Warm Foothills
alt-J Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Dry dunes cater for jumping boys
From the nape of her neck he made his descent
They watched men hurl from rock to sea
Like sternum to button, lined lip pinches in between

Your foothills
Your warm

Iris swims quietly beside me
Oh the leaves and larger weeds sway and stretch themselves beneath
Blue dragonflies dart to and fro
I tie my life to your balloon and let it go

Your foothills
Your warm

Ooh




Ooh
Ooh

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Alt-J's "Warm Foothills" are open to interpretation, but they seem to depict a couple intimately exploring a desert landscape. The first verses refer to "dry dunes", which provide seemingly endless opportunities for boys to jump and play. The singer then describes the couple watching men hurl themselves from rocks into the sea, comparing their falling bodies to a closed button between the woman's sternum and her lips. This metaphor could symbolize the love between the couple, which is sealed off from the outside world.


The second half of the song portrays the couple walking in the foothills, surrounded by nature. The woman's name is revealed to be Iris, and the lyrics suggest a sense of peace and serenity as they wander in the landscape. The singer compares the swaying leaves and weeds to a sea beneath them, while blue dragonflies fly to and fro. Finally, the singer ties his "life to [her] balloon" and lets it go, as if his happiness is tied to the woman and her presence in his life.


Overall, "Warm Foothills" seems to be a tribute to nature's beauty, and the joy and peace that can come from exploring it with someone special.


Line by Line Meaning

Ooh
vocalization with no specific meaning


Dry dunes cater for jumping boys
The sandy hills make great terrain for young boys to jump and play


From the nape of her neck he made his descent
He descended down her bare back, starting from the base of her neck


They watched men hurl from rock to sea
Onlookers observed men jump from the rocks into the ocean below


Like sternum to button, lined lip pinches in between
Just as the chestbone buttons a shirt closed, the space between their lips creates a similar smooth closure


Your foothills, Your warm
A repetitive mantra, highlighting the comfort and familiarity of being with a loved one


Iris swims quietly beside me
The flower name is used as an allegory for the accompanying figure swimming silently next to the singer


Oh the leaves and larger weeds sway and stretch themselves beneath
The foliage and greenery around them move and bend, as if alive and reacting to their presence


Blue dragonflies dart to and fro
The blue insects fly quickly back and forth, creating a fluid and graceful scene


I tie my life to your balloon and let it go
The artist metaphorically attaches themselves to their partner's happiness and lets it soar, freeing themselves from the worries of life


Ooh
A concluding vocalization with no specific meaning




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS
Written by: Augustus Figaro Niso Unger-Hamilton, Joe Jerome Newman, Thomas Stuart Green

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

@01mggr

Dry dunes cater for jumping boys
From the nape of her neck he made his descent
They watched men hurl from rock to sea
Like sternum to button, lined lip pinches in between

Your foothills
Your warm


Iris swims quietly beside me
Oh the leaves and larger weeds sway and stretch themselves beneath
Blue dragonflies dart to and fro
I tie my life to your balloon and let it go

Your foothills
Your warm



@twistykwisty3396

Lyrics
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Dry dunes cater for jumping boys
From the nape of her neck he made his descent
They watched men hurl from rock to sea
Like sternum to button, lined lip pinches in between
Your foothills
Your warm
Iris swims quietly beside me
Oh the leaves and larger weeds sway and stretch themselves beneath
Blue dragonflies dart to and fro
I tie my life to your balloon and let it go
Your foothills
Your warm
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh



All comments from YouTube:

@rhiannonm8132

You know when you've been hit with something hard, some feeling or thought or event, and it's wrecked you a little bit, and you've had a good cry, and then the cry ends, naturally, as cries do, and you're kind of empty again, almost peaceful, and after a while you think to yourself, "okay then, let's get back to it," and you get up again, and you get dressed and have some tea and wash your face and get back to the life again, and every action, every breath feels... fresh, and new, and you still feel the aftermath of all of that emotion but mostly you feel beautiful and sweet and strong? Because you know you're delicate and sometimes you break, but there you are, up again, feeling okay being alive?
That feeling is what this song sounds like.

@rhiannonm8132

I also love the meaning the lyrics give it (i.e., sex as this beautiful, natural thing, etc) but this was the feeling it gave me before hearing the lyrics.

@SleepyCity0001

Yes I definitely agree. I love that feeling. You put the words right out of my mouth.

@victorialombardi5057

Wow. Lovely words

@alexconstantinides4360

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

@karidegerstrom8215

Kristina danger

25 More Replies...

@bonelesscereal9884

"I tie my life to your balloon, and let it go..." Pretty Damn beautiful

@TheSunnydaye

Truly beautiful, I love that line too

@f.ence.

Just noticed you posted this, you beat me to it! haha I love that line so much. 

@Hadleygirlie

Yeah, it's okay to not to be okay. Ahhh! Come back, dear self..Don't go there. Snap out of heartache. Whoa. Sorry.

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