It was in the march of the winter I turned seventeen
That I bought those pills
I thought I would need
And I wrote a letter to my family
Said it's not your fault
And you've been good to me
Just lately I've been feeling
Like I don't belong
Like the ground's not mine to walk upon
And I've heard that music
Echo through the house
Where my grandmother drank
By herself
And I sat watching a flower
As it was withering
I was embarrassed by its honesty
So I'd prefer to be remembered as a smiling face
Not this fucking wreck
That's taken its place

So please forgive what I have done
No you can't stay mad at the setting sun
'Cause we all get tired, I mean eventually
There is nothing left to do but sleep

But spring came bearing sunlight
Those persuasive rays
So I gave myself a few more days
My salvation it came, quite suddenly
When Justin spoke very plainly
He said "Of course it's your decision,
But just so you know,
If you decide to leave,
Soon I will follow"

I wrote this for a baby
Who has yet to be born
My brother's first child
I hope that womb's not too warm
'Cause it's cold out here
And it'll be quite a shock
To breathe this air
To discover loss
So I'd like to make some changes
Before you arive
So when your new eyes meet mine
They won't see no lies
Just love.
Just love.

I will be pure
No, no, I know i will be pure
Like snow, like gold
Like snow, like gold
Like snow, like snow
Like gold, like gold, like gold


Lyrics submitted by wako

No Lies, Just Love Lyrics as written by OBERST

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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No Lies, Just Love song meanings
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  • +5
    General Comment

    I'm almost positive it's about suicide. He "bought the things he thought he would need." Pills? A gun, perhaps? He wrote a letter to his family. A suicide note, most likely. So why was he going to kill himself? Perhaps because he was disillusioned. Maybe he had been really happy as a child, but he thought he was losing all of his potential as he got older. He was no longer a "smiling face," he was becoming a "fucking wreck." He tried to hide his depression for as long as possible because he didn't want people to feel sorry for him, but he didn't think that he could hold it inside any longer. That's why he's embarassed by the withering flower. The flower's natural reaction to a bad situation is to wither. He's been in lots of bad situations, but he doesn't want people to realize that he's withering.

    Anyway, it's March, it's winter, he's decided he's going to kill himself. But then spring comes and suddenly it's sunnier again. The "persuasive rays" (fantastic line, btw) convince him that not everything in life is unhappy, there are some things to live for. The thing that finally makes up his mind, though, is when his brother Justin basically tells him "If you kill yourself, I'll be so devastated that I'll die, too." He realizes that, yes, things have been going bad, but people still love him and there are still things to live for.

    The last verse is a dedication to his brother's unborn child (haha, this is where I start to cry). It's a parallel to his own life. The womb (childhood) is warm and deceiving, but sometimes, when you get older, the world can be cold and cruel. But he wants to show his nephew that not everything is horrible, not everything is a lie. Sometimes there's just love. He promises this to his nephew, and to himself.

    Absolutely beautiful song. Easily the best song about suicide ever. Allow me to restate that Conor is pure genius.

    LuckyMonkeyon July 25, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    This is the first song that has ever made me physically cry. This song is absolutely beautiful. Conor is pure genius.

    LuckyMonkeyon July 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i love how he writes about real things, and even if they aren't real, he makes them seem as if they were (i.e. using his brother's name "justin" in plain text in this song). makes you wonder if this actually happened, or if it is just another masterfully written song lyric by the brilliance that is mr. oberst.

    gunshot glitteron May 19, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    connor sounds like hes about to cry for a second there.. this songs pretty radical though. i think i like it, i know i like it, i like it alot because because it pisses you off

    vacantjoshson June 30, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    this song draws out so much emotion in me. i teared the first time i heard it. conor is a god of words.

    helloech0on August 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    when i hear this song i think of a young man about to kill himself in the springtime when people are normally supposed to feel happy. he writes a letter to his family explaining why. the grandmother line makes it sound as if they have a history of depression in their family. he tells his family that he wants them to remember him at his best, not how bad he had gotten when he was just about to kill himself. he explains that he got tired and that it was going to happen anyway ( ie the setting sun comment). suddenly he started feeling better so he decided that he would stay and his brother finds out and he tells him that if he kills himself he will too. the last few parts are really sad.

    Konfusion28on August 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    He's a lyrical genius. This song is beautiful.

    Se7enBeanson June 22, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Apparently this track slipped by a lot of people else it’d have more comments than any other Bright Eyes song !!!

    grenon February 18, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    beautiful!

    ailemmeon January 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is one of my favorite bright eyes songs. the last verse is especially meaningful to me. it reminds me of my nephew and the fact that he is being brought into a really messed up world. i really want to show him that it's not all garbage and that it can be beautiful.

    iidefinitioniion March 13, 2002   Link

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