Spamalot "I'm All Alone": what does "It's a Perfect Way to Hide" Mean?
September 15, 2013 11:31 AM   Subscribe

In Spamalot, King Arthur sings "I'm All Alone". At one point, he says: We must be lonely side by side / It's a perfect way to hide. What do these lyrics mean?

King Arthur sings "I'm All Alone" in Spamalot. (full lyrics to "I'm All Alone"). It is a funny song, since Arthur is, in fact, never alone - he's always with Patsy (and later the Lady of the Lake points out that she's with him too, not to mention the Knights of the Round Table, etc).

At one point in the song, Arthur switches from singing how he is all alone to how all of us are all alone:

Each one of us is all alone
So what are we to do in order to get through
We must be lonely side by side
It's a perfect way to hide

Hide from what?
posted by smyles7 to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
Hide from others that you are lonely? because you can't physically be alone if you are standing side by side, but you can be emotionally or mentally alone and lonely. So Arthur is hiding his emotional loneliness by not being physically alone, if that makes sense.

that's how I took it, anyway.
posted by firei at 11:40 AM on September 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

Yeah, hide your feelings is how I took it. That's pretty much the premise of the "alone in a crowd" trope. It's also about hiding from intimacy, as you could stop being lonely with the tiniest of efforts, but we often won't make that effort.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:44 AM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

The idea is that going through the motions of social interaction -- being "side by side" with others -- is a great way to seem like you're really engaged with others. And someone who is engaged is seen as normal and fine.

Someone who sat in his room all day would be talked about, and perhaps approached as in need of help. But someone who is out there with people is assumed to be "normal," and people will not probe any deeper. So if in reality the "social person" is hiding fears and desires, they will never be found out.
posted by shivohum at 2:19 PM on September 15, 2013

If you Google the phrase "lonely in a crowd" you will find a lot of writing and art on this theme. That's the idea that I got from the verse.
posted by CathyG at 3:50 PM on September 16, 2013

Response by poster: great! thanks for all of the suggestions!
posted by smyles7 at 2:15 PM on September 22, 2013

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