"Breathing" as written by Benjamin Eric Harper, William Ryan Key, Peter Michael Mosely, Longineu Warren Iii Parsons and Sean Michael Wellman-mackin....
Eyes are feeling heavy
But they never seem to close
The fan blades on the ceiling spin
But the air is never cold
And even though you're next to me
I still feel so alone
I just can't give you anything
For you to call your own

And I can feel you breathing
And it's keeping me awake
Can you feel it beating?
My heart sinking like a wave

Something I've been keeping locked away
Behind my lips
I can feel it breaking free
With each and every kiss
I couldn't bear to hurt you
But it's all so different now
Things that I was sure of then
Now filled me up with doubt

And I can feel you breathing
And it's keeping me awake
Can you feel it beating?
My heart sinking like a wave

I can feel you breathing
It's keeping me awake
Could you stop my heart?
It's always beating
Sinking like a wave

How am I suppose to feel about the things I've done
I don't know if I should stay or turn around and run
I know that I hurt you
Things will never be the same
The only love I ever knew I threw it all away

And I can feel you breathing
And it's keeping me awake
Can you feel it beating?
My heart sinking like a wave

I can feel you breathing
It's keeping me awake
Could you stop my heart?
It's always breathing
Sinking like a wave


Lyrics submitted by rjbucs28

"Breathing" as written by Longineu Warren Iii Parsons Benjamin Eric Harper

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Breathing song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentMy interpretation of this song is actually along the same lines as yellowcardical (kudos, btw), I actually just made an account to write what my thoughts about this song are, because this is the only song that still evokes a nostalgic, wistfulness inside me, after 5 years?

    I think that cheating would be the obvious way to go about analyzing this song's meaning, but I've had a different experience that makes me want to suggest an alternative.

    The first line about not being able to close heavy eyes is pretty symbolic of having so much on his mind that he can't sleep. Also, upsetting thoughts could likely cause anxiety, which can cause a rise in body temperature, hence 'the fan blades on the ceiling spin, but the air is never cold.' which in this sense, he's probably stuck staring up at. OR they're moving so slowly compared to his racing thoughts, so they wouldn't produce any temperature change. Or he's implying that he feels cold toward whom he's laying next to so the air isn't, in comparison to him. Or the distance he feels from her emotionally is just represented by coldness.

    "Even though you're next to me, I still feel so alone." This could imply that whomever he's speaking about is not filling the void he feels inside himself, it could represent his inner insecurities; as well as assuming that "Just can't give you anything for you to call your own," he may feel inadequate, nothing to do with her at all, unless she's not showing adequate interest, which could be an insecure perception or the truth. It's not for certain at this point who is in fact heartless, but, who's awake and who is asleep? Also, he talks about her breathing keeping him awake. This could imply that it's hurting him to be lying next to someone he cares for who is breathing contentedly; because 'my heart's sinking like a weight' is symbolic of an anxious heart not knowing whether or not it's damaged beyond repair, and while he's in pain, she's fast asleep.

    "Something I've been keeping locked away behind my lips, I can feel it breaking free with each and every kiss." It never implies who is in fact initiating this sign of affection, because it could very well be that he is, and wants to be honest about how he's feeling, but a kiss is easier than saying what's on his mind.

    This is where a twist comes in....

    It could very well be that he does not feel close to her anymore because they either grew apart or...they pushed each other away, or she pushed him away, vice versa. "I couldn't bear to hurt you, but it's all so different now" He's obviously the one who's been suffering with something inside of him, it could in fact be that it was her pushing him away, or not showing care, etc. and it's been so adversely affecting him, and "can you feel it beating?" could imply that she's oblivious to how he's feeling, because he never gets a response, just keeps asking....which could hurt him even more.

    think of the possibility he might just be waiting for her to show him the affection she possibly once did, or waiting for her to believe that he does in fact really care for her...but she just pushes him further away, so he's giving up...."The things that I was sure of then, have filled me up with doubt." Maybe he thought they had a connection, but her mistreatment of him (which he could have theorized was her form of defending herself against getting close to anyone out of fear of getting hurt) was hurting him too much, so he finally decided that she probably doesn't care, or it wasn't worth all the angst in trying to prove to her how much she meant to him. Him giving up could be representative of the second chorus repeating with a lyric change "Could you stop my heart? it's always beating, sinking like a weight." Because if his heart stopped, it wouldn't hurt him so much to let go.

    It's actually quite likely that he began defending himself against his own vulnerabilities, perpetuating the distance growing between them, or (for a stretch) she finally admitted to him how he was hurting her with a certain behavior "How am I supposed to feel about the things I've done?" And could actually be asking her to give him some sort of verification that they can work their misunderstandings out...but because she's not..."I don't know if I should stay or turn around and run." He wants to keep trying to make it work, but he could very well feel like he's the only one of them who does....so it'd be better if he just cut his losses, if she doesn't care, why should he try?

    These next two lines could have separate meanings:
    "I know that I hurt you, things will never be the same." Which could mean that he was so hurt/confused by her that it manifested into actions of resentment...or she found out about something he did he didn't even do intentionally to hurt her, and now feels like "the only love I ever knew I threw it all away." Which could either mean he finally did give up, and now he'll never know if they could have fixed things, or he believes that no matter what he does to try to solve things between them, they're too far gone for it to matter and he feels hopeless now that everything's surfaced and spiraled downhill. The second possible interpretation would make more sense that it is again followed by: 'can you stop my heart? it's always beating, sinking like a weight.' implying he's still hanging onto hope by a string, and it's continuing to hurt him and it'd be easier if she just made the choice to end things, instead of leaving him with all the anxiety of not knowing if she truly does care or not, because (as I originally theorized) she's too afraid of letting anyone in out of fear they will leave her. So the song has no closure for them...nor does he.
    AnalystAnonymouson May 22, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow this song is really nice. i just d/led the whole album off of IRC. i've been listening to these guys since midget tossing and i gotta say, good fucking job...
    ace0rzon June 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenty3s someone who actually commented on a yellowcard song! this song is definately one of the great ones that you can hear over and over again.
    ryang11r0yon April 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentimho this is the best song on the album
    Ph00kyon April 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentace...if you like the songs...at least buy their cd....
    /-[PunkRockDude]-\on April 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that it's about a guy who cheated on his signifficent other in a moment of stupidity and he has either told her and they are tryign to work it out, or he is keeping it from her but she knows something is going on. I think the song is all about him losing sleep over it because he doesn't know if he should stay or leave.
    osubuckeye4on May 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. I think the lyrics are wrong though. My hearts sinking like a wave? A wave? Whu?? I think it would be WEIGHT, friends. No one will mutilate the dearest lyrics of yellowcard while im on this planet!
    crashnburn5436on May 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I was dating this guy, he would continuously play this one Yellowcard song (not that I ever complained... I love YC). It never meant anything to me until I listened to it after we broke up. The song was describing him and I... right down to him not giving me anything "to call my own." And yeah, he had cheated on me.
    This song breaks my heart everytime I listen to it... damn boys.
    finchchicon May 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove this song , YC arent too bad i downloaded their album 'ocean avenue' the other month - tho i got bored of it, then again i think i over played it lol but im sure i'll dig it bk up soon enuff :)
    asthesunsetsxxon May 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song reminds me of some stuff in my past. how i felt. laying next to somebody, as they are asleep.. wishing htier was something you could say to them.. something more you could give and do to them to make them be there, because no matter how close you get to them. you are never there. and their were other girls the guy thought about and did stuff with.. and i did stuff with other guys and he knew about it.. and i didnt mean to just throw away everything me and him had together away.. and "can you feel it beating"... how guilt and how the sitation just wont fade. its there like the beating of soembodys heart..
    iSoFakediTon May 31, 2004   Link

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