Imogen Heap - iBabble Forum Index
Author Message

<  'Ellipse' Discussion  ~  2-1 Lyrics

SpiderTodd
Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:11 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Feb 2008 Posts: 418 Location: GA
Well I def. would not rule out religion and ref. to god in it. I mean look at Sweet Religion.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
JonWes
Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:12 am Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Nov 2005 Posts: 310 Location: Tolono, IL
Thanks for letting me know the vblog - I really could not remember it! I'll have to take a look at it again. Just to reiterate I definitely don't think my interpretation is automatically right, but I do think it's the one best supported by they lyrics Smile But I love the fact that Wildchild can hear the same lyrics and come up with such a different take. A couple points I do want talk about from various replies-

The notion that Evolution has a lot of gaps in it is actually patently false. The THEORY itself doesn't have any gaps and can explain so much. The only gaps exist in the fact that scientists can't show you every stage of a particular species evolution. This is not unusual because we are lucky to have as many fossil records as we have. This, though, is what the god of the gaps is all about. Just because a scientist can't show you every stage of an animal's evolution some say God did it. Without I might add giving any of the proof they are asking the scientist for. The truth is there really is no example given by religious people of something in nature that can't be explained by evolution. Sometimes they think they have an example but it's only because they have misunderstood what evolution is about.

But enough about that. What I really wanted to say was that I think wilschilds post is very interesting and I can see how you might see it that way. One thing I find interesting is that you see it as angry. I don't see it that way at all. I think of it as epic... It feels like the sun rising to me... Like something beautiful ending... and there is sadness in this and fear of what is to come... But also a sense of possibility. That's what I get from it... and anger doesn't seem to be a part of it.

One thing I would just caution against is thinking this means Imogen is an atheist or something. Could be. She's a smart cookie so I secretly hope she is but that's my agenda. Smile She could just be questioning or wondering or who knows. We could all be wrong about the meaning. The line in Wait it out about a miracle makes me think she's probably highly questioning. In any case her personal stance almost doesn't matter. I think just bringing it up and making you think in such a wonderfully poetic way makes the song a success no matter where you end up at in your thinking at song's end. I think the question it raises is the most important thing no matter what your beliefs or- lack thereof - are you ready if they are untrue? I think the song is more of a question than an attempt at an answer. I'm assuming it must have gone through a large change from when it was submitted for Caspian in any case.

Alright I've blathered on a bit and I'm typing on an iPhone! So I'll wrap up with two things - I think it's "hosts of heaven" (angels) not "holes of heaven" and finally the ending with "is it my fault" IS very mysterious.


Last edited by JonWes on Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:14 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
twitter.com/jonwesleyhuff
jonwesleyhuff.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
AASPBY
Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:53 am Reply with quote
Guest
Hahaha, wow. We are getting so close to controversy.

Anyway yeah, I'm not sure I can hear anger either. I can kind of hear her scratching her head in confusion though. The whole song seems to be based on questions.
windkirby
Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:27 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Jan 2009 Posts: 31
Well I think Darwin predicted a lot more missing links to show up than the number we've gotten. And feel to make fun of her, but my biology teacher (who I don't think is religious) said the fossil record doesn't chronologically match the history scientists have based on homology. But anyway, I don't know how much arguing about whether or not the theory of evolution has holes in it is going to help us understand the song...

What JosWes just said kind of makes me less sure of the atheistic angle mostly because of the mood. I mean, according to his/her (?) interpretation the song is one of revelation and possibility for the human race - but that's not what the song sounds like to me. It really sounds more like, well, doom and omens... I suppose leaving God/gods behind can kind of create the mood, but I'm not sure... It's just the song is so minor that you think it would be about something tragic than something good.
Personally I could only think of "Tell me, is it my fault" making sense in the judgment interpretation - as in "Am I to blame for letting people forget about God?" But then I guess it could go other ways.
On another note, someone recently said it was "holes to heaven" by reading from the booklet.

Also, you really feel that way about this site, AASPBY? Kind of surprised - I was under the impression a lot of Immi's fans were atheists or agnostic.
View user's profile Send private message
QwertytheBard
Posted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:49 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009 Posts: 3 Location: Right Behind You
Before I launch myself into said near controversy, I've got to say: For some strange reason, this song reminds me of Doctor Who.

That aside, to me it sounds like kind of a "you know, us humans really know jack squat about the world around us. There's a pretty big chance we could be wrong." It also seems to me that she's talking about science and religion not only having an equal chance at being wrong, but that they may actually both be right. Remember, it was the Roman Catholic church that said thinking the earth was round was blasphemy, and later, even when they accepted "the earth is round" as the truth, they considered thinking that the earth wasn't the center of the universe as blasphemy.

Also, when I first heard 2-1 on soundcloud, I didn't get the title. I thought the titling line was "all the gods lost to one", as in, as humanity advanced, polytheism went from dominating the world's religions to becoming a very small minority. Most religions in the modern world are monotheistic, after all.

To me, the bridge sounds like she's talking to God: "I'm dying to know. I want to make sense of the universe, of humanity, of everything." and God just responds with a simple "I care about you." Very comforting. The "tell me, is it my fault?" bit seems like asking a personal question in the midst of all the big ones, but other than that I've got nothing on it. There's nothing I can spot in the song that might/ might not be "her fault".

Now, "Things are not always how they seem/ They don't turn out always how we think/ Will we be ready?" seems to just be a summary of the point the song's trying to make. We, as humans, have a tendency to think we know everything, and more often than not, we're wrong. The question is, are we ready for that?
View user's profile Send private message
AASPBY
Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:15 am Reply with quote
Guest
windkirby wrote:

Also, you really feel that way about this site, AASPBY? Kind of surprised - I was under the impression a lot of Immi's fans were atheists or agnostic.


My views on religion and faith are all over the place but one thing is concrete: I do believe in God. I do not, however, believe in religion. I mean...look at what it's doing to the world. One religion doesn't agree with the other so a war starts. If people ask my what my religion is, I simply say "God." They hate that, but I really don't care.

However, I leave everything open for interpretation and change. Kind of like QwertytheBard's interpretation. We've created these set views, but there is a massive chance we're all wrong. I create different scenarios in my head all the time. They all seem to make the same amount of sense to me, so I leave them all as possibilities.

One thing remains true to me: energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So, some part of us has to go somewhere when we die. I like to believe in that energy as being a soul.

Anyway, slightly off topic, but as Immi asks "Will we be ready?" A lot of people aren't. They hate change. I must say, death doesn't really scare me because I am very curious as to what does become of us (though, I'd really prefer to live my whole life before I find all this out. Hahaha). I rather love how much attention and interpretation "2-1" is getting. It's really fascinating!
JonWes
Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:15 am Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Nov 2005 Posts: 310 Location: Tolono, IL
I actually quite like the idea that the song is not taking a stance either way and is perhaps being wary of dogmatic belief in ANY idea. Whether a scientific principle or religious belief. As a person who has a love for, but certainly no devotion to, science this really goes along with the scientific ideal that what we learn should shape our truths, not what we think we know. In other words, if we learn that something we believe is true is false we embrace that change. When I did believe in God I was never big into religion either. I think it's a very human construct that could often hinder a personal connection to God. But even if you do like religion or find some comfort in it, I think it's easy to agree with the fact that our understanding and relationship with God might be able to grow as well as we mature as a species.

Perhaps it CAN all be summed up with a Doctor Who quote: "Change my dear, and not a moment too soon."

So to me it seems like it could be a song about change orJ
specifically fear of change. I think that's where some of the dread comes in, but I guess to me change also signifies hope and possibility so that's where I'm getting that from. Smile

_________________
twitter.com/jonwesleyhuff
jonwesleyhuff.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
windkirby
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:12 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Jan 2009 Posts: 31
Well personally, I think that it's very difficult to stick to a religion because one has to have either a very great degree of diligence or of close-mindedness. Otherwise parting with the religion is natural. And because Immi writes very creative, open-minded songs, I figured a lot of Immi fans are less inclined to adhere to a religion, which is why I said that, even though I think most of Immi's music isn't religiously contradictory.
I personally am a Christian, but I understand where you both are coming from, especially when there are so many crazy people claiming to be acting in the cause of a religion (terrorists, that guy who was praying Obama would die Razz), that it's guilt by affiliation. A big selling point for me is being able to talk with people who believe the same things you do. But I guess you have to be pretty lucky to find a group of people who aren't crazy and actually know what they're doing when it comes to the important stuff.
Religious wars are just awful - don't get me started. Anyone who's using religion as an excuse to hurt or judge people who don't belong to theirs... just makes me so mad. Because not only is it harmful to others, it's harmful to the idea of religion. It totally sullies the idea, which should be about being good to others. It's why I understand why you guys don't want to attach yourselves to one.
Anyway, I disgress - getting off-topic. Just wanted to give my opinion on religion, too.

As for the song... well, I think we've come to some pretty solid conclusions (that it's about the change of beliefs and may not have a specific alliance), so there's not much to say.... haha.
View user's profile Send private message
JonWes
Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:12 am Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Nov 2005 Posts: 310 Location: Tolono, IL
Yep... until someone else comes up with a new theory! Heh. But in any case I've found the discussion to be a lot of fun and very interesting. What more can you ask for?

_________________
twitter.com/jonwesleyhuff
jonwesleyhuff.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
QwertytheBard
Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:13 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Jul 2009 Posts: 3 Location: Right Behind You
Doughnuts. You can always ask for more doughnuts!

*cough* ahem... Back to the lyrics, then... At about 2:56-ish, between the "Tell me, is it my fault?" and "I care about you, darling" there's this... thing, that sounds like distorted vocals that echo back and combine with piano. It's not printed in the lyric booklet, nor is it on here, but as far as I can make out, it's something like "oh, it's wonderful" or "always wonderful", but it may be something else entirely. What do youse lot hear?
View user's profile Send private message
EmmaRose
Posted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:13 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Dec 2008 Posts: 76 Location: Canada
I'm really enjoying reading this discussion. I think it's fantastic & reveals the depths of Immi's writing.

I don't have anything rational to add, but rather some intuitional feelings. Two, in particular:

1. Is it possible that this song is a dialogue rather than a monologue? Or a dialogue delivered as a monologue?

2. I can't kick the feeling that this song is strongly driven by the character of Susan from the Chronicles of Narnia. It's often argued that she is the Judas figure in the books, and that lends a whole lotta goose-bumps to the "Tell me is it all my fault" line.

Those are the two random shards at the moment. Not sure if they help further anything, but I certainly hope so. Confused
View user's profile Send private message
SpiderTodd
Posted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:46 am Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Feb 2008 Posts: 418 Location: GA
Well I'm not saying that there is not some reference to narnia, but she stated in her written blogs b4 she was asked to do the narnia film that when she was doing sound checks for her last album she had the idea and chord progression and the chours "things are not always as they seem." So there was some kind of idea playing in her head. That's why I really wouldn't rull out religion,etc...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
RBerman
Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:25 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Mar 2008 Posts: 114
JonWes wrote:
I think it's "hosts of heaven" (angels) not "holes of heaven"


The lyric sheet says:

"Holes to heaven pointed out to us
From light years away
We're surrounded by a billion galaxies"

I assume the "holes to heaven" are the stars. As far as the theme of the song, I'd like to hear from Imogen on it. The first part of the lyrics speak of everything being bigger than we realize. First humans thought the earth was flat, small, and at the center of everything. Greeks and Romans and Norsemen built elaborate theologies around their faulty cosmologies. But "the gods lost, 2-1." Now we know the earth is round and goes around the sun, and even our sun is just one of billions of stars in one of billions of galaxies so far apart from each other that we can scarcely grasp it. The conclusion is, "Things are not always how they seem. Will you be ready?" It's a warning against presumption in what we think we know.

The second verse warns against making overconfident plans for the future, "pinning all your hopes on the top dog of dreams." Our expectations can let us down, just like polyfilla looks like part of a real wall, but it's really a weaker substance. As a result our plans "don't quite turn out always how we think."

The last bit turns to a romantic example of the way our expectations can let us down. She feels emotionally isolated from her lover. So it seems to me that the song is not about religion, per se. Rather, Imogen uses two examples (astronomy and planning for the future) to show that appearances and expectations can be deceiving, with the punchline that romance is like that too.
View user's profile Send private message
JonWes
Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:31 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Nov 2005 Posts: 310 Location: Tolono, IL
Yeah It is holes to heaven. It took me quite a few tries to actually hear that. Smile I really like your interpretation a lot too.

_________________
twitter.com/jonwesleyhuff
jonwesleyhuff.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
LRKShipCat
Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:24 am Reply with quote
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 Posts: 6 Location: Pennsylvania; Ohio
I love the interpretations offered by people. JonWes' thoughts seem to mirror mine the most. I won't put forth an entirely dense interpretation, but I wondered if anyone else thought of the line "the gods lost 2-1" as possibly suggestive of multiple gods being overtaken by belief in one god- as if ideas about gods are competing for our souls (including the idea that there is no god).
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
DavidB
Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:34 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Jul 2009 Posts: 1203 Location: London
I was amused that near the beginning of her video interview for Future Music Immi says that 'the meaning [of 2-1] is for me to know and you to argue about'. Typical Immi!

I was going to try out some thoughts of my own, but on checking through this thread I find that JohnWes has already said everything I was thinking of, only better than I could have done. I think the first verse is 'about' the development of man's knowledge of the universe from early mythological ideas (first the earth was flat) up to modern cosmology (billions of galaxies), while the second verse is 'about' the urge to find some meaning in 'the interim of life'. But I'm not sure I understand the connection between these philosophical themes and the apparently personal bits like 'I care about you darling'.

Anyway, happy arguing!
View user's profile Send private message
DavidB
Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:39 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Jul 2009 Posts: 1203 Location: London
In her Boulder Vokle session Immi said she had read the iBabble discussion about 2-1, which is probably this thread, and she was impressed by the comments (or something like that).
View user's profile Send private message
JonWes
Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 9:08 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Nov 2005 Posts: 310 Location: Tolono, IL
Oh that's fun! Smile It was a really good conversation.

_________________
twitter.com/jonwesleyhuff
jonwesleyhuff.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
TómasAlexander
Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:34 am Reply with quote
Joined: 16 Nov 2009 Posts: 331 Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
I think it is interesting to note that the ratio of Polyfilla powder to water (when preparing the paste) is 2:1. I think that the title is in reference to the original title. Polyfilla is used to cover cracks in walls, nails, "gaps" as it were. I think what she is saying is that religion, any religion, is the polyfilla that we use to cover up the cracks in our understanding of the Universe. The fact that she calls life "the interim" as in something that is taking the place of something else for now. This implies that we are usually something else, but for the interim we are alive and this limited existence has us standing on our tiptoes to offer up our fears and hopes to something bigger than ourselves, "the top dog of dreams."

It switches gears in the bridge and i think that the first part is like supporting evidence for an argument. Kinda like, "Yes, you thought this was something else, but a couple hundred years ago we all thought the earth was flat and look what happened to THAT theory..." I think this song is a conversation in a relationship between someone who has just discovered polyfilla under the paint on the walls of their relationship and someone who discovered it long ago. When she says, "you're not alone in this," I think she is saying that whoever she is singing to is not alone in their belief in something that fills in the gaps but at the same time, she is saying that it IS just a "gap-filler." Its not the real deal. It LOOKS strong in the weakness of the gaps. Whatever they have patched up their love with is just a patch. And the veneer that they portray to the world at large is starting to show the patchwork through it.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Ken's_Odyssey
Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:35 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Nov 2009 Posts: 29 Location: Toronto, Ontario
I think the song is less about God but more about our past mistaken beliefs about reality. She wrote:

First the earth was flat
But it fattened up when we didn't fall off
Now we spin laps round the sun

All the gods lost 2-1
And holes to heaven pointed out to us from light years away
We're surrounded by a billion galaxies

Things are not always
Things are not always how they seem
Will you be ready?
Will you be ready?

The interim of life
Has got you tiptoed and pinning all your hopes
On the top dog of dreams

You're not alone in this
The polyfilla way looks strong in the weakness
Of the gaps

Things are not always
Things are not always how they seem
They don't turn out always
Don't quite turn out always how we think
Will we be ready?
Will we be ready?

I'm dying to know, what's in your head
I'm dying to know, how it all got in there
I'm dying to know, to help make some sense of it all
I'm dying to know
Tell me is it my fault?

And I care about you, darling

And I care about you
Course I care about you
More than anyone else

Things are not always
Things are not always how they seem
They don't turn out always
Don't quite turn out always how we think
Will we be ready?

It is historically true that theologians once believed and preached that the earth was the centre of the universe and everything including all the stars in the heavens revolved around the earth. Theologians also believed the earth was flat and heaven was above and hell was below. It all tied in nicely with the established structures for teaching ideas of humility and obedience. Dominate ignorance through fear. It was a case of “we know -- you don’t know“. There was no science to contradict these mistaken beliefs. Galileo using a crude telescope corrected several errors in all this religious bunk. And for correcting these errors he was imprisoned for his efforts.

But it was one of those great “a-ha” moments in human development. The true nature of the universe was discovered and the earth was NOT at the centre of all creation. In fact the earth is a rather insignificant part of our solar system and of course less than significant in the whole the universe. So the earth is round. Not only that “We didn’t fall off”.

Imogen’s song says be careful what you believe and be prepared for errors in thinking about everything, including our relationships. Neither can you know what’s in someone’s head. You may want to know but you will never know even when you’re told. Get ready for the truth of things. That’s my take on it.
View user's profile Send private message
rockbird
Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:14 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Feb 2009 Posts: 161 Location: St. Joseph, Missouri, USA
Ken's_Odyssey wrote:
I think the song is less about God but more about our past mistaken beliefs about reality.

It is historically true that theologians once believed and preached that the earth was the centre of the universe and everything including all the stars in the heavens revolved around the earth. Theologians also believed the earth was flat and heaven was above and hell was below. It all tied in nicely with the established structures for teaching ideas of humility and obedience. Dominate ignorance through fear. It was a case of “we know -- you don’t know“. There was no science to contradict these mistaken beliefs. Galileo using a crude telescope corrected several errors in all this religious bunk. And for correcting these errors he was imprisoned for his efforts.

But it was one of those great “a-ha” moments in human development. The true nature of the universe was discovered and the earth was NOT at the centre of all creation. In fact the earth is a rather insignificant part of our solar system and of course less than significant in the whole the universe. So the earth is round. Not only that “We didn’t fall off”.

Imogen’s song says be careful what you believe and be prepared for errors in thinking about everything, including our relationships. Neither can you know what’s in someone’s head. You may want to know but you will never know even when you’re told. Get ready for the truth of things. That’s my take on it.


I agree with you.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
poetoffire
Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:58 am Reply with quote
Guest
I'm Jewish and I listen to Imogen Heap. I don't think all creative people are constantly questioning faith; most do at some point in their lives, but you don't have to be an atheist to appreciate Immi.

It seems like a dialogue between her and god, but for me, it really speaks of a personal apocalypse...everything you thought was wrong, nothing's going to be the same...looming on the horizon.

I find everyone's ideas very interesting, though!
windkirby
Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 5:59 am Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Jan 2009 Posts: 31
I was listening to this song the other day and felt a lot of new ideas coming in. I feel as if my one interpretation that it's about how science and modern society have covered up God, who will be coming back one day with a vengeance ("will we be ready?") is a solid one, but I also got a few other ideas.

I truly believe that one of the things another user pointed out is very important: "the polyfilla way, look strong in the weakness of the gaps." Now, this could really be going with two different interpretations. One: God is the polyfilla, only used as a solution when science can't explain something. Two: Science a polyfilla in that, at least in my understanding of Christianity, humans are always looking for God, but will try to fill up their lives with other things. Therefore, they try to use science to replace God, but it leaves some emotional gaps, which they have to wince through.

Now in this situation, polyfilla either represents science or God. But I'm inclined to think it represents science because polyfilla is created with a 2-1 mixture (as someone else pointed out), so creating polyfilla is a sort of chemical process. "The gods lost 2-1" could mean that the gods were covered over through chemical experiments, if the 2-1 the song is titled after indeed refers to how one mixes polyfilla. Polyfilla is the science and modern advancements that we try to use to fill the cracks in our lives so we can take God out of the equation.

Just a few other points:

1) I've always thought that the phrase "top dog of dreams" was an extremely odd choice of words. But dog is naturally a certain other word of hot debate spelled backwards, possibly symbolizing either God, or again, some backwards substitute for him like money or science that you have to pin your hopes on in the interim of life.

2) As for the bridge: I was looking around the classroom I take physics in the other day when I saw a poster of Einstein with the quote, "I want to know God's thoughts." That would kind of explain the bridge to me in a way. This is a rather wild theory, but what if the narrator is a scientist talking to God in the bridge, saying, "I care about you, and want to know more about you, but in conducting experiments, I'm starting to prove that you don't exist. Tell me, is it my fault?"

3) Of course, I still think the song is very open for interpretation, and I'm not saying that this is certain by any means. But these are just a few may-be-hints-may-be-nothings that I picked up on and felt I should share.
View user's profile Send private message

Display posts from previous:  

All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 2 of 2
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Post new topic

Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum