J.D. Souther, “You’re Only Lonely”



When the world is ready to fall
On your little shoulders
And when you’re feelin’ lonely and small
You need somebody there to hold you
You can call out my name when you’re only lonely

Now don’t you ever be ashamed
When you’re only lonely
When you need somebody around
On the nights that try you
Remember I was there when you were a queen
And I’ll be the last one there beside you
So you can call out my name
When you’re only lonely


  1. Hey there. I think we should all get together every week and take a look and comment on the worthiness of the selected lyric of the week.
    I know of JD Souther as a well known, perhaps famous songwriter. My first suggestion would be to be feature the full lyric of the song selected. This selection appears to be a verse and a bridge of a song and taken out of context of the whole really doesn’t stand up very well.
    The title is: You Are Only Lonely. That seems to imply that…things could be a hell of a lot worse! You could, for example, be lonely, broke, diseased and lost in a foreign country …so don’t take it too hard ’cause you’re only lonely.
    However in the 5th line of that first verse the words say… call out my name when you’re only lonely… so like don’t call me if you’re broke, diseased and lost is a foreign country. Only call if you’re lonely.!
    Moving on to the bridge the first two lines imply either that you should not shame yourself when you’re lonely ’cause like that’s really bad and gawd knows what could happen or… there’s no need to be ashamed because of the fact that you’re lonely.
    I’m pretty sure he intends the latter meaning but I can’t relate the feeling of shame with loneliness unless of course you’ve poisonned the neighbors puppies, are now an outcast of the community and that’s why you’re lonely and now of course you’re like totally ashamed of your actions in which case see above first implication.
    Moving on we are finally introduced to the person he is addressing in the song that being either a woman of high standing or a cross dressing homosexual and I imagine that will be discerned at some point later in the song.
    And finally…. I’ll be the last one there beside you…. well a helluva lot of good that is ! Like you really must care if you’re the last one in on that desperate scene. I mean why would I even bother to call out your name if I can have a half dozen other people with me before you even arrive?
    Sure the context he intends is…I’ll stand with you until the end, no matter what…. but I really think he’s done a damn poor job of getting his message across.
    Actually I’m just funnin’ around trying to make two points.
    They are one, that the complete lyric should be provided and two, given this particular slice of the song, this isn’t one of J.D.Souther’s better ones.
    Then again I’m prolly completely missing the point of this feature and those words mean a great deal to someone which beats me ’cause I don’t know how you can understand what the heck he’s saying.

  2. I’m in agreement with Benee – this is not one of JD’s finer efforts and I am a fan. I believe there comes a point in a person’s career where they no longer have to work that hard at their craft; that their success, their acclaim, their industry presence will make even a trite lyric seem notable. Take a look at Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten”, great work.
    Oh, well, keep your head down and keep on working …

    “… so let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”


  3. Both you guys are missing the boat on the lyrics. I cannot believe someone would take these lyrics COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTEXT. The lyrics dictate that the person, obviously a woman (hence the “queen” reference), has obviously suffered a setback from a previous relationship, and that he’s offering himself as comfort and friendship. The title “You’re only lonely” refers to the subject (the woman) in the song call on him when she is feeling low, since her pride had taken a beating from the demise of that last relationship
    J. D. Souther wrote this tune to pay homage to the late Roy Orbison and his song “Only the lonely”. If you notice the rhythm is as ’60’s doo-wop slide to mimic that style.
    I disagree with you both. While Souther has done great work with other songs, this song was well done.
    I guess you must be a songwriter to know a songwriter. I am one.

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