In the song "Somebody That I Used to Know" the following line is found:

No, you didn't have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number

What is actually being said here? What is the meaning of the expression "have your friends collect your records" in this context? I assume (but I'm not sure) that the meaning of "and then change your number" refers to the girl he is talking to having changed her phone number, but I can't pinpoint what an expression means in relation to other.

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    The singer is griping about being totally shunned by their ex romantic partner. So much so that the ex (I don't know or care what sex) won't come in person to retrieve their half of the previously-shared music record collection (they obviously lived together). Plus the ex has changed their mobile phone number, thus closing off communication through that channel. But this is just common sense plus cultural knowledge, enabling lyrics interpretation - not really "learning English". Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 22:00
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    If you give more information about what is confusing you about that phrase, we can provide better answers. Are you wondering about the meaning of have <someone> <do something>? The meaning of records? The meaning of collect?
    – Juhasz
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 22:11
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    It means "Get your friends to collect your [music] records, and then change your [phone] number".
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


It's not clear from the fragment of a song that you posted, but looking at the whole lyric, its clear that this is a "break up" song.

When two people who have been living together break up, they need to separate their personal belongings. That include their collection of recorded music (on CD or LP)

So the singer is complaining that his ex got her friends to come here to collect her music records and then changed her phone number to entirely cut herself out of his life. He wants to remain in touch with her, perhaps as friends, perhaps in the hope of restarting the relationship.

Generally, lyrics are not a good source of natural English. They are highly stylised and don't reflect normal spoken or written English.

  • Thanks to all the answers, now I understand. I was confusing myself thinking that "collect the records" was somehow intrinsically linked to "change the number" and that it was some expression that I couldn't find any information about. Now I know what he was referring to. Thank you again.
    – Itamar
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 0:53

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