What does Stop & Stare mean?

OneRepublic: Stop & Stare Meaning

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Album cover for Stop & Stare album cover

Song Released: 2008

Stop & Stare Lyrics

This town is colder now, I think it's sick of us
It's time to make our move, I'm shaking off the rust
I've got my heart set on anywhere but here
I'm staring down myself, counting up the years
Steady hands, just take the wheel...
And every glance...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Dec 29th 2012 !⃝

    This song really speaks out. Stop and stare is about you think your making progress in life but your actually stuck. And youve become something thats just hard to be like someone famous. Sooner or later you start figuring out that you are still in the same place you were before. Then you untie the weight bags that are holding you in place and your sense comes back. Then you need to steady yourself for the progress. Thats basically it


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jul 8th 2011 !⃝

    This is my Interpretation of the song:
    "this town is colder now"(something is different then before)
    "I think it's sick of us"(You feel like you don't belong)
    "It's time to make our move"(It's time to put a stop to all the pain)
    "I'm shaking off the rust"(you're forgetting everything)
    "I've got my heart set, on anywhere but here"(you'd go anywhere else but there)
    "I'm staring down myself, counting up the years"(where did the time go, and how did everything end up this way)
    "steady hands, just hands take the wheel"(Wants someone to help them)
    "Every glance is killing me"(It hurts to think about it)
    "Time to make one last appeal"(Someone tells them there's other ways)
    "For the life I've led"(What you're life is worth)
    "Stop and stare"(Think before hurting yourself and realize there's better solutions)
    "I think i'm moving but I go nowhere"(You think that by commiting suicide will help you move on)
    "Yeah, I know that everyone gets scared"(They understand that people get scared and insecure sometimes)
    "But i've become what I can't be"(they can no longer change their selves)
    "You start to wonder why you're here not there"(You wonder why you're not where you want to be)
    "And you'd do anything to get what's fair"(You'd go to any measure to get what you deserve)
    "But fair ain't really what you need"(You want closure and feel like you matter)
    "Oh, can you see what I see"(Can see the person's position and needs)
    "They're trying to come back"(They're trying to hurt you more)
    "All my senses push"(You know its coming)
    "Untie the weight bags"(Let all the pain go)
    "Never thought I could"(Come to hurt their selves)
    "Steady feet don't fail me now, I'm gonna run till you can't walk"(Don't give up on the person, You won't stop trying to help until it's too late)
    "Something pulls my focus out"(You see there's better options)
    "And i'm standing down"(You back down from you're choice to commit suicide)
    "Stop and stare"(You begin to realize there's other options)
    "I think i'm moving but I go nowhere(They realize they're not going to be able to move on)
    "yeah, I know that everyone gets scared"(That it's normal to feel that way sometimes)
    "But i've become what I can't be"(They won't be able to figure out their standings)
    "You start to wonder why you're here not there"(why were you given these issues and problems)
    "And you'd give anything to get what's fair"(You'd do anything to find a way to feel like you matter)
    "But fair ain't really what you need"(You just want someone there for you)
    "Stop and stare"(You see that if you talk to someone you understand there's better options)
    "I think i'm Moving but i go nowhere"(They get that they need to face their issues)
    "Yeah I know that everyone gets scared"(That you can't let it control you're life)
    "I've become what I can't be"(You see what the future could be like if you just stop and think)
    "Oh, do you see what I see"(You see what they went through and how they recovered when they stopped and stared)


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 26th 2011 !⃝

    I simply think this song is about life. the challenges, the fears, the great things and the not so great things. Its accepting life and looking at it through other people's eyes and your own. Its about the control we sometimes we dont always have to get us to where we need to or want to be. Sometimes we just need to "stop and stare" to realize what we have to do to get through life and move on even if it feels like the hardest thing to do.

  4. anonymous
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    Jul 27th 2020 !⃝

    A lot of the interpretations above are really good and I’ve listened to the song and thought of the many possible meaning and I feel like my interpretation changes depending what’s going on in my life when I listen to it. I think one interpretation hasn’t been said yet, which resonates a lot with me. I think this song is about anxiety. I think it’s about someone who’s not satisfied with his life and has not changed in life due to anxiety keeping him from being who they really want to be, has kept him from going after what he wants and from really changing his life. He’s so anxious about why he hasn’t changed and why he seems stuck when everyone else in his life has moved on t bigger and better things. He is stuck feeling pain and regret for past mistakes and missed opportunities due to anxiety, and he wants a real change, but he’s too anxious to really change on his own and needs help. For most of the song it’s his internal dialogue of deciding to get help but dreading doing so but he’s already asked someone close to him but he is too anxious to talk about his problems so that close and trusted person in his life is staring back at him waiting for him to say what’s on his mind. About halfway through the song, probably the second chorus, he breaks open and he talks about his problems. So the rest of the song (maybe even the whole song) is a dialogue, rather a monologue of him talking to either a trusted friend or a girl he’s in a relationship with about his problems and how he needs change but he can’t do it on his own and needs someone to take the wheel and hold him steady just for a little while and listen. The part of the song that says “You start to wonder why you're here not there” is him saying he wishes he was the one sitting in the seat listening to someone else talk about their problems and anxieties rather than talking about his own problems, fears, anxieties, insecurities, etc. The song ends which the two lines “I've become what I can't be. Oh, do you see what I see?“ He’s become the person he swore he would never become living in a constant state of anxiety, and he is explaining why he’s never changed in the past or taken important risks due to the anxiety. He has finished telling this trusted someone in his life about the anxiety and the battle inside his head that he has been fighting far too long on his own and how he wants and needs support to fight back and get professional help.

  5. Trayc
    click a star to vote
    Jun 16th 2018 !⃝

    "..The first guy with his lengthly interpretation and suicide bull-s#@t.."
    How now brown cow?
    Suicide ain't nowhere nor is needing to matter or feel worth anything. And rust is the old worn out neglected unnecessary baggage he's allowed to cling on. Man I'm glad y'all haven't had stop & stare moments.
    Staring down is to look with disapproval counting years that's how fast time goes before u know you know it your reality is so far from your goals, the attainable dreams you had.
    Its a statement of self realization a short burst of Thomas-the-train mentality (i think i can i think i can) and procrastination all in one.

  6. anonymous
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    Dec 5th 2017 !⃝

    Everything isn't so perfect and sometimes we need to just "stop and stare." Everything is not so perfect and we're not perfect. We all make mistakes but we learn from our mistakes. Later you start and wonder why you're here and not there with the person you like and love. But you know she is happy with that person. I guess you can call me me selfish because I never give up on what I want. All I want was to be with her, and I want her by my side. If you saw what I see you would fall in love instantly. Your my EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING I wanted. I know someday I'm going to have to let you go because your happy but I'm not happy because i don't have you...

  7. anonymous
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    Apr 8th 2017 !⃝

    The first Guy who made his lenthy interpretation of the whole song is far too disturbed, putting suicidal bulls**t to a song which is so obviously not what the message is putting out there. A need for change and a frustration of themselves and others. An outside view also from loved ones who see the potential in you but you don't see it yourself!!!! Anyway my thoughts are my views but I am totally blown away by the suicidal interpretation you got from "I think I'm moving but I'm going nowhere " thats like me saying that line means his leg fell off!

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 6th 2014 !⃝

    I'm an amputee, and this song seemed to describe my life during rehab perfectly.

    This town is colder now, I think it's sick of us
    It's time to make our move, I'm shaking off the rust
    INTERPRETATION: This sounded exactly like what I was going through when I had to stop bed rest and begin physical therapy.

    I've got my heart set on anywhere but here
    I'm staring down myself, counting up the years
    INTERPRETATION: I just wanted to GET OUT OF THERE. I was willing to work as hard as possible to be able to walk again.

    Steady hands, just take the wheel...
    And every glance is killing me
    Time to make one last appeal... for the life I lead
    INTERPRETATION: My amputation was cause of an automobile accident, so 'steady hands' was my wistfulness about the driver just making one mistake. How I wish it hadn't happened. I was ready for the glances to stop. I was missing half my leg!

    Stop and stare
    I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
    INTERPRETATION: I had severe phantom leg. I would often feel like my limb was still there and get up to walk, only to fall flat.

    Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
    But I've become what I can't be, oh
    Stop and stare
    You start to wonder why you're here not there
    And you'd give anything to get what's fair
    But fair ain't what you really need
    Oh, can you see what I see
    INTERPRETATION: I was terrified even though I knew there were thousands of people just like me. It seemed impossible to walk again.
    So many times I wondered why it was ME. Why ME? It sooo wasn't fair, and I would have
    given anything to not be that girl in that
    car. But thanks to this experience, I know
    so much more about the world than I did before. Fair wasn't what I needed. I needed to learn about effort, and trial, and pure strength.

    They're trying to come back, all my senses push
    Untie the weight bags, I never thought I could...
    Steady feet, don't fail me now
    Gonna run till you can't walk
    Something pulls my focus out
    And I'm standing down...
    INTERPRETATION: Again, phantom leg. In rehab
    they would attach little sand bags to my leg
    to keep it at the same strength of my other
    leg in preparation to prosthesis. It was during this I gathered the mindset of: I will do this not matter what the hell it takes.

    (chorus repeats, same interpretation.)

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 25th 2013 !⃝

    I think it means people are so caught up with life they totally forget once in a while to stop and look at there past. people have there ups and downs but the past is really nice. so live life to the fullest and think of your past

  10. Eze
    click a star to vote
    Jul 22nd 2013 !⃝

    Sorry for bad English. I can relate it with homosexuality (I'm not saying it's ONLY about gay people, maybe someone who society don't want). A gay/lesbian/bisexual who can't go on with his life. Is struck.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 24th 2012 !⃝

    i think its all about trying to leave a place bt its really difficult cos of the good memories he's got there and decides to stay at last.

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 24th 2011 !⃝

    This song is about being stuck in a rut.

  13. anonymous
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    Sep 23rd 2011 !⃝

    it's about a guy who's window shopping and sees this really cool ipod. he stands and stares at it for a long time until the manager kicks him out of the store. "i think i'm moving but i'm goin' nowhere" means that he's still in a daze when they drag him out.

  14. anonymous
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    Jul 7th 2011 !⃝

    To me, I believe this song is about the main character who wants to commit suicide. The song is explaining how suicide doesn't solve your problems. The main line "stop and stare" means stop and think before you do something to hurt yourself and realize that there may be better solutions then suicide. "I think i'm moving but I go nowhere" basically means that you think by killing yourself you get to move onto better things, but in truth, you aren't moving on.

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 3rd 2011 !⃝

    To me, this song is about someone who is faced with another challenge, problem, or fear. Preferably a "big" problem. they try to assure themselves that everything will be fine, but part of them is doubtful. They think to themselves "Oh, I was faced with challenges before, and I made it through them! So I can make it through this one." But they don't feel as confident as they seem. They start to think that it is a bigger problem, or a tougher challenge, and they start to wonder if they can actually handle the responsibilty that comes with the challenge. They think that they might not make it through, though they try to remain calm and optimistic. That's why the song says "Steady feet, don't fail me now." Meaning, okay, you've got me this far, so don't let me down now. I can do this. I just need to be positive.

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