What does Goodbye Stranger mean?

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Supertramp: Goodbye Stranger Meaning

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Song Released: 1979


Goodbye Stranger Lyrics

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
Oh...

  1.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 21st, 8:33pm report


    I agreed with all of the other posted meanings, but then Robin Williams died and I was listening to this song and it seems to be fitting on so many levels. That's why a great song is a great song, ever changing and always relevant.



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 19th, 2013 11:46pm report


    I think it is so stupid the drug references people make because of "Mary" and "Jane" ever think they simple just women's names that flow well in a song?! It's obviously about one-nighters and the R&R lifestyle, and perhaps his nonchalance to those that may judge him.,,,Oh, ha, I like your interpretation of ""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" I always interpreted that as if the woman is going to go hysterical or not when he takes off...but I think you're right, some people just want to hang out, not necessarily sleep with you, but yeah, I bet most are like, "Might just as well" :-)



  3.  

    Davebt54
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    Sep 2nd, 2013 9:39am report


    Well, it is undeniably clear what the meaning is of the song Goodbye Stranger. Without any doubt, it is a song about a Rock star (such as Davies)having 1 night stands with female "groupies" (girls that follow band stars. Rock stars in that time had a lot of female "groupies". So the song is referring to a Rock Star who sleeps with females while touring. The line of the song stating, "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
    that says, " Is referring to females who have 1 night stands with him,those that do not, and those who are hesitant, but for all, it is just as well!
    His reference to Mary and Jane is suggesting that he actually connected to a couple of female "groupies" before moving on, and his conscience made him feel "bad" about using girls for sex, because although he might have cared for a few in the past, his "lifestyle" in Supertramp,left him no option but to move on with his concerts and touring. So he wished them well!



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 23rd, 2011 7:53pm report


    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

    (Translation: He's a long time stoner, and he's decided to quit smoking pot and move on with his life)

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

    (Translation: Giving up weed is going to make him feel lost, like a "King without a castle", or a "Queen without a throne", since it's been a major part of his life for so long.)
    (Many heavy pot smokers get high first thing in the morning. He loves getting high early in the morning, hence...he's an early morning lover of Mary Jane or weed, but he's decided to move on with his life and give it up.)

    Now I believe in what you say
    is the undisputed truth

    (Translation: Weed makes you philosophical and he believes in it's use, even though he's decided to give it up.)

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

    (Translation: I think he's trying to say that life is passing him by, so he's going to quit smoking weed so he can experience more)

    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

    (Translation: Another reference that he will feel lost without marijuana since it's been such a big part of his life. "Just the thought of those sweet ladies sends a shiver through my veins", is a reference that just thinking about marijuana plants/buds makes him have second thoughts about quitting, since only the female plant produces buds that get you high.)

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

    (Translation: He's turning over a new leaf and starting anew. He won't have to worry about getting busted anymore, hence...his troubles will be few.)

    Goodbye stranger
    It's been nice
    Hope you find your
    Paradise
    Try to see your
    Point of view
    Hope your dreams will
    All come true
    Goodbye Mary
    Goodbye Jane
    Will we ever
    Meet again?

    (Translation: He's having a conversation with himself. He's enjoyed smoking weed but he's decided to move on, yet he has reservations about stopping.)

    Sweet devotion
    It's not for me
    Just give me motion
    And set me free
    The land and the ocean
    Far away
    Life I've chosen
    Every day
    So goodbye Mary
    Goodbye Jane
    Will we ever
    Meet again?

    (Translation: Same as the above verse. He's decided to quit smoking weed, but he's having some reservations about it.)

    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

    (Translation: A reference about people that get high. Sometimes it's easy to tell who does, and other times you would have never guessed. The second line references people that have never gotten high....some will try it and some won't, and for those that won't, it's probably just as well.)

    You can laugh at my behavior
    That'll never bother me

    (Translation: This is a reference to society looking down on potheads.)

    Said the devil is my savior
    But I don't pay no heed

    (Translation: Weed used to be called "the devils weed", by anti-marijuana folks. Since he smokes the "devil's weed", the devil must be his savior according to these same people.)

    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
    Try to see your
    Point of view
    Hope your dreams will
    All come true
    Goodbye Mary
    Goodbye Jane
    Will we ever
    Meet again?

    Sweet devotion
    It's not for me
    Just give me motion
    And set me free
    The land and the ocean
    Far away
    Life I've chosen
    Every day
    Now I'm leaving
    Got to go
    Hit the road
    I'll say it once again
    Oh, yes, I'm leaving
    Got to go
    Hit the road
    I'm sorry, I must tell you
    Goodbye Mary
    Goodbye Jane
    Will we ever
    Meet again?



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 1st, 2011 6:27pm report


    Nah, it's about a guy who enjoys one night stands and is attempting to have as many of them as possible (!)
    "It was early morning yesterday / I was up before the dawn / And I really have enjoyed my stay / But I must be moving on" Moving on to more women, that is. Drug addiction is hard to overcome - I think we all know that - and this chap is far too nonchalant about the whole affair for it to be drug-related. Plus,during the first "bridge" in the song,"sweet LADIES" are mentioned. Although of course this could be construed as a veiled reference to drugs (personifying Maryjane, or Mary and Jane seperately, as women), the one night stand interpretation seems more likely.
    And it's worth noting Supertramp really weren't a "druggy" band, especially the guy who wrote this song (Rick Davies). In an interview,Roger Hodgson (Davies' bandmate) stated that his friend refused to try marijuana when he offered it to him, and to this day I believe Davies has ventured no further into the world of drugs than tobacco smoking.



  6.  

    mensoelrey
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    Jun 20th, 2009 6:19pm report


    I have always thought Goodbye Stranger was about drugs. The giveaway is Mary and Jane, but there is evidence in other places.

    He talks about having things his own way, being stubborn. People who do drugs often say things like "I can quit whenever I want". I have said so myself. They are stubborn when people want them to quit. And drugs make you feel good, sometimes young and energetic. The stubbornness and the youthfulness are found in the line "I have to have things my own way, just to keep me in my youth."

    Moreover, why else would it be so hard for him to say goodbye? It is not as if he is saying goodbye to his girlfriend, as he is clearly not talking to someone he is in love with. But drugs are hard to quit. Goodbye, drugs. Will I be able to stay off them? Will we ever meet again?




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