Joey, baby - don't get crazy
Detours, fences, I get defensive

I know you've heard it all before
So I don't say it anymore
I just stand by and let you
Fight your secret war
And though I used to wonder why
I used to cry till I was dry
Still sometimes I get a strange pain inside
Oh, Joey, if you're hurting so am I

Joey, honey, I got some money
All is forgiven. Listen, listen

But if I seem to be confused
I didn't mean to be with you
And when you said I scared you
Well I guess you scared me too
But we got lucky once before
And I don't want to close the door
And if you're somewhere out there
Passed out on the floor
Oh Joey, I'm not angry anymore

And if I seem to be confused
I didn't mean to be with you
And when you said I scared you
Well I guess you scared me too
But if it's love you're looking for
Then I can give a little more
And if you're somewhere drunk and
Passed out on the floor
Oh Joey, I'm not angry anymore
Angry anymore, angry anymore


Lyrics submitted by dsfire

Joey Lyrics as written by Johnette Lin Napolitano

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Joey song meanings
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42 Comments

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  • +14
    General Comment

    I never understood this song until now. I understand because I've been dating an alcoholic for over a year and a half. The song speaks to me from beginning to the end. Joey is an alcoholic and in this song, she is in love with him and is willing to take all the blame and do whatever it takes to get him back after having the two have separated due to a falling out. She might or might not realize that because she's an enabler and co dependent because she's willing to keep him in her life no matter what. She doesn't even try to talk him into quitting drinking or seeking help anymore (she's tried before) because she's afraid of pushing him away. So, she remains silent as she watches him hurt himself. He can't keep a job or he can't hold onto any money because he spends it all on booze. they're always in a hole and she wants to draw him back by telling him that she'll take care of the money situation..I do that. She just wants to make him happy and secure. the truth is that no one will ever be able to make him happy. It hurts her to see him suffer this way because he's killing himself. She is willing to take the burden, the blame, and love him unconditionally for his love. It's a really sad love song. A love I wouldn't wish upon anyone. :-(

    joeybravoon July 01, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    Turtlefreak, that's an interesting take. However, I think it is about a man and a woman who can't seem to make their relationship work because they've both been hurt in the past. The song takes place after a recent fight where they ended their relationship, and she's had a little time to think about what she's losing and doens't want to lose him.

    "Detours, fences...i get defensive"...she is afraid to get her, so she backs off the relationship at times. He's been hurt in the past too, and still hasn't resolved all his issues."I know you've heard it all before, so I don't say it anymore I just stand by and let you fight your secret war" is about him not letting go of his past which is keeping him from a future with her.

    "But if I seem to be confused, I didn't mean to be with you And when you said I scared you Well I guess you scared me too"...both of them scare each other off because of their pasts. "But we got lucky once before, And I don't want to close the door" meaning that they have meshed together well at times, and she doesn't want it to be over. I think the whole reference to the drunk and passed out thing is just an indicator that it was a recent fight, and he's probably out drinking his sorrows away.

    "But if it's love you're looking for then I can give a little more And if you're somewhere drunk and passed out on the floor Oh Joey, I'm not angry anymore"...she's saying that if he wants to be involved with her, she wants him too, and will give more of herself to make it work. She got angry and said some things she didn't mean, and I'm sure he did too...she knows it was a mistake and wants to work it out, and hopes he does too.

    At least, that's my thoughts on it...and I could well be wrong.

    jlbrpton June 08, 2003   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    Anyone who has ever been in a relationship with someone who has a drinking problem knows exactly what this song is about. I've spent many nights listening to this song on repeat. Even today I can't hear it without reliving the helpless heartache that comes with loving someone who doesn't love themselves enough to quit. I'll always love you, JB. Wherever you may be, I hope you're okay, and know that I'm not angry anymore.

    maebelle11on March 18, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    This is about loving an alcoholic inspite of the fact that you know that you can't save/help them...you can talk/cry/scream but it's futile. "i just stand by and watch you fight your secret war"..she knows he's beyond her help but she still loves him. (sigh i can relate)

    noodles79on May 03, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    It's a song I sing to one of my friends when ever I see her. the whole bit about "if you're hurting so am I" kind of sums up our relationship

    la blue kittyon April 13, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    this song is more about being in love with someone who has a drinking problem ("I just stand by and let you fight your secret war"). Think about if you had a loved one who has a drinking or drug problem and then look at the lyrics again.

    "And when you said I scared you Well I guess you scared me too But if it's love you're looking for then I can give a little more And if you're somewhere drunk and passed out on the floor "

    turtlefreakon April 08, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i only read the first two postings...yeah, maybe his flaw is drinking, but i have just got back from a war zone...and i think the war inside is just the crap he cant talk to her about...thats why she still loves him even though he's a jerk...thats why she can forgive him BECAUSE ITS NOT ABOUT HER

    Rusty Manhoodon January 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song is most definitely about an alcoholic. The music video shows frequent scenes of a man staring at a bottle, struggling not to drink it. If anyone wants to see it, I found the video on iTunes.

    And no, I'm not selling anything. I'm just a fan of the song (and someone who can personally relate to it) who was surprised to find t a video for this song and, I wanted to tell others who love this song where they can see it.

    The line about him being out there somewhere passed out on the floor and her wanting to tell him she's not angry anymore is so damn powerful and sad.

    Beautiful song.

    JimmyTheSainton June 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song is someone who has lost a battle with themselves. Whether is be through alcohol as the lyrics suggest, or perhaps its drug related. This person cannot be helped either. They just let themselves swim in self pity. By doing so they are not letting the ones that love them in.

    Also, I think the concept of 'money ... money' etc denotes that this loved one is willing to do whatever it takes to help this person, despite how much bad they have done in their life. Whatever situation they are in their loved one is going to be their to bail them out.

    Lovely.yet.sad.song.

    shake_gentlyon August 31, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I have to say I agree most closely with jlbrpt. However, as a songwriter myself, I have to point out that the goal for most any lyricist is to be able to write something beautiful while still being vague enough in the meaning it had for the songwriter so that a greater cross section of listeners can relate to it. Often times an artist didn't even write a song and gets asked what its about - well how the heck do they know? Example...Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" became a smash hit after being in the movie UPCLOSE AND PERSONAL. Of course its assumed to be a love song. It was actually written by none other than songwriter Diane Warren about her father. Not exactly the same kind of love that most listeners take it to mean. Ultimately it doesn't matter what its about it just matters what situations it fits. I'm going through a situation with the guy I'm dating who is confused about his sexuality...admits he loves me and wants to make things work...but its still complicated for him (and obviously for me). Without giving out personal details of our relationship I will say that there is a scary parallel between what has happened recently and the lyrics of "Joey" - obviously it wasn't written for my situation...but it still fits.

    letmetellyouon May 29, 2008   Link

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