What does Waterfalls mean?

TLC: Waterfalls Meaning

Album cover for Waterfalls album cover

Song Released: 1995

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Waterfalls Lyrics

A lonely mother gazing out of her window
Staring at a son that she just can't touch
If at any time he's in a jam
She'll be by his side
But he doesn't realize he hurts her so much
But all the praying just ain't helping at all
'Cause he can't...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    May 13th 2007 !⃝

    The first portion of the song is about a mother that trie4s to teach her son that there are other choices in life. This young man's mother stands at his side every time he is in trouble no matter what. He cannot see that what he is doing is hurting her so much and he continues to make money by dealing in drugs. He is ended as 'Another body laying cold in the gutter'. Another John Doe until named shot down.

    The second part is about a man getting with a woman that has been with many men before him. They have unprotected sex and with out his knowledge he is infected. This unknown infection HIV / AIDS is what sends him to an early grave. No matter which three letters SEX or HIV he dies from having unprotected sex with an infected woman.

    Both people were chasing after something a lot bigger than they could handle and didn't even realize it. One simple mistake was getting ahead of themselves without thinking their actions out. Sticking to what you are used to, and working methodically toward a brighter future that you can grasp.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 8th 2006 !⃝

    In the first verse the song talks about a mother who stands up for her son who is always in trouble. He makes money by drug dealing. A deal went bad and he was shot..."So he goes out and makes his money the best way he knows how, another body laying cold in the gutter."

    The second verse talks about a guy who gets AIDS from being intimate with a girl and possibly cheating on his girlfriend. He doesn't really appreciate hi partner..."Little precious has a natural obsession for temptation...she gives him loving that his body can't handle but all he can say is baby its good to me...three letters took him to his final resting place."

    In the rap she talks about how people shoot cocaine into their vein to get rid of the pain. It also talks about somebody who commits a murder and is caught, during his trial he claims insanity, but is still locked up..."Is for the folk who can't cope...for shootin' caine in your own vein...you shoot and aim for someone else's brain you claim the insane, and name this day in time for fallin' prey to crime,I say the system got you victim to your own mind."

    The chorus talks about taking it easy. Don't go after the things that are appealing to you and don't go down the wrong path. Stay on the path that is meant for you and right for. Stick to what you are used to..."


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Nov 7th 2005 !⃝

    It is talking about different people that try to live lives that aren't true to them. For example the first guy is a drug dealer. He tries to go out and earn his money but he is robbed and killed. The second guy was being intimate with a woman more experienced then hisself. He eventually got aids from her and they both died. So they are saying "don't go chasing waterfalls" (Dont go chasing the big flashy things that always interest you because sometimes they self destruct...dont go after things not meant for you.) instead, just stick to the "rivers and the lakes you're used to" (Go after the things that you are destined for.)

  4. anonymous
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    Sep 14th 2020 !⃝

    Waterfall is a metaphor for a man ejaculating. Rivers and lakes is a metaphor for a women’s labia and vagina. Seriously, no one else gets this or is every, even in these times, afraid to see it?

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  5. anonymous
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    Feb 22nd 2020 !⃝

    I don't know if the writers realized but checkout Hydraulic jump. If you are in a canoe and don't stick to the rivers and likes you are used to but go for waterfalls/weirs.... That undertow can drag you under and hold your body there until way past your death. So it is with other dangerous things you can do in life for quick kicks.

  6. anonymous
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    Jan 11th 2020 !⃝

    I see it many ways. I thought chase your dreams and end up dead. Temptation. Who knows but reading these I now think of it as something worse than I once did. I thought it would be a sexy woman hard to get. Maybe not worth the trouble. Maybe your true interest. Now confused.

  7. anonymous
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    Jun 2nd 2019 !⃝

    Waterfalls are strongly dangerous, falling”into one”, is disastrous. They are forces of nature that look beautiful, but too dangerous to chase. Rivers and streams are slower moving and calm. They can be challenging, but not as deadly as waterfalls which is the force to be reckoned with. It is bout risky choices, think smart.

  8. anonymous
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    Jun 13th 2017 !⃝

    It sounds like she is talking about herself. She was lucky and got her dreams, other paid the price but at the end she was moving too fast.

  9. anonymous
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    Aug 18th 2016 !⃝

    In my opinion the Waterfall represents the adage that "If it looks too good to be true it probably is". It seems to me that while a waterfall LOOKS like the quick easy way to get where you want to go,if ya try to ride it, it will end badly. Yer much better off to skip what LOOKS good and do the work (walk down) instead.
    The Lakes and Rivers, at least to me, is a metaphor for home. Not the dwelling or the blood relatives, cuz not everyone's is safe, but the ppl that care about you and provide a safe place to go for comfort or to recharge when things aren't working out. It's NOT saying don't LEAVE your comfort zone to chase your dreams, but rather don't FORGET it's there while you are.

    Put together the broader message is "Use good judgement by considering the consequences. BEFORE you take what APPEARS to be the easy route to your ultimate goal, remember it may make it all more difficult after all. And, if ya need some comfort or a reminder that yer not a failure if you fail along the way, GO HOME, regroup, and try again.

  10. anonymous
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    Apr 14th 2016 !⃝

    It (probably) Means dont go be someone that your not! Be someone that YOU want to be. Be yourself. Be someone thats different from everyone!

  11. anonymous
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    Apr 3rd 2016 !⃝

    Don't chase after the things that are perceived as glorious (water falls), although these things are seemingly exciting and hardcore they do not fulfill your true nature (rivers and lakes). Our purpose is to discover who we truly are, being our true selves is the only way we can live in peace and joy we however are tempted by that which is outside this state.

  12. anonymous
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    Mar 14th 2016 !⃝

    Don't pursue the Quick/easy/flashy
    Stick to the little : "Boring/average" stuff you're used to. maybe the son is selling drugs or prostituting...maybe the guy hooks up too soon (unprotected) with the HIV infected guy or girl...
    and perhaps you want it your way or no way at all...but you must see that you're moving too fast! Take it easy! DON'T GO CHASING WATERFALLS!!!! they're fast moving/ever changing water falls! Something beautiful and mystical that is constantly changing...nothing to base your life on!

  13. anonymous
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    Mar 14th 2016 !⃝

    Don't pursue the Quick/easy/flashy
    Stick to the little. "Boring/average" stuff you're used to. maybe the son is selling drugs or prostituting...maybe the guy hooks up too soon (unprotected) with the HIV infected guy or girl...
    and perhaps you want it your way or no way at all. .but you must see that you're moving too fast! Take it easy! DON'T. GO CHASING WATERFALLS!!!!

  14. anonymous
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    Mar 11th 2016 !⃝

    Many a verse has been written bearing messages about Schistosomia parasitic worms this song is singing to the intruder these creatures are passed through fecal and urinary tracts and to complete the life cycle a cercarie must spend two sporocyte cycles in a snail host then the new life form born into the water must find a host be it animal or human this parasite will swim up the urine stream into a host
    The best way he knows how to make money for many young people prostitution is entirely possible and spreading HIV or selling cocaine a customer could overdose.
    Little Precious has a natural obsession for temptation there are (spirits,demons habits, perhaps these parasites jump from host to host) maybe inference to cocaine providing income as well as distraction.
    Let's remember HIV can be passed using a dirty needle. I do find it curious how many decided little precious a woman and not a male though.
    A glimpse in the mirror not recognizing his own face went out and committed robbery to secure money for medical care pleading insanity. A mental hospital is doubtly safer than a prison.

  15. anonymous
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    Jul 22nd 2015 !⃝

    I can go back and forth with alot of people on the way they view the chorus... Basically to me, it can say "Don't make a stupid choice... be smart!!" On the other hand... "Chasing a waterfall"... wouldn't that be like chasing your dreams?? You should just "stick the rivers and the lakes you are used to?" I was taught Go BIG or Go HOME! Like i said... Two different ways to look at it...

  16. anonymous
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    Jun 1st 2015 !⃝

    This song is trying to get a simple message through your heads, and trying to help you. They are saying:

    "Don't go chasing waterfalls" meaning, don't make stupid choices, and when they say:
    "Please stick to the rivers and lakes that you're used to" they mean do what makes your life better, do what you were meant to do, don't do something you will regret and be safe.

  17. anonymous
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    Jul 5th 2012 !⃝

    Proverbs 5:1-2, 15-20
    1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:
    2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.
    15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
    16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.
    17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.
    18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
    19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
    20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
    The female "hip hop" group TLC gave a warning from Proverbs 5 perhaps without even realizing it...
    "Don't go chasing waterfalls.
    Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to.
    I know that you're gonna have it your way or nothing at all,
    but I think you're moving too fast."
    If the church could learn to be true and faithful --- husbands to wives --- members to the body --- Christians to Christ. WOW!!! What a difference our marriages and our families would be in the world. For the body of Christ to be healthy - don't get tricked by LSD - lust, sin, death. Our constant foes - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life --- The world, the flesh, and the devil will have you chasing waterfalls - might look beautiful but the end could be a crash on the rocks and a watery grave - read Proverbs 5 and beware and be warned and be wise!!! You'll be blessed and be a blessing :-)

  18. anonymous
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    May 3rd 2012 !⃝

    I think alot of times we as humans can't avoid certain situations like lust which is definitly a bad temptation that young girls are pressured with from guys that are players

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