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Christina Perri: Human Meaning

Song Released: 2013

Human Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I can hold my breath
I can bite my tongue
I can stay awake for days
If that's what you want
Be your number one
I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part
If that's what you ask
Give you all I am



    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Apr 26th 2014 report

    This is a song about an emotionally abusive relationship. She wants to give her partner everything, do anything they ask, be anything they need (which let's be real is pretty unhealthy, codependent behavior). The person she is singing to takes full advantage of this, pushing her away (hence the lyrics "I can stay away for days/If that's what you want") and then pulling her close again, making more relationship demands ("I can dance and play the part/If that's what you ask"). She needs to "hold the weight of worlds," being responsible for all of her partner's needs, while never criticizing her partner ("I can hold my breath/I can bite my tongue"). The lyrics "Your words in my head, knives in my heart/You build me up and then I fall apart" is about how her partner tells her she is wonderful and perfect but then in the next minute/hour/day blames her for everything going wrong, putting metaphorical knives into her heart. If you've been in a relationship like this you know how the ugly words can echo in your head for days.

    As the song goes on, the refrain changes from just "I can do it" to "I can do it/I'll get through it" until finally she sings: "I can take so much/'Til I've had enough." She cannot really make everything perfect by giving all the time while her partner pushes her away, pulls her close, makes demands, verbally abuses her and then blames her for everything. She is only human. This relationship is hurting her and she can't take it anymore.

    If breakup mix CDs were a thing this would be on mine.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 4th 2014 report

    She basically is going through an abusive relationship and is singing this to her boyfriend saying that she will do things for him,whatever he wants,but she is only human,and she has feelings,and she can get hurt.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 5th 2015 report

    The first time I heard this song I thought it was talking about how since she's a celebrity and all these people are judging her, she's telling them that she's only human and that she can only take so much of them judging her.

    The I interpreted it in a different way...

    I interpret this song as her giving everything she has to the one person she loves in the whole world, and she would do absolutely anything for her lover. Since she's willing to do anything for him, he takes advantage of that and makes her happy and then just destroys her, just because he can. This song is then telling him that she's only human, and she can only take so much.

  4. anonymous
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    May 23rd 2021 report

    I think she is struggling to stand under the weight of something she was not built to carry… she is asking for help but realizes no one was there… she kept the failures and pain to herself as long as she could… some things are just way to heavy. She ran all the way , in the dark….hoping to find that light she so desperately needed

  5. anonymous
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    Dec 17th 2020 report

    I have had something like this happen to me shes saying that theres all these people around her telling her to do this and that and telling her how she should be and telling her what to do and overall just micro manageing her life and shes trying to tell hem that shes only human hence he can only take so much but for me this reminds me of a friend of mine we were good friends but we always fought she would always make me cry and one day she told me didnt matter and I believed her I cried for hours and I cry everytime I think about it because I ended our friendship and I emailed her every so often and she would always tell me it wasnt her fault that I qoute unqoute "Misinterpreted what I meant" and one time I remeber I got so angry I yelled at her and I told her I hated her which is true because almost all of my insecruitres come from her and then I haave a different friend well fake friend and she came up to me one day and told me she didnt like the way I was and told me to change myself or else she wouldnt e my friend anymore she was my best friend so I listened to her and I tried to change myself she had told me three weeks three days later she comes up to me after school and says that I havent changed t all so shes not gonna be my friend anymore then she laughed and walked away onto the bus that we rode together I went on the bus bawling and my other friend sked me what was wrong and I told her and she tried to talk to my friend who told me to change but she wouldnt listen and most of my insecruites come from those two

  6. anonymous
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    Oct 23rd 2020 report

    This song represents a relationship with a narcissist. Doing everything to keep them happy, but it’s never enough for them. She is human, and just can’t take the abuse anymore

  7. anonymous
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    Sep 11th 2020 report

    She keeps coming back to the person that has no love for her just because she cannot turn down the fact that she loves that person. She knows it's never gonna end(the fake smiles, the pain). But she's only human, she has a heart that can be hurt and she can't take it anymore.

  8. anonymous
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    Aug 17th 2020 report

    I think it means that the one that she loves is using her and verbally abusing her and that she can only take so much before she has enough. Also I think that she is willing to give her lover everything and that he is taking advantage of that.

  9. anonymous
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    Jun 19th 2020 report

    I think it's about her getting bullied in primary/high school and she says "I can take so much / till I've had enough..." meaning she has taken the bullying with her chin high and suddenly she lashes out against the bullies.

  10. anonymous
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    Feb 3rd 2020 report

    When you know the actual meaning behind this song it is really sad. To me I think that this song means her boyfriend/husband has been cheating on her and has been lying to her saying that he hasn’t been cheating on her. It could also mean that she is tired of her boyfriend/husband lying to her about anything and really doesn’t want to deal with it. Then he pushes her away and brings her close again and verbally abuses her. I know that I said “her” a lot in this message but I don’t really know how to spell her name.

  11. anonymous
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    Sep 21st 2019 report

    I think it's some sad friendship or relationship that is haunting her, making her sad

  12. anonymous
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    Aug 30th 2019 report

    You can be who you want to be no one can stop or judge you for you you are. I think this song is sad because it's about a relationship with a man and he might not like her back. This song is really good when you know it well so don't judge anything.

    I strongly think this song is about people pushing others to go over their self line. Anyone can be who they want, so don't stop people. Never be rude to someone or toy will get it back.

  13. anonymous
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    Jan 4th 2019 report

    she is experiencing SONGWRITERS BLOCK! IT'S so obvious! It's about the pressure of the music world, and all the expectations and stress put on her to have a new hit single, or be on the TOP 100 Billboard chart thingamajig.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  14. anonymous
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    Oct 29th 2018 report

    I think she gets bullied about getting called a robot.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  15. anonymous
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    Jul 14th 2018 report

    I think the important about being a human to be like grandmas and even aunts, sometimes when I get older I might get a human being like Jonah, and Steve! Especially Taylor. Because Taylor is my best friend, and we can both like teenagers, but we graduated! We’re close to each other. Because she and I have the same church as mine, and sometimes I got in tech! In tech if I will be a human, that’s fine with myself, and to my parents.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  16. AshD
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    May 9th 2018 report

    I think this song is about people pushing others to go over their self line. People only have a limit, but we are only human at the end of the day. We are not cheetahs, or birds, or even gorillas. We are nothing but a species that is different than other species are.

  17. anonymous
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    Apr 27th 2018 report

    It depends on the way you look at it. To me, it seems that she is trying to be someone she isn’t, and can’t keep it up. It’s like a mask. You can have it on for so long before you have to take it off. I see it as a way I feel. It sounds like a girl that is too hopeful to realize she is being used, like in the term way like a teen/child relationship. You can be having high hopes, but it can come crashing down last minute too. It’s sad, but can be the truth. It can also be like a relationship between friends too. You can only be lied to for so long before, as she puts it, “I can take so much ‘Till I’ve had enough and I bleed when I fall down” and “your words in my head knives in my heart” it sounds like it can be both a relationship of love, or like being quote unquote “backstabbed” by your friend’s you trust with anything, like a deep dark secret that they would be the only ones to know. (Coming from my experiences too. And my 13 years have been harsh with these things as well.)

  18. anonymous
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    Dec 27th 2017 report

    Christiana is trying to tell us we are all only human, we can take so much until we brake down. She also tells us humans have feelings, can get hurt, and can take so much.

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