Mother Mother – “Problems” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

This piece talks about the complexity of human flaws and the contrast between self-perception and how others perceive us. It’s a candid exploration of feeling inadequate and the struggles with personal demons. The songwriter conveys a sense of being ‘less than’ others, especially in comparison to someone viewed as a ‘saint’. The lyrics poignantly depict this disparity, portraying a flawed individual aware of their shortcomings. The song is about the universal experience of grappling with personal issues. It reflects on the notion of acceptance by oneself and others, especially in intimate settings like sharing a meal. The underlying message? We all have our complexities, and that’s something to consider in our interactions.

Read on for a deeper understanding of the song’s lyrical intricacies.

“Problems” Lyrics Meaning

“Problems” begins with a stark contrast between the narrator and another person – possibly a loved one or an idealized figure. The opening lines, “You and me, we’re not the same / I am a sinner, you are a saint,” reveal a song about disparity in self-worth and identity. This idea of being undeserving or inferior is further emphasized in the phrase, “You’ll get the green light, I’ll get the old door in the face,” metaphorically illustrating the perceived divide between the narrator and the other person.

The chorus, “I’ve got problems / Not just the ones that are little / It’s those people problems / That’s something to consider / When you come for dinner at my place,” is particularly telling. It’s an invitation to acknowledge and accept the narrator’s flaws, suggesting a yearning for understanding and acceptance despite the ‘problems’. The repetition of ‘problems’ underscores the pervasive nature of these issues in the narrator’s life.

The song also touches on themes of love and relationships, as seen in “I’ve found love in the strangest place / Tied up and branded, locked in a cage.” These lines could symbolize the feeling of being trapped or constrained in a relationship, or perhaps the societal norms and expectations that bind us.

As the song progresses, the lyrics “I seem to find myself with the craziest of dames” and “Some say strange be a stranger’s game” reflect on the narrator’s experiences in relationships and life, perhaps suggesting a pattern of seeking out or attracting complex situations or people.

The Story Behind “Problems”

The song is not just a creative output but a reflection of the inner turmoil and the struggle with personal demons. It’s a candid admission of feeling less than perfect, less than ideal, a theme that resonates with many.

The line “I am a sinner, you are a saint,” could be interpreted as the songwriter’s acknowledgment of their own flaws and the constant comparison with others who seem more virtuous or accomplished. This sense of inadequacy is a common human experience that the songwriter taps into, making the song relatable personally.

The lyric “I’ve got problems / Not just the ones that are little” suggests a deeper, more profound sense of struggle. It’s an admission that the issues faced are significant and impactful, going beyond mere everyday troubles. This vulnerability in the songwriting is a testament to the raw honesty of the artist.

In the context of the songwriter’s life, “Problems” could reflect a particular phase or mindset. It speaks to the human tendency to self-reflect and evaluate one’s life choices and circumstances. The songwriter’s state of mind during this period was likely one of contemplation and self-examination, perhaps grappling with personal issues or the complexities of human relationships.

“Problems” is more than just a song; it’s a narrative about human imperfection and the continuous journey toward self-acceptance and understanding. It encapsulates the universal struggle of dealing with personal issues and the desire to be accepted by others, despite our flaws. This background adds depth to the song, providing a richer understanding of its lyrics and the emotions behind them.