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Jimmy Eat World: The Middle Meaning


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Song Released: 2001

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The Middle Lyrics

Hey, don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away.
It just takes some time, little girl...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    May 20th 2010 report

    I agree with most of the other comments for the most part on the reason for the band writing and singing this song. (After all, they wrote the song after losing a publishing contract...which won them 2 others!)

    When looking deeper into the song, lyric by lyric however you can get the greater meaning, that this song is quite literally about puberty...or at least just growing up.

    Don't write yourself yet it's only
    in your head you feel left out
    or looked down on..."
    -After hearing this I get the image of a child struggling to find the clique that (s)he belongs to.

    "Just try your best, try everything you can
    Don't you worry what they tell themselves
    When you're away..."
    -Give it a shot! Even when you know that people are going to think you suck or are going to talk behind your back. You might be new in the world or behind them for now but it doesn't matter as long as you try.

    "It just takes some time,
    Little girl you're in the middle of the ride
    Everything, everything will be just fine
    Everything, everything will be alright."
    -You're in the middle of the ride, it's life! We all go through this and one day it will be over. Everything will be just fine. The reference to a little girl suggests the teenage years or puberty as a whole: change in the body, peer pressure, self/other esteem, popularity, etc...

    "Hey, you know they're all the same,
    You know you're doing better on your own,
    So don't buy in..."
    -Sure the popular kids are out there doing the same thing, usually playing follow the leader and king of the hill all at the same time. They may dress the same and listen to the same music but what is the point in that when you know what you like and you are better at doing what you like?
    "Live right now, yeah just be yourself
    It doesn't matter if it's good enough
    For someone else."
    -Just enjoy yourself as you not as the class queen. Who cares if it's good enough for your critics or the people who are there solely to stab your back? People will come to you when you shine and you will shine as you, not them.

    *Chorus is the same
    -Sweet guitar solo to me suggests that the band is saying hey, we can do what you do too! It's a bit long and based on the change in the third verse from the first verse suggests that it takes time but enjoy the time while you are at it.

    "Hey, don't write yourself off yet,
    it's only in your head you feel left out,
    Or looked down on,
    Just do your best, do everything you can,
    And don't you worry what the bitter hearts
    Are gonna say."
    -Now you are doing, they see you now! You are on top and now they are bitter, jealous of you.

    PS. I love playing this song on RB2. I'm not the greatest at that game...Come to think of it I'm terrible but what does it matter if I have fun when I play it, isn't that the meaning of this song!?


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jan 11th 2009 report

    I think this song is about being yourself (which pretty much everyone says) and not letting people take over who you are and what you do.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Dec 23rd 2005 report

    this is a really good song, and is nice to listen to if you're feeling down coz its pretty uplifting and is about something almost everyone would understand. It's saying that other people's approval isn't important, just be yourself, and don't worry about what other people think or say.

  4. anonymous
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    Jul 19th 2016 report

    About the time that The Middle was released, I had just been told that my job of 17 years was being outsourced and that "there was no longer a place for me in the company."

    I listened to this song on the way to and from work - every day - for two months and it helped to keep me positive and moving forward.

    The loss of my career wasn't the end of me - it was the beginning of a new me. I just wasn't there yet, I was in The Middle.

  5. Rha
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    Feb 5th 2016 report

    I'm in my early 50s ... I think it's about anyone 'in the middle' of a transition of life.

  6. anonymous
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    Aug 14th 2014 report

    I might be crazy but.. I think the song is about a girl contiplating suicide.. "dont write yourself off yet; its only in your head!" Basically the band is saying the answer is not for you to let go, the ride is still going, and though life is scary (like a rollercoaster) everything, EVERYTHING will be alright. So live right now, be your self and dont worry what the bitter hearts are going to say.. girls going through depression are usually extremely obsessed with: what do people think, say, and feel about me.

    Just an opinion.

  7. anonymous
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    Jun 17th 2014 report

    I think it is about being a teenager with an older and younger sibling.

  8. anonymous
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    Oct 17th 2013 report

    i love how they say ''everything will be just fine'', because truely, going through the highschool years, no matter what walk of life youre on, it tends to be hard for everyone. striving to fit in and then being pushed away, looking on the outside of the popular clique must be the most degrating thing for a teenager, whether they admitt it or not.You want to be accepted and loved by everyone, and this song goes to show that its not always that easy. When I walk into my highschool, I put my headphones in my ears and blast this song.

  9. anonymous
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    Feb 5th 2012 report

    the middle is a reference to the transitional period of teenhood. you are no longer a little kid, but you are not yet an adult. you are exploring new things, such as crushes, reputations, and other stuff. your hormones are raging.

    the all the same thing is actually kinda stupid. why? because it is only a stupid rebuttal to the "different" thing that kids are teased about.

    and whats the point of being yourself? if nobody likes you, then you cant enjoy popularity, a feeling of being liked. finding like minded friends like the band or whatever doesnt help, you are still a misfit. humans naturally do not feel succeccful if the people who matter most do not care.

  10. anonymous
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    Jun 6th 2011 report

    The Middle:
    it means that- yay!- you've gotten through half of it in one piece, and you're okay. Your're almost there!
    You've still got time to enjoy the ride- you're only halfway through, in the middle of it.
    It's a ride, like a rollar coaster- fun and crazy and scary all at the same time, but in the end, worthwhile.
    The middle is the best of both worlds-and neither here nor there,but somewhere in between. While you're there, enjoy it-celebrate the past,be in the moment, and hope for the future.
    You've both almost finished and barely started. It's saying, hey, don't worry- you're only in the middle- you're not supposed to have it all figured out yet! (are you ever?) The middle is the best and the worst and no matter what it is, you've still got to hang on for the ride.

  11. anonymous
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    Apr 16th 2011 report

    I am recently divorced, which I initiated. I see a lot of interpretations from teens. I am 42. This song is helpful to people of all ages. Amazing so many people can relate to it. Love it!

  12. anonymous
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    Feb 21st 2011 report

    I recently endured a really hard breakup. My ex, who I dated for 5 years (even engaged to), moved on very quickly. It put a new spin on the song for me.

    I've taken the meaning to a whole new level... about surviving relationship woes. I'm the Little Girl. Don't worry about them. Everything will be just fine.

    The song is definitely a booster for anyone who has been down, feeling low, alone, closed off.

  13. anonymous
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    Jan 23rd 2008 report

    AMAZING song! I love it. Just be yourself and know who you are cause that's what really counts, not what other people say about you.

  14. anonymous
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    Nov 18th 2006 report

    OK, the band have explained this song in interview.

    This song is about a time when they were being labelled 'emo' or 'emocore' or 'poseurs' and they were really pissed off and wanted to be accepted by fans for what they are. So they wrote this song.

    Mystery solved?

  15. anonymous
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    Jul 8th 2006 report

    This song is about being yourself and how life can be really hard when you are in high school, but don't buy into all that crap that other kids are doing and don't give a shit what they say.

  16. topazio
    click a star to vote
    Jun 19th 2006 report


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