Florence and the Machine: Seven Devils Meaning
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Song Released: 2011
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Seven Devils Lyrics
Holy water cannot help you now
A thousand armies couldn't keep me out
I don't want your money
I don't want your crown
See I have to tell you
You're a ...
Holy water cannot help you now
See I've come to burn your kingdom...
anonymous Oct 22nd, 2014 10:54pm report
This song could be (literally) about the 'seven deadly' sins that all people struggle with in their daily lives and that tear apart relationships. The nasty little things that cause evil and corruption in a persons life.
The devils are the tempting thoughts that urge people to 'give in,' and do evil. They don't want your money, or your kingdom, or riches, but to corrupt and steal your happiness and your soul. 'Holy water can't help you now' because in the end it's up to the person being tempted to decide their choices, they can't hide behind anything. Not a 'thousand armies,' not other people, only yourself.
All people, in relationships, in their jobs, and in their own heads, are always being assaulted to some degree by negative thoughts or urges that can be detrimental to them and those around them if they give in to those feelings. Unrestrained Lust leads to unfaithfulness and assault, Wrath can blind you and cause others harm, envy leaves you unsatisfied, greed can make you loose sight of truly important things in life, sloth (laziness) keeps you from your potential, gluttony keeps you from ever being satisfied and pride causes ignorance and false ego.
Sin is considered to make a person spiritually 'dead', hence the lyrics 'I was dead when I woke up this morning and I'll be dead before the day is done'. Florence is stating the dark truth that these evils are always there and that people regularly participate in them; making you dead when you wake up, and, because even after realizing that you shouldn't do something people still do it, you are dead when the day is done.
The song is a warning to be aware of the dark part of your mind, to acknowledge that is exists and what it can do to you so that you can try to fight it down before it kills your joy and steals your life. The lines 'it takes your heart, and it takes your soul,' describe this. While the lines 'its a battle cry' depict a persons internal struggle. 'it's a symphony' tells of how ingrained it truly is in a persons life, having already become part of someone's "song of life" and making it seem more appealing to draw people in.
anonymous Aug 27th, 2014 8:59pm report
It sounds like she is getting revenge on someone.
"Holy water cannot help you now
Thousand armies couldn't keep me out
I don't want your money
I don't want your crown
See I've come to burn your kingdom down"
Someone has done something to her and now there is nothing they can do to stop her from getting back at them.
"For what has been done
Cannot be undone
In the evil's heart
In the evil's soul"
They have already done something and they can't take it back and now she is out for revenge.
I saw in another interpretation that is sounds like revenge and after listening to it again a couple times and seeing the lyrics this is what is sounds like to me also. Hope this helps :)
anonymous Jul 5th, 2014 7:45pm report
I take this as a direct challenge to Christianity/Catholocism in the way that the Seven Devils are what religion uses to control you(Seven deadly sins). We are all manifested by these same "Seven Devils" but only the Church offers a path to overcome. Florence is wiser and stronger than all of that in her infinite grasp of the universe and the powers at play and is leading the charge. Biblical imagery like that of "thousand armies" cannot keep Truths most ardent warrior out. Some of Gods own greatest creations(rivers and lakes) won't be able to save them from this onslaught. A nod to the materialistic irony of this organized religion, she states she doesn't want all their riches or their Gods crown just to make them no longer exist so we can all see the truth. Only thing missing here is a flood and an Ark.
With triumph comes all effects of Christianity being removed("All of your love will be exorcised"), as if a demon itself and we'll be freed from the fear of the devils and the Churches control. Only then will all of their "sayings"(The Gospels)be realized by the world as hate and evil which is the paradox to Love and Good.
Shes playing Devils Advocate and saying Christianity is actually evil and she's gonna smoke it out. Fear the Florence! Such a powerful piece! Instant favorite.
anonymous May 8th, 2014 5:00pm report
"Seven Devils" is a story of an uncontrollable and incomprehensible anger in a desperate attempt to convey Florence's own helplessness to her emotions. The seven devils refer to the biblical account of St. Mary Magdalene, who, as a prostitute, was possessed by seven devils that left her without her freedom or desire to do good. Only after Jesus exorsiced these demons was Mary Magdalene able to regain her self control and express thankfulness to her Savior, becoming a saint after her death due to her good works. Florence expresses this anger and uncontrollable drive to destroy in the form of the story of Mary Magdalene and the Seven Devils. However, unlike St. Magdalene, Florence does not overcome her demons, but succumbs to them, saying she will "be dead before the day is done," perhaps succumbing helplessly and happily now that she has been avenged.
anonymous May 4th, 2014 5:36pm report
It is righteous destruction to the point of utterly annihilating one's existence. To kill is not enough; every last bastion of one's influence and achievement shall be completely obliterated. This is the only way to begin to move beyond the evil one has done, and the only way to restore balance. The seven devils are from the Bible, being the seven demons that plagued Mary Magdalene. We are told her affliction was so severe it was entirely debilitating, in effect destroying her life and identity. Only exorcism by the Messiah restored her humanity. In context, nothing short of define intervention can keep the punishment of ultimate torment from eradicating your being. I bring it now.
anonymous Feb 12th, 2014 2:23am report
I don't know the actual meaning, but is the soundtrack on a chapter of TV serie "revenge" and it's amazing how it fits the situation.
darkevee1030 Aug 3rd, 2013 8:13pm report
i think its about 1.) it's about the evil or madness a man can have and when she said "she burn you kindom down" is meaning that it will destory everything you have 2.)it about you sins and evil a man can do. in both terms when she sang she "smoke you out" it means that it can follow you where you ever you go and you can't run away from it and holy water can't save you now it means either you've gone to far or that the deed was so evil nothing can wash it away. and basically when she say "she is dead in the mourning and is dead before the day is done means she either commited suside or she is planning to do it or people know what happened and is rioting up.
In my understanding it's about The ENEMY in our own minds that takes on 7 forms of evil. It is saying that man made religions(holy water) help us and armies(religion) cannot keep him out. 7 Devils all around us and inside of our house is like saying they are inside of our minds and our thoughts create them to manifest in our lives. All of our love will be exorcised(we be made weak to see how strong our love really is)
They can keep me alive til i tear the walls
til i slave your hearts and take your souls mean we give these devils the power by feeding them with fear, anger, revenge, selfishness, pride and it steals our souls. And then it's asking, can it be undone?
anonymous Mar 16th, 2013 3:01am report
I think Seven Devils is about a relationship/love (of any kind, not just romantic) that is killing the girl. "All your love will be exorcised" is her about to get rid of the source of her pain. "We will find all your saints to be canonized" the addictions/vices/faults of the other person will become hers or she'll start recognizing them, because once she's taken her revenge or gotten rid of the other person, she'll become a devil herself. I think that's why the last stanzas changed from "seven devils a all around ME" to "seven devils all around YOU" and from "They were there when I woke up this morning" to "I was dead when I woke up this morning". She's done things that "cannot be undone" and now she's a devil, she's dead in her soul and she knows it; she just waiting for the rest of her to follow. "I was dead when I woke up this morning; I'll be dead before the day is done."
anonymous Feb 26th, 2013 2:10pm report
While I am a Christian person, I don't think that this song has very much to do with religion. Someone stated before that it seems more like she's out to get someone. And the more I listen to it, the more it sounds like she is after someone for hurting her.
I think this song is about her revenge on someone who hurt her.
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