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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.  

    Ak46
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    Sep 26th, 2011 9:48pm report


    Like a lot of the other commenters, I originally got "jilted lover" out of this song. However, I read that Imogen herself said that the song is about losing someone, and is directed at an outsider who has been insensitive about that loss. Upon deeper consideration, I don't think this explanation makes much sense, except in one possible case: that this song is about a miscarriage.

    The first lines "where are we..." - "...going on?" refer to the disorientation she experiences as she is rushed through medical procedures during the miscarriage. Many women pass out or become delusional from pain (or from painkillers), and often don't understand at first what is going on, besides that they are bleeding. Once the flurry of activity is over and the "dust begins to fall", she has to deal with the knowledge that she has lost her unborn child. The lines "sinking feeling..." "...this can't be happening" deal with her coming to grips with the loss after the disorienting experience of the miscarriage. The lines about the busy streets and the people outside refer to the surreal perception that life goes on outside.

    "Hide and seek, trains and sewing machines" have obviously maternal connotations. Hide and seek is a child's game, trains are typical toys, and sewing machines refer to sewing and mending children's clothes. "All those years, they were here first" can be interpreted as her deep feelings of loss for all of the years she was looking forward to with her child. Later "they were here first" is replaced with "they lived here before". This is hard to describe, but you can feel her loss. In a way, those years were already living inside of her before their potential to be fulfilled was taken away.

    "Oily marks appear on walls, where pleasure moments hung before" This could mean one of two things. Either, it refers to her bedroom where she and her partner used to make love, and where she became pregnant, but which sickens her now because she can't imagine it without it being dirtied by the thought of her miscarriage, sullying her relationship. It could also indicate (along with "crop circles in the carpet") the places in the nursery where baby things have been removed (cribs, decorations).

    I think "ransom notes..." "newspaper word cut-outs" refer to the jarring, impersonal and horrible things people say when reacting to a miscarriage. People are frequently insensitive to the emotional pain caused by the loss of a desired pregnancy. Frequently, people will mistakenly try to comfort someone who has just miscarried by saying that it was "for the best" and that they shouldn't have been having a baby/weren't ready in the first place ("it's just what we need, you decided this"). The whole "Mm whatchya say?" verse indicates this pretty clearly. Finally she ends with "I don't believe you/you don't care a bit". If the loss were of a real person, most people would care, even if they did not know that person. However, with the loss of a pregnancy, the child isn't really "real" to them yet in the way it is to the mother.

    Anyway, that's what I got out of it, and now it's making me tear up!



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 20th, 2011 9:54pm report


    I have studied the holocaust and personally to me this song reminds me of the holocaust. "Where are we, what the hell is going on" when the jews were forced to the heart throbbing tourchure and concentration camps. "Hide and seek" from hiding of the jews to the nazis. And of course they were travled by trains and giving work of sewing machines. This song speaks for itself and is is absolutly amazing!

    I'm honestly confused on how its relatable to 9/11. 9 11 was about an attack maybe if I read the lyrics bette, I'll understand. But from now. I'm with the holocaust. 6 Million Jews.....



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 13th, 2011 9:17pm report


    In my mind, I picture a young mistress who has just moved into her lover's home as his family is now gone.

    The reality of what she has done has suddenly gripped her and come alive. These were real people with a real life and it is destroyed. She can see where the furniture was and where people walked. She can see where happy family pictures hung. I think trains and sewing machines are kids and a wife. They were there first.

    I think that the mmm...whatcha say part signifies the horror and anger she now feels in all of this, particularly with the hard hit on the c in "course." She realizes she was a part of it, but that he decided everyone's fate. When she changes to what did *she* say, to me it signifies an understanding that there was another woman, another human, and now she wonders about her.

    Leading to the end where I think she realizes that a man who would leave his wife and kids is empty and soul-less and will say whatever she wants to hear to keep her, but really there is no feeling behind it. I think she knows he'll do it to her one day, too.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 20th, 2011 8:04pm report


    I recently found out that the song is about the Holocaust, if you think about it makes more sense than being about a relationship..



  5.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 15th, 2011 8:34pm report


    It's about this woman in war. I've gone through and read a whole lote of interpretations, -Even MPete77317's, which I thought accurate for it's meaning- but I still agree with one I saw on a different website. It didn't give a whole lot but I thought about it and filled the rest in with what I thought was right.

    Where are we? What the hell is going on?
    (She doesn't understand what's happening around her)
    The dust has only just begun to form.
    (Bombs are everywhere and people are dying)
    Crop circles in the carpet
    (Not sure about this part yet)
    Sinking feeling...
    (Pretty obvious)
    Spin me round again, and rub my eyes this can't be happening.
    (She's in doubt that this is killing everyone and wishes it wasn't real)
    When busy streets a mess with people to hold their heads heavy...
    (Everyone is running from trouble and people are holding their heads heavy because they had a part in starting this and feel bad that their loved ones are dying because of what they've done)
    Hide and seek (Try to find the others before they find you)
    Trains and sewing machines (She took trains to get places, and she sewed before the war)
    All those years, they were here first.
    (Fighting for what wasn't yours in the first place)
    Oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before.
    (Not sure about oily marks but pleasure moments= pictures of joyous times)
    The takeover (Obvious)
    The sweeping insensitivity of this still life... (Nobody notices that this is not for good, that it is killing you, loved ones, and you won't be any greater at the end of the war)
    Hide and seek (See first chorus)
    Trains and sewing machines (See 1st chorus)
    Blood and tears (This is what she sees every day because people are dying and their loved ones or friends cry over it)
    They were here first (See 1st chorus)

    Mmm whatcha say? Mmm that you only meant well... Well of course you did (The war leader just wanted to succeed and takeover... not that big a deal... -_-)
    Mmm whatcha say? Mmm that it's all for the best because it is. (This is only going to help us.... Yeah right!)
    Mmm whatcha say? Mmmmmm... that it's just what we need (We need this war to excel and rule over to show them we are confident in ourselves!)
    You decided this(The war leader is who got them into this)
    Whatcha say? Oohooo.... What did she say? (This is showing it's a FEMALE fighting in this war and being brave... that's all i got for that)
    Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    Mid sweet talk(confused on both lines) newspaper word cut-outs. (This war's so big it's going in the newspapers and going on people's walls, concerned about fighters)
    Speak no feeling no I don't believe you.
    You don't care a bit, you don't care a bit. (Nobody understands or cares about her).............

    From here on to the end of the song is in there, just repeated. I have nothing against the ones in war but I just don't like it one bit. This is what kills a fourth of the world and I know much about losing lost ones to the war. I wish for them to come home and be happy with what we already have. We can be tourists, and go to beautiful places and share cultures, but we can't get along?! I find it terrible. I repeat, I have nothing against soldiers or their leaders, because who we are in the present day have nothing with how it started.

    This is how I see the song, and feel it should be shared. :)



  6.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 5th, 2011 8:23pm report


    I thought it was about the Native Americans and the Europeans - we stole their land and their hopes and dreams. We brought new... everything to their lives. They were there first though.



  7.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 8th, 2011 7:23pm report


    i just wanted to say the lyrics in the first have one line thats not right.

    its not you can bet you dont care a bit, its you dont care a bit, you dont care a bit.



  8.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 8th, 2011 7:04am report


    I listened to this song a long time ago, and never really thought about what it meant. But about a week ago a friend of mine showed me it, and I said i wondered what the meaning of it was. He told me that he and his brother thought it was a fight in a relationship, and after further investigation I found out it actuallly was about that, but for a little bit, after looking at the lyrics, part of it reminded me of... The Holocaust?

    I dont know, really. What really led me to that was these lines:

    "They were here first"
    "TRAINS and sewing machines"
    "when busy streets amess with people
    would stop to hold their heads heavy"
    "Blood and tears, they were here first"
    and
    "This cant be happening"

    I know this wasnt a very reasonable subject, and it might not make sense, but i just wanted to share about that and how traces of it remind me of things, like how some people on this htink its about 9/11 and even about how the artist talked a bit about G. Bush on 9/11.



  9.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 25th, 2011 6:15am report


    This song is about an alien take over!!! How could all of you emo's think it's about anything but?


    Where are we?
    what the hell is going on?

    (What's going on? A fracking alien take over that's what!!)

    the dust has only
    just begun to form
    Crop circles in the carpet

    (Hello!! Crop circles!)


    Hide and seek

    (Run!!!!)

    All those years
    They were here first

    (They're coming back!)

    Oily marks appear on walls

    (Aliens are dirty and oily machines!)

    the take over


    Hide and seek

    (Run and hide... They'll find you!!)

    Blood and tears
    They were here first

    mmh
    mmh
    mmh
    mmh
    mmh
    hmmm
    mmmm

    ( A secret message perhaps?)



  10.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 25th, 2011 6:14am report


    This song is about an alien take over!!! How could all of you emo's think it's about anything but?


    Where are we?
    what the hell is going on?

    (What's going on? A fucking alien take over that's what!!)

    the dust has only
    just begun to form
    Crop circles in the carpet

    (Hello!! Crop circles!)


    Hide and seek

    (Run!!!!)

    All those years
    They were here first

    (They're coming back!)

    Oily marks appear on walls

    (Aliens are dirty and oily machines!)

    the take over


    Hide and seek

    (Run and hide... They'll find you!!)

    Blood and tears
    They were here first

    mmh
    mmh
    mmh
    mmh
    mmh
    hmmm
    mmmm

    ( A secret message perhaps?)



  11.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 20th, 2011 6:24am report


    I feel that this song could be interpreted an entirely different way than a break-up/fight.
    The lyrics depict much resemblance to a psychedelic mushroom trip--especially the first parts.

    ---

    Where are we?
    what the hell is going on?
    the dust has only
    just begun to form
    (start of trip, vision/judgment getting hazy or unclear)
    Crop circles in the carpet
    (hallucination)
    Sinking feeling
    (potential depressed feeling or realization, also could be the literal feeling of sinking into the couch/becoming apart of it)

    Spin me round again
    and rub my eyes
    this can't be happening
    (pretty trippy stuff)
    when busy streets a mess with people
    would stop to hold their heads heavy
    (extreme body buzz, also heavy thoughts... "people would stop to hold their heads heavy" represents how a thought can get in the way of other actions, change of thought)

    Hide and seek
    (often you will search for answers to your thoughts through introspection, hopefully finding the answers you seek in the end)
    trains and sewing machines
    All those years
    They were here first
    (these three lines could refer to the introspection and the realization that humans are not permanent or immortal objects)

    Oily marks appear on walls
    where pleasure moments hung before
    (another hallucination, thoughts literally appeared on the wall)
    the take over
    the sweeping insensitivity
    of this
    still life
    (life feels very different on shrooms, and could be viewed as a still life)

    Hide and seek
    trains and sewing machines (you won't catch me around here)
    Blood and tears
    They were here first
    (referring to 'blood, sweat, and tears', the idea that events had to occur before this moment was possibly... possibly referring to a birth/rebirth)

    mmh whatcha say?
    mmh that you only meant well?
    well of course you did
    mmh whatcha say?
    mmh that it's all for the best?
    of course it is
    mmh whatcha say?
    hmmm that it's just what we need?
    you decided this
    ooh whatcha say?
    mmmm what did she say?
    (this whole segment is self reflection, the mind going through a chain of thoughts to figure out the origin of a feeling/view/decision/etc.)

    Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    Mid sweet talk newspaper word cut outs (paper word cut outs)
    Speak no feeling no "I don't believe you" (no I don't believe you)
    you don't care a bit
    you
    don't care a bit
    (perhaps the struggle to change ones own thoughts or opinions, and the mental conflicts with reaching a goal. this trance continues until the end of the song)

    (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 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



  12.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 20th, 2011 6:24am report


    I feel that this song could be interpreted an entirely different way than a break-up/fight.
    The lyrics depict much resemblance to a psychedelic mushroom trip--especially the first parts.

    ---

    Where are we?
    what the hell is going on?
    the dust has only
    just begun to form
    (start of trip, vision/judgment getting hazy or unclear)
    Crop circles in the carpet
    (hallucination)
    Sinking feeling
    (potential depressed feeling or realization, also could be the literal feeling of sinking into the couch/becoming apart of it)

    Spin me round again
    and rub my eyes
    this can't be happening
    (pretty trippy stuff)
    when busy streets a mess with people
    would stop to hold their heads heavy
    (extreme body buzz, also heavy thoughts... "people would stop to hold their heads heavy" represents how a thought can get in the way of other actions, change of thought)

    Hide and seek
    (often you will search for answers to your thoughts through introspection, hopefully finding the answers you seek in the end)
    trains and sewing machines
    All those years
    They were here first
    (these three lines could refer to the introspection and the realization that humans are not permanent or immortal objects)

    Oily marks appear on walls
    where pleasure moments hung before
    (another hallucination, thoughts literally appeared on the wall)
    the take over
    the sweeping insensitivity
    of this
    still life
    (life feels very different on shrooms, and could be viewed as a still life)

    Hide and seek
    trains and sewing machines (you won't catch me around here)
    Blood and tears
    They were here first
    (referring to 'blood, sweat, and tears', the idea that events had to occur before this moment was possibly... possibly referring to a birth/rebirth)

    mmh whatcha say?
    mmh that you only meant well?
    well of course you did
    mmh whatcha say?
    mmh that it's all for the best?
    of course it is
    mmh whatcha say?
    hmmm that it's just what we need?
    you decided this
    ooh whatcha say?
    mmmm what did she say?
    (this whole segment is self reflection, the mind going through a chain of thoughts to figure out the origin of a feeling/view/decision/etc.)

    Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    Mid sweet talk newspaper word cut outs (paper word cut outs)
    Speak no feeling no "I don't believe you" (no I don't believe you)
    you don't care a bit
    you
    don't care a bit
    (perhaps the struggle to change ones own thoughts or opinions, and the mental conflicts with reaching a goal. this trance continues until the end of the song)

    (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 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



  13.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 17th, 2011 6:08pm report


    I heard somewhere that Imogen was kidnapped when she was young. I think it's obvious that this is about a kidnapping rather than 9/11 or husband and wife...I think she may have been the one to say so in an interview.



  14.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 14th, 2011 6:27pm report


    I thought this was about ancestors, they were here first. Our ancestors created a humble life for us and we destroyed it with technology.



  15.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 30th, 2011 5:41pm report


    i thought it was about the people suffering through the Holocaust once i really listened to the lyrics






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