I was listening to a song called 'Bedshaped' by the English band 'Keane'. But, I couldn't find any meaning of it from any dictionaries. Maybe I can guess, but I would like to make sure about this. What do you think about the meaning? And, also, 'legs of stone' got me confused.

Here are the lyrics below.

You'll follow me back
With the sun in your eyes
And on your own
And legs of stone
You'll knock on my door
And up we'll go
In white light
I don't think so
But what do I know?
What do I know?
I know!


4 Answers 4



… in hospital when someone is ill and has to spend a lot of time in bed they can become 'bedshaped'. It sounds a bit depressing (...) but in the context of the song I wanted to suggest old age and frailty(...)


The word 'bedshaped' - I don't know if it's a made up word, but my mum's always talking about people being bedshaped, just from spending too much time being bed-ridden basically. It's quite a sad image of someone stuck there, stuck in a bed, until they become completely useless and start to lose their humanity. But just that idea of crumbling and being really frail and decrepid is something that eventually happens to everyone. That, I guess was the basis for the song in a way. So whatever happens when you're younger, even if you go off in search of glamour and ambitious and exciting things; once you get to your really old age, you've got all that side of life that just disappears.

  • Oh, thanks for your kindness. Your very detail explation helped me a lot. Now, finally, I understand the meaning and even the basic image of the word. Thanks a lot again
    – lhrkknd
    Dec 15, 2013 at 2:03
  • Nice to be of help. Here, there's no need to say 'thanks' as such.
    – Kris
    Dec 15, 2013 at 5:08

There's also a slang definition of bedshaped:

bedshaped: a term used to describe being very drunk
(from urbandictionary.com)

so by looking at the original video, that's also an explanation of the void many people with alcohol problems experience.

  • Why did you post a link to the question inside of your answer?
    – Hank
    Feb 23, 2017 at 22:14

Ok so here’s my guess on what it means- I get the reference to ‘bed shaped about old age / frailty etc but I think this song is talking about a couple who have been together and or known each other a long time but are maybe drifting apart. I think the bit about ‘ up we go’is falling into bed together which a lot of people do to try and prolong a dying relationship ( a bed shaped) relationship. When he says’ I don’t think so’ he’s trying to resist the toxic cycle of this but ‘what do I know?’ Suggests he understands his own frailty to resist her and the continuation of the relationship) - again frailty. Just my take but I’ve thought this from the first time I heard it.

  • 2
    Hello, Amanda. Please check at the Help Center and take the site 'tour'. ELU is for plausible well-researched answers, not opinion. Nov 11, 2020 at 15:31

Rice-Oxley posted an explanation of the song on the official message board:

[The song] is about feeling that you've been "left behind" by an old friend or lover, and about hoping that you'll be reunited one day so that you can live out the end of your lives together the way you started them (...) a hope that they'll eventually want to get away from the bright lights and come back home. It's a sad and angry song, but also full of hope. I think I'm right in saying that in hospital when someone is ill and has to spend a lot of time in bed they can become 'bedshaped'. It sounds a bit depressing (...) but in the context of the song I wanted to suggest old age and frailty(...)[2]

  • This has already (partially) been quoted in the other answer, and doesn't add anything new.
    – Joachim
    Jun 3, 2022 at 13:12

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