What does Tell Me Why mean?

Neil Young: Tell Me Why Meaning

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Album cover for Tell Me Why album cover

Tell Me Why Lyrics

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  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 19th 2019 !⃝

    Neil's neighbor, in her dark (but with a lovely balcony) apartment, thinks that is going crazy because she finds him everywhere. Like he's working with the gods to adapt every situation for his benefit and presence, even when he is not around.

    She loves him deeply.
    She always did.
    And she always knew.

    She knows that she don't know that she knows (That is an example of how her logic works)

    It is summer and she feels weak sometimes. Why is that? Is sunny outside.

    - She really, really wants to see him, to be with him. -

    In this place, in this world, in this life, everything have meaning if happens with him by her side.

    In her neighbor, Neil appears everywhere: billboards, songs, at the beach, inside the movies... How he does that?

    Even when she tries to find answers in her own way, all of them leads to him.
    When she tries to go away from him. She can’t (She did't really wanted to) The destiny is by their side.

    And she loves it.

    Suddenly, she understood the reason: he lives so deep in her heart.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 24th 2012 !⃝

    Tell Me Why You Don't Have "Look Out For My Love"

    This song is about Neil's virtual love affair with his neighbour. Mind you this is rumour or as they like to call it, "hearsay".. I have heard rumblings that Neil and a neighbour woman were VERY close. They fell in love with each other. They decided in an unspoken secret to go to a website about food and write recipes to each other. Neil being the creative one, would then go bake, cook, concoct & stew up the gourmet dishes. The woman would then visit their nearby deli to sample some of his productions. They were all incredibly savory and delectable. Neil had become a full-fledged bona fide chef and was highly ballyhooed in his community. Meanwhile, the woman was clandestinely ostracized.. She festered alone in her dark house, typing away the hours, desperately hoping that Neil would visit her online again and that he would read some of her recipes. Sadly, he became tooo big.. A real nationwide attraction. So he hired minions to visit her and pretend they were him... The woman didn't know her ass from her elbow anymore so she would sit and weep.. She could hear the roar of actual laughter coming from the corner bakery as Neil cracked jokes about her, while he simultaneously sold her goods. They say things became a little strange...

    There's a lot to learn
    For wastin' time
    There's a heart that burns
    There's an open mind.

    Neil and the neighbour woman obviously love each other. Here he is saying that he really learned a lot on the recipe website. He is only sarcastically saying that it was "wastin' time".. He knows very well that it was nothing of the sort because of his status as a very celebrated chef. Many times his heart cakes have burned in the confection oven which has caused him to really see the world in a unique way. His hardships have been a gift to him. They have made him feel strong, as if he can handle any adversity which comes his way. He thinks that the difficulties he has experienced with his cooking will make his life truly sweeter in the long run. His mind is open to life especially when he wears a toque.

    Look out for my love,
    look out for my love
    Look out for my love,
    look out for my love
    You own it
    You own it now
    You own it.

    He is telling the woman that she too owns some of the deli-bakery proceeds and/or she can have a job as a hash slinger, sous chef & dough-puncher. He is also telling her that he loves her and that she "owns" his love. He wants her to watch out for it because it will be coming around soon...

    There's a weight on you
    But you can't feel it
    Livin' like I do
    It's hard for you to see it.

    He knows she is truly being smothered due to her complete ignoration by the culinary industry. Neil recognizes that she should feel dead because of this. She is so perplexed she doesn't know what to feel. Neil sees this as he goes about his day to day business, peddling his yummies around town. He knows she is in the dark about what is really going on because she sits home alone writing list of ingredients & procedures for accomplishing food.

    Was I hurt too bad
    Can I show you daylight
    How could I be sad
    When I know that you might.

    He was hurt in a bakery explosion one day. He is asking her if his burns would bother her. (They would not.) He is telling her that very soon he will remove her from her house & show her the daylight. He can't be mournful when he thinks that she might...

    Look out for my love,
    look out for my love
    Look out for my love,
    look out for my love.

    Look out for his love. She stares out of her windows for him all of the time. She wonders if he is hiding in her house somewhere and if he'll suddenly pop out of a closet to surprise her. She is "looking out" all of the time. She keeps thinking that any day now Neil will arrive to show her his love.

    Look out for my love
    It's in your neighborhood
    I know things are gonna change
    But I can't say bad or good.

    Here he is saying that his love is moving closer to her. It's in her neighbourhood. He knows everything is going to change & he has some concerns. He is worried that she might tell him to bug off because of his cruel behaviour. But he also thinks chances are verryy favourable that jolly things could come from their situation.

    Silver wings of mornin'
    Shinin' in the gray day
    While the ice is formin'
    On a lonely runway.

    He is going on a trip to meet with the captains of the baking industry. He is at the airport. It is a cold & gloomy day.

    Hydraulic wipers pumpin'
    'Til the window glistens
    Somethin' sayin' somethin'
    No one seems to listen.

    Neil is confused about the air traffic controllers. They are speaking gibberish & they aren't listening to each other. Neil knows this is a problem. He is panicked because it is freezing rain outside. He is pondering his existence on earth while he stresses about the uncertainty of life. Everyone must die sometime. This verse is about Neil's epiphany regarding the importance of clear face to face communication. This point is sinking into his heart. So many terrible things can happen when our abilities to transmit break down.. People need to listen to each other. Neil knows 93% of communication is non-verbal so he is seriously concerned about the airport workers and their skills..

    Men with walkie-talkies
    Men with flashlights wavin'
    Up upon the tower
    Time reads daylight savings.

    Then Neil sees something amazing. The men in the air-traffic-control tower with their walkie-talkies & flashlights are holding up some of his cupcakes. They are giving Neil the thumb's up. Delicious food nourishes our souls and these men are now happy and healthy. They are much more likely to resume an effective process of exchanging information when they are satiated. Hence Neil's plane takes off and he has a very successful trip to Cakeland.

    I'm home again to you babe
    You know it makes me wonder
    Sittin' in the quiet slipstream
    In the thunder.

    When Neil returns, he is exhausted. He is so happy to be alive after his scary plane ride episode that he goes back to his computer and writes a recipe to the neighbor woman he loves. Everything in life seems new to him again. He is excited to have another chance to be with her.. At his computer, his mind drifts to a dream... He's sittin' naked in a perilous stream with his precious toque de tete and it is stormy outside.. Then FINALLY Neil decides he has had ENOUGH of dreaming.

    Look out for my love,
    look out for my love
    Look out for my love,
    look out for my love.

    He goes to the recipe website to tell his woman that he is on his way once and for all.

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