What does Smoke and Mirrors mean?

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Gotye: Smoke and Mirrors Meaning

Song Released: 2011

Smoke and Mirrors Lyrics

You're a fraud and you know it
But it's too good to throw it all away
Anyone would do the same
You've got 'em going
And you're careful not to show it
Sometimes you even fool yourself a bit
It's like magic
But it's always been a smoke and...

  1. anonymous
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    Apr 26th 2017 report

    I have interpreted this song to be about a young person being a stripper. They put on a facade and give the people a show but they feel shame, hence the constant questioning "Mother, are you watching?"

  2. anonymous
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    Apr 12th 2016 report

    "You're a fraud and you know it"...refers to the ancient technique of "fake it till you make it"; i.e. managing to create a job/persona that succeeds, but on the inside always wondering when people will see through the illusion and realize you really don't know what the hell you're doing and you're making it up as you go along. Although there are times that you get the performance going so well you believe you actually are that good...for a few moments.

    "You're desperate to deliver"...as long as people are pleased with what you are doing and you get the praise, that's a form of reassurance that you're doing the right thing...a form of acceptance and approval.

    The repeated refrain of "Mother....are you watching?" reinforces the desire for approval from parents. Anyone who's gotten stuck in the approval feedback loop is very familiar with the highs and lows that are created by the cycle of rejection/approval.

    This is effectively a song written by a child of narcissistic parents.

  3. anonymous
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    Feb 27th 2013 report

    This song is about a girl- just wanting the guy for his money- and once she gets it, she goes to entertain for other guys and their money

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  4. anonymous
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    Aug 6th 2012 report

    It's about feeling like a fraud as an artist. How much of your work (in his case music) is real, how much have you exaggerated and added meaning too that might not be genuine. But you reason that it's ok because your performance gives people pleasure. And now that he's made it big, does he continue to produce the same kind of work to please people or does he take the chance and do different things to stay true to himself?

  5. anonymous
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    May 26th 2012 report

    The song is about his mother being a stripper, and how she was on stage
    "Mother, are you watching?"
    Not completely sure if this is the true meaning, but my brother told me and it makes sense.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  6. anonymous
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    May 24th 2012 report

    Its about being fake but too involved in putting on a front for everyone, to change their ways. everything is complicated and not easy and in the end its more of a how can you look at yourself and not even know who you are.

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