ourselves an institute

You don't feel you could love me
But I feel you could
You don't feel you could love me
But I feel you could - I was having this discussion in a taxi heading downtown


Lyrics submitted by dank

Gumboots Lyrics as written by Lulu Masilela Paul Simon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Gumboots song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I think this song really is about a woman the narrator is having a relationship with but is unsure if he wants to continue it. She is falling in love with him but he doesn't feel as strongly, therefore he disregards the idea that her problems or "breakdown" could be associated with him. He gets defensive because he doesn't want to be held responsible for her emotions or deal with talking about their relationship. The narrator knows the woman might be right (you don't feel you could love me) but doesn't want to acknowledge it yet. He isn't in a mindset to commit to anybody, but doesn't necessarily want to be alone. That's why he convinces himself that this girl on the street is flirting with him, looking for any reason to move onto something new before things get too serious. Really, he is the one that initiates things with the new girl and the cycle starts over again.

    Duracell33on September 16, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    WHAT?! No one's commented on this song? You're all crazy! But jeez, is it ever complex?! I'm not even gonna start going into what I think it's about, I just wanna add one last line, which is a really clever part - right at the end, when the music starts to fade, you can just hear him sing "I was having this discussion in a taxi heading downtown...", as if the whole thing is starting again after he's finally found love with the "Senorita"

    mercury_girl86on October 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Great song.

    I also will not attempt to grasp the meaning here and now.

    owenparry26on December 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    HAHA yeah I agree... What does it all mean?I get the chorus! hehehe I love the beat.... it's fantastic! I love this whole album!

    koukla243on August 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    is it about a guy in two minds (not to be confused with the man with two brains) were one half of him is down and hes saying to him self get it together it'll all be wounderfull, the other saying it'll be a disaster wounderful being having supernatural powers then the reality slamming into a brickwall.

    then in the end they come to some sort of agreement when they say there walking down the same street and talking about loving yourself? (not to be confused with pleasuring yourself)

    Fiesta_bhoyon January 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Oh come on. Meaning is simple--A guy in love with his female senorita friend who, well, loves him as a friend only.

    kozmikon November 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    (not to be confused with pleasuring yourself)

    lol, fiesta. I read it the exact same way. Except I would add one thing: The way you think and feel about yourself is almost completely based on how others treat you. So when a "senorita" doesn't want to get married to you, then you re-think who you really are. That's the first way I read it.

    But the people are left intentionally vague in the song, so there's lots to play with.

    OoOsublimeOoOon October 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    you don't feel you could love me but i feel you could

    kept running through my head as i broke up with my girlfriend.

    YouKnowStuffon January 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    was having this discussion In a taxi heading downtown Rearranging my position On this friend of mine who had A little bit of a breakdown I said breakdowns come And breakdowns go So what are you going to do about it That's what I'd like to know

    ***Simon has just set himself up as a total jerk. His response to a friend's breakdown is selfish (rearranging "my" position) and unsupportive ("what are you gonna do about it?")

    You don't feel you could love me But I feel you could

    *He decides that that object of his love doesn't know his/her own self enough to know whether s/he could love Simon, but Simon believes ("feels' being used here tongue-in-cheek) he knows better.**

    It was in the early morning hours When I fell into a phone call Believing I had supernatural powers I slammed into a brick wall I said hey, is this my problem? Is this my fault? If that's the way it's going to be I'm going to call the whole thing to a halt

    This is a little confusing. The gist seems to be that when the Simon character runs into a dead-end that he previously though he'd be able to avoid, his reaction is to push the whole thing off on someone else, denying that anything is ever his own doing. He assumes power by threatening to "call the whole thing to a halt," when it's apparent that what he'll be doing, as he did with the friend's breakdown, is simply avoid having to become involved by deflecting, or running away.

    You don't feel you could love me But I feel you could You don't feel you could love me But I feel you could

    I was walking down the street When I thought I heard this voice say Say, ain't we walking down the same street together On the very same day I said hey Senorita that's astute

    *He's a wise-ass, flattering while insulting a most-likely well-meaning woman trying to be friendly.**

    I said why don't we get together And call ourselves an institute

    *But he's presumably attracted to her, and isn't beyond a little fooling around to get his own rocks off.**

    You don't feel you could love me But I feel you could You don't feel you could love me But I feel you could

    *Simon is painting a picture of a very undesirable person, someone who assumes no responsibility, mistreats women, has little compassion for friends, and all along needs to tell the object of his desire that he feels she can love him even though she doesn't. The character is impressed with himself, sees himself as suave, and is unaware of his own shortcomings. Simon brilliantly evokes a man at odds with the world and obvious to it.

    It's all rather tongue-in-cheek.

    Jakemanon February 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaning

    It was in the early morning hours When I fell into a phone call Believing I had supernatural powers I slammed into a brick wall I said hey, is this my problem? Is this my fault? If that's the way it's going to be I'm going to call the whole thing to a halt

    If anyone has ever been on the verge of a breakup, this should sound familiar. He thinks he has things in control and ends up hurting himself by ending things.

    Boccion August 11, 2010   Link

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