What does Hide and Seek mean?

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Imogen Heap: Hide and Seek Meaning

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Hide and Seek Lyrics

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. traitorius
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    Aug 12th 2008 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!

  2. Soobak11
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    Aug 7th 2008 report

    I don't know if this is the case, but it's worth a shot. In the play Fiddler on the Roof, trains and sowing machines play an important role as the family dies out and eventually has to leave town because of the Russians. I think this may be a reference to that - the crop circles in the carpet and everything are them leaving town, and the sweeping insensitivity is the Russians.

  3. smeier12
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    Jul 29th 2008 report

    Regardless of interpretation, i.e. personal loss, corporate loss, 911, etc, the author clearly feels BETRAYED and is Grieving over this BETRAYAL.

    It's interesting that different portions of the song have all of the requisite Kubler-Ross's "Five stages of Grieving."

    Starting with DENIAL (what the hell is going on... This can't be happening).

    Back and forth with DEPRESSION (sinking feeling) and BARGAINING (all those years, they were here first).

    A very clear section with ANGER (mmm, what you say, that you only meant well...).

    And finally ACCEPTANCE (you don't care a bit) that this person is a betrayer.

  4. anonymous
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    Jun 29th 2008 report

    Well. I just heard the song. I can understand how the person about the Aliens thinks like that, also 9/11. I think it means a lot of things and people need to draw their own conclusions. :)

  5. anonymous
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    Jun 26th 2008 report

    I think there are a lot of interesting 'interpretations' and as many people have said before, music is a form of art. Art is meant to have multiple meanings. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

    I think the 'original' meaning is only known by Imogen, reflecting a personal event that has happened to her or maybe her views on a 'larger' topic.

    Whatever you take meaning of this song to be, you can't argue that it's a touching song that has hauntingly beautiful vocals. It is definitely one of my favorites!!

  6. BECandRACHEL
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    Jun 19th 2008 report

    Why is everyone going with the whole "relationship" theme, you need to look at the song more deeply, and don't take everything in the lyrics so literally.

    Consider the theme to be more along the lines of the corruption that is occurring in our society.
    Just because it mentions a sewing machine, doesn't mean its set in the olden times,or it's about a domestic. Couldnt it be that the sewing machine represents society's evolution and constant changing values and attitudes.

    "Trains and sewing machines" would symbolize the road taken by society in order to get to where it is today. It also connotes the journey made by those who choose to break free from the conditioning and corruption they are faced with in society.

    "mmm what cha say" The constant questioning would refer to those who speak out against what is happening in society, and decide to make a change for the better.

    The ending of the song, introduces the feeling of freedom, represented by the high pitched singing and minimal instruments to accompany the lyrics. all of those who dare to question the rigid morals of society have chosen to try and fix the problems that we have been conditioned to live with and accept in our society today( terrorism, war and globalisation).the end of the song represents the end of the journey towards corruption and the beginning of a more pure and independent life.

    we believe that this interpretation better fits the entire song lyrics if you use your brains and think a little harder about it. do not undermine this powerful and meaningful song to be no more than a petty break-up song. There is so much more to it.

  7. no_one
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    Jun 15th 2008 report

    This song is not about the Holocaust and the Nazis, it is not about the elderly and searching for answers. It is not about killing people and death. These are only a few of the ridiculous 'interpretations' I've heard. This song is about the 9/11 tragedy.

    K thanks :)

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. twotrees
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    Jun 14th 2008 report

    O.k. I thing I've kind of figured eat this song means.
    "where are we, what the hell is going on, the dust has only just begun to fall crop circles in the carpet, sinking feeling."

    This alludes to , I'm my mind to how long humans have been on earth...and how we are now almost solely reliant on technology. but in particular, I watched this documentary about this town of shanties in Mumbai, India, where people have been living for a long time in relative poverty, working in the city however they can. The new businesses and industries moving in are pushing the government to knock down all the little shack houses and build high rises to house the misplaced families..who are less than happy about it. To them the idea seems cold and lifeless, without a warmth of community kinship. vertical cages.

    Personally though this song means a lot to me. My father's half of the family screwed my siblings and I out of the hundreds of thousands of dollars and lake front property we were entitled to...and were planning it for years, pretending to be our "family" and share xmas and thanksgiving and summer vacations with us. They probably justified it because my mother left my dad due his severe drinking problem and violence, and they thought she was out for his money. In reality, she only stayed in this country out of fear of leaving us without a father. Her family in Argentina is pretty well off, her dad was a doctor, her brother a lawyer. after so many years of not seeing her (we were very poor and couldn't afford to visit)but for the one or two times they came to see us, they divvied up the family money my grandparents left among themselves. If we had left my dad(sometimes I wish we had) we would've had a family at least..and probably some land or something. but that doesn't matter to me.

    This song reminds me of the feeling I got seeing my uncle and his "wife" who ended up with most of our college money in my grandmothers favorite mink coat at her funeral.

    My paraplegic grandfather had no power to fight them, but I know he tried. very soon after he died (2 months after my gram) they sold their beautiful stone and brick woodstove heated house for almost nothing, sold the lakehouse my dad was supposed to get, and took our money and they're fat greedy asses to florida. all we got were a couple of boxes of pictures , some old jewelry along with a sick feeling and a relapsed alcoholic dad. when I hear this song it makes me think of my grandparents house empty in the aftermath. and how cold it must have felt inside.

    Now our society hides and seeks using emails, text messages and facebook/myspace to communicate. The warmth seems fleeting in our society..kindness is so rare. I mean the type that holds no reward or benefit for the individual giving it.

    Try to see what I mean:

    "Where are we? What the hell is going on?
    The dust has only just begun to form,
    Crop circles in the carpet, sinking, feeling.
    Spin me round again and rub my eyes.
    This can't be happening.
    When busy streets a mess with people
    would stop to hold their heads heavy.

    Hide and seek.
    Trains and sewing machines.
    All those years they were here first.

    Oily marks appear on walls
    Where pleasure moments hung before.
    The takeover, the sweeping insensitivity of this
    still life.

    Hide and seek.
    Trains and sewing machines. (Oh, you won't catch me around here)
    Blood and tears,
    They were here first.

    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 you say?
    What did she say?

    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.

    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.

    You don't care a bit.
    You don't care a bit.
    You don't care a bit.
    You don't care a bit.
    You don't care a bit.

  9. twotrees
    click a star to vote
    Jun 13th 2008 report

    This rouses feelings in me that there is much more to our history as a people than we could even imagine. The advancement of ancient earth cultures is constantly amazing scientists as they discover more and more about them, or us. In india was recently discovered 35,000 yr old cities in where is now Tamil Nadu that had running water, sit down toilets and underground plumbing. very advaced compared to where europe and most other cultures were at the time. a lot of these amazing finds were shared through trade with other cultures.. The "greco-roman" style structures with lined pillars and statues of gods and goddesses can be traced back to this city...its the oldest place it has been seen.

    Unfortunately when some cultures come in contact with these advancements they destroy them fearing others will see their culture as less advanced. Kind of like the egyptian library at alexandia was destroyed, among many others. There are many unexplained phenomena as well, like the sub-ocean land bridge that was scientifically proven as "built my mans hand" between sri-lanka and india, many thousands of years ago. In the epic the Ramayana, Rama and Hanuman(rama's monkey buddy)build this bridge to be able to travel between the two countries.

  10. twotrees
    click a star to vote
    Jun 13th 2008 report

    when I hear or even hum this song,i strongly feel a sense of sadness about people in general not quite being able to come to terms with the fact that we've been hurting ourselves and our planet for a while now, and that technology and industry makes things convenient but that we've been stupid with it...like a bunch of frat boys at a random friened of a friend of a friend's house party while their parents are away. we just trash the place.
    "the dust has just begun to fall crop circles on the carpet"
    to me this means humanity has only been recoding history for a very short time,we're not quite as advanced as we think spiritually and technologically, and we're a young race...as far as we've been taught. but I think also this song alludes to the cover up of ancient cultures and their connection to the cosmos and other distant,galaxies, possibly ones of our origin.
    but there's definitely still a deep feminine undertone possibly calling out to awaken the divine mother in others who hear the song. As a song writer myself I know most writers find their deeper sometimes uncoscious or subconscious feelings come out as the strongest aspect of their writing. Imogen heap herself had a difficult time being an expressive young woman and was punished by isolation for her artistic and musical endeavors at a boarding school she attended. She was sent there by her mother so this could be somewhat what was drawn upon deep down in writing this song.

  11. twotrees
    click a star to vote
    Jun 13th 2008 report

    At first I thought the lyrics to be about industrialization and indigenous peoples, or our ancient alien ancestors (Imogen Heap did write the song folks).
    then I began awakening to the obvious femininity of the song itself, and how my husband and son were both kind of turned off by the video because of the svelt ethereal almost water like teary eyed feeling it gives off. I absolutely love it. I feel this song represents the age old struggle for respect and equal treatment that women have fought for for millenia. "chains and sewing machines"
    well that's pretty obvious even the title of the song "hide and seek" is reminiscent of the modern day hijab wearing muslim womens daily life. "they were here first" is alluding to the biblical creation story of adam and eve kind of justifying the maltreatment so many women have suffered, or the fact that the oldest known religion is based on the divine mother aspect of god. This is a touchy subject, but look at history and how women were only given the right to vote in this country a hundred or so years ago. "the dust has only just begun to form crop circles in the carpet, sinking feeling"...alludes to how recently women have been given a voice in the timeline of known history, and also domestic duties.

    "mm whad'you say, mm that you only meant well, ofcourse you did,
    mmm whad'you say, mmm that its all for the best of course it is,
    mm whad'you say what that its just what we need, mm you decided this
    mm whad did SHE say"

    this song (at least to me) is about the lack of honour and respect the mothers daughters and sister kind of still recieve in our worldy society. wetern countries are abit more forward on this but so many others are very far behind...kind of unbeliveable really. Look at how females are represented in some music videos and movies, sure its funny to some but not me. I just think of my daughter and how I pray she loves herself as much or more than I love her. The world needs the divine mother's healing and the maltreatment of our planets abundant gifts are just a manifestation of how the feminine aspect of our world have been taken for granted for so long. Until we resolve this as a people our society will continue to struggle with imbalances in almost every aspect of life. Just look at some extremist muslim societies and how violent they are. when a culture doesn't allow its women a voice or the respect they deserve the whole culture suffers, especially the children and this is where the circle of imbalance begins and repeats itself, with children.
    Imogen kind of touched on a lot of things in this song but this is what it meant for me.
    "BLOOD AND TEARS, THEY WERE HERE FIRST"

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 9th 2008 report

    What a great website.
    I've only heard this song on the radio and then I bought it for my Ipod. This is how I imagined it. I'm a American Male in my late thirties and I drive a lot and work on the computer a lot.

    I heard the song as a artistic plea for a gentler less industrialized world and a condemnation of policies made over the last 100 years that have left us stuck on the freeway or behind a computer all the time.

    I interpret the "They were here first" as cars on busy highways in congested cities as being here first. I was born in 1969. I don't know a world without cars. Industrial Machines were here long before me and even before my parents. Machines were here first and they define my life. The song made me aware that. I think the song is a challenge to our society. I think she wants to quit it with all the focus on cars and computer monitors and we should try creating a world that is kinder to nature and slower paced for people. Not so busy busy all the time.

    Thats my interpretation. I love it that everyone has heard the song differently.Thanks.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 4th 2008 report

    Okay, what I got from this song was an actual song describing colonization.

    where are we? what the hell is going on?
    the dust has only just begun to form
    (A confusion for what aboriginal people do from now, where the new generations are leading to, perhaps the dying of nations)
    crop circles in the carpet
    sinking feeling

    spin me round again
    and rub my eyes,
    this can't be happening
    (Denial that it's happening)
    when busy streets a mess with people
    would stop to hold their heads - heavy
    (the after-effects of colonization in Canada or America)

    hide and seek
    trains and sewing machines
    (The technology that colonization brought)
    all those years
    they were here first
    (native people were here first)

    oily marks appear on walls
    where pleasure moments hung before the takeover,
    the sweeping insensitivity of this still life
    (A reference to European lifestyle which took over once aboriginal inhabited lands)

    hide and seek
    trains and sewing machines (oh, you won't catch me around here)
    blood and tears (hearts)(the slavery, residential schools, 60's scoop etc etc.)
    they were here first

    Mmmm whacha say,
    Mmmm that you only meant well?
    well of course you did
    Mmmm whacha say,
    Mmmm that its all for the best?
    Because it is
    Mmmm whacha say?
    Mmmm that it's just what we need
    you decided this
    whacha say?
    Mmmm what did she say?
    (mentions of all justifications that colonizers always make)

    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
    (nobody cares anymore)

    (hide and seek)
    ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs

    (hide and seek)
    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

    (hide and seek)
    oh no, you don't care a bit
    oh no, you don't care a bit

    (hide and seek)
    oh no, you don't care a bit
    you don't care a bit
    you don't care a bit

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 3rd 2008 report

    I'd just like to say this... I first heard this song when it was used to advertise Series 3 of Lost over here in the UK... and it fits perfectly...! "Where are we? What the hell is going on? The dust has only just begun to fall" refers to the aftermath of the crash... "Sinking feeling" when they had been on the island a few days and there was no sign of help... "This can't be happening" refers to their first encounters with the 'smoke monster'... "They were here first" refers to the Others... "Oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before" - the destruction of the plane where couples had been happy, the toilet cubicle where Charlie had been snorting away... It just fits to me, and always will!


    P.S. It's just a beautiful song too, and like someone else said, it means different things to different people.

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 10th 2008 report

    Ok I agree with the Holocaust..... My reason for this is the first thing she says is “where are we? what the hell is going on?” like refer to the people who were in, it the Nazis took them from their homes and they were like what the hell what are you doing…. “the dust has only just begun to form crop circles in the carpet sinking feeling” which I believe that the holocaust has just begun to start and they have a sinking feeling about all of it….. “spin me round again and rub my eyes, this can't be happening” can't you just imagine that the people just wanted to get away and they just couldn’t believe what was happening to them….. “when busy streets a mess with people would stop to hold their heads – heavy” the streets were busy with all the Nazis controlling Germany and they just saw it as a mess because that was their home that they knew and the Nazis would stop and hold their heads high as if to say they were proud and were looking for the Jews…. “hide and seek” that was what it was all about like the title of the song they had to hide and wait for somebody to find them like Anne Frank and her family….. “trains and sewing machines” Hitler made them work in sewing factories and the trains they rode on them from place to place cause their was so many of them they hauled the dead people in trains too….. “all those years they were here first” the Germans were their first for many years before they came and invaded Germany then the holocaust lasted for several years….. “oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before the takeover,” oily marks are referring to blood on the walls when the Nazis would line the Jews up and shoot them one by one down the line and at one time there were pleasure moments where they had good times before the take over by the Nazis…… “ the sweeping insensitivity of this still life” this means that they are sweeping away all the moments they use to have in their still life as it use to be….. “(oh, you won't catch me around here)” like the Jews reassuring them selves that they will be ok for that night so they can sleep in peace even though they are still hiding and they are still seeking and immi runs these words together in the song as well….. “blood and tears (hearts)” all the blood and tears that were shed in all of this and the hearts that were broken because of it….. “Mmmm whacha say, Mmmm that you only meant well? well of course you did” they are asking in disbelief what did you say to me? And Hitler answers with I only meant well I want to make this my world and their sarcastic remark to that is of course you did you have to force us out of this world because you mean well for all the people you approve of and it is just because we are a little different…… “Mmmm whacha say, Mmmm that its all for the best? Because it is” same with this line in the song he was thinking it was for the best because it is what he wanted…… “Mmmm that it's just what we need you decided this whacha say?” this goes with the line above as the Jews response because Hitler was the one to decide it all…… “ ransom notes keep falling out your mouth mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs” Hitler held them captive or ransom and he kept saying things mean things out of his mouth that eventually turn into notes in the newspaper that the Jews would cut out and keep….. “speak no feeling no I don't believe you you don't care a bit” mean while he was speaking no feeling no reassurance that it would all be over soon and that the people in the holocaust don’t believe them cause they don’t care a bit about them…… idk that’s just what I think and that is the whole song!




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