I Want You by Mitski Lyrics Meaning – A Haunting Dive Into the Abyss of Yearning


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Mitski's I Want You at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

I want you
I hold one card
That I can’t use
But I want you

You’re coming back
And it’s the end of the world
We’re starting over and I love you darlin’
And I am done, dear

You’re in the house
And I am here in the car
I just need a quiet place
Where I can scream how I love you

I found you
I found the door
But when I stepped through
There was no floor

You’re coming back
And it’s the end of the world
We’re starting over and I love you darlin’
And I am done, dear

You’re in the house
And I am here in the car
I just need a quiet place
Where I can scream how I love you

I want you
I want you

Full Lyrics

In the world of indie music, few songwriters capture the raw intensity of human emotion like Mitski. ‘I Want You’ serves as an exquisite testament to her genius, blending melancholy with unspoken desire in a mesmerizing lyrical journey. The song unleashes a spectrum of longing and loss, challenging listeners to confront the poignant truths of love unrequited or perhaps unattainable.

Scratching beneath the surface of its seemingly simple composition, ‘I Want You’ intricately weaves a narrative of devotion and despair. Every chord, every word, every breath carries the weight of a deeper existential longing, as if Mitski is reaching out from the depths of her being, trying to grasp something forever just out of reach.

The Unplayed Card: A Metaphor of Futility and Desire

The symbolism of the unplayed card in ‘I Want You’ is compelling—a metaphor that seemingly sums up the human condition. It speaks to the potential of actions left unexplored and words left unsaid. The very essence of the song navigates the complexities of internal conflict, as Mitski contemplates the pull between the drive to express her deepest affections and the paralyzing fear of what that vulnerability may yield.

It’s a portrait of emotional liminality, standing at the precipice of confession, yet being bound by an invisible restraint. The card represents an ace up her sleeve, a move that could change the game, yet the choice to withhold it exposes an underlying doubt or resignation, adding layers of intrigue to her narrative.

The Inevitable Apocalypse: Love as a World-Ending Force

Interpreting the return of the beloved as ‘the end of the world’ is a masterstroke in storytelling. Mitski transforms a personal revelation into an apocalyptic event, suggesting that the emotional impact of this reunion bears the gravity of a cataclysm. The phrase encapsulates the simultaneous dread and hope that often accompanies the prospect of starting anew with someone whose history is entwined with your own.

Moreover, the notion of the world’s end offers a dual meaning—it symbolizes both a devastating conclusion and a chance for regeneration. Mitski’s use of this cosmic upheaval mirrors the tumultuous nature of the heart during times of profound affection and transition.

A Scream in Silence: The Dichotomy of Public Restraint and Private Devotion

One of the song’s most haunting images is that of Mitski screaming her love from the confines of her car—a juxtaposition of stillness and a torrent of emotion. The car serves as a metaphorical vessel for containment, symbolizing the barriers we erect to safeguard our public personas against the raw intensity of our private sentiments.

In her search for a ‘quiet place,’ there’s a palpable desperation—a yearning for a refuge from the prying eyes of the world, where she can unleash the full extent of her feelings uninhibited. It’s a poignant exploration of the lengths to which we go to express love unobserved, away from the potential judgment of others.

The Door Leading Nowhere: Navigating the Disillusionment of Love

The allure of ‘the door’ in Mitski’s lyrical odyssey unveils a sense of hope and opportunity. However, the revelation that stepping through leads to an absence of foundation—’there was no floor’—casts a shadow of bleakness over the narrative. It suggests a journey toward a love that promised stability and support, only to find oneself in freefall, the ground of certainty yanked away.

Mitski’s words grapple with the fragility of trust and how the pursuit of love can lead to disillusionment. This stark image serves as a metaphor for the gamble inherent in emotional vulnerability—the risk of putting one’s faith in another, only to be left suspended in uncertainty.

Lyrical Echoes of Eternal Longing: The Undying ‘I Want You’

At the song’s core lies the refrain ‘I want you’—a mere three words that vibrate with an existential ache. Through repetition, Mitski elevates this simple phrase into an anthem of yearning, each instance more poignant than the last. There is beauty in the starkness of this plea, and through its incessant repetition, it embodies the human condition of desire, cementing its place in the annals of memorable lyrics.

The stark and unadorned simplicity with which Mitski delivers these words belies the complexity of the emotions at play—desire, passion, perhaps even obsession. The phrase, both a declaration and a lament, encapsulates the paradox of human intimacy: the relentless quest to connect with another, even against the backdrop of potential heartbreak.

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