I thought I felt your shape but I was wrong.
Really all I felt was falsely strong.
I held on tight and closed my eyes.
It was dumb, I had no sense of your size.
It was dumb to hold so tight, but last night
on your birthday in the kitchen
my grip was loose. My eyes were open.
I felt your shape and heard you breathing.
I felt the rise and fall of your chest.
I felt your fall, your winter snows, your gusty blow, your lava flow.
I felt it all, your starry night, your lack of light.
With limp arms I can feel most of you.
I hung around your neck independently and my loss was overwhelmed by this new depth I don't think I ever felt.
But I don't know. My nights are cold still and I remember warmth. I could have sworn I wasn't alone.


Lyrics submitted by Thistleteeth, edited by itsmecaitlind

I Felt Your Shape song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +2
    Song MeaningYikes! Most of the interpretations/meanings on here don't do the song justice. I know I won't either but I wan't clarify somethings! Phil is pretty open about the context of most of his songs from this period, specifically this album. Perhaps its unjust to call this a breakup album since it undermines a lot of the themes, but this song is very much about a breakup.

    I thought I felt your shape but I was wrong
    Really all I felt was falsely strong
    I held on tight and closed my eyes
    It was dumb I had no sense of your size

    Phil thought he understood the person he was in love with, but he didn't. Trite, but there's more.

    Going off of other songs he wrote around this time, he really wanted to make it work in his head. He wanted so badly to believe his own idealizations and keep romanticizing despite being aware of the relationship not working. He kept his eyes shut and held onto her tightly.

    It was dumb to hold so tight
    But last night
    On the birthday in the kitchen
    My grip was loose my eyes were open

    He realizes now that holding onto the toxic relationship with eyes shut was not to best choice...it was dumb in retrospect. But one night he did open his eyes and he stopped gripping onto her to see her for what she really was.

    I felt your shape and heard you breathing
    I felt the rise and fall of your chest
    I felt your fall
    Your winter snows
    Your gusty blow
    Your lava flow
    I felt it all
    Your starry night
    Your lack of light
    With limp arms I can feel most of you

    With his eyes open, and a loose grip, he saw her for her actual shape. Here he uses beautifully romantic, and heartbreaking imagery to describe what he saw. In the end he saw a lack of light in her. With his lose, limp arms he can actually see what's in front of him.

    I hung around your neck independently
    And my loss was overwhelmed
    By this new depth I don’t think I ever felt

    He held onto her still. Independently implies that maybe at this point she might have left him, but he's still attached...even if it's only loosely. He's realizing now that he lost someone he loves and also this beautiful idea of them.

    But I don’t know
    The nights are cold
    And I remember warmth
    I could have sworn I wasn’t alone

    But now, was he wrong about her? He doesn't know, and can't tell, but what he does know is that nights are cold without her. In the end, he still swears to having known her and been with her, and not just alone with an idealized version of her.

    The other longer versions of this song just add the heartbreak even more because they intensify how painful it is to part ways with someone physically and emotionally.

    There's no more hugging in the kitchen,
    No more pats on the back in the hall.
    No more chest on breasty chest behind the curtain.
    No more lip on nape of neck in shower stall.
    No more cosy gardens or craving curvy hips on my belly.
    I'm giving up so I can be free from you.
    I'm paying fees so I can sever ties from you.
    Let craving call and beg and bawl, and face it tall.
    Let my soft skin have more sweet soft air on me.
    Let boulders drown.
    riversdollon February 01, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about a guy who was in love with his best friend. She wouldn't like him back despite that he knew everything about her (the gusty blows, lava flows, all references to events that may have happened, like her getting angry or hard times).

    He thought he felt her with him, but it was all one-sided. "I hung around your neck independently" reinforcing the one-sidedness of the situation, and he does realize that she never has liked him and sees how awful it is. He never before realized it, and thus "And I remember warmth
    I could have sworn I wasn’t alone".
    TheTourist314on September 16, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsld potato: that's a cool way to interpret it. BUT, after looking into it some more i found another version of the song, with an extra verse at the end. it goes:

    There's no more hugging in the kitchen,
    No more pats on the back in the hall.
    No more chest on breasty chest behind the curtain.
    No more lip on nape of neck in shower stall.
    No more cosy gardens or craving curvy hips on my belly.
    I'm giving up so I can be free from you.
    I'm paying fees so I can sever ties from you.
    Let craving call and beg and bawl, and face it tall.
    Let my soft skin have more sweet soft air on me.
    Let boulders drown.

    so i think it's safe to say that this song is not about the earth, rather, in accordance with several of the other opinions, it is about letting go of a difficult relationship.
    natty_gon May 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt was dumb to hold so tight
    But last night
    On the birthday in the kitchen
    My grip was loose my eyes were open


    ----
    This is really hitting home with me right now. I take it to mean he has regret about clinging so tightly to this girl, probably driving her away-- and now of course, now that it's over, he has a lot more clarity and is kind of saying "Look, I've changed, I won't rely on you so much anymore"
    kevindevineluvahon September 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmmm.. so pretty. i think it's about wanting to be with someone who you thought that you knew so well, and was so perfect for you..but finding out that it won't work.
    alliebeeon September 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think you're kind of right alliebee ... I think he's saying I thought I knew who you were, but really I only knew what you let me know. It seems as though he has been deceived, that she if different than she has presented herself to be. And a result he feels alone again.
    tubesockson September 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbrings me to tears.
    cardamomon March 31, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is about a necklace. it may sound silly, but i'm sticking to my ridiculous hypothesis.
    does anyone know ?
    _christinaon November 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsex, and it's quite lovely.
    haleyjadeon December 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis was the meaning of my first relationship
    Numperson January 18, 2005   Link

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