What does Push mean?

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Matchbox 20: Push Meaning

Song Released: 1997

Push Lyrics

She said I don't know if I've ever been good enough
I'm a little bit rusty, and I think my head is caving in
And I don't know if I've ever been really loved
By a hand that's touched me, well I feel like something's
Gonna give
And I'm a...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 19th 2009 report

    This is a direct quotation from an interview conducted by NY Rock with Rob Thomas. First is the question. Second, is Rob's recorded answer.

    Q: In America and Europe, the single "Push" has caused quite an uproar. A lot of feminists seem to be offended.

    A: I don't understand how people who claim to have a brain can misunderstand [the song] so much. It's not about physical violence. It's about emotions and how somebody can push you around without even lifting a finger. It's all emotional. It's all far more subtle. Anyway, in that song it's the guy who gets pushed around by a girl he's having a relationship with. I had a relationship like that where I was emotionally pushed around, and you know what? I grew almost comfortable with it. I got used to it. Almost enjoyed it because I thought that's how relationships work. I thought it's about getting manipulated and controlled. It's a bit crazy that people claim that I'm a chauvinist and have a violent attitude towards women.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Nov 2nd 2006 report

    The song is set-up like a conversation, the girl speaks first then the guy responds, then it goes to the chorus and repeats the cycle

    the girl feels that every other relationship she's been in was loveless, and that made her feel that she was doing something wrong

    the guy tells her that even though she treats him poorly, he's not giving up on her or their relationship, and that she doesn't have to do anything different

    the girl then tries to blame her abuse on him, saying he wasnt there for her, or was treating her poorly etc.

    The guy says, she needs to be nicer, and that he doesn't deserve what he's getting from her, and he says he won't change for her abuse

    The last non-chorus lyrics go "oh but don't bowl me over
    just wait a minute well it kinda fell apart, things get so crazy, crazy don't rush this baby, don't rush this baby, baby" I think this means that they need some time to fix their relationship, and that they should go slow, and not rush through it

    - ian


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    May 2nd 2008 report

    First, Love the song, and not may of the people who hear Matchbox 20's new song have heard it. (From my experience.)

    I think that:

    This song is about two friends, a guy and a girl, who have developed feelings for each other. It is from the guy's perspective, hearing how the girl feels under-appreciated in her current state, in a relationship or life, and how unstable things are, "somethings gonna break."
    The guy is thinking that he doesn't want her to break, "this ain't over, no not here," because she is so important to him. How they "might change" and it "just might feel good."

    The chorus is how he wants to have a closer relationship, the "push you around" is like playing, "push you down" is the more intimate (sex) aspect, and how he wants to be so close to her heart that he doesn't know life without her there and he is able to "take you for granted."

    The second verse is her questioning why he would lie to her, and he is thinking about how he only does that to keep her happy and protect her. He then becomes worried about why she goes out with other guys.
    She has always been friends with him and he wants more. He feels "cheated" and "wronged" by not being able to know her.

    He is afraid in the third verse of changing what they have and losing everything that they have. And he will keep the situation the same to keep her as close as he can.

  4. Cementfrog
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    Aug 8th 2021 report

    This is one of my favorite song of all time. Songs mean different things to different people. My dad had passed away in 1992 and when this song came out 5 years later I was 18 and truly starting to come to terms of his death and the fact I'll never see him again and there is one line in the song that stuck with me. I know it wasn't meant to mean what I use the song for, but when Rob says "I wanna take you for granted", that line makes me think of my dad and how I took him for granted and how badly I want to go back in time to take him for granted all over again. I'll always miss my dad.

  5. anonymous
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    Feb 2nd 2020 report

    I have always thought that this song is about being on the cusp of a relationship. I think the “she” in the song is essentially putting out a disclaimer, that she is essentially broken. She is warning either someone else or just the world as a whole. I don’t think is a 2 person conversational song. I think “she” is laying everything out and she also seems conflicted as the song goes on. She seems to, in the end, seem to think she might take a chance on either a hypothetical relationship or real one. She is letting everyone know that she has issues and she will be a lot to handle. It would be nice to always get this kind of brutal honesty right from the beginning of a relationship instead of getting “pushed around” down the line.

  6. anonymous
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    May 11th 2017 report

    I personally believe that this song is about a hurt person who is hurting someone else in a relationship because they're hurting as well.

    Misery enjoys company.

  7. anonymous
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    May 11th 2017 report

    I personally believe that this song is about a hurt person who is someone in a relationship because they're hurting as well.

    Misery enjoys company.

  8. anonymous
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    Jul 22nd 2015 report

    At 50 years old, I finally get it...I think.
    A man gets hooked on drugs and his woman left him. She can't stand to look at him, doesn't know if he's ever really loved her, doesn't want to be near him.
    He needs her, but can't change. He's not exactly happy, but addicted...addicted to the drug, and having her there to take care of things and him. And yeah, he pushes her around...but hey, she's put up with it this long, so what's the deal?
    In his panic and paranoia, he tries every argument in the book - it just might feel good (come to my side and it will be okay); I won't do anything at all (I won't hurt you, I promise, just don't leave).
    He realizes she is serious, then tries to make an effort to change, but - what a minute, he needs a fix - don't rush this...not quite ready to stop....don't leave yet - I still need you....

    A never ending cycle of loving an addict.

  9. anonymous
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    Jun 26th 2014 report

    I believe the song is from someone point of view that had been "pushed around" emotionally for so long. "Idk if i've ever been really loved". The person singing is tired of getting pushed around "and i'm a little bit angry", and being taken for granted. SO I think they are saying that this time, they want to be the one who pushes them around, pushes them down, and takes them for granted.

  10. anonymous
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    Nov 30th 2013 report

    Rob Thomas & Matchbox 20 have commented several times that it's about a female on male abusive (emotionally) relationship...it's not about his wife,they didn't even meet til the "Smooth" video.

  11. anonymous
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    Jul 20th 2013 report

    I feel that this song could well be about his past relationships but it could be taken in the literal sense as well. When I first heard it, it was a time for me where it was me against the world and I DID want to push everyone around because I was so tired of everyone doing it to me. I was tired of being taken for granted and pushed around like i was nothing. So, to me, this song has multiple meanings. There's the meaning it has for me and the meaning that the Rob meant when he wrote it.

  12. anonymous
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    Feb 3rd 2013 report

    Wow, I've read a lot of interpretations but personally I think PUSH is a Love Song.

    She's at her wit's end trying to figure out the guy in her life and that she's a little bit angry about it. She's thinking about breaking it off as it's making her crazy.

    He responds that it can't be over because he still NEEDS her. That she really doesn't know him...He might change and then they'd feel good.

    Then he goes on to say he WANTS to push her around and that he WILL (but he has never done it yet, but that he will--he's mentally ill--he feels like he wants to, but can't because he loves her so much, but because he is ill mentally, he has those feelings that he just wants to push her around). He goes on to say he WANTS to push her down and he WANTS to take her for granted. (But he can't--He loves her too much).

    She goes on to say she can't understand why he would ever lie to her. He responds that he was just trying to protect her because the truth might hurt her. She doesn't understand why he couldn't just stay with her. And he says she couldn't stand to be near him when he's cheated on her. She says not to just stand there and say nice things to her, that she's been cheated, she's the one that's been wronged.
    He interupts her saying that she doesn't know him, and that he CAN"T change (mental illness). Then he says that he won't do anything at all (he won't push her around).

    Then they start to patch things up. She says oh don't bowl me over (just say what you think I want to hear). He says, just wait a minute......it kinda fell apart....things get so crazy sometimes. (His way of saying sorry). He goes on to say not to rush this (His getting better mentally). Then he's right back to saying he's gonna push her around and that he will he will he will (An attempt of trying to get better----but he can't).

    Then they are right back to where they started because of his mental illness they will repeat the same thing over and over. But He LOVES her. He just can't help himself.

  13. throm5
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    Jul 18th 2012 report

    Ok push was witten when rob and his now wife were having heated moments 1997 he starts the song out she say because the song was witten in the time of the femenist movement which would be the 90s they new they were going to take some heat for the song l
    yrics. Plus not to offen his female listeners but rob at the time was sick of his now wife

  14. mb20forever
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    Mar 21st 2012 report

    It's about a girl thats been in a bad relationship. She feels like a failure.she dlesnt think anyone cares about her"I dont think that I've ever been really loved by a hand that's touched me" she meets a guy who wants to take her in and show her how to be treated . But she had too many doubts.she wants to push him around. not physically but mentally to see if he can take her and to see if he really loves her enough to put up with all of it. She wants to take ppl for granted. Show them how it feels so they won't do it to her

  15. anonymous
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    Sep 9th 2011 report

    From what interviews with Rob have said that the song is a conversation, mostly the girl speaking, I think it is about the female speaker (feeling)pushed around. ie:she doesnt feel good enough, wonders if she has ever really been loved. There's a part when she says "I don't know why you ever would lie to me" and i think it's Rob saying "Like I'm a little untrusting when I think the truth is gonna hurt you." So he's not treating her right, she has been wronged and cheated...therefore I think its his gf/ex saying she wants to push him around and let him know how it feels.

  16. anonymous
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    Jul 9th 2011 report

    I actually saw the interview they held with Rob when he discussed the uproar made by women's abuse advocates and ultimately this song is about an emotional kind of pushing. It's about manipulation and control... directed at the man in the relationship. Rob even said it was about himself in a previous relationship. Abuse falls to both sides these days and emotions are much harder to mend than anything physical.

  17. anonymous
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    Mar 14th 2011 report

    This song is about someone who has been in an abusive relationship...or possibly many abusive relationships. They don't really know if anyone could ever love them. They feel like they have been the one taken for granted and taken advantage of, and they are broken.

  18. wdofl
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    Nov 22nd 2010 report

    It's and interpretation of the demons inside of him, like fighting an addiction.. a struggle of self.

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