Hide and Seek
Imogen Heap Lyrics


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

(You won't catch me around here)
Blood and tears
They were here first
Mm, what'd you say?
Mm, that you only meant well
Well of course you did
Mm, what'd you say?
Mm, that it's all for the best
Of course it is
Mm, what'd you say?
Mm, that it's just what we need
You decided this
Mm, what'd you say?
Mm, what did she say?

Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cutouts
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 cutouts
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)
Oh, no, you don't care a bit
Oh, no, you don't care a bit
Uh-uh, you don't care a bit




You don't care a bit
You don't care a bit

Overall Meaning

Hide and Seek, a song by Imogen Heap, is a haunting yet captivating track that explores themes of confusion, chaos, and the loss of control. The opening lines of the song set the tone for the rest of the piece; "Where are we? What the hell is going on? The dust has only just begun to form." Heap seems to be describing a state of shock or disorientation, as if she is trying to make sense of her surroundings. The image of crop circles in the carpet is particularly intriguing, as if the very fabric of reality is being distorted in some way.


As the song progresses, the themes become more focused. The lines "Trains and sewing machines, all those years they were here first" seem to suggest a sense of inevitability or even doom, as if the world is hurtling forward towards some unknown fate that cannot be avoided. The idea of "blood and tears" being here first adds to this sense of foreboding, as if the history of the world is marred by violence and tragedy.


The final lines of the song, with their repeated "Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth" and "You don't care a bit," are particularly chilling. In this context, it seems as if Heap is describing someone who is trying to maintain control through deception, but ultimately failing. The repeated "Mm, what'd you say?" lines that bookend the track could be seen as a kind of commentary on how people use language to manipulate and deceive each other. Overall, the song is a masterpiece of atmospheric songwriting, full of thought-provoking imagery and emotion.


Line by Line Meaning

Where are we?
The singer is unsure of their current location or situation.


What the hell is going on?
The singer is frustrated and confused by their surroundings.


The dust has only just begun to form
A metaphor for the beginning stages of a new situation or circumstance.


Crop circles in the carpet
A metaphor for the strange and unexplainable things happening around the artist.


Sinking, feeling
The artist is overwhelmed and retreating inward.


Spin me around again
The singer desires a break from reality.


And rub my eyes
The singer is in disbelief of what is happening.


This can't be happening
The artist is struggling to accept their reality.


When busy streets, a mess with people, would stop to hold their heads heavy
A commentary on the hectic and overwhelming nature of modern life, with people feeling overburdened and exhausted.


Hide and seek
A metaphor for the game of life, where answers are often elusive and events seem to happen randomly.


Trains and sewing machines
A commentary on the cyclical and monotonous nature of life, with people moving from one routine to another.


All those years, they were here first
A reminder that human experience is not unique and that previous generations have faced similar problems and emotions.


Oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before
A metaphor for the way that negative events can leave lasting marks on people's lives.


The takeover
The idea that negative events or emotions can take over a person's life and become all-consuming.


The sweeping insensitivity of this
A commentary on the way that people can become immune to negative events and emotions over time.


Still life
A metaphor for feeling stuck or stagnant in a difficult situation.


(You won't catch me around here)
A statement of defiance against an unpleasant or difficult situation.


Blood and tears, they were here first
A reminder that human suffering is not new and that previous generations have faced similar problems and emotions.


Mm, what'd you say?
A sarcastic response to someone who is trying to justify or rationalize a situation.


Mm, that you only meant well
A commentary on the way that even well-intentioned people can cause harm or make mistakes.


Mm, what'd you say?
Repeated to emphasize the artist's skepticism or disbelief.


Mm, that it's all for the best
A commentary on the way that people can try to spin negative events to seem positive or beneficial.


Mm, what'd you say?
Repeated to emphasize the singer's skepticism or disbelief.


Mm, that it's just what we need
A critique of people who try to justify negative events as necessary or beneficial.


You decided this
A reminder that people have agency in their lives and can make choices that have both positive and negative consequences.


Mm, what'd you say?
Repeated to emphasize the singer's skepticism or disbelief.


Mm, what did she say?
A shift in focus towards another person's perspective on the same situation.


Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
A metaphor for someone who is speaking insincerely or deceitfully.


Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cutouts
A commentary on the way that people can use language to deceive or manipulate others.


Speak no feeling, no, I don't believe you
A critique of people who try to hide their true emotions or intentions.


You don't care a bit, you don't care a bit
An accusation that someone is apathetic towards the singer's problems or concerns.


Oh, no, you don't care a bit
Reiterated to emphasize the artist's frustration and disappointment.


Uh-uh, you don't care a bit
Reiterated to emphasize the artist's frustration and disappointment.


You don't care a bit
An accusation that someone is apathetic towards the artist's problems or concerns.




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Capitol CMG Publishing, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: IMOGEN JENNIFER HEAP

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@sophiafreewoman3352

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

Blood and tears
They were here first
Mm, what'd you say?
Mm, that you only meant well
Well of course you did
Mm, what'd you say?
Mm, that it's all for the best
Of course it is
Mm, what'd you say?
Mm, that it's just what we need
You decided this
Mm, what'd you say?
Mm, what did she say?

Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cutouts
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 cutouts
Speak no feeling, no, I don't believe you
You don't care a bit, you don't care a bit

Oh, no, you don't care a bit
Oh, no, you don't care a bit
Uh-uh, you don't care a bit
You don't care a bit
You don't care a bit

Source: LyricFind



@mgmg116

I'm not trying to rain on your parade (this song is a fantastic work of art) but that is absolutely not how it was recorded or produced.

Most of the gear in her home studio was apparently downed for a bit and she created it on her Digitech Vocalist harmonizer. I actually have the very same one.

While there's no official word on it, my opinion as an audio engineer is that there may have been two or three separate takes that were edited and compiled to create a new, single take (a process called vocal comping, or "comp tracking").

This was then sent as an audio signal to the harmonizer, which was controlled via MIDI keyboard to play back the harmonies of her vocal.

It is also possible she practiced the song until she was happy nailing it in a single go, and recorded it over only one take. Imogen possesses far more skill than needed to accomplish that effortlessly, depending on the level of control she likes to have on her production.

So the harmonizer sends back a harmonized signal. The way it works is that you play the notes you want your vocal to be harmonized to, and the unit creates as many copies as the number of keys you're pressing at once, and pitches them independently from one another, and assigns each copy to each individual note you're playing, and sends them all out as a single, stereo mix of anywhere from 1-4 voices harmonized together.

The original, unprocessed vocal can also be mixed back into the output of the unit, so you can actually blend between your raw, unprocessed voice and your harmonized voice copies.

It sounds to me Imogen's allowing around a 50/50 blend between the two signals, but she could be moving this blend knob up and down to emphasize certain words above others.

But yeah, either way, she's a fantastic musician and a remarkable producer, and put a TON of hands-on work and soul into this track.



@mgmg116

@@jess9038 She did a written interview and a video interview on the production of Hide and Seek and how it was made. I tried to link them both to you, but YouTube must not have liked that as they deleted my comment. In any case the video interview is here on YouTube, if you're interested just search "Imogen Heap making of hide and seek".

But yeah, Imogen basically said her studio computer stopped working and she didn't want to leave without producing something.

So she plugged in a Digitech Vocalist harmonizer (that she was borrowing from a friend) and used it to produce a rough version of the track, going into a disc recorder.

She doesn't specify if she did it in a single take (I would absolutely believe it if she said she did) or did a handful of takes that she later compiled, but she did use the Digitech Vocalist.

When she performs live, she uses a different harmonizer, the TC Helicon VoiceLive.



All comments from YouTube:

@Violetcas97

This is still one of the most impressively creative songs I’ve ever listened to. The harmonies, the absolutely incredible use of vocal layering. Haunting, beautiful, timeless. I’ll never not adore this song.

@SouthernMisfits

Comments like this don't get enough likes 😯😯

@ChonkyCats

@@SouthernMisfits agreed

@MyNameIsAshleyyy

She had to have been through something personally. That part everyone loves is so...intense. like, she has shit to say in this song

@elias08

most kids just think it's a derulo song they don't realize that the new music is just a copied version of the past

@IamFirtyDucker

fundip It's not copying, its sampling. There is an art to sampling especially prevalent in hip hop. But I get your sentiment.

11 More Replies...

@melissahlynn

After i lost my best friend this song took a whole new meaning to me. She introduced me to Imogen heap in 2007. ❤🕊 rip Jamie lee Smith 6/21/94 - 1/13/17

@NeptuneChildASMR

This song reminds me of a lost friend too. Mainly because during the time he died I listened to this song a lot and now I always think of that time in my life. Sorry for your loss 💚

@dirkdiggler7727

I'm sorry for your loss!

@isj8827

I'm really sorry for your loss 💜

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