Florence and the Machine: Heartlines Meaning
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Oh the river, oh the river, it’s running free.
And oh the joy, oh the joy it brings to me.
But I know it’ll have to drown me,
Before I can breathe easy.
And I’ve seen it in the flights of birds,
I’ve seen it in you.
anonymous Aug 20th, 2015 8:16pm report
I heard this song in the shower one day during g the hardest time of my life. My Grandmother was in the hospital fighting for her life. I've never wanted anyrhing more than for her to get better and be okay. This song was screating and reflecting that. It was so grand so tragic and so anthem like, it felt purposely sent to me. I think it would stand powerful on its own if I had heard it under different circumstances, but being what it was, it will remain in my soul as a defining moment.
anonymous May 11th, 2015 5:19pm report
When I first saw the lyrics, I thought it was about suicide. The lyrics /What a thing to do, what a thing to choose,
But know, in some way I'm there with you,
Up against the wall on a Wednesday afternoon/ seem like they're saying that it's a terrible choice, and that the singer is with, and watching over, this person, even when they feel alone. And the cutting lines seem like they're somewhat about self harm, and the lyrics about how we'll carry you there, and the I know you can lines are saying that there are people who care, who will help, and she knows that the person can carry on.
logan.luther.79 Jan 21st, 2014 1:46pm report
I feel like the song tells a story of her with a loved one and at the beginning she drowns, but she wants to keep telling them that she's okay and to keep following their heart even when it's difficult (echoes of a city long overgrown, up against the wall on a Wednesday afternoon) and that she'll be with them. I took the song rather religiously, like she'll be an angel to help guide them through their troubles just like she did before she drowned.
anonymous Jun 16th, 2012 6:21pm report
This is the apex of the song,
"Sometimes I think in order to get to the heart, you have to cut through, but you cant,you can't..." and then Later in the song "Still I follow heartlines on your hand......Your heart is the only place I call home, I cannot be returned...you can, you can, you can," "I CANNOT BE RETURNED is the climax of the song.
This is about a person in love with someone but can't have a relationship with them for whatever reason and the relationship can't run its course or follow the heartlines that they are supposed to. "Sometimes I think in order to get to the heart, you have to cut through, but you cant,you can't..." If it did run its course, like the river then it would probably fizzle out or drown. "But I know it will have to drown me before it can breath easy". But it is held in limbo and the singer is forever in unrequieted love. "In a city long overgrown", kind of trapped in this love for him, but the singer realizes that the person of her love interest isn't caught up the same and can easily move on with their life. "you can, you can." Notice how sadly she sings you can, you can (4X's), almost mourning and sorrowful. But in some way she will always be with him in some sort of way because her heart will always belong to him even on mundain days of the week. "Wednesday afternoon" The chorus is upbeat and she is compelled to follow the heartlines, just as he must do "Cuz I am". Like following the natural flow of life, it can't be helped.
anonymous Mar 19th, 2012 3:34am report
This song is one of my favourites off Ceremonials! I think it's from the POV from a friend or lover of a person who's having a rough time in their lives ("Echoes of a city that's long overgrown") and it's just them saying to keep following their heart and that they'll always be there for them ("In some way I'm there with you").
anonymous Dec 10th, 2011 12:50pm report
The basic meaning behind this song is "keep on following your heart". It's a word play combined with fortunate telling imagery.
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