"Welcome to the real world", she said to me
Condescendingly
Take a seat
Take your life
Plot it out in black and white
Well I never lived the dreams of the prom kings
And the drama queens
I'd like to think the best of me
Is still hiding
Up my sleeve

They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side

I want to run through the halls of my high school
I want to scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you've got to rise above

So the good boys and girls take the so called right track
Faded white hats
Grabbing credits and
Maybe transfers
They read all the books but they can't find the answers
And all of our parents
They're getting older
I wonder if they've wished for anything better
While in their memories
Tiny tragedies

They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side

I want to run through the halls of my high school
I want to scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you've got to rise above

I am invincible
I am invincible
I am invincible
As long as I'm alive

I want to run through the halls of my high school
I want to scream at the
Top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you've got to rise above

I just can't wait til my ten year reunion
I'm gonna bust down the double doors
And when I stand on these tables before you
You will know what all this time was for


Lyrics submitted by Ice

No Such Thing Lyrics as written by John Clayton Mayer Douglas Clay Cook

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, REACH MUSIC PUBLISHING, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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No Such Thing song meanings
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143 Comments

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  • +8
    My Interpretation
    Have you ever felt this soothing feeling while listening to music, or a romantic feeling that is just so good inside, or while doing something you're really passionate about? That's what this song is about. The world we see is made up of big fake lies and materialistic things but the satisfaction of intellectual fulfillment is ALWAYS greater. And when we do get that feeling, we know that's what the world is. Not the world that we're living. If we just try to get a glimpse of that world, and believe that this world we see is really not all of the constituent, we'd see the real world. And also its about how the people who are limited to the world they see believe in getting the better jobs and money and all. But only the person who affords to take the risk and step out of the line, can reach where no stereotype could. They get all the good degrees and everything, and read all the books but never get the intellectual part of the story. Only the people who know that this is not the real world could take the risk and step outside because of the simple belief that its not the real world after all. Awesome work John Mayer. You got it right again.
    dreamsnblueson April 19, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment
    @easyteezyy81866 THAT IS EXACTLY THE STORY OF MY LIFE. MY DAD KEEPS ON URGING ME TO TAKE UP STUDYING SOFTWARE ENGINEERING AS THAT'S WHERE THE JOBS ARE AND ALL AND WELL, I AM CRAZY ABOUT THE PC A BIT, but damn guitar is where my heart is. Where my life, the purpose is. And I made a mistake. I've started dreaming. And once someone dreams, it's nearly impossible to quit. Damn, I need a counsellor. A friend. Why am I brooding here? I dont know. *sigh*
    dreamsnblueson April 19, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    My aunt KT used to play this for me when I was little. Now that I have started high school, I get what he's talking about. High school is hard, and you're always looking to impress somebody in some way. And in high school, they give you all this crap about how after high school or college, that you have to live a correct life, and you should start now. (Like to stay in the lines). And he wants to run through his high school acting out now that he's an adult, and he's having fun still, and he's not staying in the lines, he's living his life, and is being invincible because he's "alive".
    toews19on November 21, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    I heard this song on the radio last night while driving home from work.. I completely identify when he says, "they love to tell you "stay inside the lines" but something's better on the other side"... Don't you hate it when you're restricted from doing what you want? To me, that includes all of society-- Society tells you that you must do this, or that.. and yet you can't help but. ::sigh:: I wish I were a TRUE non-conformist! "I want to run through the halls of my high school I want to scream at the top of my lungs "
    anna118kon March 12, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    I should say that people who lived life on their own terms AFTER high school will totally get this song.
    wild_thaingon March 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    They always use the prase "out in the real world" in school... don't believe them! You're already there, it never changes, the powers that be just keep sucking at you... there's no escape! Enjoy the now.... now is all you'll ever have!
    Paramedico987on October 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation
    I didn't take the time to read all of the posts here, but I don't think this song is primarily about being "nonconformist" or whatever. It's fairly clear that there is an element of nonconformity but more importantly this song is about being comfortable doing things your own way even if it isn't the popular way. The perspective that I see in this song is one of somebody who is about 22 or 23 and in college or who just finished with college and is really developing into their own person and accepting that. All through high school and most of college people discount you like you aren't a part of the real world because you are still in school and aren't really part of the "real world" yet. You aren't out there in a career or working 40+ hours a day with full adult responsibilities. In college and even to some degree high school, people are always trying to get you to "take a seat and plot your life in black and white..." pick a major, a career, and set your life up before you've even had any experience or really lived life! That's the "right" track, but few people ever do this successfully and are actually happy in doing so. I think the point of the song is you don't have to do it that way. At that point in life, everybody is looking for answers, some are looking in books, some were prom kings or drama queens, or whatever else. You can live your life and make a plan and try and stay inside the lines, or you can get out there and live life and really find out what life is about. The people who do this are going to be far happier and better off then those who sort of walk the prescribed path. I think that the main character or narrator of this song has done that and realizes that the whole process is a sham and that living life is what it is all about, and doing things your own way is all that really matters. There is no such thing as the real world and all of this responsibility and heavy handedness that everyone always references, there really is only yourself and your life and whatever you want to make of it. Sorry if this rant made no sense, but I think the song has much more of an existentialist slant than simply being about not conforming.
    meteorcoreon August 24, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning
    its about high school and how they tell u to be just like everyone else
    bleachlover3on September 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    This tune is fine, but sometimes Cerberus happens to be guarding the front door and you first need to throw him 3 boxes of dog biscuits on your way in.
    Arachidamiaon February 17, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Link(s)
    This is the best lyrical interpretation of a John Mayer song (or any song, for that matter) that I've ever seen: youtube.com/… It's a video that's highly engaging, educational, funny, and controversial. The discussion about "the real world" and what John Mayer means by that lyrics is particularly powerful. Be sure to check it out!
    TheRealWorldon December 18, 2011   Link

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