A Perfect Circle: Blue Meaning
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Song Released: 2004
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I just didn't want to know
Best to keep things in the shallow end
Cause I never quite learned how to swim
I just didn't want to know
Didn't want, didn't want,
Didn't want, didn't want
Close my eyes just to look at...
This song is about allowing yourself to being blinded to what's going on with those around you. The person being sung to is killing him/herself, or is already dead, and the singer is too busy to even notice.
Maynard says in the commentary that he found himself in this situation dating a girl. His friends told him that she was strung out on drugs and he denied it, only to find himself taking a closer look at her and realizing that his friends were right. He had been obvlivious to her state the entire time, not realizing she was killing herself right in front of his eyes.
anonymous Oct 16th, 2014 10:54pm report
It's the perfect ph balance in any covalent or ionic bond.
anonymous Mar 2nd, 2014 3:19am report
The meaning of smoke in the saying "Where there's smoke, there's fire" I am sure is what the smoke is a reference to. Call an optimist means that rather than calling anyone who could actually render any sort of actual assistance, the person from whose perspective the song is sung wants the denial reinforced, and that is furthered by the "such a lovely color" line.
I am not sure that there is an actual specific circumstance upon which the song is based. It seems like it may predominately be a song about that sort of extreme impregnable denial in general.
anonymous Oct 6th, 2013 10:41pm report
I`didnt want to know = stay in the shallow end = I close my eyes to look at you (if I close my eyes to see you, your image is just the one I already have in my mind, not your real image. So I don`t really want to see you/to know).
Ignore de smoke = goes in the same way as I didn`t want to know.
Call an optimist, she is turning blue (something is wrong)
such a lovely color for you (instead of focus solving the problem I just "look away" putting my attention in secondary things (whether the blue is a lovely color for her doesn`t help her to solve the problem).
I just sit and stare at you because I didn`t want to know (I did nothing to help)
Mistook her nods for a approval (I feel comfort since she is ok with me doing nothing to help/but since the nods are mistook it is not real, but very convenient for me).
anonymous Aug 27th, 2012 8:51pm report
The song is about a woman who goes insane because her boyfriend and or husband died. She must have went to his funeral before that, then when he was all put in a grave, she put a blue flower on the grave, like its shown in the video. She is in denial of his death and she misses him so much, she is in disbelief that he is not living anymore. So she then becomes a grave digger and spends all night digging him out of his grave. She pretended he was alive and even had supper with him. She was having dinner with a corpse. Then she goes to kiss him and takes his hand to touch her down there after she ate. She didn't want to know that he was dead, so she went insane as she was in disbelief.
Most people think this song is about Maynard's girlfriend who was on drugs but I don't at all.
It's about his mothers funeral,
"best to keep things in the shallow end, because i never quite learned how to swim" how people want to help him with his grieving but he keeps it short because hes uncomfortable.
"ignore the smoke and smile" the incense catholics burn in that little ball as the body is carried out.
anonymous Jun 11th, 2009 6:23am report
I like the top rated interpretation, and totally agree with it, and im not sure anyone said anything about the "blue" thing.
my thought is "she is turning blue" is like she keeps denying being on drugs til she blue in the face and the guy is just like ok and accepts but also theres the "call the optimist" part, kinda weird but like hes saying call a optimist because they'd see the bright side of what the girl is saying, while he is just ignoring it.
haha probably repeating stuff but whatever.
Well I can't guess what the author had in mind but this song has a powerful effect on me because it fits perfectly with one of the worst days of my life. As a 7 year old i woke up one morning and found my mom dead on the couch. I was so scared that i couldn't do anything. "I didnt want to know". I knew something was wrong but couldn't come to entertain the fact that she was dead. "just ignore the smoke and smile".
anonymous Sep 11th, 2008 9:10am report
The sound of the song is kind of hypnotic. Like spiraling in a circle kind of weird way.
Anyways I think in the chorus I think Maynard is saying "Calling out too much, she's turning blue" not "Call an optimist" or "call it aftermath" whatever those would mean (I don't hear any "M" in the chorus for aftermath or any "P" for optimist). This could go with the denial of someone you know and their addiction and overdose by the old Cry Wolf story. The addicted person is calling out for help but everyone is in denial of it, or they think it's a false alarm and don't worry about it.
And they just slip farther away, or maybe even die because it is easier to live life in denial and without worry. We'll trick ourselves in whatever way we can to not see the truth sometimes.
anonymous May 17th, 2008 5:03pm report
For me.. I think of mother earth every time I hear this song. This may not have been what PC had in mind but I think it fits. Just ignore the smoke and smile.
anonymous Mar 8th, 2008 3:17am report
The song is about a child who can't find his blue crayon and tries mixing colours to make it seem blue..... Thus he gets happy and starts singing........call an optimist she's turning blue!!
anonymous Feb 14th, 2008 2:49am report
There's actually no need to interpret the song. On the aMOTION DVD, Maynard states that the song is about his mother. She suffered a stroke and was practically paralyzed. Maynard watched her die basically, but refused to admit that she was dying. He couldn't cope with the pain of losing her, he "Never quite learned how to swim"
Anyone remember the Kitty Genovese story a few years back. A women who was murdered outside her apartment while 40 people watched and did nothing. The killing took over 30 minutes and no one intervened or even called the police. Great media coverage though. This isn't a direct metaphor to that incident, but similar.
People will watch others die, and enjoy it. They'll "sit and stare at you" as you drown (turn blue). In this song, he doesn't want to know how to swim to save this drowning person. He's too afraid to save her, despite nothing to fear. And the regret that follows, the drugs to forget
Maybe watching someone kill themselves with drugs or alcohol. I've seen it. We all just assume they are going to be fine. We watch them gradually "drown" themselves with their intoxicant and being to afraid to help people. Sounds sick but its a common human trait and everyone is guilty of it.
anonymous Jul 15th, 2007 7:59pm report
She's dying right in front of him (turning blue) and he's in denial about the fact that the things she's doing are killing her (drugs/alcohol et al.) "keep things in the shallow end" b/c he doesn't want to give any deep thought to WHY she's turning blue he'd rather think about how pretty she looks. "ignore the smoke and smile" b/c he sees the evidince of her problem all around and ignores it. "mistook their nods for an aproval" b/c they were trying to tell him that she was killing herself and he thought they were agreeing with "what a perfect color" blue was.
anonymous Feb 20th, 2007 2:44am report
sorry if this is a waste of a post, but I couldn't not comment on the following: I just think it's funny how he says, "best to keep things in the shallow end, because I never quite learned how to swim..." when he really can't swim. It's on the commentary to 3 libras. Maybe he should heed his own advice and LEARN TO SWIM. jk.
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