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Imogen Heap: Hide and Seek Meaning

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where are we? what the hell is going on?
the dust has only just began to fall
crop circles in the carpet, sinking, feeling
spin me around again and rub my eyes
this can't be happening
when busy streets a mess with people would stop to...

  1.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 22nd, 2009 8:09pm report


    this song is about a divorce. possibly an affair and then a divorce. here is why:

    crop circles in the carpet
    [crop circles could mean the indents formed from shoes. pacing? or it could mean empty spots where furniture used to be. he took it with him when he left.]

    when busy streets a mess with people would stop to hold their heads heavy
    [the news leaks fast. people feel bad for her.]

    hide and seek
    [where did he go? a game of love.]

    trains and sewing machines
    [wedding dress train? sewing machines used to make the dress or alter it.]

    all those years
    they were here first
    [the years of their marriage. the good ole days.]

    oily marks appear on walls
    where pleasure moments hung before
    [one of two things: either pictures taken down, or the marks from "pleasure" during the night.]

    Mmmm whatcha say,
    Mmm that you only meant well?
    well of course you did
    [this could refer to his leaving. he meant well.]
    Mmmm whatcha say,
    Mmmm that it's all for the best?
    of course it is
    [leaving is for the best.]
    Mmmm whatcha say?
    Mmmm that it's just what we need
    you decided this
    [they need a "break"]

    ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs
    [excuses. she accuses him of cheating? he is lying to her.]
    speak no feeling no I don't believe you
    you don't care a bit
    [he doesnt care about her anymore.]

    thats how i interpret it.



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 21st, 2009 8:02pm report


    I think the song is about a one-night-stand. "Spin me round again and rub my eyes, this can't be happening"--she cannot believe she was deserted after the night spent together. Crop circles in the carpet could be her pacing, waiting for that call that would assure her she wasn't used. It doesn't come. She has a sinking feeling. "Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth. Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut-outs"-- could refer to how he sweettalked her into getting together that night, but it didn't mean anything because he didn't care a bit about her.



  3.  

    me123456789
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    Aug 18th, 2009 8:53pm report


    When I first heard this song the only thing I could think of was a child moving. And her looking around the house once it everything was gone. "Where are we" is the confussion that comes and the crop circles are the imprints of the furniture and the "oily marks apear on walls where pleasure moments hung before" is the marks that family photos and pictures leave after they are taken off the walls



  4.  

    partysince96
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    Aug 16th, 2009 8:30pm report


    This song is definitely about a little girl who moves from her old house where she had many memories, and then one day comes back to visit her old home.
    Just think about that and listen to the lyrics. it makes o much sense.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 11th, 2009 8:02am report


    I think it's about a woman at the end of a relationship, and it wasn't her choice for it to be over. "The dust has only just begun to fall" suggests that the worst is yet to come. One lyric confused me.."Crop circles in the carpet". You know how when you move a table that has been on a carpet for a long time and there's an indention? I think it's sort of a way of seeing signs of what once was. "Oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before" is either a literal representation of where pictures used to hang, or maybe just, again, her nostalgia of the relationship remaining. The title "Hide and Seek" , to me, suggests that she never really knew the man she loved. Then, at the very end of the song, she says "Mm, what'd you say? That you only meant well? Well of course you did. Mm whatd you say, Mm that it's all for the best, and you decided this?" shows that it was the guy's decision to end it. "What did she say?" suggests another woman's involvement. Go figure.

    I'm no expert, but it's my favorite song and...it's just beautiful. Not only is it powerful and deep, but she sings it accapella, with only voice effects in the background. I think having just her voice symbolizes the lonely mood of the song.

    -Laura McLeod, North Carolina



  6.  

    justfornow
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    Jul 18th, 2009 7:47am report


    I always thought this song was about all the kids in this world who have been abducted and their views about what was happening during the time they were abducted.

    Here's my interpretation:

    Where are we?
    what the hell is going on?
    [they've been taken and have awoken in a strange place]

    the dust has only
    just begun to fall
    [they're so young, they were just beginning their lives]

    Crop circles in the carpet
    [they don't know what to do with their time so they make designs in the carpet with their fingers as they wait for their fate]

    Sinking feeling
    [They're lost and confused so they have a "sinking feeling." which is depression, confusion.]

    Spin me round again
    and rub my eyes
    this can't be happening
    [they can't believe they were abducted]

    when busy streets a mess with people
    would stop to hold their heads heavy
    [everyone who witnessed this person being abducted and didn't do anything about it is now feeling grief as they hear about this person on the news and radio]

    Hide and seek
    [the people who are abducted are "hiding" and their parents and everyone who's trying to find them are "seeking"]

    Trains and sewing machines
    [possibly sounds that the people who are abducted are hearing]

    All those years
    They were here first
    [I had a life before you took me away from it]

    oily marks appear on walls
    where pleasure moments hung before
    [it's been years since the person had been taken and people are slowly starting to forget about him/her]

    the takeover
    [the person's life has been taken over and changed by the person who abducted them]

    the sweeping insensitivity
    [the person who abducted them has no feelings]

    of this
    still life
    [their life is going no where since they were abducted]

    Hide and seek
    [they're "hiding" while people are "seeking" to find them'

    trains and sewing machines
    [noises they hear]

    (you won't catch me around here)
    [people keep looking in the wrong places]

    Blood and tears
    They were here first
    [the amount of blood and tears they shed are nothing compared to how many they shed now]

    mm what d'cha say?
    mm that you only meant well
    well of course you did
    mm what d'cha say?
    mm that it's all for the best
    of course it is
    mm what d'cha say?
    hmmm that it's just what we need
    and you decided this?
    ooh what d'cha say?
    [the person who abducted them are saying they abducted them for a "good reason" and the person who was abducted is saying "we didn't have a choice, so how could it be for a good reason?"]

    mmmm what did she say?
    [the person who was abducted is saying "listen to us"]

    Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    [the abducter is trying to get people to pay money in order to get their loved one back]

    Mid sweet talk
    [there were two people working together that abducted these people and one of them doesn't want to be a part of it anymore so he's trying to be nice to the people he abducted]

    newspaper word cut outs
    [all the "missing persons" articles that people are cutting out]

    Speak no feeling no I don't believe you
    you don't care a bit
    [the "nice" abducter is trying to apologize and the people who were abducted don't believe him]



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 28th, 2009 6:12am report


    One interpretation that I've come up with is that she is referring to how our society has gotten colder and greedier because of money and technology.
    Trains and sewing machines are referring to technology and she's saying "blood and tears" and "we" were here first, meaning people in general.
    She describes people in busy streets with their heads heavy. Like they are all crammed together, but they're all lonely. She describes society "sweeping with insensitivity."
    Then at the end, she says "That you don't care a bit," and "It's all for the best you say." referring to how we are eager for more technology and yet, with each step, we seem to get colder and more insensitive to each other.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 25th, 2009 6:38pm report


    I've look on the internet for interpretations since the first time I heard this song. No one knows exactly what it's about but I've seen some excellent ideas.
    Imogen Heap never said what this song was really about that's why it's still a mystery.
    I think she ment for this song to be interpretated in many different ways.
    It's so versitile, and I've seen so many ideas.



  9.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 12th, 2009 6:34am report


    its about the holocaust.
    the jews hiding from the nazis, the trains to take them to camps, the sewing machines to sew on the yellow stars, "mm... what did yousay?" speaking to the nazis sarcastically, "hold their heads heavy" the scar across humanity and people once revealed everyone feels guilt and sadness, its a amazing song, and so meaningful. i played thsi to a group of histrians and mentioned the holocaust interpretation and there was not a dry eye. Its about great loss, and the song to me, reflects only one thing. The holocaust.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 8th, 2009 6:33pm report


    i think there are many possible interpretations (as artists usually like it)... but the one that i like the most is when you think of it as a situation where a wife is being left for another woman... but you think of it from both their perspectives at once...



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 6th, 2009 6:46pm report


    Isn't this about the holocaust?



  12.  

    anonymous
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    May 30th, 2009 5:57pm report


    This song is about the native american losing their land, trains and sewing machines were part of the white settlers arsenal, they were here first.



  13.  

    meggie90
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    May 7th, 2009 5:20pm report


    This song first plays as a love ballad, but if you listen closer you can see that it is about the Holocaust.

    -Where are we?
    -What the hell is going on?
    This is the Jews being marched into the concentration camps and feeling the fright of the German takeover.
    The trains are the transportation means that Jews were taken to the camps in. The sewing machines that the jews had to use to sew the star of david onto all of their clothes.
    The song refers the times when the familes were happy and not in suffering. The oily marks on the walls were from family photographs that hung before the nazi invasions.
    The "sweeping insensitivites" are that of the emotionless soldiers that ruined so many lives. The song reflects the deep pain and suffering of this tragic time in history.
    "What'd you say? That its all for the best?"--this refers the the views of those distorted and twisted minds that believed Jews needed to become extinct.

    Just my thoughts



  14.  

    chicky86
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    Apr 9th, 2009 4:25pm report


    I don't know why I felt like this the first time I heard this song but I felt like it was about nature and how humans are so cruel to other living things and forget that this is world is one very large community and that we should respect animals all creatures and nature (trees etc). I don't know why. Lol. I stretched it a little huh? It didn't even match up with all the meanings. The fact that it matched very well on some was enough.

    I'm not even big on like the whole green/nature lover thing, I mean its a good and has it's place--- but I was driven to tears when I heard the line "blood and tears, they were here first"
    and recalled reading this article about animals being tortured for our benefit (medicine, drugs). The trees being chopped down--wasted. Stacks of paper unused in my closet. It's sick really. Anyway that was my interpretation. I like a lot of these other ones too.

    Oh and I totally got the Bush thing, I was imagining whoever this advocate for the world was that would sing this song would be talking to him (even though I don't blame him for everything, that would be stupid) but they would be saying that last bit
    " Mmmm whatcha say,
    Mmm that you only meant well?
    well of course you did
    Mmmm whatcha say,
    Mmmm that it's all for the best?
    of course it is
    Mmmm whatcha say?
    Mmmm that it's just what we need
    you decided this..."

    I really don't blame Bush for everything, he's probably not that bad of a guy obviously. It would be entirely unfair to blame the man for everything. I hate that this turned political but that's what I felt about this song. Sorry Bush.

    Anyway great song.



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 26th, 2009 2:50pm report


    I heard somewhere about this song talking about the Holocaust - and the lyrics do seem to reflect that, plus its tonality.

    Start from 'Oily marks on the wall.' That refers to blood on the walls.

    And 'Where pleasure moments hung before the takeover.' That refers to the happiness of the people before Nazi Germany came for them and creates the oily marks on the wall.

    'The sweeping insensability of this still life.' That clearly refers to the thoughtless destruction of the lives of so many unfortunate people living in Nazi Germany at the time.

    'Hide and seek' - when the Jews and others had to go into hiding.

    'Trains and sewing machines' - The trains which shipped millions of people to concentration camps and placing them in slave labor.

    'All those years' - the long time that the people were imprisioned under the horror.

    'They were here first' - that speaks of how the persecuted were living there first - giving them no right to be taken over in such a way.

    'Blood and tears' - It's the first explicit mention of what went on during the Holocaust.

    And even into the 'Dear Sister' section of the song - it still has meaning, this time tackling Hitler's intentions.

    'Mmm- what'd you say? That you only meant well? Well of course you did. Mmm - what'd you say? That it's all for the best? Of course it is.' - Hitler said that by cleansing the world of minorities of all types, Jews, gays, gypsies, that it would be a better place.

    'Mmm- what'd you say? That this is just what we need? Well you decided this.' - Again, an attack on Hitler's justification of the slaughter, that he was cleansing the world.

    'Oh you don't care a bit. You don't care a bit.' - By now, this should be self explanatory.

    Hide and Seek in itself is a dark song, surrounded by a mournful voice, and one of anger.






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