Classy Girls by The Lumineers Lyrics Meaning – The Hidden Allure of Discretion and Romance

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Lumineers's Classy Girls at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning


Well, she was standing in the bar
I said, “Hello, how do you do?”
She handed me a beer with a kangaroo

She spoke of places I had never been
That she had traveled to
And we slow danced along to faster tunes

And I made her laugh, I made a pass
I showed her my half-dollar ring
She said, “That’s pretty cool
But classy girls don’t kiss in bars, you fool”

(No, they don’t)

So later on, the crowd calmed down
And I believe it was as if something drew me closer to her lips

So, picture my surprise when I had tried to lean in for a kiss
And she just smiled and turned her head down

And I asked her, “Why?” she replied
It was nothing I was doing wrong, it’s just what it is
No, classy girls don’t kiss in bars like this

No, classy girls don’t kiss in bars
Boys will break their backs and hearts
But it’s alright, the hardest part is through

Oh, through!
Oh, through!
Oh, through!
The hardest part is through

Full Lyrics

In the evocative track ‘Classy Girls’, The Lumineers draw a vivid portrait of a fleeting bar encounter that speaks volumes about expectation, etiquette, and the chase of romance. With its toe-tapping melody and catchy chorus, the song appears to be a lighthearted recollection of a would-be romantic night. Yet, beneath its surface rhythm and joviality, ‘Classy Girls’ offers a layered take on the subtleties of attraction and social mores.

The colloquial charm of The Lumineers is on full display here, as they capture a tension between old-fashioned ideals and contemporary social scenes. In a world that often prizes instant gratification and outspokenness, ‘Classy Girls’ presents a counter-narrative valuing mystique and restraint. Intrigued? Let’s peel back the layers of this storytelling masterpiece.

The Enigmatic Charm of the Protagonist

The narrative opens with a casual bar scene — a simple greeting, a shared beer, a dance to the wrong tempo. Yet through these mundane details, ‘Classy Girls’ sketches a character who is enigmatic and well-traveled, a woman so beset with an air of understated sophistication that she immediately stands out in the otherwise predictable bar milieu.

The protagonist’s allure is deepened by the way she negotiates the song’s setting with ease and self-possession. She represents an ideal that seems almost out of time, an embodiment of grace and worldliness amidst the buzz of commonplace conversations and easy come-ons.

Dancing to the Rhythm of Romance

The slow dance serves as a foil to the tempo of the song, physically narrating the slower, old-fashioned nature of building up a connection. It’s a romantic ideal contrasting with the fast-paced, often ephemeral interactions that modern culture tends to embrace.

Through these verses, ‘Classy Girls’ sings an ode to the dance of courtship. It is a thoughtful pushback against the hurried nature of current dating norms where swipes and likes replace the intricate steps of getting to know someone.

The Hidden Meaning Behind Restraint and Desire

Perhaps the song’s most poignant twist occurs during the exchange of intentions and boundaries. The refusal of a kiss isn’t just a denial — it’s a boundary set with elegance and self-respect, coyly wrapped in the term ‘classy’.

Within this subtle yet definitive assertion lies a deeper commentary on consent and respect for personal space, dressed in the trappings of old-fashioned charm. It challenges the listener to consider how modernity has shifted the principles of dating, often blurring the lines between persistence and intrusion.

Memorable Lines That Hint at Life’s Rhythm

Among the song’s captivating lyrics is the line: ‘But classy girls don’t kiss in bars, you fool,’ which stands out as a refrain through the narrative. This playful chastisement signals a missed cue, a misread signal, and underlines the value of comprehending and interpreting social gestures accurately.

This echoey admonition is at once humorous and underlined with truth, pointing to the song’s deeper meditation on how the right action in the wrong setting or time can lead to miscommunication. It’s reminiscent of the age-old dance between saying just enough and saying too much — a tension that ‘Classy Girls’ captures effortlessly.

The Hardest Part is Through: A Metaphor for Acceptance

Even as the narrative seems to end with resignation — ‘the hardest part is through’ — it is a powerful testament to the importance of moving past rejection and the growth that lies on the other side of it.

The song suggests that the real challenge isn’t necessarily in capturing someone’s affection, but rather in enduring the complexities of the ritual itself. The journey of the song is a microcosm of romantic pursuit: filled with hopes, setbacks, and ultimately, an acceptance that sometimes, things don’t unfold as desired — and that’s alright.

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