"Mystery Man" as written by and Louis Knox Barlow....
Earnest little lover, little mystery man
Nothing thrills you like denial
There's nothing wrong with the need to please
And children know no shame
Baby on your bended knees and she'd love to play your game
She's a curious girl easily swayed by your force of will
Empty to be filled with the hunger for more
What if time denies you, the key to your fulfillment fails?
Around the world again on a boat that sinks as it sails
Stand shoulders above her
Pick her up when you love her
Rub it right when you use her
Need it so bad you abuse her
But don't leave her alone 'cause soon she'll be tasting
The sweet unknown
If it feeds her candy she'll follow it home
Make your claim, she's legally yours
When she shares your name
But don't lose control 'cause you'll scare her away
Go on beg her to stay

Lyrics submitted by typo

"Mystery Man" as written by Louis Knox Barlow

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Mystery Man song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentCould this song actually be dealing with child abuse? Or am I reading this totally wrong?
    DJ47on October 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song certainly uses child abuse imagery, but it also fits in with the "breaks just like a little girl" tradition of identifying a woman as a child when the songwriter really means she is immature or trapped under someone else's control. I think the "children know no shame" line is supposed to apply to the "Mystery Man" of the song's title; here's a guy who is desperate to control his wife ("she's legally yours when she shares your name"), but doesn't know the first thing about maintaining a relationship. The wife, on the other hand, is happy to play along until someone new comes around.
    RogerRyanon December 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI also thought it could be about child abuse at first, but after a few more listens i'm more inclined to agree with Roger's interpretation. The lines "Make your claim, she's legally yours
    When she shares your name" & "Go on beg her to stay" really seem like it's about a guy trying to control his wife.
    MrSnrubon August 15, 2011   Link

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