Don't Know Why

Norah Jones


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Read along with the transcript
Hello English learners and music lovers! Welcome to Explained in English. My name is Kiah and today I'm explaining the song Don't Know Why by Norah Jones.

Don't Know Why is the perfect rainy day song. That means it's a perfect song to listen to when it's raining outside, but it's also great if it's raining in your mind -- if you're feeling a bit melancholic, wanting to understand but struggling to find answers.

Before we go through the lyrics, I highly recommend that you listen to the real song first. You can hear the music, read the song lyrics, and follow along with a transcript of this song explanation all for free. I put all of these things together for you at There's also a direct link in the description of this episode. Alright, let's move into the lyrics. The first verse begins with the line:

[Verse 1]
I waited till I saw the sun
I don't know why I didn't come
I left you by the house of fun
I don't know why I didn't come (x2)

[Verse 2]
When I saw the break of day
I wished that I could fly away
Instead of kneeling in the sand
Catching teardrops in my hand

My heart is drenched in wine
But you'll be on my mind forever

[Verse 3]
Out across the endless sea
I would die in ecstacy
But I'll be a bag of bones
Driving down the road alone

[Verse 4]
Somethin' has to make you run
I don't know why I didn't come

I feel as empty as a drum
I don't know why I didn't come (x3)

To me this song seems to be about someone who was scared. They were afraid to take a risk. They seemed to really like this person, maybe they even felt in love with them, but something kept them from meeting up or from continuing the relationship. And because they felt scared, because they were unsure of what to do, they just waited around. They waited so long that it was too late, and at that point they started feeling regret. This regret and confusion -- not understanding the reason why she made that decision, leads her to want to get away from it all. Either by drinking wine or wishing that she could fly away. She seems very trapped in the idea of what could have been and feels destined to be alone and empty.

One thing I didn't know about this song was that it was written by a guy named Jesse Harris. And while Norah Jones with her beautiful voice made this song popular, it's essentially a cover of his song. You can listen to both recordings of the song by clicking the link in this episode's description.

I'd be really happy to hear if these explanations are helping you. Just give me a like or a comment on Facebook or YouTube. It's also a really big help when you share these episodes with friends and family. I know there are a lot of people out there who want to learn English and probably even more who like music. So, thank you for helping me get this out to more people and, as usual, thank you for listening. Alright, that's it for today. I'll see you all in the next explanation. Bye for now!


Well done!
You just improved your English with a lovely song. Now listen to how great Norah sounds singing live and enjoy the beautiful original version by Jesse Harris.

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