How?
John Lennon Lyrics


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How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing
How can I go forward when I don't know which way to turn
How can I go forward into something I'm not sure of
Oh no, oh no

How can I have feeling when I don't know if it's a feeling
How can I feel something if I just don't know how to feel
How can I have feelings when my feelings have always been denied
Oh no, oh no

You know life can be long
And you got to be so strong
And the world is so tough
Sometimes I feel I've had enough

How can I give love when I don't know what it is I'm giving
How can I give love when I just don't know how to give
How can I give love when love is something I ain't never had
Oh no, oh no

You know life can be long
You've got to be so strong
And the world she is tough
Sometimes I feel I've had enough

How can we go forward when we don't know which way we're facing
How can we go forward when we don't know which way to turn




How can we go forward into something we're not sure of
Oh no, oh no

Overall Meaning

The song "How?" is one of the most introspective and contemplative works by John Lennon. The lyrics in the song reflect his personal turmoil and self-doubt, as he questions his ability to find direction and purpose in life. Throughout the song, Lennon asks several rhetorical questions, wondering how he can move forward when he lacks clarity and understanding of his environment. He wonders how he can feel emotions when he doesn't even know what they are, and how he can give love when he has never experienced it himself.


In the chorus, Lennon acknowledges the difficulty of life and the need to be strong to keep moving forward in the face of adversity. The song also exemplifies the confusion and doubt felt by many during the Vietnam war period, as people questioned their government and society's morality. The song uses contrasting imagery, the kind of confusion that was both personal and political, evoking a generation's disillusionment with the status quo and societal norms of the time.


Line by Line Meaning

How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing
The singer is uncertain of the direction they should take and therefore, feels lost and confused.


How can I go forward when I don't know which way to turn
The singer is uncertain of the right course of action to take and feels overwhelmed.


How can I go forward into something I'm not sure of
The singer is afraid to take risks and pursue unknown paths due to fear of failure and uncertainty.


Oh no, oh no
An expression of despair and hopelessness.


How can I have feeling when I don't know if it's a feeling
The artist is unsure of their emotions and find it difficult to understand and express them.


How can I feel something if I just don't know how to feel
The singer has trouble processing and identifying their emotions which leads to confusion.


How can I have feelings when my feelings have always been denied
The singer is used to having their emotions dismissed or invalidated, and this has affected their emotional well-being.


You know life can be long And you got to be so strong And the world is so tough Sometimes I feel I've had enough
Life is a journey full of challenges, and it requires strength and resilience to navigate the rough patches. However, the artist admits to feeling overwhelmed and wanting to give up at times.


How can I give love when I don't know what it is I'm giving
The artist is unsure of what love means, and this makes it hard for them to express it towards others.


How can I give love when I just don't know how to give
The artist has difficulty showing affection or intimacy, perhaps due to past experiences or fear of vulnerability.


How can I give love when love is something I ain't never had
The singer has never experienced love in their life, whether it's from family, friends or romantic partners, and therefore, struggles to understand and reciprocate it.


How can we go forward when we don't know which way we're facing
The artist is addressing a collective of individuals who are uncertain about the direction they should all take.


How can we go forward when we don't know which way to turn
The group is stuck in a deadlock, unable to make a decision and move forward.


How can we go forward into something we're not sure of
The group is faced with uncertainty and risks in their future, and this makes them hesitant to take the next step.


Oh no, oh no
A repetition of earlier expression, expressing distress and helplessness.




Lyrics © Royalty Network, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: John Lennon

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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