"Glass Ceiling" as written by and James Shaw Emily Haines....
Only know what I'm told, only know what I'm told
Fast asleep daydreaming
Start to push, break your own glass ceiling
Can't count, can't catch the pieces falling

Who let it end up on the ground
How am I gonna know you're letting me down
How did I end up on the ground

Only do what I'm told, only do what I'm told
Last to leave cold calling
You're gonna lose your arms, amputate plasticine
There's no knight in silver armor shining

Who let it end up on the ground
How am I gonna know I'm letting you down
Who let it end up on the ground
How did he end up on the ground
Face down on the ground

Only go where I'm told, only know what I'm told
Inch to inches crowding
We can't leave, it's the last road open
Every speed on our knees is crawling


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"Glass Ceiling" as written by James Shaw Emily Haines

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Glass Ceiling song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think it's about breaking the rules that we live by, but they were made up by someone else and most of us are scared to fight against them. Glass ceiling represents those rules - it may be transparent but we still feel we're trapped under it. No one is able to save us, even the knight in silver armor. Liberation dependson us, but hesitation and fear is slowing down the process.

    It may be also a story of a girl/wife, who always stood by her boyfriend/husband and thought she's safe in this relationship. But one day her happy life broke into pieces and she's seeking answer who's to blame: she (the perfect one?) or her significiant other.
    pchelarockson December 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the song is about rebeling against the mundane life. The glass ceiling is our confinement and as long as it's there we can never escape. If you break the glass ceiling you're going to get cut "lose your arms, amputate plasticine", but if you don't do it no one else will "there's no knight in silver armor shining". Finally the last part of the song reminds me of crowded streets (think of Tokyo) everyone is moving but it seems there never really going anywhere. THey have no were else to go it's the only way they know "we can't leave it's the last road open" and finally "everyspeed on our knees is crawling" that right there sums it up. As long as you are on your knees you aren't making any progress because no matter how fast you go when your on your knees it's always considered crawling.
    Blindfishbabyon February 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that this song is about feminism, basically, and women breaking our glass ceiling.

    An attempt to end submission.

    Emily writes about politics and social issues a lot, and cares about them very much, so I wouldn't say that this is about a relationship.
    proposalson January 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti guess its about women being trapped in a glass ceiling but it seems like theres no way out...."its the last road open". to me means it seems like its the only choice...she seems to be saying that if you do choose to escape from your glass ceiling that your will get hurt "lose your arms".. and that no one is gonna save you "knight in silver armour shining".
    dano_smithoon January 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe term "glass ceiling" was coined in the 50s when the role of women as housewives clashed with the role of women as members of the working class. The term means that women will never be equal to men as far as job opportunities and salaries. An image of a woman climbing a ladder and getting to the top and having a glass ceiling above her keeping her from getting any further often is used to portray this. Basically the song is saying that no one can help women in the struggle for equality ("no knight in silver armor shining"). The song also is saying who let this cause slip out from underneath us when it says "who let it end up on the ground." In otherwords why hasnt this cause been a major issue in society and why have women stopped being as active towards this cause as they were in previous decades?
    contemplationson February 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, the feminism thing works for me, but I think there's another meaning.

    In the book/movies Charlie/Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in one of the last scenes, Charlie and Willy are in the glass elevator, preparing to go straight through the ceiling, also made of glass. They're not sure that they'll make it, but they, indeed do. Sending shards of glass everywhere. They soar above the building, among the clouds, looking at the village below. To me this song is sort of the polar opposite, while the men blasted through, the women are left struggling, crawling while the men soar. The men are free to fly while the women are trapped.
    _Lovedrug_on March 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, the feminism thing works for me, but I think there's another meaning.

    In the book/movies Charlie/Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in one of the last scenes, Charlie and Willy are in the glass elevator, preparing to go straight through the ceiling, also made of glass. They're not sure that they'll make it, but they, indeed do. Sending shards of glass everywhere. They soar above the building, among the clouds, looking at the village below. To me this song is sort of the polar opposite, while the men blasted through, the women are left struggling, crawling while the men soar. The men are free to fly while the women are trapped.
    _Lovedrug_on March 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, the feminism thing works for me, but I think there's another meaning.

    In the book/movies Charlie/Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, in one of the last scenes, Charlie and Willy are in the glass elevator, preparing to go straight through the ceiling, also made of glass. They're not sure that they'll make it, but they, indeed do. Sending shards of glass everywhere. They soar above the building, among the clouds, looking at the village below. To me this song is sort of the polar opposite, while the men blasted through, the women are left struggling, crawling while the men soar. The men are free to fly while the women are trapped.
    _Lovedrug_on March 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that the glass ceiling used in CatCF that _Lovedrug_ reffered to, is probably just the metaphor being used in a different situation. So while in both this song and CatCF, there is a 'glass ceiling' that needs to be broken through, I doubt Metric are drawing their inspiration from the films/books.

    To me this speaks strongly of feminism in today's world, of how there's still a struggle for equality, and of how, sadly, we all seem to have given up. I particularly like how she is really drawing on the metaphor - the imagery she creates of the glass shattering in to all these pieces before she ends up on the floor. A current concern for a lot of modern feminists is that because so many people have abandoned the fight, when a woman does finally break through the glass ceiling, she often ends up suffering a lot for it.

    I love the repeated line at the end, how it reminds us that every time we're 'on our knees', we're being opressed.
    snoopfroggyfroggon July 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it may also be a statement about the status of women right now. Maybe in the workplace we've gotten some places but in the world women are still objectified so often and so flippantly. The standard is as low as the ground now. And they are ignored...there's no knight in armor to save "her."

    "Can't count the peices..." this break is causing inumerable pain. There is also something to be said for this being done in the "fast asleep, daydreaming" state. Not everyone, but some, have let the shards on their knees to be a rude awakening. Only in one's dreams does one break the ceiling...
    chika9040on September 20, 2006   Link

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