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Imogen Heap: Hide and Seek Meaning

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Hide and Seek Lyrics

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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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    Jan 24th, 2009 1:19am report


    Guys Seriously?

    this beautiful song was written about the holocaust... a lot of familys had to go into hiding just as anne frank did! and the parents during this time would tell their kids that they're playing "hide and seek"

    where are we?
    what the hell is going on?
    the dust has only just begun to form
    crop circles in the carpet
    sinking feeling
    (this verse is the confusion going through a child's mind, when their parents tell them they're moving)



    spin me round again
    and rub my eyes,
    this can't be happening
    when busy streets amass with people
    would stop to hold their heads heavy
    (this verse is talking about hitler's rise to power, he first started giving speeches on te streets and the people would stop what they're doing and listen)


    hide and seek
    trains and sewing machines
    all those years
    they were here first
    (the chorus is about the famalies hiding from the nazi solders)


    oily marks appear on walls
    where pleasure moments hung before the takeover,
    the sweeping insensitivity of this still life
    ("The oily marks on the walls,where pleasure moments hung before the takeover" are the Swastika signs the they would paint over almost everything, these signs SWEPT all over not careing who they hurt... and the still life is refering back to the hidding)


    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
    whatcha say?
    Mmmm what did she say?
    (this part is reffering to what hitler said in his speeches, he truly thought he was doing good)


    ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs
    speak no feeling no I don't believe you
    you don't care a bit,
    you don't care a bit
    (this part to the end of the song is the threats given out by hitler to scare people out of hiding, and eventually he started to sweet talk the peop;e out of their homes promising they would be safe)


    I majored in holocaust studies, I know what I'm talking about



  2.  

    willydan
    click a star to vote
    Jan 9th, 2009 1:15am report


    I actually thought this was about world war 2, with the woman running away from the nazis because she is jewish and stating that Hitler doesn't care what happens to them.



  3.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 12th, 2008 11:22am report


    I research the meaning of the song about a year ago and I see that there are several new views on some of the lyric’s phrases.

    Lying dormant in my play-list for several months, after the listen it twice I suddenly thought of an alternative interpretation and would like to share it with you.

    It also seems like the experience of a child’s parents who are liquidated. This process usually involves the selling of furniture and motor vehicles and moving to a new residence. This will also result in other people moving in and living in the child’s home.

    Since the child’s parents are struggling financially, the child’s parent maybe have taken up extra work at a clothing factory and the child has to wait at the factory after school for his/her mother/father shift to end.

    Having no car or cab money will mean that they have to make use public transport such as trains and may spend several hours on them.

    The child is also not be comforted by his or her parent’s words.



  4.  

    lfernando
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    Oct 29th, 2008 10:17am report


    I think this song is about divorce, but from the perspective of the children.

    I think in this song, her parents got divorced and she had to leave her home. So, more specifically, this song describes she going back to her childhood home.

    Where are we?
    what the hell is going on?
    (she goes back into her house and everything is different)

    the dust has only
    just begun to fall
    Crop circles in the carpet
    (the dust is now falling on new furniture, making new circles on the carpet)

    Sinking feeling
    (its sinking on her, she's realizing this is no longer her house)

    Spin me round again
    and rub my eyes
    this can't be happening
    (she remembers the time she spent as a child in this home, it happened so quickly)

    when busy streets a mess with people
    would stop to hold their heads heavy


    Hide and seek
    Trains and sewing machines
    (again, reference so her childhood. maybe she had a toy train in her room and her mom used to sew or she had a toy sewing machine. Also, "hide and seek" its the childhood game where you get to know every little corner of your home, and it can also refer to the fleeting memories hidden in every corner)

    All those years
    They were here first
    (all the years she and her family spend on this house were here first)

    oily marks appear on walls
    where pleasure moments hung before
    the takeover
    (there's oil painting on the walls, where before pictures of her and her family used to be. Before the TAKEOVER, before the new patrons moved in)

    the sweeping insensitivity of this still life
    (the painting is still life, but the pictures were actual moments)

    Hide and seek
    trains and sewing machines (you won't catch me around here)
    Blood and tears
    They were here first
    (blood and tears, good and bad moments, were here first)

    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?
    mmmm what did she say?
    (this is probably a representation of what she was told when her parents split up, it's all for the best, then only mean well, its what they need...but nobody asked her opinion, "you decided this")

    Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    Mid sweet talk newspaper word cut outs
    (this is again living with her divorced parents, she's been held hostage and she just wants to go back to her house to the way things were before)
    Speak no feeling no I don't believe you
    you don't care a bit
    you
    don't care a bit
    (she ends on a sour note saying that they don't care about what she has to say or her feelings on this. Its just a house after all)



  5.  

    MethOds
    click a star to vote
    Oct 28th, 2008 10:44pm report


    The original interpretation is entirely apt. All of the ones that follow may have been an afterthought, but were not the primary focus of these lyrics. Thanks to the person that took the time. I just couldn't get the 'trains' part.
    It is definitely not related to 9/11. Those of you who think so are clutching at straws - about 10% of the lyrics could possibly correspond with that event.
    On a more liberal note, music is there to be interpreted subjectively too - so whatever works for you :)



  6.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 21st, 2008 10:06pm report


    Ok I guess I'll throw in my two cents worth:

    I recently tripped acid to this song (I know it sounds bad, but hear me out!). It was the first time I'd ever heard it and my mind created this story of a man and woman meeting, falling in love, having a family and then there was a fight and they separated. This is pretty dead on with the interpretation shown...try listening to this song after a couple hits, you'll know what I'm talking about lol

    Good interp!



  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 11th, 2008 10:05am report


    This is obviously about the Holocaust....
    "the dust has only just began to form"
    (the holocaust has only just began.)

    "hide ans seek"
    ( the nazis seeking the jews, the jews hiding)

    "all those years, they were here first"
    (all the yearsthe jews were there before the nazis)

    "trains and sewing machines"
    ( trains in which the jews were forced to travel in, and sewing machines to sew on a symbol of your race e.g nazi symbol or jewsih star)

    "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
    whatcha say?"
    ( the nazis thought they were doing the right thing, by killing jews, this section is particularly sarcastic)

    "ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs"
    ( saying the nazis threatened the jews with life as their ransom notes and they also believd that if they killed enough they would obtain power, mis-sweet talk meaning the false sweet talk to get the jews on trains and trucks telling them they would go to other cities and then sending them to concentration and extermination camps were they wouls be most likely killed. newspaper word cutouts, the headlines about the jews, people cutting them out and tyring to peice the puzzle together and showin people not forgetting by saving the newspaper clippings.)

    "speak no feeling no I don't believe you
    you don't care a bit,
    you don't care a (you don't care a) bit"
    ( the nazis didn't think about their feelings and had no heart they didn't care at all about the jews, they just didn't care. not one bit.)

    i can see the lovestory slightly but, it just makes a lot more sense to me when it's about the holocaust. This song is delicate and equally eerie as passionate and moving. This song is not only sung out of anger, but fear and sadness.




    " oily marks appear on walls were pleasure moments hung before the takeover"
    ( marks are on the walls of where happy photos hung before the nazis took over)



  8.  

    destinnymia
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    Oct 8th, 2008 10:17am report


    Where are we, what the hell is going on.
    ( I was thinking back in the time where the whites enslaved the blacks, so the Africans are on the boat to america and the arrive and their all wondering why they aren't where they were before)

    The dust has only just begun to form
    ( I was thinking, that the bad things were only just starting like only the beginning of that obstacles)

    sinking feeling,
    spin me 'round again
    and rub my eyes
    this can't be happening

    (The African people who are being enslaved start to realize that theyre not equal, so they have a sinking feeling in their hearts. They can't believe whats happening "spin me round again, rub my eys, can be happening")

    Busy streets a mess
    with people would stop to hold
    their heads, heavy

    ( the africans, if they see each other walking by
    they can't smile or be happy they can only hold their heads down and do their work. Either that, or maybe she's talking about present day, and people feel bad for the way they treated many people so they hold their heads down in shame.)

    Hide and seek
    trains and sewing machines
    all those years
    they were here first

    ( Some of them wishing they can be seen, and imogen thinking to herself all those years, they were there first and you took over and enslaved them?)

    Oily marks appear on walls
    where pleasure moments hung before
    the take over
    the sweeping insensitivity of this life.

    ( Maybe from the whips, oily/ blood marks are on walls when before all the enslavement they were living happily before the whites took over "the take over" talking about how there's an overwhelming amount of insensitivity that people have in this world)

    Hide and seek
    trains and sewing machines
    Oh you won't catch me around hear.
    ( Imogen maybe saying that if she was alive back then she wouldnt be caught dead around there)

    Blood and tears
    they were here first

    ( blood and tears were shed when all along they were there first and didn't desrve it)

    MM watchya say
    mm that you only meant well
    of course you did

    mm whatchya say mm that its all for the best
    of coure it is

    mm whatchya say
    mm that its just what we need
    you decided this?

    mm whatchya say
    mm what did you say

    ( the whites cover up lies by saying that they were only trying to make things better, and she's saying "yeah yeah that's what they all say")

    Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    mid sweet talk news paper word cut outs
    speak no feeling no I don't believe you
    you don't care a bit you don't care a bit

    ( all these lies are coming from your mouth
    things that everyone else says. You have no feeling in your hearts for what you did, you say you feel bad but I don't believe you, you really didn't care did you?

    (by the end I came to a conclusion maybe she was talking to a grandma or grandpa that was there at that time and asking them these questions...lol idk it was just a guess so I'm sharing it.)



  9.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 1st, 2008 10:09pm report


    I think that maybe it's about a child's interpretation of a tragedy... maybe how a small child would react to the instances of 9/11, or something huge and horrible like that. Of course I mean a child who was not directly connected to the events... The older members of her family are just finding out, and are heartbroken, and she's confused and frightened in her child-like way.



  10.  

    Champion57575
    click a star to vote
    Sep 21st, 2008 9:29pm report


    Man, you guys like take one line from the song and say "it's about 911 or the holocausts or Nazis in space coming down to abduct small children". Now, it's clearly not about 911 considering she's British. Why would she care? She's not a champion American. She's from Brittan. They don't care. And uh...yeah, how do you guys even get the holocaust from this song? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever. I've read the lyrics again and again trying to understand your logic. Nothing works! There is no way that this could be about the holocaust! I know someone said something about aliens and I expected that considering she said "crop circles" once. It's uh...it's not about Nazis in space. And you guys that stated "it's about Indians" you know...half you people, you get that from the one line again like everyone else "blood and tears they were here first" that's it. There's nothing else that supports your theory at all. And there never will be. Uh...as for you Anony, I enjoyed reading your interpretation about how it was a murder mystery and how she was hunting the murderer. I was like "whoa, I didn't read that". I'm shocked you didn't go so far as to give each character names. I do that all the time for fun. If you were being sarcastic A+. If not, you're an idiot. As for the ACTUAL meaning of the song, it's about a guy who cheats on his woman and leaves her. Yeah...I'm still wonderin' about those crop circles. They need to come out with a breakfast cereal called "crop circles". I would eat that. I want some Crop Circles right about now.



  11.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 20th, 2008 9:35pm report


    Other interpretations seem to ring true as well, but to me, this song is about rape, and its stages.

    At the beginning, the lyrics 'where are we, what the hell is going on?" refers to the state of shock many rape victims go into immediately after the assult, the disassociation, and feelings of confusion.

    'The dust has only just begun to fall' Describes how the actually attack itself is only the very beginning; the worst is yet to come, with months and years of insecurity and being traumatised.

    'Spin me round again and rub my eyes, this can't be happening' of course, refers to denial and disbelief.

    'Oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before" could be a metaphor for associating anything that reminds you of the incident negatively. For example, if the attack happened while a favourite song was playing, chances are, psychologically, for the rest of that persons life, the song would summon feelings of fear and horror.

    'The takeover, the sweeping insensitivity of this still life" the understanding of what happened, and the withdrawal into yourself, and the feeling of dying inside, and not being aware of life continuing around you.

    'MM, what you say, oh that you only meant well, well of course you did'
    This could be if the rape was committed by a close friend, or boyfriend, who didn't see it as an attack.


    'Mm, what you say, ooh that it's all for the best, well of course it is," Again, a close friend, or boyfriend, saying that it would bring them closer.

    "Mmm what you say, oh that it's just what we needed, you decided this' Only one person does the act voluntarily, and perhaps regrets it afterwards, and tries to make excuses.

    and finally, 'you don't care a bit', self explanatory.

    It's very possible that the other interpretations of this song are exactly right, but I've gone through this situation, and to me, the lyrics explain almost word for word the emotions and motions that occur after the incident.



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 29th, 2008 8:32am report


    My interpretation of it was that it represents a father who ends up abandoning his daughter. The trains and sewing machines being a part of what they did together when she was young. The crop circles being when she drew pictures in the fibers of the carpet. The oily marks were the hand prints left on the walls. She was spun around by her arms by her father and she wanted to spin again. The father made excuses for not having anything to do with his daughter after the parents got a divorce.



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 26th, 2008 8:28pm report


    I think it's about an abusive relationship...as if she was the one being abused my her husband or boyfriend, and is finally taking a stand and is beginning to leave him.

    "Where are we? What the H*** is going on?" Is uncertainty. Either was knocked out and is just waking up or thinking about how he's changed.

    "The dust has only just begun to fall," It's only the beginning of it all.

    "Crop circle in the carpet" Could be the design in the carpet...like in really thick carpets some have little designs in them "Sinking, feeling." She's falling into the carpet and feeling the grooves of it 'cuz he's knocked her over.

    "spin me round again and rub my eyes" could like be before he started all this and they danced together...like when they first started dating had a really romantic dance...or it could be sarcastic and be like smack me again; make my head spin and give me some black eyes.

    "This can't be happening" Self explanatory...

    "When busy streets a mess of people would stop to hold their heads heavy." If everyone felt what she felt, everyone in the big crowds would be depressed and be hanging their heads, blaming themselves.

    "hide and seek" He plays "games" or she hides from him and he finds her anyways.

    "Trains and sewing machines" Possibly places she'd hide...like everywhere from the train station to the quilting shops.

    "All those years they were here first." Nothing can change what he's done to her.

    "oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before." Oily reminds me of grungy so possibly some of their pictures from when they first started out were up but then have fallen off the walls and made a mess from her being banged up against the wall...or maybe it's a metaphor for how she feels, relating herself to a room and there only being this grungy, disgusting outlook...or maybe how she perceives their house from it's no longer a home.

    "The takeover, the sweeping insensitivity of this still life." He's taking over and is being a flat out jerk and no matter how fast things are moving it feels that each day she's still there with him drags on and seems to stand time still.

    "Hide and seek, Trains and sewing machines. You won't catch me around here." She's getting tired of hiding and is getting ready to leave.

    "Blood and tears, they were here first." Blood and tears were shed because of him and nothing can take either of those things back.

    "Mmm, what you say? Mm, that you only meant well? Well, of course you did. Mmm, what you say? Mm, that it's all for the best? Ah, of course it is. Mmm, what you say? Mm, that it's just what we need? And you decided this. Mmm, what did you say? What did she say?" He keeps apologizing and making up lame excuses and I'm not what sure who 'she' is in the last line...I'm still trying to figure it out.

    "Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth." He threatens her to try to keep her there so he can still be in control.

    "mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut-outs." He's bittersweet to her and it's a metaphor for how insensitive he is...

    "Speak no feelings, no I don't believe you. You don't care a bit. You don't care a bit." Hopes that he feels bad for doing it but finds he doesn't.

    Sorry it's pretty depressing...=/



  14.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 22nd, 2008 8:15pm report


    I have read every one's interpretations and none are ridiculous, I notice people pleading their cases and demanding that it be right. Imogen has left this song without out a certain meaning for a reason. Whether you may think it's about a relationship of some sort,aliens,older people, or the holocaust. Everyone who cares to try to interpret it connects to this song in their own way. I myself think the song has a lot of different meanings tied into at once. But I do believe one of the topics talked about in this song is 9/11. The: where are we what the hell is going on (that means to me confusion about the tragedy that happened)the dust has only just began to fall (meaning the dust from the twin towers and the debris from the buildings and ashes from the people who burned)I think the trains represent Americans and all people all over the world just the working class citizens and the struggle the sewing machines reminds me of stuggle. Its like a symbol of a job poor people had to do to make ends meet in bad conditions. The hmm what ya say mm that you only ment well and that whole fragment. Sounds like a conversation bush might have had with the government. I did some research for a paper and bush got many randsom threats and letters about the attack but ignored the signs. The government is a lie. And it took 9/11 for some people to see that. The I don't believe you part and finding out the gov't doesn't really care what happens to us. And the hide and seek I think represents the gov't hiding the truth and we as people slowly but surely finding it. just my opinion on this beautiful song. I do very much enjoy seeing how much people think.



  15.  

    traitorius
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    Aug 12th, 2008 8:52pm report


    Get a grip people. Her boy cheated on her and dumped her. She's in shock and reeling from all that's missing in her life (both the physical and emotional).

    IRAQ?! 911?! The Holocaust?! Get a life!






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