What does Turning Tables mean?

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Adele: Turning Tables Meaning

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Song Released: 2011


Turning Tables Lyrics

Close enough to start a war,
All that I have is on the floor,
God only knows what we're fighting for,
All that I say, you always say more,

I can't keep up with your turning tables,
Under your thumb, I can't breathe,

So I won't let...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    Dimples87
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    Jul 26th, 2011 7:01pm report


    "Close enough to start a war" means that's how close they are in about to argue and/or physically fight one another
    "All that I have is on the floor," means her possessions are on the floor and/or it is the floor that she's attempting to stand on
    "God only knows what we're fighting for," means they've been fighting so long she forgot what they were actually arguing about and why
    "All that I say, you always say more," means the person is trying to compete with her in order to win the argument/fight they're involved in by diminishing what she has to say

    "I can't keep up with your turning tables," means she can't keep up with all that he's throwing in her face
    "Under your thumb, I can't breathe," means he has her under his thumb because when she tries to fight him, she surrenders but she remains under his thumb because of it but she feels smothered

    "So I won't let you close enough to hurt me," means she's trying to distance herself from him and break it off with him
    "No, I won't ask you, you to just desert me," means he thinks she wants him to break it off with her but she wants to break it off with him for herself
    "I can't give you the heart you think you gave me," means she never felt his love for her and she doesn't feel the love for him that he thinks he gave her
    "It's time to say goodbye to turning tables, To turning tables," means she's tired of playing the game he thinks they're playing and going around and around

    "Under haunted skies I see you, ooh," means that in the dark mood he's in, she finally sees who he really is
    "Where love is lost, your ghost is found," means she sees why and where she felt out of love with him, she has found the ghost of where the 'real him'went and/or who he transformed into
    "I braved a hundred storms to leave you," means she's tried countless times to leave him and the hundreds of storms is his hundreds of moods/tempers
    "As hard as you try, no, I will never be knocked down," means she will keep getting up no matter how hard it is to leave him, she'll keep trying to leave him and/or be free

    "Next time I'll be braver," means just what it said that she'll be braver the next time she's in a relationship like that
    "I'll be my own savior," means she'll be able to save her own self next time
    "When the thunder calls for me," means his roaring mood calling for her name
    "Standing on my own two feet," means she'll have herself to stand for and/or with her



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jun 1st, 2011 6:33pm report


    I think the song is about a boyfriend, or even just a close friend, who is constantly "turning the tables" on the victim. No matter what she does or how hard she tries to make things right, she always gets blamed for things and she's told that it's not enough. This song seems to me like its about leaving this person because the relationship is too draining and hurtful to bear.



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Apr 23rd, 2011 4:52pm report


    This song is definitely about someone who is in love with a person who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and is sick of the abuse and decides to take back control. If you are informed about NPD, you know what I'm talking about. The person with NPD is always turning the tables to get what they want. Am I right? And the victim, is constantly dealing with this BS. You either leave the son of a bitch or you learn how to take back control. If you don't, you'll be miserable FOREVER.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 26th, 2012 7:11am report


    She wrote this song about a boyfriend who treated her terribly. They had a fight in public in front of friends and he kept turning it around to be her fault. She went to the studio and this is the song that came out. It's about the arguments always getting turned around and she's telling him that she just can't keep believing that it's all her fault, that he has to accept some of the fault. She's also promising herself that she won't let herself be put through it again.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 9th, 2012 6:39am report


    Shes mad at herself for falling for this guy, a guy who is in love with someone else. Turning tables implies that theres another woman he is trying to keep happy. "So i wont let you close enough to hurt me, i wont ask you, you to just desert me, i cant give you what you think you gave me." means that she knows he loves someone else. By being in a relationship with him, she is just buying time before he dinds his true love. She cannot love him because of this.



  6.  

    anonymous
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    May 29th, 2012 5:36am report


    I agree that its ending a relationship with somone who has BPD.
    Leaving someone you love who has BPD has to be one of the hardest most emotionally draining experiences ever.
    I speak from experience.
    Throw a child you share with this person into the equation and you have turning tables indeed.



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 5th, 2012 4:13pm report


    I see this song as her boyfriend is a murderer. And he killed some person she knew and he is going after Adele, but she wont let him. Adele tries to fight back and move somewhere else where he wont see her. And by saying goodbye to turning tables she means stop killing people.

    BOYFRIENDS PROBLEM: Bipolar disorder



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 1st, 2012 3:42am report


    Agree that the song is about getting out of a relationship in which one constantly puts the other down and makes it so they can never be right. It also sounds like the inflictor is nice and loving one minute then cold and critical another, characterized as "turning tables" on the victim. But while adele may have had a romantic senarioi in mind I believe this song could represt any relationship in which the victim has been abused emotional and is ending the relationship for their own wellbeing; the inflictor's mood changes has given the victim whiplash and their fed up.

    This is exactly what it is about...the girl that described it about a man with narcisitic traits is right to however was a little harsh for me.....



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 27th, 2012 2:17am report


    The term "turning tables" can be interpreted 2 different ways. One is turning the table in an arguement as expressed by previous interpreters and the other is used in the hospitality industry. When a customer is finished eating and they leave, that is called turning a table. I am interpreting as she is in love with someone who is constantly rotating people in and out of his life. Perhaps in a "best friend" situation. Perhaps he has expressed interest in her, but she sees all the other women that have rotated in and out of his life so she is not going to put herself in a positon to be hurt by him so she is letting him know that she cares for him, but isn't going to let him in because he feels that it's inevitable that he will be hurt.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 2nd, 2012 1:36am report


    This song is about me and every other woman in a relationship with a man who has a borderline personality disorder. Look up BLD and the symptoms are lying, playing games and turning table in every situation till your head spins. All she owns is on the floor describes how a person dealing with a BLD lover eventually feels - her whole life and all aspects of her mind and soul is in disarray and scattered. Her statement about being her own savior is exactly what must happen to escape this type of relationship. One must be completely ready to leave independently. No one but you can separate you from him. .



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 1st, 2012 1:09am report


    i think that "i cant keep up with your turning tables" means "i cant keep up with your music" "i cant keep up with your mind" "i can't understand you"

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  12.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 13th, 2011 12:25am report


    What rubish another example of people with no education trying to be empathic by trying to write about their poor emotionaly stunted lives.
    Turning tables makes no sense to put it into contex it is turning the tables,which means
    Reverse the positions of adversaries. The phrases is often used when the weaker position subsequently becomes dominant.
    In other words she is saying she is now the abusive and violent one hence the tables have turned.
    Or as she put it turning tables and not as anyone with an education knows making furniture on a lathe. you can turn out tables or as most of you will probably be doing, cleaning tables or with what ive seen of an education standard here. serving on tables.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  13.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 19th, 2011 11:46pm report


    Close enough to start a war,
    All that I have is on the floor,
    God only knows what we're fighting for,
    All that I say, you always say more,
    {The person who she's with is always fighting with her. I don't think it's a disorder, but something that sometimes happen with couples. And there are people who never admit they are wrong. There are people who wants to take control over everything and starts a fight if they see something just didn't go like they wanted. And when she says "All that I have is on the floor", All that she haves is the relationship, and it's not working}


    I can't keep up with your turning tables,
    Under your thumb, I can't breathe,
    {She's decided not to accept these fightings everyday. Turning tables, for me, has also the meaning of "changing the game to make me lose, to make me feel inferior".}

    So I won't let you close enough to hurt me,
    No, I won't ask you,you to just desert me,
    I cant give you the heart you think you gave me,
    It's time to say goodbye to turning tables,
    To turning tables,
    {Even though she loves him, she's decided to end the relationship. She won't even talk about it because she knows he will try to win the argue, and there's no point. So she's ending it.}

    Under haunted skies I see you, ooh,
    Where love is lost, your ghost is found,
    I braved a hundred storms to leave you,
    As hard as you try, no, I will never be knocked down,
    {It was hard to leave him, because then he got angry at her. He blamed her for everything. She was still in love with him. "Where love is lost, your ghost is found". He wanted her back even not loving her, because he wanted to control her.}

    Next time I'll be braver,
    I'll be my own savior,
    When the thunder calls for me,
    Next time I'll be braver,
    I'll be my own savior,
    Standing on my own two feet,
    {Next time she won't let her lover control her. She'll know her place and will stand to fight for what she believes. She won't be afraid of losing someone she loves again and accept all the control just to keep the relationship. }



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 31st, 2011 10:43am report


    Actually, when I listen to this song I think about the guy who has been molesting me and verbaly abusing me and the struggling i went through trying to stand up to him.



  15.  

    Lucky24
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    Sep 11th, 2011 9:37pm report


    Turning tables is about trying to pt an end to a. Relationship with someone you love so deeply but they emotionally hurt you. It's always hard, as Adele would know, as you can feel the sadness and pain in her voice.

    Verse one-
    "close enough to start a war" refers to the fights they are having, where he always puts her down. Its saying the the argument is heated enough to figuratively start a war.

    "All that I had is on the floor" means that all their love and memories have fallen deep and all that's left is anger.

    "god only knows what were fighting for" means that this has been going in for so long, his constant fighting, that she's starting to lose sense of why they are still fighting

    "all that I say, you always say more" this could be literal of figurative, being that he could always have to have to last word, or the fact that even though she tries to take control, he always ends up having the upperhand over her.

    " I can't keep up with your turning tables, under your thumb I can't breathe." means that it can't go on this way forever, him turning on her all the time, it's keeping her from being happy.

    "so I won't let you close enough to hurt me, but I won't ask you for you to just desert me." is contradicting herself, wanting nothing to do with him anymore, but yet finding herself not wanting to let go.

    "I can't give you what you think you gave me, it's time to say goodbye to turning tables." Is saying that she can't make him love her like he made her love him, so it's time to forget about him.


    Verse two -
    "under haunted skies I see you, where love is lost your ghost is found." is saying that she's trapped in a dark world with him, she can't find any happiness with him anymore, when she goes looking for happy times together she ends up reminiscing about the Melissa they used to share before he got so out of hand.

    "I braved a hundred storms to leave you," means that it was a hard journey to get the guts and will to leave him.

    "as hard you try, no I will never be knocked down." she's refusing to let him get her anymore.


    Verse three
    "next time I'll be braver; I'll be my own saviour, when the thunder calls to me/ standing on my own two feet" she's saying that next time is she finds herself in a similar situation, she'll be stronger and braver and fix it before it's too late.



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 17th, 2011 8:04pm report


    The person who she's singing about seems to have been manipulative and knew exactly how to turn things to get what they want, and make her feel like she doesn't get what she wants because she isn't good enough, when actually they don't deserve her. They have to be in control, and the moment they start to lose it, they use emotional games to get it back. The phrase 'braved many storms to leave you' could be metaphorical for the rages they have at her and the tactics they use to keep her from leaving, or the feelings she feels at having to do it, because your confidence is greatly knocked from being in that sort of relationship, but what comes after the storm is peace and worth 'braving' the storm to get to it. A very inspiring song, and having come out of a relationship very similar to this a few months ago, I relate to it so much.



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 15th, 2011 7:43pm report


    the song means that one day he wants to be with her and the other he wasn't, he turns the table "I won't let you close enough to hurt me" that means that she wants him but she doesn't want him so close because he really is not sure if he wants to be with her, and that hurts her.



  18.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 11th, 2011 6:37am report


    I agree that this song is about an abusive relationship, But I think it's more about what she's taken away from it. While they were at first very close, she was not enough for him in too many ways and through that pain learned that the only way to protect herself was to distance herself from him and all other people that might hurt her...or at least that's what I get from "i won't let you close enough to hurt me" and "next time I'll be braver I'll be my own savior". Thoughts?



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