I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at with questions or ideas!

What does "The Water Fountain" by Alec Benjamin mean?

What does "The Water Fountain" by Alec Benjamin mean?

“The Water Fountain” Lyrics Meaning

(The following blog post is a transcript created by Xalma of the below video.)

I don't know what to make of Alec Benjamin; you guys have been suggesting a lot of his music to me for a while; and so I've put a few of his songs in my personal playlist; and every time I come back to "The Water Fountain", I always wonder is he being a manipulative jerk, or is this some deeper love song, something that I still don't understand completely? I have to admit, it's really catchy, and I like it, so I really want it to be about something good; but the only way to understand it, is to research. So that's what you guys are doing now; and that's what I did earlier; and because of that, let's explain "The Water Fountain" by Alec Benjamin. I truly hope that you guys will go and watch his music video, and listen to the song; I will have a link to the music video down below, so you can check it out. It's really really good music, so thanks to whoever suggested this song to me in the first place; you're pretty smart, and I like your taste in music.

Anyway, this song is about Alec Benjamin, and a relationship that he was in that didn't go so well; well, it was really more of an-almost-relationship that he was almost in; then he wanted to be in later; but then it didn't work out. Listen to him describe this at,

This was a song that I wrote about one of the first girls I ever liked; she told me that she loved me, but I wasn't ready. Then later on I still had feelings for her, but having grown up she had moved on; and she was into other guys.

Catch that, he said that he liked her, and she said that she loved him; and he wasn't ready; he keeps on liking her; but by the time he's ready to more fully commit; she's moved on completely. Such a sad song, right? You have no idea; not until you listen to the vocals, guys; you really don't.

What I like about what Alec Benjamin does here, is he basically takes that story, and he exactly tells it; I have so much respect for an artist who just takes what literally happened to them, and then puts it to music; and yeah, sure, they make it sound good, and they edit the lyrics so that they're all beautiful and pretty; but this dude is just telling a personal story; and so I trust him, I feel the honesty here, it feels personal and real; and that's really important to me, as a music listener, you know.

Verse One

She told me that she loved me by the water fountain

Very specific, I like it. Now I think it's probably like a legit water fountain; not the kind that's in a park; but it's like a water fountain that's in the hallway at a school or something; because he was young and that probably happened at his school.

She told me that she loved me and she didn't love him
And that was really lovely cause it was innocent

That's very nice; but yeah, we don't really know who this other guy is, but we'll maybe find out something about him later on; also, he's saying that she was very there; she wasn't trying to manipulate him; she was just trying to assure him.

But now she's got a cup with something else in it

Okay, so we move on from a "water fountain" to "a cup with something else in it".

It's getting kind of blurry at a quarter past ten

That's kind of late for a school kid to be out; or maybe I just don't know what's late these days.

And he was in a hurry to be touching her skin

Whoa! He's got like some sexual intentions here.

She's feeling kind of dirty when she's dancing with him
Forgetting what she told me by the water fountain

So she is slowly forgetting about having loved Alec; that's not a bad thing per se; but as she has now kind of moved on to this other guy, and it's just not looking so good; she's got a cup full of something, and it's not grape juice; and there's this dude trying to make a move at her. We get into the pre-chorus,


Now he's grabbing her hips, and pulling her in
Kissing her lips, and whispering in her ear

Notice that it's all things this other dude is doing; it's nothing that she's reciprocating.

And she knows that she shouldn't listen
And that she should be with me by the water fountain

Hold on; I thought she was forgetting about you. Okay; that's probably the part that felt the most emotionally manipulative to me, the first 10 times that I heard it; because, what if she shouldn't be with you by the water fountain? You're not God's gift to all single girls out there. Nothing against Alec Benjamin of course. In the chorus we hear,


She couldn't be at home in the night time because
It made her feel alone, but at that time she was
Too young
I was too young
I should've built a home with a fountain for us

Now that time he means an actual fountain; not a water fountain like the ones at school.

The moment that she told me that she was in love
Too young
I was too young
Too young, too young, too young, young

Just in case you thought that they were too old; okay, I'm just kidding. The point is he kind of thinks back and say "yeah, actually she was pretty great, and I should have grown up in that second, and committed to a little bit more than just liking her"; and now apparently he seems to think that she's not super happy either; so it turned out pretty poorly for both of them at the same time; though he does confirm, saying "I was too young, and she was too young". And yes, there is probably an age cutoff, and a maturity cutoff, where people just are too young to fully commit to romantically loving somebody. I don't know the answer to that question; and most of my audience are young; so I'm not going to offend you guys by saying what I really think that age cutoff should be. Okay; I'm just kidding, guys; I think it really comes down to your level of maturity; but the thing is that people who go around saying "I'm mature enough for that!", they usually aren't the most mature people; just wait, have fun enjoy life, enjoy liking people, and then you can worry about whatever "loving people" means later on.

Verse Two

And if she ever goes back to the water fountain
The handle will be broken and the rest set in

Some things do grow too old; and then it will be too late to get water from that water fountain; but you know what it's not too late for?

But my hand, it will be open, and I'll try to fix it
My heart, it will be open, and I'll try to give it

He still likes her; and in the pre-chorus, it changes from that other dude kissing her and pulling her in; so he says,


Now I'm grabbing her hips, and pulling her in
Kissing her lips, and whispering in her ear
And I know that it's only a wish
And that we're not standing by the water fountain

That is just him daydreaming. So at the end of it, she's off with this other dude, who is making her feel uncomfortable, and dirty; drinking something she shouldn't be drinking; and Alec Benjamin is in the studio thinking about what it would've been like if he had actually committed, and pulled the trigger. He's regretting it; but he's pretty sure that even though he'd be okay with this relationship actually happening, and him having that second chance, that he has missed out. Now, if her taste in dudes is this other kind of dude; I'm not so sure that you actually want to be dating her in the first place. But hey, what do I know?!

Anyway, that's my analysis, and response to "The Water Fountain" by Alec Benjamin. It's a beautiful song; there's like one line that's just a little bit weirdly on the edge manipulative; but the rest of the song is really really cool, really really well done, and I'm a big fan. If you haven't listened to the song yourself, I have a link to it down below, so go check it out.

What does "Best Part of Me" by Ed Sheeran mean?

What does "Best Part of Me" by Ed Sheeran mean?

What does "Green" by Cavetown mean?

What does "Green" by Cavetown mean?