Alfie
The Dells Lyrics


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What's it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it's wise to be cruel
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
What will you lend on an old golden rule?
As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie
I know there's something much more
Something even non-believers can believe in
I believe in love, Alfie
Without true love we just exist, Alfie
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie




When you walk let your heart lead the way
And you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to The Dells's song "Alfie" ask a series of philosophical questions about the meaning and purpose of life. It directly addresses the titular character, who is asked what life is all about and if it is meant to be more about giving or taking. The song contemplates the nature of kindness and cruelty, whether the old saying that only fools are kind is true, and if it is wise to be cruel in order to get ahead in life. The lyrics also explore the idea that life belongs only to the strong and that the concept of a "golden rule" may be outdated or insufficient in the face of harsh realities.


However, the song ultimately comes to the conclusion that there is something more to life than these cold calculations. The singer professes a belief in something greater than oneself, something that even non-believers can believe in - love. Without true love, the song suggests, we are merely existing and missing out on the fullness of life. The final lines urge Alfie to let his heart lead the way in order to find love and fulfillment.


Line by Line Meaning

What's it all about, Alfie?
Alfie, what is the meaning or purpose of life? What's the point of it all?


Is it just for the moment we live?
Is life just about passing time and enjoying temporary experiences before we eventually die?


What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
If one were to truly figure out the meaning of life, what would they find?


Are we meant to take more than we give or are we meant to be kind?
What is the right way to live - to selfishly take or to be kind and generous to others?


And if only fools are kind, Alfie
If being kind results in being taken advantage of, then is it foolish to be kind?


Then I guess it's wise to be cruel
Perhaps it is better or wiser to be ruthless or cruel, since being kind can make one vulnerable.


And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie
If survival of the fittest is the nature of life, then what use is empathy and compassion?


What will you lend on an old golden rule?
What value is there in following moral guidelines like the golden rule (treat others the way you want to be treated)?


As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie
I am confident that there is a spiritual afterlife or reward for living a good life.


I know there's something much more
There is a deeper purpose or meaning to life beyond just temporary pleasures.


Something even non-believers can believe in
There exists a belief or concept that is universally acceptable and understood, not limited to those who follow a religion.


I believe in love, Alfie
Love is a powerful and fundamental force that gives meaning to life.


Without true love we just exist, Alfie
If we do not experience authentic love, then we merely survive life but do not truly live it.


Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie
If one has not yet found mutual and genuine love, then they are incomplete and unfulfilled.


When you walk let your heart lead the way
Instead of relying solely on reason or practicality, one should follow their emotions and feelings in life's important decisions.


And you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie
If one lives life authentically and with an open heart, they will eventually find love and fulfillment.




Writer(s): Bacharach Burt F, David Hal

Contributed by Lily O. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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