What does Say It Right mean?

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Nelly Furtado: Say It Right Meaning

Song Released: 2009


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Say It Right Lyrics

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In the day
In the night
Say it right
Say it all
You either got it
Or you don't
You either stand or you fall
When your will is broken
When it slips from your hand
When there's no time for joking
There's a hole in the plan

Oh you don't...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 8th, 2007 1:47pm report


    i think the song she is singing is about a boy, and he doesn't mean anything to her anymore because he only wanted her when it was convenient or when there was a "hole" in his other plans, so she doesn't want him either. but then she relises that he has the power to set her free, and that makes him mean everything to her, because all she wants to do is get away from him and be free. "I can't say that I'm not lost and at fault
    I can't say that I don't love the light and the dark" I think that means that she is to blame for some of the things that went rong too, but you can't love the light, and turn around when that's gone and love the dark.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Mar 6th, 2007 3:12pm report


    She's talking about a guy she just met.
    She's telling him to talk to her so she can figure out whether he's worth it and she really hopes he is:
    "Say it all
    Say it right
    You either got it
    Or you don't"
    Then she talks about how he could potentially be the one:
    "Oh you don't mean nothing at all to me... Do you got what it takes to set me free? Oh you could mean everything to me."
    After that she tells him that she's pretty screwed up too emotionally and she's probably a guilt-ridden person who indulges in dark things:
    "I can't say that I'm not lost and at fault. I can't say that I don't love the light and the dark"
    Then she says that she is willing to open up to him sexually (and maybe a little bit emotionally) if she decided that he is worth it:
    "And all of what I feel I could show you tonight...
    From my hands I could give you something that I made.
    From my mouth I could sing you another brick that I laid
    From my body I could show you a place God knows.
    You should know the space is holy.
    Do you really want to go?"



  3.  

    Angelboo
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    Feb 24th, 2019 2:56am report


    Nelly Furtado herself has said she herself doesn't know what this song means. So you can interpret this however you want.

    My interpretation is this is about a trouble woman. Probably very promiscuous and wants this guy she met to save her from this dangerous lifestyle that she leads. When she says "You don't mean nothing at all to me, but you could mean evetything to me." She thinks he's like every other guy, but if he says/does (say it right, say it all) the right thing he could mean everything to her.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 8th, 2018 4:26am report


    I'm just going to throw this out there because
    I feel like I should. I'm half deaf, but even I can hear the sadness from words never spoken.

    It's having a connection with each, but now it's a long distance. It works for awhile, but has lose ends. Feelings change over night. Feeling disconnected and alone, but you know for you it's temporary. Wishing she'd make that call.

    Ok. Sorry. I don't know what I'm talking about.
    c.y



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 10th, 2013 11:01pm report


    This song is not about sex, relationships, or a boy. This song is about challenging a cultural attitude and portraying women for more than being sexual objects. It's about breaking up with the patriarchal ideas of the Mediterranean culture and wanting to be more. By "say it right" she means acknowledge.

    I can say that I'm not lost any more
    I can say that I don't love the light and the dark
    I can say that I don't know that I am alive
    And I love what I feel
    I can show you tonight

    means that she is not sure of who she is without her culture, but at the same time she realizes that it is the source of her oppression.

    From my hands I could give you something that I made
    From my mouth I could sing you another brick that I laid
    From my body, I could show you a place
    That only god knows

    Shows and interprets parts of the body that are usually have sexual meanings into something else. A transformation of giving them use for her freedom.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  6.  

    anonymous
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    May 11th, 2013 5:27pm report


    In the first verse, she says he can tell her that she can talk to him. He won’t hurt her or treat her badly. She says he can cry to her and have faith in her. She says love is an emotion a person feels completely. It’s something a person doesn’t question. She says once he gives in, he can either own up to his feelings or run from them. He stops her in the middle of a dumb joke and tells her they need to talk. She knows he’s realized he can’t control what he feels.

    “In the day/In the night/Say it right/Say it all/You either got it/Or you don't/You either stand or you fall/When your will is broken/When it slips from your hand/When there's no time for joking/There's a hole in the plan.”


    In the chorus, she says he has no meaning in her life. But if he allows himself to fall for her and let her hold him, they could have a wonderful relationship.

    “Oh you don't mean nothing at all to me/No you don't mean nothing at all to me/Do you got what it takes to set me free/Oh you could mean everything to me.”


    In the second verse, she says she’s a lot like him. She’s made a lot of mistakes and often doesn’t know which direction she should go in. She tells him she can be cheerful person but she can be gloomy, too. Some days she would like to flee and live in a place alone. She isn’t certain if she’s living life the way she should, but she tries. She explains he can understand her in the evening.

    “I can't say that I'm not lost and at fault/I can't say that I don't love the light and the dark/I can't say that I don't know that I am alive/And all of what I feel I could show/You tonight, you tonight.”


    The chorus is sung again.

    In the third verse, she says if they begin a romance, he will be appreciated and learn everything about her, even the muddiest corners of her mind. She says he will be loved each time he presses his body against her own. She asks him if he’s ready to take the chance.

    “From my hands I could give you/Something that I made/From my mouth I could sing you another brick that I laid/From my body I could show you a place God knows/You should know the space is holy/Do you really want to go?”


    Furtado has known her crush for a long time. She thought he liked her, but he dismissed it. She became friends with him but believed he hadn’t told her what he really felt. She also knew he had shut people down if they even get near to loving him. However, after almost kissing each other, she finally gets him to break and feel.

    Her pressing, soothing vocals are matter-of-fact, challenging him to face his emotions.



  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 6th, 2011 11:38am report


    My understanding of the song is that she's singing about a guy who means nothing to her, she just makes love to him, "In the day, in the night" she wants him to comfort her,say ALL the RIGHT things "say it right, say it all." But she doesn't let him actually mean something to her, although he could. "You mean nothing to me" "You could mean everything to me". She knows he can give her release and save her "you got what it takes to set me free". The song is filled with contrasts. "Day"/"night","stand"/"fall","everything"/"nothing". So she wants all or nothing from him.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 30th, 2011 9:53am report


    or maybe simply she is fed up of a boring relationship..and doesn't care anymore :/



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 11th, 2011 4:52am report


    I think this song is about either losing your virginity or the choice to sleep with someone for the first time:

    In the day
    In the night
    Say it right
    Say it all
    You either got it
    Or you don't
    You either stand or you fall
    When your will is broken
    When it slips from your hand
    When there's no time for joking
    There's a hole in the plan

    The narrator is saying that it's good night or day and if one should "say it right, say it all..." they have it... if they don't say those things, they don't "have it."
    "When your will is broken," kind of has religious overtones. It's as if the narrator is considering giving in to temptation, hence the "hole in the plan" (that could also be a double meaning for something sexual and maybe even sadistic)...

    Oh you don't mean nothing at all to me
    No you don't mean nothing at all to me
    Do you got what it takes to set me free

    Oh you could mean everything to me

    It's as if the person the narrator is considering means nothing at that point in time, but maybe if that person were to "set me free" (again, sexually) they could "mean everything to me."

    I can't say that I'm not lost and at fault
    I can't say that I don't love the light and the dark
    I can't say that I don't know that I am alive
    And all of what I feel I could show
    You tonite you tonite

    It's the narrator fessing up to their own imperfections. Maybe even "saying" that there's a possibility that they can't "say it right" to the person in question. There's a promise being made, however. "I can't say that I don't know that I am alive" is admitting that maybe this narrator isn't all the other person thinks they are cracked up to be, but the narrator assures this other person that they can could "show you tonight / all of what I feel," and that's kind of a challenge... Like, "Can you handle what I've got to show you?"

    From my hands I could give you
    Something that I made
    From my mouth I could sing you another brick that I laid
    From my body I could show you a place God knows
    You should know the space is holy
    Do you really want to go?

    This final verse is what makes me think that the narrator is considering giving their virginity up. It as if only "God knows" about this person's body and such, and that their body is still "holy," so a challenge again... "do you really want to go?" Do you want to go to this holy place (my body) which only God and I know about so far? I'll show you all that I have...



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 28th, 2009 11:58am report


    I believe the song has a religious motivation and she is singing about Jesus.
    I guess this song is a clearing with her past and her maybe strict catholic nurture.

    "In the day
    In the night
    Say it right
    Say it all
    You either got it
    Or you don't"

    I guess in this verse she is referring to a religious person who is praying. She says you either pray consequently or forget about it. It criticises inconsequent/half-hearted prayer.

    "You either stand or you fall
    When your will is broken
    When it slips from your hand
    When there's no time for joking
    There's a hole in the plan"

    This verse is full of criticism against strictly religious people such as some catholics. First of all it says that there exist only absolutes such as "hot" and "cold" resp. "stand" or "fall" in your relation to god but nothing in between. She criticises that strictly religious people then would give away their free will and make them fully dependend on god ("will broken"). The bad consequence as she sees it would be the "loss" of control of your life ("slips from your hand"). Another bad consequences of religious life as she saw it maybe, is exaggerated seriousness and strictness (towards children). ("When there's no time for joking/ hole in the plan".)

    "Oh you don't mean nothing at all to me
    No you don't mean nothing at all to me
    But you got what it takes to set me free
    Oh you could mean everything to me"

    Now this verse is about Jesus.
    He doesn't mean anything to her but she knows that he could be the one to set her free and that he could therefore mean everything to her.
    Despite knowing about the power to liberate her, liberation is denied to her resp. She doesn't get/want access to it because she is unable to get emotional attraction to him what is kind of a requirement to the liberation. But she also knows that if she wanted, he could mean everything to her. That means she is not powerless because it is also a matter of will and not only of pure emotion.

    "I can't say that I'm not lost and at fault
    I can't say that I don't love the light and the dark
    I can't say that I don't know that I am alive
    And all of what I feel I could show
    You tonight you tonight"

    The doubled negation of her forsakenness is an affirmation of it. That means she knows that there is no salvation but in Jesus. The second doubled negation is an affirmation that se also loves the dark. That means she does not want to quit with her sins resp. behavior of which she is aware of that it displeases god. But she is aware of herself resp. She admits she is a conscious being that could be able to pray this night and get a relation to god(last three lines).

    "From my hands I could give you
    Something that I made
    From my mouth I could sing you another brick that I laid
    From my body I could show you a place God knows
    You should know the space is holy
    Do you really want to go?"

    Here she describes that she could obey the law and make religious efforts/rituals to please god. But she will not give her heart, will, soul and everything to god as he demands. That means god "will go", he won't accept this 'sacrifice' because this is not what god wants but it's the only thing she could offer. She seems to find it kinda sad resp. regret it that it doesn't work the "emotionless/heartless" way of religious practicing to please god and get liberated. -> read Mark 12 verse 30 in your bible or google it.



    I am a believer and I can tell you what I think is her problem: she won't believe resp. get an emotional relation to god unless she doesn't really understand how sinful and lost she is without him. She wil only understand and appreciate the great liberation when she realizes how trapped she is without god. For now she is young, reckless and larking but that will change with age. btw. I am 23, no grandpa :)



  11.  

    anonymous
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    May 30th, 2008 5:48pm report


    I believe she's talking about a man who she loved. And how he's said words he didn't mean, and broke promises because he's scared. She's tired of his ways and gives him the choice to make it right.




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