I am starting to function
In the usual way
Everything is so provocative
Very very, temporary

I shall walk (I shall walk)
Out of this place (out of this place)
I shall walk
Out on you
'Cause you go silly
If she's willing
Trying so hard to be like the big boys

So you take her to the pictures
Trying to become a fixture
Inch by inch trying to reach her
All the way through the second feature
Worrying about your physical fitness
Tell me how you got this sickness, oh ohhhh

I was caught in the suction
By a face like a truncheon
I was down upon one knee
Stroking her vanity

I was stuck on a hammerhead
I came alive and left for dead
As my face returned to red
Choking on my pride and pity

We can talk (we can talk)
Until your face is blue ('til your face is blue)
We can talk but she'll get to you
After you've been loved and hated
By the ones you've watched and waited
Found that they were overrated

She'll be the one, when the party's over
She'll be the one, when the girls have gone home
She'll be the one, that you'll wish you'd held onto
She'll be the one, but it's too late for you to
She'll be the one, who knows all your history
She'll be the one

So you can cross her off your list
And you try so hard
And you try so hard
And you try so hard
To be like the big boys, oh


Lyrics submitted by Mopnugget

Big Boys Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Big Boys song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

2 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think this about the time he was still married to his childhood sweetheart ('she'll be the one who knows all your history') but was also having a relationship with the model bebe buell - what totally different worlds those two women must have come from! Yhe wife a working class girl, mother of his child, from England and the mistress a top beautiful model from USA living a very different hedonistic life,

    There also seems to be some suggestion that he has been caught cheating ' I was caught in the suction (kissing?) by her face like a truncheon (ie a face that 'hit' him).

    This is one of my favourite of EC's songs. It shows him determined to live out his destiny, he knows that he will probably have regrets in the future (she'll get to you after you've been loved and hated . . .)but he cannot resist the lure of the siren call.

    It seems obvious to me that he had very strong feelings for his ex wife and I suspect that she may have cheated on him and hurt him quite badly - if his earlier songs are anything to go by -if that is so maybe that is why he left her.

    The list at the end that goes ' she'll be the one' ending with the definite 'so you can cross her off your list' I think this shows a man who has made a tough decision but who is ready to get on with the next phase of his life.

    redmeloneateron July 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I'm really not sure, but it seems like its about a naive guy trying to be "like the big boys" and have a girlfriend. He thinks this will make him happy, but doesn't really know much about girls.

    Just my take.

    TheSilverNobleon July 20, 2006   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!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Cajun Girl
Little Feat
Overall about difficult moments of disappointment and vulnerability. Having hope and longing, while remaining optimistic for the future. Encourages the belief that with each new morning there is a chance for things to improve. The chorus offers a glimmer of optimism and a chance at a resolution and redemption in the future. Captures the rollercoaster of emotions of feeling lost while loving someone who is not there for you, feeling let down and abandoned while waiting for a lover. Lost with no direction, "Now I'm up in the air with the rain in my hair, Nowhere to go, I can go anywhere" The bridge shows signs of longing and a plea for companionship. The Lyrics express a desire for authentic connection and the importance of Loving someone just as they are. "Just in passing, I'm not asking. That you be anyone but you”
Album art
No Surprises
Radiohead
Same ideas expressed in Fitter, Happier are expressed in this song. We're told to strive for some sort of ideal life, which includes getting a good job, being kind to everyone, finding a partner, getting married, having a couple kids, living in a quiet neighborhood in a nice big house, etc. But in Fitter, Happier the narrator(?) realizes that it's incredibly robotic to live this life. People are being used by those in power "like a pig in a cage on antibiotics"--being pacified with things like new phones and cool gadgets and houses while being sucked dry. On No Surprises, the narrator is realizing how this life is killing him slowly. In the video, his helmet is slowly filling up with water, drowning him. But he's so complacent with it. This is a good summary of the song. This boring, "perfect" life foisted upon us by some higher powers (not spiritual, but political, economic, etc. politicians and businessmen, perhaps) is not the way to live. But there is seemingly no way out but death. He'd rather die peacefully right now than live in this cage. While our lives are often shielded, we're in our own protective bubbles, or protective helmets like the one Thom wears, if we look a little harder we can see all the corruption, lies, manipulation, etc. that is going on in the world, often run by huge yet nearly invisible organizations, corporations, and 'leaders'. It's a very hopeless song because it reflects real life.
Album art
Blue
Ed Sheeran
“Blue” is a song about a love that is persisting in the discomfort of the person experiencing the emotion. Ed Sheeran reflects on love lost, and although he wishes his former partner find happiness, he cannot but admit his feelings are still very much there. He expresses the realization that he might never find another on this stringed instrumental by Aaron Dessner.
Album art
Head > Heels
Ed Sheeran
“Head > Heels” is a track that aims to capture what it feels like to experience romance that exceeds expectations. Ed Sheeran dedicates his album outro to a lover who has blessed him with a unique experience that he seeks to describe through the song’s nuanced lyrics.
Album art
Amazing
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran tells a story of unsuccessfully trying to feel “Amazing.” This track is about the being weighed down by emotional stress despite valiant attempts to find some positivity in the situation. This track was written by Ed Sheeran from the perspective of his friend. From the track, we see this person fall deeper into the negative thoughts and slide further down the path of mental torment with every lyric.