I heard a English song named Closing Time and there is a line in the lyrics:

I know who I want to take me home.

What is the meaning of this? It seems should be like these:

I know who I want to take home.


I know who want to take me home.

  • It basically has the interpretation: I know the answer to the question "Who do I want to take me home?"
    – F.E.
    Jan 17 '15 at 19:59

The song is actually about the lead singer, Dan Wilson's, daughter's birth. They covered it up a little to seem like a bar song so it would be accepted main stream, but when he says "I know who I want to take me home." It is actually his daughter saying it in the hospital. He mentions it in a college reunion video on YouTube.

I didn't know until recently either, I had always assumed that of course there is someone you WANT to take you home but whether they will or not is a different story. Enjoy!


I know who I want to take home.

You want to take someone home. And you know who that is.

*I know who want to take me home.
I know who wants to take me home.

Someone wants to take you home. And you know who that is.

I know who I want to take me home.

You want to go home with someone. And you know who that is.


"I know who I want to take me home" means "I know who it is of whom I want that he takes me home".

So neither of your alternatives are correct:

  1. In your first rewording, you are saying that there is a person whom you want to take home, and that you can identify that person.
  2. In your second rewording, you say there is a person who wants to take you home, and that you know who that person is. (Also, you have a verb-agreement mistake in there, the "who want" should be a "who wants".)

What the author is saying instead is that you know a person that might or might not want to take you home, but you want him to take you home.

  • Nice explanation. But I want to know how to learn to interpret these kind of sentences. Please help. Feb 10 '14 at 16:06
  • 'I want John to go / help Sue / do his homework / pay his dues / take me home' are all catenations of the form 'I want X to [do] Y'. These constructions have been covered on ELU before, and you could look them up there. Or look up 'English catenative verbs' on Wiktionary for many theoretical examples, then search the internet for actual examples (eg "I want John to take me home"). Feb 10 '14 at 16:16
  • 1
    @Man_From_India practice is the only way. Once you've seen this construction a couple times, it's pretty straightforward. I know. → I know who I want. → I know who I want to do X. You can only learn a language by being exposed to it repeatedly. There is no way to explain why "I have a cat" means what it means. Because by itself, it does not mean anything. You just have to hear it often enough, and then a meaning will emerge.
    – ЯegDwight
    Feb 10 '14 at 16:17

It means that the singer sees someone that he likes, and he wants to go back to her house.

In reality, the song was written about the singer's anticipation of fatherhood, and this is from the perspective of his future baby who is seeing its parents for the first time. The baby wants the parents to take him home.



In the context of the song (without the hidden insight about the baby—which I don't buy, even if the songwriter allegedly said it—and just considering the context of the bar) it is actually not clear whether the singer wants someone to take him to HIS OWN house, or to THEIR (that other person's) house. The connotation could be different. Yes, he wants to be driven by (her?), but he might only be saying he feels safer if she is the designated driver to take him home when he's too drunk to drive. But if he wants her to take him to HER home, he clearly has romantic intentions (whether he'll be too drunk to act on them is another question). But that double entendre makes it a better lyric than, say "to drive me home".

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