What does Who Can It Be Now mean?

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Men At Work: Who Can It Be Now Meaning

Song Released: 1981

Who Can It Be Now Lyrics

Who can it be knocking at my door?
Go 'way, don't come 'round here no more.
Can't you see that it's late at night?
I'm very tired, and I'm not feeling right.
All I wish is to be alone;
Stay away, don't you invade my home.
Best off if you...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 2nd 2011 report

    I don't know what Colin Hay's inspiration for this song was but it would be very meaningful for people who have been labelled with having a mental illness and who suspect that any moment the authorities will visit the house to have them taken to hospital after others have reported unusual behaviour by that person. Contrary to what is taught, people with mental illness are often aware that they might be under stress and acting out of sorts, hence the so-called "paranoia" about people coming to get them. Often a person with a label of a metal illness will expect what is actually going to occur, and their correct suspicions are far from examples of paranoia. The mention of the "childhood friend" is not a sign of insanity but an expression that usually, childhood friends treat one another with more trust and respect and don't dob their mates into mental health institutions. The statement, "there is nothing wrong with my state of mental health" is a reflection that because of the stigma attached to mental illness, often people read to much into the words or behaviour of someone with the label, themselves act out of paranoia which acuses undue anxiety to the person who has been reported to authorities, which happens time and time again.

  2. anonymous
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    Mar 10th report

    Panic and fear attacks. Very clear. Who can it be now, Overkill, an in a recovering fase, or, when he has got some ground onder his feet, knowing, understanding, his mental situation, thinking, knowing, he only has to spread his arms to welcome his recovery: Waiting for my new life to begin.

    This song is very important to me. When close friends ask me: But what is a fear or panic attack? I try to explain but also say: listen to Colin Hay: Who can it be now? And, Overkill. That's about it I guess. And in good days: Waiting for my new life to begin. I am not a wreck, people who suffer under this mental illness are normal people, but sometimes it suddenly
    can invade your mind. And not able to ignore. Takes over your ability to reason or get out of it.
    So, this song.is about fear and panic attacks. Clear and simple.

  3. anonymous
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    Apr 27th 2017 report

    Having a Mental Illness myself (bipolar and anxiety), I can relate to this song; as, at times I feel depressed and high anxiety. For me this song is simular to my racing thoughts and silent emotions I sometimes go thru. Hence, "Who can it be now knocking at my door" (depression, anxiety, manic swing, scared, no feeling, etc) "My childhood friend" would be me as a child when I felt safe with my thoughts and emotions. The fact that no one knows this from knowing me, has no idea I suffer from bipolar and depression; just shows how much I keep inside to be "normal". Although I find everyone's thoughts of this song interesting and see how it fits many meanings. No matter what this song truly means I still love it!

  4. anonymous
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    May 23rd 2014 report

    it makes me think of how the jews and others had to hide from the Nazis in world war II. Family and friends cowering in dark corners and closets of their own homes at every sound they heard.

  5. anonymous
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    Apr 17th 2011 report

    A song about depression and drug use, causing paranoia.

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