I ran out on my children
And I ran out on my wife
Gonna run out on you too baby
I done it all my life
Everybody cried the night I left
Well almost everybody did
My little boy just hung his head
And I put my arm put my arm around his little shoulder
And this is what I said:
"Sonny I just want you to hurt like I do
I just want you to hurt like I do
I just want you to hurt like I do
Honest I do honest I do, honest I do"

If I had one wish
One dream I knew would come true
I'd want to speak to all the people of the world
I'd get up there, I'd get up there on that platform
First I'd sing a song or two you know I would
Then I'll tell you what I'd do
I'd talk to the people and I'd say
"It's a rough rough world, it's a tough tough world
Well, you know
And things don't always, things don't always go the way we plan
But there's one thing, one thing we all have in common
And it's something everyone can understand
All over the world sing along

I just want you to hurt like I do
I just want you to hurt like I do
I just want you to hurt like I do
Honest I do, honest I do, honest I do"

Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

I Want You to Hurt Like I Do Lyrics as written by Randy Newman

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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I Want You To Hurt Like I Do song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment

    This song reminds me of the Tolstoy story about the forged coupon\money; everyone keeps passing it off, not wanting to be the one to suffer the loss. To stop the chain of events...

    So Mr. Newman sets up his morality tale, we all want to excuse our own cruelties by offering the excuse that we are just another link in the long, long chain of suffering (almost an argument for original sin...almost)...

    darnflooron October 22, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I think I know what Randy Newman's trying to say, here. If not, then this is just what the song means to me.

    On the surface, this song sounds like it's about a broken man who's so downtrodden and fed up with his reality that he just wants the entire universe to feel as crappy as he does-- and while that is a big part of it, I feel there's a certain... underlying theme.

    He's singing about the thrill of quitting.

    It sounds strange, I know. But Randy's lyrics have always been neurotic in nature, and as neurotic as I am, I think I know the feeling he's attempting to convey.

    Often in life, big things happen to people-- they get married, they have kids, they get a good job, save money, buy a car, buy a house, get involved with local activities, be it political, religious or recreational or whatever. But as we all know sometimes these things go awry.

    He sings that he 'ran out on his children and his wife,' and that he's 'gonna run out on you too, baby,' because he's 'done it all his life.' The narrator of the song has a sort of desire to start something and leave it unfinished. Maybe he had a bad marriage before the first mentioned one, where he went down on a business trip to some bay area and decided to disappear-- forsaking his own name and lifting crates at the dock, all day until one day he met a new woman, had kids with her, but then in his restless mind he knew he couldn't do it because pathologically he has to move on-- not necessarily out of spite for these people, but because he understands the fundamental nature of the human condition is pain and sadness and regret and negativity and that's why he says to his 'little boy who just hung his head' that "I just want you to hurt, like I do."

    So when his one dream comes true and he gets to speak to all the people of the world, the singer is saying to the 'rough, rough, tough, tough world' that all things are impermanent anyway and that ultimately human life is but a temporary existence in the vast sea of infinity and that if we were to ever work towards something better, all we have to do is understand that things aren't ever going to be perfect. They'll probably never even be a whole lot better but if you understand that in the end nothing truly matters then you're truly free. Things don't always go the way we plan, it's one thing we all have in common and one thing we all can understand is that our time upon this globe is very brief and in the end we're all going to hurt, anyway.

    Serumon July 31, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i think its about how everyone wants people to know the exact feeling they feel at specific times. even when you're a kid you want that so badly, someone to know the feeling you're feeling. i bet animals do too. and that why he says:

    "And things don't always, things don't always go the way we plan But there's one thing, one thing we all have in common And it's something everyone can understand All over the world sing along

    I just want you to hurt like I do"

    dcison December 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    So it doesn't look like many come along this way. Maybe it's just that this song leaves everyone speechless. It is one of the most insightful lyrics I've ever come across . . . the universality of this emotion, wanting to share the pain of our lives, is undeniable and its implications are beyond measure: Love and hate, war and peace, all manner of artistic expression . . . fueled by this desire. Randy Newman . . . what can I say? You understand humanity, and you have made that understanding accessible to the rest of us. Thank you.

    whaslikuson December 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    Randy generally songs in character to illustrate some failing in that character, and not himself. I think that is the case here. I find it particularly nasty when he tells his son ‘I just want you to hurt like I do’ and I have immense dislike for him for saying it. I think the message is that serially running out on people and then adding further hurt is not the way to behave etc.

    Bampaon August 22, 2020   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Worst rationalisation for cowardice I've ever heard.

    MattDTon August 03, 2023   Link

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