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Imogen Heap: Hide and Seek Meaning

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. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 22nd 2010 report

    I've enjoyed getting to read all of the interpretations, however, I feel there might be a deeper meaning in the song. Although this may be a little far out, it seems to me to do justice the lines "Trains and sewing machines/ blood and tears/ they were here first". So here it is:


    Where are we? What the hell is going on?
    The dust has only just begun to fall,

    (What the hell have we [humans] done? Imogen is just now realizing the extent of our mistakes.)

    Crop circles in the carpet, sinking, feeling.
    Spin me round again and rub my eyes.
    This can't be happening.

    (Crop circles are unexplainable anomalies that cause us fear; carpet is a man-made recreation of grass that is meant to provide comfort and safety. It is mostly in homes. Imogen has noticed that even in something so harmless, and useful, there is something strangely wrong and scary.)

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

    (Imogen notices that everyone in the world is depressed and hopeless with their lives. There are so many people and yet none of them are happy.)

    Hide and seek.

    (The game we play with our lives--we are all trying to find ourselves, define ourselves as individuals, but we are hiding from our problems, from each other, from God. Technology has brought the world closer but closed each one of us off from each other.)

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

    (A few of the original machines. They were very practical and pushed human science forward by many years, but are now used less because they have been replaced by more advanced technologies. They were here first but have become obsolete and are now almost worthless.)

    Oily marks appear on walls
    Where pleasure moments hung before.

    (Memories are lost as time goes on, old pictures fade; old wall hangings are thrown out when new families move into houses; the population is growing and changing so fast that they have forgotten the past.)

    The takeover, the sweeping insensitivity of this
    still life.

    (The breakdown of each human's life; that takeover of hopelessness by submitting to the fact that we can't realize our dreams; depression.)

    Hide and seek.

    (The game again.)

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

    (Before even technology was here, humanity was. Blood represents life and death and pain, tears represent suffering and humanity, as animals don't cry. These things still last but have become almost lost. Imogen is saying people don't care anymore about each other, humanity is being lost and machines are taking over [Metaphorically]. We have become obsolete.)

    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?

    (Imogen is accusing "man", all humanity for creating technology and destroying themselves. She is openly mocking "him" for his attempts to defend himself--that he meant well, that its for the best, that it is what humanity needs. But she believes creating technology has caused us to forget about essential human values [family. love, etc.].)

    What did she say?

    (Eve, possibly, the first woman. In the Bible, in the book of Genesis she tells Adam, the first man, to sin with her. She could represent mankind's downfall, or the temptation to better oneself without regards to the costs [technology=the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.)

    Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth.
    Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut-outs.

    (Again Imogen is mocking the "man"; every explanation in favor of technology is a ransom note--an acknowledgement of a crime which instead of asking for forgiveness further increases the baseness of a crime by trying to make a profit from it. A ransom note is only hurting "man's" argument in defense of himself. Mid-sweet talk and newspaper word cut-outs are meaningless words and worthless talk, that have no real meaning.)

    Speak no feeling, no I don't believe you.
    You don't care a bit. You don't care a bit.

    (Imogen is saying the man cannot apologize for what he has done, the crime is too great. That trying to defend himself shows he has no feeling or trustworthiness.)

    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.

    (Further emphasis; a sense of resignation by Imogen that nothing can be done to right the wrongs and that Man will never truly be sorry for what he has done.)

    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.

    (Even those moved by the song will not change their ways. Mankind will continue its spiral downwards chasing after technology.)

  2. fml
    click a star to vote
    Jul 18th 2010 report

    Yeah all these interpretations suck.
    Holocaust interpretation wins purely because of its un-cliche` characteristics and the notion of such cliche` relationships caring so much about the destruction of "what they had" compared, rather, to the love that they "held" for each other when they were together.

    "Where are we, what the hell is going on?"
    Opening line, perhaps speaks of a child's persona, obviously doesn't need explaining.

    "The dust has only just begun to fall,"
    It's new, the holocaust has only just started to begin, with the deaths and the herding of jews into camps and ghetto's and such.

    "spin me round again and rub my eyes, this can't be happening,"
    I always thought the spinning would be from a mother and a son, perhaps playing 'ring around the rosies' or just spinning around and the child remembering better days, happy, blissful days without the contempt for jews that Germans had for the Jewish population.

    "When busy streets a mess with people would stop to hold their heads heavy,"
    When the Nazi's would knock on Jewish doors and abruptly tell them to take all their valuables and possessions and follow everyone; where they would walk down the streets til all the Jews reached the ghetto's - where their valuables and possessions were taken from them.
    And where they would all be packed in houses - 15 to a room and Jews had to be inside and silent and weren't even given food and if they were seen outside would be shot.

    "Hide and seek,"
    Because that was the Holocaust, the Nazis were the cats, trying to seek out the Jews, the mice, who would hide and escape through sewers and such to escape them.

    "Trains and sowing machines,"
    The Jews would be packed onto trains, a hundred people crammed into one cattle pen with barbed wire and small cracks for breathing holes where most people died anyway; children, men and pregnant women.
    Sowing machines where the Jews would sow on Nazi symbols and make Nazi uniforms and other such things.

    "All those years they were here first,"
    Now this could be interpreted in two ways.
    A - all those years that the Jews would there first, living calmly and without reproach until Hitler came along.
    OR
    B - all those years the Nazi's slowly came to power with Hitler and no one suspected anything.
    OR even
    C - all those years the Nazi's came to power AND THEN they were here first - referring to the Jews living in peace.

    "oily marks appear on walls, where pleasure moments hung before the take over, the sweeping insensitivity of this still life,"
    Again, previous to what I've read:

    '"Oily marks appear on walls, where pleasure moments hung before." That has absolutely nothing to do with photographs. It is referring to the oily residue left on dry-wall after someone's hands have touched it.'

    So my guess is after Nazi's had ransacked houses and burnt them, after the Jews had been put in the ghetto's where the Nazis had searched for other valuables. Where photos of "pleasure moments" had hung - family outings, holidays, friends - before the take over, the Nazi's taking over Jews; genocide.
    "Sweeping insensitivity of this still life" How the German population did nothing and rallied for the Nazi's to get rid of the Jews, believing in all the propaganda and not caring that they were humans too.

    "You won't catch me around here,"
    Almost as if in defiance to the Nazi's by the Jews who were so determined, so thirsting for life.

    And then the whole "mm.. whatcha say"'s about the Nazi claim to the Jews that they were their friends, that they were doing it all for their own good, that they were getting rid of them and killing them all because they wanted to cleanse the world of their kind. The claim from Nazi's just like the claims from catholics that they were helping them; burning innocent women at the stake purely because they owned cats or were clever and accused them of being witches.

    "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"
    Referring to the propaganda used by the Nazi's against the Jews, posting illustrations of Jews with big noses and saying that they were half the intelligence of normal human beings.
    And the speaking no feeling referring to the Nazi's who spoke no feeling and tried to have this false show of compassion towards the Jews, as if to be sincere while they were killing hundreds of them every day.

    Sad song, anyway whichever. Fun sharing this all with you :)Am using this for my related text in advanced so feel free to use if you're over in the states, but if you're here in Australia competing for your ATAR this year - back off! >:

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 13th 2010 report

    I think the song is about the settling of Europeans in America. They completely vanquished the Native Americans. I'm a little busy right now so I can't go into detail, but read up on it and then re-read they lyrics and you'll get it. They gave the Natives sewing machines as payment and stuff. Anyways, that's my brief thoughts on the matter.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 10th 2010 report

    i acctually think its about how the indians felt about the americans coming in and stealing there home, from an indians point of view. if you think about it, it does make sence.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 8th 2010 report

    So I thought this was about the change that has happened, so far like industrialization everything in the song leads back to once being innocent and clean and now theirs dirt marks on the walls and sewing machines and trains and yeah that's why my english class concluded from this song :)

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 18th 2010 report

    its about moving in to a new home. the circles in the carpet are still there. everything that lingered, reminds her of the home and freinds she just left. her parents telling her it's for the best and she csnt see why

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 10th 2010 report

    First thought when I heard the song was the Native Americans (They were here first). And with all the trains and sowing machines and all that.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 8th 2010 report

    I think everyone's interpretations make perfect sense. The thing about truth is that no matter which way you look at things it looks right in all ways. This is what I love about Immi's way of writing. She writes in an undercover way to where we may never know the meaning she intended it for but this way whatever it is about it can speak to anybody about whatever they feel it for. Anyone can use it as whatever it speaks to them about even if its not the same thing as the next guy. This song is beautiful and im going to See Immi live in two days. If i get to talk to her then I will ask her. If I find out I will let you all know. :)

  9. Isaac
    click a star to vote
    Jun 6th 2010 report

    It is very simple what this song is about.... It's about WAR and the American government, its also about the killing of Jews by Nazi's... Its not only about those things but it's about whats yet to come, which in case you all people don't know is world war 3!!

    " where are we " talking about our world!!
    " what the hell is going on " meaning of war comparable to hell.
    " Dust has only just begun to fall " A bomb was dropped and the dust is settling..

    Listen to the lyrics because she is right, " they were here first " and they were!
    " Sinking feeling " meaning she feels it coming.. Its a sinking feeling of war.

    " Spin me around again and rub my eyes this can't be happening " War has begun and she can't believe it happening around her, she is visioning been right in the middle of an invasion of take over.

    " Streets are mess with people would stop to hold their heads heavy " People in chaos, people grieving..

    Google what Crop circles are! Trains and sewing machines mean.... Trains were used during world war one and two to transport military gear, weapons and prisoners! Thousands of Jews were transported to they fema camps to die by train. Hitler also was transported by train during the war.
    Sewing machines represent all of the soldier uniforms that were made.

    " All those years they were here first " She is explaining that we were never here first ( Humans ) !! Do your research into Area 51, Ancient Egyptians and the Sumarians, they will tell the story very clearly to this meaning.

    " Oily marks and pleasure moments that hung before the TAKE OVER! " A warning to whats coming ( New World Order )

    Then the chorus repeats itself with... " Ohhh you won't catch me around here" Meaning she won't be sticking around for whats going to come, she is going to find a safe place to hide!

    " Blood and tear's, they were here first " pretty self explanatory..
    " MMmm whatcha say, that you only meant well " Talks about governments and how they try to portray something great for the people which has a hidden evil agenda over the people to take over.

    " That you only meant well " The governments bullshit tactics and lies!
    " Thats is all for the best " Ever heard the saying "for the greater good" much the same.
    " that its just what we need, you decided this " government deciding that total control is what we need.
    " What did you say?? " Asking a question... meaning If somebody is to say or promise something to you and they go back on their word, sometimes a person might confront the liar by asking.. What did you say? ( in the beginning )
    " News paper word cut outs " being the media and the lies they also portray to the people..

    The words " No you don't care a bit " This has the same meaning as Michael Jackson's song They don't really care about us " and meaning other songs that are repressed by the media.. DO YOUR RESEARCH! M.J. was murdered by the same people!

    Go to YouTube.com and search MUSIC INDUSTRY EXPOSED but this is just a very small tip of the ice berg people! History, religion, governments, Egypt, solar systems and time is all connected and you will see this the further you go... you will begin to wake up!

    Thank you for reading, many musicians sing about these events, as the music industry is very much linked to certain things, and you will hear DMX talk about this in MUSIC INDUSTRY EXPOSED on YouTube. Watch all parts up to 8 and you find it very interesting I'm sure.

  10. annabeth
    click a star to vote
    Jun 6th 2010 report

    i saw a vidieo of this song where there is a man wh goes to the graveyard with flowers in the beginning of the song. Then a girl (maybe imogen heap) got mad at her boyfriend and throws something down (possibly a sweater) and starts to walk away. He bends down to pick it up and stays there for a second, stareing at it there sadly. Suddenly a car ran him over. The girl turns noticing what happened, and rushes to help him with some other people, but he dies. It ends with the same man from the beginningstill at the graveyard.

    Another thing I heard was that it was about what hitler did to the jews

  11. Paintingforlove
    click a star to vote
    Jun 2nd 2010 report

    When I heard this song, my first thought was obviously the Holocaust. Not many may have gotten this feeling but if you look deeper into the lyrics it makes a great deal more sense.
    So here it is:

    Where are we? What the hell is going on?
    The dust has only just begun to fall,
    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.
    (so basically, they have just arrived in the ghetto. They don't understand why, and the can't really see what is going to happen. The ghetts are crouded, and the people are depressed. Hey "hold their heads heavy" with grief of what they have lost, and confusion of why they are there.)

    Hide and seek.
    Trains and sewing machines.
    All those years they were here first.
    (They don't want to be sent to the trains, sewing machines for the stars. They see all the people who suffered before them)

    Oily marks appear on walls
    Where pleasure moments hung before.
    The takeover, the sweeping insensitivity of this
    still life.
    (They don't understand why their lives before were taken away, how could people(nazis) be so cruel,)

    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?
    (hitler covering the truth with the media, telling them that theur country truly longs for absolution.)

    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.

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 24th 2010 report

    I see both sides of interpretation. 9/11 and the holocaust both make sense, but I think it's about life in general. How we've come so far as humans, but left behind so many things that got us started.(trains & seweing machines) When I first heard this song,it was the DJ Tiesto remix. Its a good song tho

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 16th 2010 report

    I think this song is about the holocaust because it uses the lyrics sewing machines n then they say they dny care a bit their talking about the nazis/hitler, then wen it says the dust and crop circles their talkin bout their church bieng burned down

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 14th 2010 report

    I agree, however I interpreted the line "trains and sewing machines" as
    trains: leaving the relationship behind and moving on
    sewing machines: piecing back together her broken heart

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 12th 2010 report

    Okay. You guys are all retarded. It is not about the holocaust. It is about her parents getting a divorce when she was like twelve. one of them moved out. Crop circles in the carpet is where the memories of where furniture and stuff used to be. Every line in the song can be referred to divorce. The mmm whatcha say part is a bit of sarcasm. But jason dawhoever killed it. So no holocaust, Nazis or any other crap you guys have come up with. This is the real meaning. I saw it in an interview.




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