If You Have to Ask
Red Hot Chili Peppers Lyrics


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A wannabe gangster thinkin' he's a wise guy
Rob another bank, he's a sock 'em in the eye guy
Tank head, Mr. Bonnie and Clyde guy
Look him in the eye, he's not my kinda guy
Never be confusion proof-uh
Pudding's sweet but too aloof-uh
Orange-eyed girl with a backslide dew said
Yo homie, who you talkin' to?
A backed up paddywagon mackin' on a cat's ass
One uppercut to the cold upper middle class
Born to storm on boredom's face
Add a little lust to the funky-ass Flea bass
Most in the race just lose their grace
The blackest hole in all of space
Crooked as a hooker, now suck my thumb
Anybody wanna come get some?

(If you have to ask) you'll never know
Funky motherfuckers will not be told to go
(If you have to ask) you'll never know
Funky motherfuckers will not be told to go-o-o-o

Don't ask me why I'm flyin' so high
Mr. Bubble meets Superfly in my third eye
Searchin' for a soul bride, she's my freakette
Soak it up inside, deeper than a secret
Much more than meets the eye
To the funk I fall into my new ride
My hand, my hand
Magic on the one is a medicine man
Thinkin' of a few
Taboos that I ought to kill
Dancin' on their face
Like a stage in Vaudeville
I feel so good, can't be understood
Booty of a hoodlum rockin' my red hood

(If you have to ask) you'll never know
Funky motherfuckers will not be told to go




(If you have to ask) you'll never know
Funky motherfuckers will not be told to go-o-o-o

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to "If You Have to Ask" by Red Hot Chili Peppers speak to a rebellious spirit, rejecting conformity and embracing individuality. The song includes references to gangsters, robbing banks and physical altercations, but it's not just about violence. The lyrics suggest that there's a deeper rebellion happening, a rejection of societal norms and expectations.


The lines "Never be confusion proof-uh / Pudding's sweet but too aloof-uh" suggest that it's important to embrace complexity and avoid being too simplistic in one's understanding of the world. The reference to an "orange-eyed girl with a backslide dew" could be interpreted as someone who is unique and unconventional, and not easily understood by those around her.


The chorus repeats the refrain "If you have to ask, you'll never know," which could suggest that if someone is asking about the rebellious attitude or lifestyle of the band or the people the lyrics describe, they don't understand it and never will. The lyrics in general convey a sense of freedom and energy, of pushing back against authority and breaking away from the status quo.


Line by Line Meaning

A wannabe gangster thinkin' he's a wise guy
A person who desires to be a gangster but is not, believing that they are quick-witted


Rob another bank, he's a sock 'em in the eye guy
He would rather use violence to commit crime than intelligence.


Tank head, Mr. Bonnie and Clyde guy
A person who romanticizes and emulates criminal behavior.


Look him in the eye, he's not my kinda guy
The artist does not want to associate with the aforementioned person.


Never be confusion proof-uh
It is impossible to never experience confusion.


Pudding's sweet but too aloof-uh
Despite the appealing nature of pudding, it can also be disconnected and unapproachable.


Orange-eyed girl with a backslide dew said
A girl with orange eyes and hairstyle said


Yo homie, who you talkin' to?
Hey friend, to whom are you speaking to?


A backed up paddywagon mackin' on a cat's ass
A police transport vehicle stuck in traffic, flirting with the rear of a car.


One uppercut to the cold upper middle class
A metaphorical punch at people who are wealthy yet emotionally unfulfilled.


Born to storm on boredom's face
The person was created to conquer boredom and lack of stimulation.


Add a little lust to the funky-ass Flea bass
Introduce sexual desire to the energetic bass playing of Flea.


Most in the race just lose their grace
The majority of people competing in life lose their sense of nobility and elegance.


The blackest hole in all of space
A bottomless pit of emptiness and despair.


Crooked as a hooker, now suck my thumb
As deceptive as a prostitute, now submit to me.


Anybody wanna come get some?
Is anyone willing to engage in a challenge or altercation?


(If you have to ask) you'll never know
If someone must ask, they will never understand or be part of the group.


Funky motherfuckers will not be told to go
People with an unconventional, funky nature and spirit cannot be told to leave.


Don't ask me why I'm flyin' so high
Do not inquire as to why I am experiencing euphoria.


Mr. Bubble meets Superfly in my third eye
A combination of child's bubble bath and a popular blaxploitation film character exist in the artist's imagination.


Searchin' for a soul bride, she's my freakette
The artist is seeking a significant other who has a unique and unconventional spirit.


Soak it up inside, deeper than a secret
Absorb it internally, further protected than a confidential piece of information.


Much more than meets the eye
There is a deeper meaning and complexity to the situation than what is visible on the surface.


To the funk I fall into my new ride
The music inspired the artist to fully immerse themselves in their current situation.


My hand, my hand
The singer reaffirms the presence of their hand.


Magic on the one is a medicine man
The person playing music possesses extraordinary skill and ability, like a spiritual healer.


Thinkin' of a few Taboos that I ought to kill
Considering a few personal restrictions that the singer should remove.


Dancin' on their face Like a stage in Vaudeville
Metaphorically causing others discomfort, like a comedic performer enacting slapstick humor.


I feel so good, can't be understood
The artist's sensation of pleasure is beyond comprehension or explanation.


Booty of a hoodlum rockin' my red hood
The attractive rear end of someone considered rebellious wearing their red hood is captivating the singer's attention.


(If you have to ask) you'll never know
If someone must ask, they will never understand or be part of the group.


Funky motherfuckers will not be told to go
People with an unconventional, funky nature and spirit cannot be told to leave.




Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing
Written by: Michael Balzary, John Anthony Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@vibrantdragon3123

3:12 The solo was totally improvised and surprised the team in the studio so much that the applause can be heard.

@denesmatheus

masterpiece

@jvioletsky7526

yeah... applause with buttocks

@msorte

Such a unique solo and with amazing feel and tasty note choices.

@qweasdzxcname

improvising something while recording isnt improvising. its just trying stuff.

@raweed2758

@@qweasdzxcname that sounds like improvising

10 More Replies...

@dylanwesley3964

Chad Smith is such a damn fine drummer

@jameswelch5636

you mean will ferrell?

@Superboy-hd5zq

best drummer ever

@cactusdemar

he is such a chad

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