Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
— Jason Mraz, I'm Yours

What does the first sentence from this song mean?

share|improve this question
2  
I thought the entire song was incoherent, but you had trouble only with the first line? Amazing! What's a "Godforsaken right"? That's an expression in the song too. Anyone who could write that can write lots of other meaningless nonsense. I'm not a music critic, but I prefer songs with lyrics that make sense, are in good English, and resonate with everyone. (That's why I love the blues.) I think "you done done me" means more to the singer than that his lover had sex with him. They must have gone round the world a couple of times. –  user21497 Nov 14 '12 at 10:41
    
I am not an English native speaker, there are so many words puzzled me every time I listen to the English songs. Now I know "you done done me" may be used to indicate completed action, like you said, they might have gone around the world a couple of times. :-) –  lynn8570 Nov 14 '12 at 11:06
    
The song has a few plays on clichés: God-given rights, bending over backwards, win some, lose some. I like it a lot and can actually play it on my ukulele –  mplungjan Nov 14 '12 at 12:59
    
@BillFranke: Godforsaken means much the same as "Damned" (which makes sense when you think about it). So in this context its just emphasising the strength of feeling. –  Chris Nov 14 '12 at 13:26
1  
@Chris: Yes, I know what "Godforsaken" means: the Gobi, the Sahara, the Negev, Gaza, Missouri, South Dakota, Mogadishu, and LA. I suppose that saying something about his "Godforsaken right" instead of his "Godgiven right" is about as emphatic as telling your mother something like "Shit, Mom! I fuckin' love you! Happy fuckin' Mother's Day!" Such a sophisticated usage of paradox. (I know you'll pardon my cynicism and snarky judgments here. I sometimes feel like one of Lonne Elder III's dark old men.) –  user21497 Nov 14 '12 at 15:15

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You done me - to do someone: You had sex with me

You done me in - to do one in: to "kill" someone - You had a big impact or killed me

You done me wrong - to do someone wrong You cheated on me

Other done

South Midland and Southern U.S. Nonstandard . (used with a principal verb in the past or, sometimes, present tense to indicate completed action): I done told you so. He done eat his lunch.

When you are done doing me, you done done me.

share|improve this answer

The first part of the sentence can be translated as, "you have done me," where "done" is quite possibly sexual :-)

The second part indicates that this had a positive impact, rather than that the singer just noticed this happening.

The final two words indicate the singer has been won over, probably through being impressed by the aforementioned activity.

share|improve this answer

OP's example is a form of reduplication which is generally considered "dialectal/non-standard". Here's a paper on Caribbean Linguistics citing...

"Look what you done done!"

...where (as in OP's example) standard English would either discard the first "done", or replace it with "have" (the meaning is identical either way).

Thus the first "done" is simply a dialectal way of indicating/intensifying the past tense aspect of the second occurrence. It's Off Topic (lyrics interpretation) to speculate on what exactly the second "done" means, but my guess is "had a big effect on me".

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.