Friend is a Four Letter Word Lyrics - Cake

Review The Song (33)



to me, coming from you,
friend is a four letter word.
end is the only part of the word
that i heard.
call me morbid or absurd.
but to me, coming from you,
friend is a four letter word.


to me, coming from you,
friend is a four letter word.
end is the only part of the word
that I heard.
call me morbid or absurd.
but to me, coming from you,
friend is a four letter word.


when I go fishing for the words
i am wishing you would say to me,
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i'm really only praying
that the words you'll soon be saying
might betray the way you feel about me.


but to me, coming from you,
friend is a four letter word.






Click here to submit the Corrections of Friend is a Four Letter Word Lyrics
Over | Reviewer: Lanonymous | 3/13/13

"End is the only part of the word (friend) that I heard"
It means the reason they decided to be "friend" is only ending their love. They're friend --> It's OVER (excuse me I'm french)

fuck - love | Reviewer: DDT | 4/15/12

The only two possibile meanings are:

-the four letter word is fuck (disappointment by a bad friend, the end of a friendship)
-the four letter word is love (a relationship turned for one of the two in love)

Anyway, both the meanings are sad. Obvious! Sorry.

No need to go lookin too far ^^ | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/31/11

"A four letter word" is a "poetical" way to say "an insult".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-letter_word

So basically John McCrea is saying that in that particular person's mouth, the word "friend" sounds like/has become an insult.

Hope I made that clear for everybody :-)
For the rest of the song, interprete it as you wish =)

O-V-E-R | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/22/11

"Over" is the four letter word... when a lover says let's just be friends, it's over.. "end" is the only part of the word worth remembering, well maybe not... great song, I'm probably wrong, but i took a shot!

Sometimes it really is just about... | Reviewer: OllieJ | 12/18/10

Friendship. Not every song that a guy writes on the subject of friendship has to be some deeper expression of unrequited love. Sometimes it is just about friendship and how sh*tty people can be, especially people who call you "friend".
We all know them; the people who bitch about integrity and loyalty yet display very little of it themselves.

hmmmmm... | Reviewer: Destiny S | 9/8/10

I think that he was with a girl that he really liked and wanted to have a serious relationship with, but she just played him like a deck of cards. He wanted her to feel the way he did, even though he knew she never would. Gah, i hate it when that happens. *tear*

I dont no you any yes of cause... | Reviewer: benjiman osei | 8/11/10

I dont no you any where but when i saw your nice profile and i decide to added you..by the way your profile is nice so when i saw you and i feel so sad did you no something..the way you smile good and i feel your paddy..

is it about disappointment? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/29/10

I think it's about the end of a friendship. He "is fishing" for words because his "friend" simply didn't put these feelings in words. This "friend" probably only tried to drift away without a word, avoiding the singer or letting him down. And I think the four letter word here means something really insulting, because the singer feels bitter and disappointed about the "friend's" behaviour. That's why he's playing with the word friend including the word end. And he hopes that this friend will finally apologise or ends the friendship in a more mature way. I see this song like this, but I agree that there can be a lot of other interpretations. (I also like my version a bit more than the others, because after reading the Joan Baez lyrics, I feel it resonates with the bitter tone of that a bit.)

the truth | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/24/10

either it's someone breaking his heart and he still believes they r in love with him, or what i personaly think is it's someone he really likes and has been friends with, but secretely in love with, when he finaly expresses his feelings she tells him she only wants to be friends which is worse than be cused out with four letter words

"Let's just be friends" | Reviewer: HaveYourCakeAndHearItToo | 9/27/09

The singer and the girl were lovers and she ended it by saying "lets just be friends", or something similar. He hears friend in this situation and realizes shes saying its over between them ("End is the only part of the word that I heard"). He doesn't want it to end, so the word friend (meaning end of the relationship) is a four letter word to him, as in it is a curse word / bad word.

Breaking up | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/11/09

As for me, it makes me think of a split since when she - if we admit it is a woman - since when she calls him "friend", he hears the end of his love. I think she is dropping him by telling him they could be/stay friends which sends him back to his own feelings. So he tries to make her change her mind : it is revealed at the end of the song when he sings "I'm really only praying... you feel about me".
The word "friend" is associated to the idea of "end" by sonorities. It appears that he loses something. Firstly, the bitter loss he feels is rendered through the tonalities of the song once we listen to it and the lexic he chooses tallies too : "morbid", "absurd". These two adjectives are peculiar here since they described the way he thinks he is seen by fellows. It comes from his reaction to the word "friend". It is not in essence a pejorative term but in this case, it means the end of what he feels for her so he just can't stand this idea. He is the one that suffer for the word is addressed to him : "to me, coming from you".

But I agree there must be other interpretations because of the many four letters words the english vocabulary contains.

justme | Reviewer: . | 8/9/09

"to me, coming from you" so someones saying it to him.
"friend is a four letter word" which i interpret as 'love'
"end is the only part of the word that i heard" maybe meaning that since he was a 'friend' with a particular person. that friendship is over becasue the four letter word got involved --> love. ?? thoughts?

he he he | Reviewer: Cheesy | 3/4/09

I don't mean this to be rude, or mean, as I LOVE Cake, and John McCrea is one of the best lyracists I have ever listened to.

This song is written so ambiguously that it can be interpreted any which way one chooses. McCrea does an excellent job wording his propositions in just the right way so that anyone can relate, regardless of their circumstances. For example, there are countless four letter words in the english dictionary, including love, hate, kill, life, gone, and (of course) f@$k.

"end is the only part...that I heard"

He doesn't specify whether "end" is the only part of the four letter word, or is the only part of the word friend. You must jump to that conclusion on your own :)

The end could be interpreted as follows:

Call it the end of a romatic relationship (possibly but not certainly leading into the beginning of a friendship),

or call it the end of a friendship (possibly but not certainly leading into the beginning of a romantic relationship),

"morbid or absurd" simply states that he disagrees with his companions conclusion, and his companion disagrees with him enough to call him "morbid or absurd".

"The words you'll soon be saying might betray the way you feel about me"

No matter what the context, he is simply hoping that she will change her mind, and he is "fishing" for any words which might help her reconsidder.

The thing I love most about this song is regardless of how much meaning it holds for me on a personal level, technically it is a type of infinite regress, and means absolutely nothing without your own personal interpretation! (So we can get a taste of what kind of movies have influenced your personal values based on your various interpretations) Neat! McCrea is the man!

--Never forget the possability that life (and this song) may have no meaning whatsoever!

not the opposite? | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/25/09

Absolutely not. There's no way this is about him only liking her as a friend.

"when I go fishing for the words
i am wishing you would say to me,
i'm really only praying
that the words you'll soon be saying
might betray the way you feel about me."

I can only think that he means he's hoping that someday she'll admit to him that she feels like he does about her. He loves her. That's what he's getting at with the other two parts. To him, whenever she refers to him as a friend he thinks of it as "love" rather than only as "friend". He realizes this but hates it.

"end is the only part of the word
that I heard"

These lines show what he's really thinking. He believes he can never win her over as more than a friend if she only thinks of him in the sense of friendship. This, like any guy, angers, confuses, and saddens him greatly.

I suppose that it could go either way, but that's the beauty of this song. It can be interpreted in so many ways.

the opposite. | Reviewer: ash | 2/21/09

I think it's about a friend of his (obviously).

And he only thinks of her as a friend, and they may flirt and mess around, but he still only views her as a friend. But she views it as more, and is falling love.

Because her feelings are stronger, he feels that he needs to end it and walk away.

"when I go fishing for the words
i am wishing you would say to me,
i'm really only praying
that the words you'll soon be saying
might betray the way you feel about me."


He's hoping she'll revert back to having only friendly feelings for him. He wants to be friends, but in the end he knows it's not possible because she's in love with him.


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------ 08/31/2014

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