Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 7!: Beautiful Imagery in "Hide and Seek"

These are the beginning lyrics of one of my favorite songs by Imogen Heap. I want to share it because the imagery is just so interesting, that, if extracted from the music, it could stand alone as poetry:

"Where are we? What the [heck] 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.

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

Oily marks appear on walls
Where pleasure moments hung before.
The takeover, the sweeping insensitivity of this
still life.

Hide and seek.
Trains and sewing machines. (Oh, you won't catch me around here)
Blood and tears,
They were here first." ♪

How creative is it to describe the carpet as having crop circles? I've always loved that line "the dust has only just begun to fall." You can feel the weight and weariness of the narrator (singer) and the people swirling around her, as passer-byes stop and "hold their heads heavy," not "hold their heavy heads." It really emphasizes the ponderousness of the situation.

She describes objects and rooms in a house, a house that seems like a shell left vacant with whispers of the past. "Trains and sewing machines..." could mean perhaps toy trains and literal sewing machines, or maybe just the noise of both machines. The noise of both is a sort of loud hum, symbolizing progress and achievement or motion, even perhaps a comforting noise. And perhaps, in this "still life" picture, they have stopped, much like her life has seemed to halt.

I also really appreciate the way she describes the existence of past lovers with "oily marks" on walls "where pleasure moments hung before...the takeover..." The takeover of what? I ask. Perhaps this shift in her life that has caused things to come to an abrupt stand-still. Instead of saying "greasy hand prints" she gives it more character and substance, saying these moments "hung" there, like an old picture, a memory framed.

I love this song, but can never come to a conclusive idea of the meaning. Perhaps she is reflecting on a past experience in her life, having flash backs. Maybe she reminisces over a past lover. One interpretation I came across was that she was experiencing divorce, perhaps from the perspective of a child. Whatever the experience, the place haunts her, for she says "you won't catch me around here." Who is "you"? We may never know. I do know though, that I love her lyrics, for they are descriptive and thoughtful, leaving you wondering. And as all good writers do, she shows and not just tells the emotions felt by using concrete imagery.

A hopeless text analyzer,

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