"People are people
and sometimes it doesn’t work out
Nothing we say
is gonna save us from the fallout
I can’t breathe without you,
but I have to”
Breathing is something that we take for granted. When we’re going about our daily lives, we don’t think about breathing. As we’re sitting in class, or walking across campus, or doing our homework, we never have to think to ourselves: “Well, I’d better keep breathing.” But if we go through a difficult time, suddenly breathing seems so complicated and we can’t figure out how to draw air into our lungs. Every breath comes up short and our heart keeps constricting and we feel like we’re choking on nothing but our sorrow. That’s the feeling that this song encapsulates. When we lose someone, we feel like all of the air was just punched out of our lungs and suddenly this simple act, this basis of our entire life, becomes impossible. The passageway from our nose to the depths of our lungs suddenly becomes a complex labyrinth and all the air gets lost in translation somewhere and nothing seems to work out so we panic. But over time, that labyrinth loses a couple twists and turns each day until suddenly we feel that it’s easier to draw breath again, until finally we don’t have to think about it anymore and breathing is easy once more. That’s when we know we’ve moved on, and suddenly everything is okay again. The air is richer. We can breathe.
“I wish I was strong enough
to lift not one, but both of us
Someday, I will be strong enough
to lift not one, but both of us”
This isn’t technically her song, but she’s featured in it and it has a good message.
Strength is all relative. When talking about physical strength, it’s easy to see who has and who doesn’t by the size of their muscles or the prominence of their abs. But when it comes to emotional strength, there’s no measurable quantity that can tell you how good you are at dealing with your problems. Some of us cower and cry at the mere sight of trouble, while others seem to take the weight of the world on their shoulders without even bending their knees. It’s hard to take something like emotional preparedness and transfer it to someone else. It’s hard enough to sort through our own problems and deal with our own strife, but it’s even harder to help someone through the murk of their life when we’re still lost in the darkness of our own. That’s what this song is about. It shows the yearning that we have when we feel so weak because we can’t help each other. All we want to do is pull our loved one or our friend out of the depths of their sorrow and into the light of the sun. but we can’t do that when we’re anchored down ourselves. Sometimes you just have to solve your own puzzle before you can hand someone the missing piece to theirs.
"I never saw it coming
wouldn’t have suspected it
just who I was dealing with
She had to know
the pain was beating on me like a drum
just who she was stealing from
Sophistication isn’t what you wear
or who you know
no amount of vintage dresses
gives you dignity
Soon she’s gonna find
stealing other people’s toys
on the playground
won’t make you many friends
she should keep in mind
there’s nothing I do
better than revenge”
Anger. Maybe a little bit of jealousy. Hurt, pain, sadness, betrayal, heartbreak. All of these emotions come out to play when cheating is involved. This song is boiling with raw emotion and it’s in such an ugly form. This kind of emotion comes out from the deepest depths of your hidden, devilish desires and suddenly consumes you because all you can think about is how you’ve been betrayed and how you gave all of your love to someone and they threw it away like it was nothing. No wait, it’s even worse because rather than throw away your love they took it and twisted it and then gave it to someone else while they still pretended to care about you and that’s the worst part because you look like a fool while they manipulate your undying belief in them. You’ve been stabbed in the heart by the one person who promised they would never do it, the person who you thought didn’t even own a knife but secretly their knife was the sharpest of them all and oh they didn’t hesitate in using it. Now you’re bleeding raw emotion and there’s sadness and there’s jealousy but mostly there’s just anger and it’s ready to claw out from your chest and wreak havoc on the creature who created this monster within you. You’re ready to fight fire with fire, but in the end don’t we all get burned?
“I don’t know why
all the trees change in the fall
I know you’re not scared
of anything at all
Don’t know how long
it’s gonna take to feel okay
but I know I had the best day
with you, today”
Sometimes, you just need your mom. This song is the musical embodiment of the relationship between a mother and her child.
I think that sometimes you go through something really difficult, whether it be a breakup or a failed friendship or a bad day, and nothing seems to be cheering you up at all, but the moment you see your mom you feel a little bit better because the two of you are like puzzle pieces and when she’s around you snuggle comfortably into that little shape you were born to fit into. She wraps her arms around you and together you’re unstoppable, because she seems to be able to project her love like a protective field around you as you sit in this embrace and suddenly everything seems okay because nothing can break through that bond. Sometimes in life we feel like nothing is making any sense and everything is going wrong, but when we see our mother she makes all the pain go away and she solves the puzzle and for that special time that you’re with her you feel like you can conquer the world when she’s by your side. And these bonds are so important because mother’s don’t last forever and someday she’ll be gone, but she’s leaving you with so much wisdom and strength and love that some part of her will always be there within you. Always.
"you throw your head back
laughing like a little kid
I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny
'cause he never did
I’ve been spending the last 8 months
thinking all love ever does
is break, burn, and end
but on a Wednesday
in a cafe
I watched it begin again”
This song is the lyrical embodiment of hope. As you listen, you hear this lightness of voice that carries with it such a happy tone. Sometimes in life, we’re faced with a horrible period in which we feel like there’s no future for our happiness. But then something comes along that changes our minds, and suddenly we see that light at the end of the tunnel. It’s like we’ve been sitting in this canyon for awhile now, unable to get out because we’ve been left to our own devices. But suddenly someone drops a ladder and we see a way out. We begin climbing and everything gets brighter and brighter and we’re getting closer and closer to the top and then a hand appears over the edge of the cliff face, waiting for us to grab it and all it wants to do is help us and suddenly we feel hope again because of this one person who believed in us enough to help us out of the rough place we were in. This one person who pulled us out of the canyon gave us a reason to keep going and now we have something else to focus on instead of the pain of the past. That hope is always there, it’s just a matter of finding it.
"this is me swallowing my pride
standing in front of you
sayin im sorry for that night
and I go back to December all the time
It turns out freedom
ain’t nothing but missin you
wishing I realized what I had
when you were mine”
What do you do when you regret a choice you’ve made?
Do you dwell on it, wishing you had done something differently? Or do you accept it and move on? This song covers that feeling when you know you’ve made a mistake but there’s nothing to do now but apologize because there’s no way it’s ever going to be fixed. You’ve gone and lost something that you used to treasure, but as with all things beautiful you took advantage of it because you had it for too long, so then it just became part of the landscape. You stopped appreciating it and suddenly this beautiful thing that was your love realized that it wasn’t being noticed anymore so it began to leave, and as it left its beauty began to fade until it was nothing but a shadow of its former self. This is all your fault. But everyone makes mistakes and everyone wishes they could have a second chance but sometimes those just don’t happen so you have to accept that you’ve ruined this pristine entity and then try to reflect upon how to move on from here. You need to figure out how to tell this beautiful love that you’re sorry, but you don’t know how so you’re lost in tears that drown your thoughts until you, too, have been rusted by the salt contained in them. But now you realize that both you and your love have become changed by this event, and maybe you can grow from that. Maybe you can take the pain and the mistakes and transform them into learning experiences that tell you how to move on. You can look at your scars and see them as lessons, not as reminders of pain. You just have to re imagine yourself and you find that going back to that time isn’t so painful after all.
"maybe we got lost in translation,
maybe I asked for too much,
but maybe this thing was a masterpiece
till you tore it all up.
and you call me up again
just to break me like a promise
so casually cruel
in the name of being honest
I’m a crumpled up piece of paper
cause I remember it all too well”
Well, I vowed to analyze her songs in alphabetical order and as it turns out, the first one is one of the deepest in existence: All Too Well. This song is packed with emotion-heavy lyrics, but the ones that stand out the most are quoted above. This part of the song symbolizes the frustrating confusion that consumes the end of a healthy relationship, when you’re feeling like there’s never going to be another light at the end of the tunnel because everything around you is dark and scary and there’s no way out. You feel like you were just running in a sunny plain, hand in hand with your love, but then you fall and awaken in this black place with no feeling but the hurt inside your heart and the confusion in your brain. But the worst part of it is that it seems like your love pushed you here and laughed and watched you struggle and fall and betrayed you and messed up the greatest thing you’d ever felt… even if all that may not be true. You’re lost and scared and even as your love calls down to you to ask if you’re okay, you interpret it as an insult and the knife you feel inside gets pushed even deeper than you ever thought possible so you just close your eyes and try to remember yourself. You sit there in the dark and feel different, changed somehow, as if the fall broke some essential part of you that can never be repaired. And you ARE changed. Despite what you may hope, there’s no going back to the person you were before and there’s no removing those memories so all that’s left to do is remember it all and try to move on, because life doesn’t wait and there’s no point in sitting in the dark. You have to find the light and you have to use this pain to your advantage, and get yourself out of the story that was this love, and plunge yourself into the next one. It’s out there.