It was an early morning yesterday
I was up before the dawn
And I really have enjoyed my stay
But I must be moving on

Like a king without a castle
Like a queen without a throne
I'm an early morning lover
And I must be moving on

Now I believe in what you say
Is the undisputed truth
But I have to have things my own way
To keep me in my youth

Like a ship without an anchor
Like a slave without a chain
Just the thought of those sweet ladies
Sends a shiver through my veins

And I will go on shining
Shining like brand new
I'll never look behind me
My troubles will be few

Goodbye stranger it's been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true

Goodbye Mary, goodbye Jane
Will we ever meet again
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain

Sweet devotion (Goodbye, Mary)
It's not for me (Goodbye, Jane)
Just give me motion (Will we ever)
To set me free (Meet again?)
In the land and the ocean (Feel no sorrow)
Far away (Feel no shame)
It's the life I've chosen (Come tomorrow)
Every day (Feel no pain)
So goodbye, Mary (Goodbye, Mary)
Goodbye, Jane (Goodbye, Jane)
Will we ever (Will we ever)
Meet again? (Meet again?)

Now some they do and some they don't
And some you just can't tell
And some they will and some they won't
With some it's just as well

You can laugh at my behaviour
And that'll never bother me
Say the devil is my saviour
But I don't pay no heed

And I will go on shining
Shining like brand new
I'll never look behind me
My troubles will be few

Goodbye, stranger, it's been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true

Goodbye, Mary, goodbye, Jane
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain

Sweet devotion (Goodbye, Mary)
It's not for me (Goodbye, Jane)
Just give me motion (Will we ever)
To set me free (Meet again?)
In the land and the ocean (Feel no sorrow)
Far away (Feel no shame)
It's the life I've chosen (Come tomorrow)
Every day (Feel no pain)

So now I'm leaving (Goodbye, Mary)
Got to go (Goodbye, Jane)
Hit the road (Will we ever)
I'll say it once again (Meet again?)
Oh, yes, I'm leaving (Feel so sorrow)
Got to go (Feel no shame)
Got to go (Come tomorrow)
I'm sorry, I must dash (Feel no pain)

So goodbye, Mary (Goodbye, Mary)
Goodbye, Jane (Goodbye, Jane)
Will we ever (Will we ever)
Meet again? (Meet again?)

Oh, I'm leaving
I've got to go


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit, edited by congressional

Goodbye Stranger Lyrics as written by Roger Hodgson Richard Davies

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

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Goodbye Stranger song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentFantastically used in the Magnolia soundtrack as Donny is walking into the bar for the first time. It gets me every time.

    I think it's about the end of a relationship because of the verse:

    Like a ship without an achor
    Like a slave without a chain
    Just the thought of those sweet ladies
    Sends a shiver through my veins

    Now that he's single, he is looking forward to his freedom to date all those hot 70's chicks. However he seems to run from his problems and one is left to wonder whether he will ever feel at home?
    Stairwaytoheavenon May 02, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthe end of this song rocks
    TheFranzFerdinandon August 30, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think Occam's Razor applies here: the simplest answer is usually the correct one.

    In other words, everything you need to know about this song is contained in the title and the lyrics. Don't read into it too much. I think this song is about just what it appears to be.
    mr13lckyon January 24, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentNo one seems to address the fact that there are two very different voices in this song--the fun-loving, unapologetic, one night stand addict--voiced by Rick, and the tenor voice of verses seven and eight who is saying goodbye to that person--who he addresses with the song's title, "Goodbye Stranger". Why is the second voice saying goodbye to the first?
    Someone suggested that Rick is saying goobye to a former acquaitance with whom he partied--possible, but unless you can back that up with a comment from the author that will have to remain unconfirmed.
    There is a division between the two parties--the stranger says, "I beleive that what you say is the undisputed truth." But that is not going to deter him from his chosen lifestyle. The second voice retorts, "tried to see your point of view, hope your dreams will all come true". There is no discord between the two voices but each is determined to go on their own path.
    One clue may be that the tenor voice says, "Feel no sorrow, Feel no shame, come tomorrow, feel no pain." Why no pain? This life is always painful right up to that last pain, death. Only then does the pain end.
    I think the two voices both belong to the same person and that the second voice is going to end his relationship with the first. He's going to sever that part of himself that he knows he can't control or change.
    He will say goodbye to the one night stands and the drugs--Mary and Jane are obviously marijuana and no song writer could say those words without expecting everyone to take them to refer to marijuana.
    Will they ever meet again? Will he ever return to his old self and old life? One never knows.
    aplknkron November 15, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI believe he's singing about the women he slept with while on the road and how he's saying goodbye to them because he will probably never see them again. Very catchy song.
    RemyKilledElvison July 06, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentGreat song--just listened to it on the radio this morning. To me, the marijuana and suicide explanations don't fit all of the lyrics, whereas the "guy who sleeps around with a lot of women" explanation does.

    He got up yesterday in another woman's bed, and must be moving on. "Now I believe in what you say" is him defending himself to a woman who says he's a playboy who's eventually going to grow old and die alone if he doesn't settle down. But he has to have things his own way. "And I will go on shining, shining like brand new" is ironic--it's him fooling himself, that he can keep his youthful good looks and winning ways with the ladies forever. "Goodbye stranger, it's been nice" is his kiss-off line. He loves all these woman, and doesn't want them to feel any sorrow or shame for their one-night stands. He's saying "What we had was fun, let's not make a big deal about it, have a great life." The "Some they do and some they don't" section is about how he categorizes women--i.e., those that will sleep with him and those that won't.

    Like a lot of SuperTramp, the song is ironic, playful, and bittersweet. The harmony is sweet and lilting and the melody catchy, but obviously the guy in the song has caused a lot of pain (without really meaning to) to a lot of women. He's also probably given a lot of pleasure to a lot of women. And he's also self-deluded about his own mortality--he will eventually lose his looks, and will be left alone. This could be the theme song for the Warren Beatty character in the movie "Shampoo." And it captures the tone of that bittersweet comedy too.
    SteveandShelleyon April 20, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThe song is about a superficial man. It's a tragedy song.
    In his fear of intimacy or dependency, he doesn't get close to anyone.
    When he leaves, looking to escape the pressure of the demands of any person trying to get closer to him, they are still strangers to him.
    His life is a sad cycle of leaving strangers behind.
    Middletonmarkon April 24, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree that the song was written to be about a one-night stand, but in retrospect, it seems to foretell 9/11.

    "It was an early morning yesterday
    I was up before the dawn
    And I really have enjoyed my stay
    But I must be moving on"

    The planes used in the attack were hijacked early in the morning on Sept. 11. The attackers believed they were moving on to an afterlife.

    "But I have to have things my own way
    To keep me in my youth"

    Extremists have rigid views, especially concerning the things they are willing to die for. Of course, if one dies young, he's young forever.

    "Just the thought of those sweet ladies
    Sends a shiver through my veins"

    Islamic extremists usually are able to go through with suicide attacks because of the promise of 72 virgins ("those sweet ladies") in the afterlife

    "And I will go on shining
    Shining like brand new
    I'll never look behind me
    My troubles will be few"

    Paradise, the afterlife

    "Goodbye stranger it's been nice
    Hope you find your paradise
    Tried to see your point of view
    Hope your dreams will all come true"

    This represents the innocence of America before the attack (speaking from her perspective). The extremist is merely a stranger, and America hopes he finds his paradise (afterlife). America doesn't understand his point of view, and in her innocent ignorant bliss, allows him in the nation and even provides him with flying lessons.

    "You can laugh at my behavior
    That'll never bother me
    Say the devil is my savior
    But I don't pay no heed"

    In the a culture completely different from his own, the stranger often encounters others laughing at his differences. He claims it doesn't bother him. In the immediate aftermath, his deed will be viewed as the work of Satan. Again, he doesn't care.

    "And I will go on shining
    Shining like brand new
    I'll never look behind me
    My troubles will be few"

    He doesn't care because he is going to paradise in the afterlife.
    BarryOmahaon March 09, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can see where someone would mistake the Mary and Jane and assume it's a song about pot.

    If you actually read all the lyrics of this song, he's saying goodbye to many women. It's a song about one night stands.
    HughMoron June 19, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYes weed. important to note that the stranger is himself. He's been high for so long that he doesn't even know this man he has become. Because of this, Mary Jane has to go; he wants to be 'present'.
    ShadowManon September 12, 2007   Link

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