What does Taken For a Fool mean?

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The Strokes: Taken For a Fool Meaning


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Taken For a Fool Lyrics

Sister, it feels like just yesterday
Sister, don't you forget my number on the door
You've got something and it's so good to see
Something wonderful that I could not be

Everybody hanging on for their lifes
But you can't help them

  1. anonymous
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    Oct 6th 2020 report

    I think this song may be a dig at the studio for putting pressure on the band to release a new album and a poppy single. I believe Nick wrote all the music but I think Julian wrote the lyrics? “Sister” might be someone from the label.
    “Hope this goes over well on the toxic radio”

  2. anonymous
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    Aug 16th 2019 report

    Be careful. Nick wrote it not Julian.

  3. anonymous
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    Jun 10th 2013 report

    I think this song is about an individual in a toxic environment, but who still manages to remains a cut above the rest.

    Opening lines:
    "Sister, a visit just yesterday" and "don't you forget my number" is basically him telling this person (to be referred to as X from now on) not to ignore what he said. You can just imagine X acting like they don't need any help.

    "You've got something and it's so good to see
    Something wonderful that I could not be"
    -- X has something special, something amazing about them

    "Everybody hanging on for their lives
    But you can't help them 'cause you don't have the time"
    -- everybody surrounding X is struggling to survive (mentally, I think), but if X tried to help elevate them to a higher state of consciousness & awareness, X would have no time to improve themselves (the pronouns are getting confusing, please excuse any mistakes)

    "I hope this goes over well on the toxic radio"
    -- he hopes his pleas to X won't be drowned out by what X's environment is telling them, which is referred to as the "radio", since it's definitely pervasive in X's life

    "You get taken all the time for a fool"
    -- because X remains in these unflattering conditions, everyone automatically classes X as one of them, and fail to recognise that X is actually head & shoulders above everybody else, even people like Julian Casablancas

    "You're so gullible but I don't mind
    That's not the problem"
    -- X has begun to believe that they are a "fool" as well, but this isn't the main problem (the crux of the issue is that X is being taken for a fool in the first place)

    "Monday, Tuesday is my weekend"
    -- Julian said that he just inserted these two lines in because he felt like they described his life...I don't think it really fits into the overall meaning.

    "Blame yourself for once, quit putting it on me
    I can't let you 'cause I've seen what it means
    It's so early I don't wanna wake up
    Oh we're so lucky 'cause we never grew up"
    -- this stanza can be read as a response from X, as though X has gotten increasingly frustrated with Julian's advice/admonishment, and burst out in anger (listen to the music). X is saying that although Julian is telling X to "wake up" and "[grow] up", it's too "early" and X and X's friends/family are actually lucky to not have "[grown] up"

    "I don't want to be the one to let go"
    -- Julian is repeating what he said earlier, but adding that he isn't going to give up on X

    "Tourist, in the ghetto, not afraid of anything"
    -- X is in a bad environment (reference to Elvis' song "In The Ghetto"?), but remains a "tourist", reinforcing the fact that X is NOT a product of circumstances, and remains in transit, going to leave eventually because X doesn't belong to that kind of place

    So in essence, Julian is trying to tell X to leave their poisonous environment, but X doesn't want to listen to him or recognise they are better than anyone else. As a result, X is forever being taken for a fool, even though X isn't like that at all.

    Not good with musical interpretations though, don't know anything about guitar/bass/drums.

  4. anonymous
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    Mar 27th 2013 report

    I think this song is about how he appreciate the person he's singing about more than most people, and saying she's underappreciated by everyone else, and 'taken for a fool' while she could do so much better. She should take his advice and search for a better envirement, but she responds:
    "Blame yourself for once, quit putting it on me,
    I can't help you 'cos I've seen what it means,
    It's so early I don't want to wake up.
    We're so lucky 'cos we never grew up."
    Cause he's blaming her for the way she's becoming. And how he isn't grown up, and doesn't want to see what's it all really about.

  5. anonymous
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    Jul 23rd 2011 report

    I think he understands his sister like no one else and although she is perceived to be silly sometimes he sees pass that as she carries a rare kind of goodness or innocence he himself wishes he had.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway

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