Jimmy Eat World: The Middle Meaning
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Song Released: 2001
The Middle Lyrics
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...
InexorableDream May 20th, 2010 5:46am 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!?
anonymous Jan 11th, 2009 1:10am 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.
peanutbutter Dec 23rd, 2005 12:47am 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.
anonymous Jul 19th, 2016 7:49pm 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.
anonymous Aug 14th, 2014 8:48pm 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.
anonymous Jun 17th, 2014 6:04am report
I think it is about being a teenager with an older and younger sibling.
anonymous Oct 17th, 2013 10:20am 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.
anonymous Feb 5th, 2012 2:12am 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.
anonymous Jun 6th, 2011 6:00am report
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.
anonymous Apr 16th, 2011 4:32pm 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!
anonymous Feb 21st, 2011 2:43pm 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.
anonymous Jan 23rd, 2008 1:16pm 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.
anonymous Nov 18th, 2006 11:24am 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.
anonymous Jul 8th, 2006 7:13pm 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.
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