What does Hide and Seek mean?

Imogen Heap: Hide and Seek Meaning

Album cover for Hide and Seek album cover

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
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    May 12th 2010 !⃝

    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.

  2. anonymous
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    May 12th 2010 !⃝

    The very first time I heard this song, I was SURE it was about the industrialization of the world and how we are destroying our planet as well as the human race. To me, the where are we? describes how our our world is not the beautiful place it should be, the trains and sewing machines describe how industrialization is taking over- these being 2 very important inventions, and last of all the "they were here first" seemed to have to do w/ the indians, they were here, yet we took over and killed most of them. and what do we say?!?? THAT WE MEANT WELL< but look what happened...

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  3. anonymous
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    May 7th 2010 !⃝

    I saw one interpretation that thought it was about the holocaust....
    I thought it was about the holocaust. Hide and seek is hiding the Jews from the Nazis, oily marks on the walls and crop circles in the carpet was when they were burned. Trains from shipping the Jews. Sewing (knitting) was the only activity allowed in the camps. Ransom notes and newspaper cut outs is the rest of the world covering up what the Germans are doing. You don't feel a thing/care a bit is how the Jews view the inhumane things the Germans do to them.

  4. anonymous
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    May 5th 2010 !⃝

    I too think this song is about the holocaust. All of the references she uses are in that period of time.

  5. anonymous
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    May 5th 2010 !⃝

    I personally thought that the song was about moving the Native Americans west of the Mississippi River in 1830.

    When busy streets a mess with people, would stop to hold their heads heavy- Would anybody ever feel guilty?

    Trains and sewing machines- Trains and sewing machines were being invented and first started being used in that time era. Trains were first used in 1829 and sewing machines were first used in 1844. (all around the same time as the Indian Removal Act)

    All those years, They were here first- The Native Americans were here way before the explorers.

    Oily marks appear on walls- Cave paintings done by the Native Americans.

    Blood and tears- All the blood created by the ones who were murded when they did not leave their land. Tears for their family.

    Mmm that you only meant well?- You meant well, and yet you did it violently?.

    Mmmm that it's just what we need, you decided this- The government said that it is just what everybody needed, yet they didn't let anybody else decide.

    Oh no, you don't care a bit- The government said that they did it for the Native Americans, but they didn't care a bit for them.

    Hide and Seek- Running away from the government.

    That's what I personally thought at least. I really didn't think it had anything to do with a relationship and/or break up.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  6. anonymous
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    May 2nd 2010 !⃝

    I think this is definitely a song about the holocaust

  7. anonymous
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    Apr 24th 2010 !⃝

    what i think this song might mean is that the watcha say part might mean something similar to "you decided to break apart, dont tell me anything because i dont care if you hurt, because it is your fault. and the first part i think may mean that she cannot accept the realization of their split, the sweeping insensitivity i believe may be him leaving her for no reason at all, so he is not caring about how she might feel. hide and seek maybe could be he was cheating on her and he is trying to hide something and she is trying to seek it because maybe she is suspicious. ransom notes could be excuses that would be for the reasons why he was trying to have her love in the first place, newspaper word cut-outs could be saying that he is saying something unfamiliar and different that does not fit with everything. i like this song because it leaves much room for different interpretations and views.

  8. anonymous
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    Apr 20th 2010 !⃝

    Tragedy will alwase rain upon our world, this song is about what hapenes after ANy event, think, a break up, a murder, a robery, the holocaust, hiroshima, the end of days, it will come, this is waht will happen, they say the prophets are dead, thoes who will listen, they are the ones who hear the truth.

  9. anonymous
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    Apr 15th 2010 !⃝

    I believe the song is about the sudden shock of an event could be a death, a divorce, abuse and the aftermath, or a major setback in life. Mostly I think it has to deal with a sudden event that scarred someone emotionally because of the actions of others. Then goes into growing up maturely or accessing or piecing together themselves what happened to them and when they ask the person(s) why there answers or reasons do not validate the victim and the words do not heal the scar that is left on the victim.

  10. anonymous
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    Mar 11th 2010 !⃝

    You know honestly I took this song as talking about man and industry taking over the beauty of the world. Maybe even Indians. Think of that and read the lyrics and it totally makes sense. but ya know my kind of song writers are the ones who write in a way that others can use the song for what they feel it for instead of there always being a set meaning. I think the trains sewing machines part (your interpretation) was kind of a stretch.

  11. anonymous
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    Mar 9th 2010 !⃝

    For what it's worth, Imogen Heap has at least twice been asked in interviews what the song is about.

    In Barcode magazine in 2005 ( http://www.barcodezine.com/Imogen%20Heap%20Interview2.htm ) she said:

    "I'm not going to tell you exactly what it's about, because I think that part of the reason why it is not so obvious is sometimes it's good to have those songs that really mean something very dear to you, but maybe you don't want to speak about it to the rest of the world. But, with that one, I wrote it so quickly, the lyrics I probably wrote in about 20 minutes, which is unheard of. But I like to be clever with words and I like to make them like a puzzle, I like the words to sound interesting in the mouth and create patterns within themselves. So with that one, it just literally came out of nowhere and I found myself getting really passionate about it and it just poured out of me. There was something in my life that obviously needed to be said.

    In a broad strokes way, it's about losing something very dear to me and how much of an impact that person had on my life and about maybe how when something awful happens to somebody else, how other people react to it."

    In Q-Notes in 2006 ( http://goqnotes.com/features/feature2006/feature01_110406.html ) she was asked:

    "What is the most personal song on Speak For Yourself?"

    and replied:

    " 'Hide and Seek'. I rarely tell anyone what it's about. Other people's interpretations are probably far more interesting, but it was a very cathartic song for me. I wrote it in a very short space of time and obviously it was just dying to get out of me. And I don't want to let anyone know [the story behind it] because I don't want the person it's about to have the satisfaction of knowing it's about them! "

    So it is obviously inspired by personal events and relationships, even if she has never publicly explained this in detail. According to someone who claims to have worked on a video with her (http://inspirethegrind.blogspot.com/2009/09/works-in-light.html)

    'she told me the song was about her father getting a new wife and how she felt estranged from him because of that relationship.'

  12. mikahnoelle
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    Mar 7th 2010 !⃝

    I think it's about the Holocaust, but that's all I can think of.

  13. 14andFulton
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    Mar 4th 2010 !⃝

    My opinion? It's about divorce.

    I know there's a lot of interpretations out there, and Imogen Heap has only given vague comments on it--but she HAS said that it's about "losing something very dear to me and how much of an impact that person had on my life." This leads me to believe it's about her parent's divorce (which occurred when she was 12, fyi.)

    Where are we?
    What the hell is going on?
    (She's wondering what's happening and how she got there.)

    The dust has only just begun to fall
    (All the shit happening has just recently started, and the aftermath of it is still fresh.)

    Crop circles in the carpet
    (Indents in the carpet from furniture that is now missing; her father is moving out.)

    Sinking feeling
    (Self explanatory--all of these things give her a sinking feeling something terrible is happening.)

    Spin me round again
    (How a father picks up his daughter and spins her around; she wants him to interact with her like he did when she was a kid and everything was okay, but everyone is preoccupied with the divorce.)

    And rub my eyes,
    this can't be happening
    (Rubbing her eyes as if trying to awaken from a nightmare; she can't believe something like this is happening.)

    When busy streets a mess with people
    would stop to hold their heads heavy.
    (So many people are affected by divorce; if they all showed it, entire streets would stop and hold their heads. For her, this is a big deal, and she feels that it should be viewed as thus.)

    Hide and seek
    (Could be simply referencing the game--signifying that she's still a child while all this is happening.)

    Trains and sewing machines
    (Possibly wedding trains? Her mother may be altering her wedding dress for another marriage.)

    All those years
    they were here first
    (The years of them being together as a happy family were there before the bad years; they should mean more to them than whatever they're going through now.)

    Oily marks appear on walls
    where pleasure moments hung before the takeover,
    (There's marks on the walls where family pictures used to hang; but now they've been taken down--either by her mother, who wants to get rid of pictures of her ex-husband, or by her father, who took the pictures for himself.)

    The sweeping insensitivity of this still life
    (Her parents are being, in her view, insensitive; how could they do something like this when it's ruining her life?)

    Hide and seek
    Trains and sewing machines
    Oh, you won't catch me around here
    (She doesn't want to be there while all this is happening; she distances herself from them because she can't stand it.)

    Blood and tears
    they were here first
    (All the hard times and struggles they've had before. They got through those just fine, why is this time different?)

    Mmmm whatcha say,
    Mmm that you only meant well?
    Well of course you did
    (They tell her that "they only mean well" by doing this--although she doesn't quite believe it. I take her reply of "well of course you did" to be more sarcastic.)

    Mmmm whatcha say,
    Mmmm that it's all for the best?
    Of course it is
    (They tell her it's for the best that they split.)

    Mmmm whatcha say?
    Mmmm that it's just what we need
    You decided this
    (They tell her that a divorce is really what they need; but she argues THEY decided it, leaving her out completely. For her, it's not what she needs.)

    Mmm whatcha say?
    Mmmm what did she say?

    Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
    mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut outs
    (Ransom notes: her parents are pressuring her to choose between them, or just pressuring her to spend more time with one as oppose to the other. Amid this verbal tug-of-war, they're saying sweet things to her to try and convince her that everything is alright, although to her their words seem stolen and fake (newspaper cutouts).)

    Speak no feeling no I don't believe you
    You don't care a bit,
    You don't care a bit
    (She doesn't believe them when they tell her their reasons for divorce. She doesn't care about their reasons, it's hurting her, and by going through with it regardless of the pain it causes her, they're ceasing to care.)

    Of course, just my interpretation. But I think it hits a lot harder thinking that it's about divorce than thinking it's about a boyfriend.

  14. anonymous
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    Feb 25th 2010 !⃝

    You find the meaning only in the search. It means something different to everyone...

  15. anonymous
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    Feb 19th 2010 !⃝

    So obviously this is not waht the song is about..but if anyone has read the book "the host" by stephanie meyer, it goes along with it. i personally think it would be great on the soundtrack!

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