“What Goes Around … / …Comes Around (Interlude)” [Justin Timberlake, feat. Timbaland] – lyrics for English students

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Hey, girl _ Is he everything you wanted in a man? _ You know I gave you the world _ You had me in the palm of your hand

  • This means she had complete control of him

So why your love went away _ I just can’t seem to understand _ Thought it was me and you, baby _ Me and you until the end, but I guess I was wrong, uh _ Don’t wanna think about it (Uh) _ Don’t wanna talk about it (Uh) _ I’m just so sick about it _ Can’t believe it’s endin’ this way _ Just so confused about it (Uh) _ Feelin’ the blues about it (Yeah)

  • “Feeling the blues” is feeling sad or down, related to the musical style, Blues. It’s not such a common term outside of music nowadays.

I just can’t do without ya

  • If something “can’t do,” it means it doesn’t work, or it can’t function.

Tell me, is this fair? _ Is this the way it’s really going down?

  • The meaning of to “go down” here is to happen. When something is going down, the sense is that something, usually important, is happening. A popular version of this phrase: “What’s happening? I don’t know, but it’s about to go down!”

Is this how we say goodbye? _ Should’ve known better when you came around

  • To “come around” here just means to appear or to become present. Often when someone makes a meaningful mistake or does something wrong, like dating a bad partner in this case, they receive the advice, “You should’ve known better.”

That you were gonna make me cry _ It’s breakin’ my heart to watch you run around

  • “Heartbreak” is usually what happens after a bad breakup. Someone’s heart can be broken, or they can break another’s heart. Occasionally, breaking one’s heart can result from a loved one (like a son, sister) doing bad things that you can’t control. In this sense, they are breaking your heart not in a romantic sense. “Run around” just means going to different places and living life as usual, maybe at a busy pace. Not actually running, though.

‘Cause I know that you’re livin’ a lie _ But that’s okay, baby, ’cause in time, you will find

  • “In time” is used to say that something will happen sooner or later, after a while.

What goes around, goes around, goes around _ Comes all the way back around

  • What you do to others will come back to you. You will reap what you sow. You get what you give. Etc.

What goes around, goes around, goes around _ Comes all the way back around _ What goes around, goes around, goes around _ Comes all the way back around _ What goes around, goes around, goes around _ Comes all the way back around _ Yeah _ Now, girl _ I remember everything that you claimed _ You said that you were movin’ on now (On now)

  • To “move on” in this sense is to get past or get over something that was bad. In a less dramatic way, it means to continue from one thing to another.

And maybe I should do the same (Maybe I should do the same) _ The funny thing about that is _ I was ready to give you my name

  • To “give someone your name” is to marry them, since women traditionally take the last name of their husbands. With that said, it really only makes sense for men to say this.

Thought it was me and you, baby _ And now it’s all just a shame and I guess I was wrong, uh _ Don’t wanna think about it (No) _ Don’t wanna talk about it (Hmm) _ I’m just so sick about it _ Can’t believe it’s endin’ this way _ Just so confused about it (Uh) _ Feelin’ the blues about it (Yeah) _ I just can’t do without ya _ Can you tell me, is this fair? _ Is this the way it’s really going down? _ Is this how we say goodbye? (Uh) _ Should’ve known better when you came around _ Should’ve known better that you were gonna make me cry _ Now it’s breakin’ my heart to watch you run around _ ‘Cause I know that you’re livin’ a lie _ That’s okay, baby, ’cause in time, you will find _ What goes around, goes around, goes around _ Comes all the way back around _ What goes around, goes around, goes around _ Comes all the way back around _ What goes around, goes around, goes around _ Comes all the way back around _ What goes around, goes around, goes around _ Comes all the way back around _ Yeah _ What goes around comes around _ Yeah _ What goes around comes around _ You should know that _ What goes around comes around _ Yeah _ What goes around comes around _ You should know that (Yeah)

[It repeats for a while]

Yep, yep, yep, yep _ Let me paint this picture for you, baby

  • To “paint a picture for someone” in a figurative sense is to make it clear, as if by creating a visual or mental image.

You spend your nights alone and he never comes home _ And every time you call him, all you get’s a busy tone

  • A “busy tone” is the sound a phone makes when the person you try to call is on another phone call or talking with someone else. They’re busy.

I heard you found out that he’s doin’ to you _ What you did to me, ain’t that the way it goes?

  • “That’s the way it goes,” is stating that something is a fact, often a hard fact to accept. Similar to “That’s how it is,” or “That’s the way it is.” To “find something out” is to discover it or become aware of it.

When you cheated, girl, my heart bleeded, girl

  • *Bled is correct. He uses bleeded because it rhymes with “cheated,” and because it paints a more vivid picture of blood or to bleed. It’s a dramatic way to say that he was heartbroken after his partner cheated, or slept with another person.

So it goes without sayin’ that you left me feelin’ hurt

  • If something “goes without saying,” it means it is obvious to the point that you don’t have to say it for it to be noticed.

Just a classic case, a scenario _ Tale as old as time, girl, you got what you deserved

  • “Tale as old as time” comes from the idea of a fairy tale with monsters, directly from the story Beauty and the Beast. In other words, what happened has happened before and it will likely happen again. Interestingly, we also think of a princess getting with a man who has turned into a monster. I don’t know if this is intended, but it’s an interesting idea.

And now you want somebody (Hey) _ To cure the lonely nights (Hey) _ You wish you had somebody (Hey) _ That could come and make it right (Hey) _ But girl, I ain’t somebody (Hey) _ With a lot of sympathy (Hey)

  • *I’m not someone who has a lot of sympathy

You’ll see, see _ (What goes around comes back around) _ I thought I told ya, hey _ (What goes around comes back around) _ I thought I told ya, hey _ (What goes around comes back around) _ I thought I told ya, hey _ (What goes around comes back around) _ I thought I told ya, hey _ (Take it to ’em, hey)

  • “Take it to someone” means to finish something in a strong way or to make a strong impact on someone else. A coach may tell his team, “We really have to take it to these guys in the last quarter!” talking about the opposing team. In music, this phrase refers to the audience or listeners.

(Take it to ’em) _ See, you should’ve listened to me, baby _ (Take it to ’em) _ Hey, hey, hey, hey _ (Take it to ’em) _ Because (What goes around comes back around)

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