Don't be there, don't be there,
'Cause I'm on my way,
And I'm already gone over,
And I'm on my way. hey...

I can't recall myself how I went down,
Did I get shot or shoot myself?

I'm down here, I'm down here,
And you're way up there,
That doesn't hurt, badly,
But it stings right here, hey...

I can't recall myself how I went down,
Did I get shot or shoot myself?

And I won't pretend there's nothing there,
You'll be around and I'll be square.
Don't be alarmed if I'm not there,
You'll be around and I'll be square.

If you're a rose then I'm the thorn
that's in your side,
And does it hurt badly?
'Cause it burns right here.

I can't recall myself how I went down,
did I get shot or shoot myself?

I'd like to say hello,
I'd like to say I care,
I'd like to let you know,
That nothing here's the same with me,
Nothing here's the same.

And I can't recall myself how I went down,
Did I get shot or shoot myself?

And I won't pretend there's nothing there,
You'll be around and I'll be square.
Don't be alarmed if I'm not there,
You'll be around and I'll be square.
Don't be around, Don't be there,
Don't be there.


Lyrics submitted by rugbystud2001

Don't Be There song meanings
Add your thoughts

13 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    General Commentyeah - switchfoot is my favorite band ever too. They're unbeatable...their lyrics, their music, their passion.

    uh...here's what I read that Jon (songwriter) wrote about it:

    "'Don't be There' was inspired by a bittersweet period in my life when I was growing further apart from a dear friend of mine. I will always teasure our friendship; I will never forget the beautiful memories. Yet, youth can be synonymous with change as we begin to learn and discover and experience life more and more. My friend and I had changed since we met, and our distance hurt both of us. The song is built around the conflicting desires that I had concerning this friendship."
    switchchickon September 01, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I find that poetry and music are especially effective mediums in which to convey my feelings. Poetic devices can give us the eyes and heart of another, submerging us in the ocean of a foreign experience. In a song we can travel to far-away lands, catch our breath on the highest peak and feel our way across the forest floor. Music and poetry can act as jet engines for our emotions; I love these arts for the journey on which they take us. 'Don't Be There' is a song which began with an emotion and an acoustic guitar. I think that these two elements remained intact in this song. Obviously, the acoustic guitar is a prominent feature, but the melancholy mood that I was in when I picked up the guitar that day is evident was well. 'Don't Be There' was inspired by a bittersweet period in my life when I was growing further apart from a dear friend of mine. I will always treasure our friendship; I will never forget the beautiful memories. Yet, youth can be synonymous with change as we begin to learn and discover and experience life more and more. My friend and I had changed since we met, and our distance hurt both of us. 'Don't Be There' is built around the conflicting desires that I had concerning this friendship?" -Jon Foreman
    ThisSettingSunon August 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe regret of the loss of some kind of relationship. Maybe between a freind, a friend, or God. I'm not sure, especially around the lyrics meaning, "you'll be around and i'll be square," Maybe that's talking about the literal differences between the two shapes, a circle and square, as well as the state of being at a certain place either in real life, or more than likely figuratively.
    mattlikescheeseon February 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou know the saying "be there or be square"? To me it means that that person will be around, but the person singing the song refuse to be near the other, so he is square because HE won't be there if the other person is. That is just what is means to me though, but most importantly this is a great song, and everyone should listen to it.
    rugbystud2001on March 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou know the saying "be there or be square"? To me it means that that person will be around, but the person singing the song refuse to be near the other, so he is square because HE won't be there if the other person is. That is just what is means to me though, but most importantly this is a great song, and everyone should listen to it.
    rugbystud2001on March 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentswitchfoot is THE best christian band, hands down. their lyrics rock... "If you're a rose then I'm the thorn that's in your side" beautiful.
    kryngeon May 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, if not the best, they're up there @ the top. :) I love switchfoot. "Learning to Breathe" is such a good album.

    - Jarsonic
    jarsonicon May 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, "And I can't recall myself how I went down, Did I get shot or shoot myself?", this referrs to our falling away from God. It can happen so quickly and easily, that we may not even realize how we were pulled away.
    daniela5586on June 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read somewhere that this song was about losing a close friend, and i think it said that the friend was one that had turned away from God. I love switchfoot so much..they are my favorite band ever...
    clairebear1on June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOnce I fell asleep while listening to my Switchfoot CD, a composite of all four albums, and when I woke up near midnight, I was still half asleep, and it was playing this song. I'm not sure if that played a role in it, but I've loved this song ever since.

    As a completely different, yet interesting story, I just took the battery out of my laptop and it's still working.
    SwitchfootFreekon July 29, 2005   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain