What does The Only Exception mean?

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Paramore: The Only Exception Meaning

Tagged: Love [suggest]

Song Released: 2009

The Only Exception Lyrics

When I was younger
I saw my daddy cry
And curse at the wind
He broke his own heart
And i watched
As he tried to re-assemble it

And my momma swore
that she would never let herself forget
And that was the day that I promised
I'd never...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 9th 2012 report

    It's about watching your parents marriage fall slowly apart rightbin front of your eyes. You see the hurt they caused each other and you realize you never want that to happen to you, so you swear off love. You promise yourself that you will never fall in love because it isn't alive in this society. The feelings you feel are not love.

    Then his one guy comes along in your life that you just cannot forget, and you decide you would believe in love just for him.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    May 3rd 2010 report

    i believe this song is all about going through life not believing in love. it starts out with the example of her parents not loving each other and getting a divorce and i think that is the ground of her not believing it in. she saw what happened to her parents and she doesn't want that to happen to her.

    And up until now I sworn to myself
    that I'm content with loneliness.
    Because none of it was ever worth the risk.

    but then she meets this guy who is "the only exception" to her rule which is never fall in love and changes her perspective towards love.

    And I'm on my way to believing.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 11th 2010 report

    i agree that its about watching your parents divorce when you're young and then never being able to believe in love after that. then you meet one boy and it changes your whole view, but then you get scared and think itll only end badly. but you come to your senses and see that its different and he is "the only exception"

  4. anonymous
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    Aug 16th 2022 report

    this song is about bringing down the wall you built for so long, just for that " one person " who took away all the pain of yesterday.

  5. anonymous
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    May 23rd 2022 report

    I think this song is about a girl who’s parent’s marriage got messed up when she was,
    Ike, fifteen. So anyway, this is her grip on reality, love is nothing but hurt. But then someone comes into her life, and she realizes that she doesn’t want to be lonely forever. And even if he loves somebody else, he made her realize what love really is.

  6. anonymous
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    Sep 29th 2021 report

    A child’s ideal of love
    Shattered by the realisation
    Nothing is perfect

    She gives in

    We take the good with the bad

  7. anonymous
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    Apr 28th 2019 report

    The first two verses explain the traumatic experience of her parents splitting up.

    The second two verses explain her loss aversion. These are basically the excuses she makes for choosing to be alone.

    “Maybe I know somewhere deep in my soul that love never lasts.” (She’s justifying her fear of loss by claiming she knows in her soul that falling in love only leads to heartache; it’s not merely a feeling or an assumption, she knows for sure it is true)

    “And we've got to find other ways to make it alone, but keep a straight face.” (She’s all but admitting she is lonely, that her fear of loss and heartache is taking a toll on her, she hides her loneliness by pretending to be happy on her own)

    “And I've always lived like this, keeping a comfortable distance.” (She has always been on her own, she sees no reason to change; she can’t control the outcome of falling in love, keeping her guard up allows her to avoid inevitable heartache)

    “And up until now I had sworn to myself that I'm content with loneliness.” (She concedes that she has been fooling herself, telling herself she’s content on her own, but the case she has made against love is starting to crumble; indeed, she is overwhelmed with loneliness)

    Despite her loss aversion and her fear of heartache, the last two verses explain how she fantasizes about someone who dreams of her, who is searching for her. Perhaps, a person who will change her mind, show her the beauty of love and save her from her self-imposed isolation.

    “I've got a tight grip on reality, but I can't let go of what's in front of me here.” (She knows she is right about love, that it never lasts, but she can’t keep ignoring her dreams of connecting with someone, of falling in love; what is in front of her is this fantasy, this love she’s imagining)

    “I know you’re leaving in the morning when you wake up. Leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream.” (He dreams of her when he sleeps, just as she sees him in her own dreams, but he leaves her when he wakes up and she finds herself alone in her dreams, just as she is alone when she is awake; she can’t pretend she is happy on her own any longer, she wants this dream, this love, to be real, for this person she sees in her dreams to be with her when she wakes up)

    “I’m on my way to believing.” (Her longing for a connection, for love, will soon overcome her fear and she will allow herself to be vulnerable, to find real love and escape her loneliness)

  8. anonymous
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    Sep 19th 2018 report

    it a bitch about love and her parents breaking up so she believe that no hope in love and she has to live loneless i love this song even though remind my ex who use call me hes "only exception" also a guy im in love with who rejected me

  9. anonymous
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    Nov 25th 2017 report

    I think the song is about falling head over heels in love with a person when you know it is not love and that the relationship will never last.

    "Up until now I swore, I'd never sing of love if it does not exist, but darling you are the only exception."

    If you look closely at the lyrics, Paramore is saying I'd never sing of love if it does not exist. Currently, Paramore is singing the song. Thus, by making the person she is singing about the only exception, she is breaking that rule. That means that she is singing of love when it does not exist.

    Paramore also follows up on this theme by singing "I've got a tight grip on reality but I can't let go of what's in front of me here." Meaning, reality is telling her that she should let go of her relationship. But she can't quite listen to logic and do so.

  10. Cindy26
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    Mar 31st 2017 report

    This is about a love that can impossible to act on it. They have a cross to share. Even though they have a feeling, they keep a straight face to be a comfortable distance.

  11. anonymous
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    Mar 11th 2017 report

    I have got a tight grip on reality.
    But I can't let go of what is in front of me here. That means she has a feeling but because of some reason she can't react on it??

  12. anonymous
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    Aug 30th 2016 report

    Its how the girl doesn't believe in love in her childhood days but begam to believe when she meu THE ONLY EXCEPTION (the man).

  13. anonymous
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    May 2nd 2016 report

    I think this is about Hailey's life and her parents have got a divorce as the dad was cheating (my momma swore that she would never let herself forget) about the cheating! She was very young when this happened so she grew up never believing in love! Until she meets this guy (the only exception!)

  14. anonymous
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    Jan 4th 2015 report

    its about hing parents cheat on eachother and thinking i dont want that to happen to me so she stop believing in love... she didnt want to be heartbroken. But then she meets this great guy...THE ONLY EXCEPTION is him and so she is then on her way to beliving in love...again <3

  15. anonymous
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    Jul 30th 2014 report

    She grew up around a love that fell apart and said she'd never believe in love but then meets a guy who she can finally open up to <3

  16. anonymous
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    May 29th 2013 report

    Actually, this song auto-explains itself. It's about Hayley's (the lead singer) life.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  17. anonymous
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    Jan 7th 2013 report

    The only exception is God because God is love and He shows it through Jesus :)

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  18. JordannaMusikBullet
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    Dec 16th 2012 report

    This song is about girl whose parents divorced when she was only a child. After that, she was so heartbroken that she could no longer believe in love again. But, when she meets this guy who is the "only exception" and she falls for him and she finally believes in love again. A really beautiful song. :)

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