"Swallow" as written by and Emilie Autumn....
I'll tell the truth: all of my songs
Are pretty much the fucking same
I'm not a faerie but I need
More than this life so I became
This creature representing more to you
Than just another girl
And if I had a chance to change my mind
I wouldn't for the world
Twenty years
Sinking slowly
Can I trust you
But I don't want to

I will swallow
If it will help my sea level go down
But I'll come back to haunt you if I drown
I will swallow
If it will help my sea level go down
I'll take a deep deep breath
But I'll come back to haunt you if I drown

I don't want to be a legend
Oh well that's a god damned lie - I do
To say I do this for the people
I admit is hardly true
You tell me everything's all right
As though it's something you've been through
You think this torment is romantic
Well it's not except to you
Twenty years
Sinking slowly
Can I trust you
But I don't want to

I will swallow
If it will help my sea level go down
But I'll come back to haunt you if I drown
I will swallow
If it will help my sea level go down
I'll take a deep deep breath
But I'll come back to haunt you if I drown

Low tide and high tea
The oysters are waiting for me
If I'm not there on time
I'll send my emissary
If I photoshop you
Out of every picture I could
Go quietly quiet
But would that do any good
Will it hurt? No it won't
Then what am I so afraid of
Filthy victorians
They made me what I'm made of
The brighter the light
The darker the shadow
I don't need a minder
I've made up my mind
Go away

Twenty years
Sinking slowly
Can I trust you
But I don't want to

I will swallow
If it will help my sea level go down
But I'll come back to haunt you if I drown
I will swallow
If it will help my sea level go down
I'll take a deep deep breath
But I'll come back to haunt you if I drown


Lyrics submitted by Sparkle_motion

"Swallow" as written by Emilie Autumn

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Swallow song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI think this song is about how a girl (perhaps Emilie) who has made a persona of herself ("I'm not a farie but.." "Filthy victorians, they made me what i am made of") all these years due to a growing low confidence and a desire to be remebered in order to lift her confidence("twenty years/ sinking slowly" "I don't want to be a legend/ o well thats a god damned lie, i do"). In a attempt to make herself feel better about all this selfish impulses of being different, she tries to find a way to make herself seem galliant, by trying to convince others she's doing this for music or art or just her fans that look up to her for a breath of fresh air.
    Now, i think after all this torment she put herself through, she made a sheild that allowed her to wallow in her sorrow without many people knowing. Then she meets a guy who breaks that sheild. She's torn between the choice of trusting him or staying alone. finaly she decides to "swallow" her sea of pride or whatever it is that stops her from trusting others on such a level. She claims that if this whole trusting others doesnt work, then she'll get her revenge ("But I'll come back to haunt you if i drown")
    The guy is trying to tell her that it'l be alright becuase he's felt the same, but the girl doesnt believe that he or maybe anybody could understand the way she feels ("You tell me everything's all right/As though it's something you've been through") I think the guy is so smitten with her that he feels its his duty to save her from self destruction and thinks he's a knight in shining armour. He feels he's doing something so romantic that there's no way she won't be won over. She is the first to tell him that its only romantic to him but it's a major and slightly tramatic life change for her. The guy probably doesnt see it as important as it is to her, which frustrates her. (You think this torment is romantic/Well it's not except to you).
    In the end though, it seems she finally made a decision and wants him to go away. She doenst want him to help her. (If I photoshop you/Out of every picture I could/Go quietly quiet) Whether or not he actualy goes away though..I'm not sure about that.

    over all (despite my looong ass explination) i really enjoy this song. I can relate to it slightly acutally. I felt like this a year or two ago. EA is amazing!
    Sorry for my long comment. :P i like to annotate things...
    Scarling.Kittenon September 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentShe's saying that she will trust a person, but if he betrays her she will never be the same again. Trusting is something she thought she could never do again, and she's hesitant.
    Poisoned desireson January 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think It means:
    All her relationships end up the same
    But even though she's not anyone more important than anyone else, she wants more to life than what its offering her, so, She's done something to make sure that in this relationship, shes not just another girl he'd hurt or will hurt, she's done something to make him remember her, something none of the other girls had done, and if given the chance she wouldnt have done otherwise.
    its been bothering her for a time now, and its just getting worse, She thinks about just letting go and trusting him but she knows that she really doesnt want to.
    So in the chorus it would probably mean, that she'll let go if It'll make things better and lessen the pain and confusion she's trying to cope, and she'll somehow get the courage to do it but if it back-fires, then she'll make sure he knows he's to blame for it.
    Then, probably during the course of the relationship, she considers just going quietly (thelegend part) But admits that she wont let that really happen, he must remember it, she's not doind it for whats best, its what makes her feel better, when shes having trouble he talks as though its nothing, And he seems to get a kick out of it, but, its only him on that.
    Now its time for her to end things, she doesnt know whether to jsut leave it and forget about him and cut him out of her memories, its wouldt hurt but she doesnt want him to forget how he made her fall. She blames it on her past, but is thinking about the balance of happiness to the pain she's feeling, shes decided on it ending either way! thats just what I think xD
    melodramaticlolitaon May 04, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment@Valentine01: AlEmilie is a BIG history geek.The Victorian era is the base of the world we are living in right now. The medical, sexual, social etc attitudes of it are very interesting. She lovvvvvvves the Victorian era! -And so do I xD-
    YourOpheliacon August 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentgiven the content of the verses, i think it's about her leaving her record label.

    reference: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    In the past, Autumn was signed to a major label, but as they took more and more control over her work, she left and formed her own record label, Traitor Records.

    ********************
    the interp (this will be a bit lengthy)

    verses:

    "i'll tell the truth all of my songs
    are pretty much the fucking same"
    --it's a nasty habit of the record companies to try to force their artists in changing their sound to suit more commercial needs. ms. autumn is retaliating in frustration, how this has turned her songs into nothing but carbon copies of themselves.

    "i'm not a faerie but i need more than this life
    so i became this creature representing more
    to you than just another girl"
    --she came to them because she needed to do more with her creativity.

    "and if i had the chance to change my mind
    i wouldn't for the world"
    --while she's not too fond of the situation, she does acknowledge it as a stepping stone and she has no regrets

    "i don't want to be a legend
    well that's a gd lie i do
    to say i do this for the people
    i admit is hardly true"
    --record label attempting to keep her around "we'll make you a legend!" and any other empty promises. she throws her hands up in the air and says that's not what she wants - well it is, but she would prefer to be a legend by her own merits, rather than by spoonfeeding the same b.s. everyone else in the mainstream does.

    "you tell me everything's alright
    as though it's something you've been through
    you think this torment is romantic
    well it's not, except to you"
    --the record company assuring her some more, and she retaliates by saying this is something you create for your own amusement, it's not something you're forced to deal with

    refrain/bridge:
    "twenty years sinking slowly"
    --the record companies have been a slow decline for quite some time, and she's not interested in going down with them

    "can i trust you? but i don't want to"
    --can she trust that given time she will be allowed more creative freedom? it's not a chance she's willing to take.

    "low tide and high tea the oysters are waiting for me
    if i'm not there on time i'll send my emissary"
    --she's got a decision to make, and her fans (oysters) are waiting. if there's a delay because of the situation she'll let them know

    "if i photoshop you out of every picture i could
    go quietly but would that do any good"
    --she's attempting to make a clean break, wash her hands of it, but doubts are springing up; has the damage already been done?

    "will it hurt, no it won't, then what am i so afraid of?
    filthy victorians they made me what i'm made of
    the brighter the light the darker the shadow"
    --breaking free and doing it on your own is a big, scary step, especially when you're not so well established yet. she's pulling herself up and getting the courage to do what needs to be done, which is break away and continue on her own.

    "i don't need a minder i've made up my mind
    go away"
    --every empty promise and hollow statement is lost on her, she doesn't need to hear, she's set on the course.

    chorus:
    "i will swallow if it will help my sea level go down"
    --i will take this risk if it means more creative freedom.

    "but i'll come back to haunt you if i drown"
    --'yeah, sure, i'll be back if it doesn't work out. whatever.'
    T.C.on June 03, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentto add, here's a quote about the label experience from ms. autumn herself, from an article with the Musical Discoveries website

    "But things deteriorate rapidly when another writer is flown in, another arranger is flown in, and suddenly my songs don't sound like mine anymore, and my violin is being thinned out because the producers wholeheartedly believe that the general public is "threatened" by any reference to what could be seen as "classical." Of course, I balk, and where I was once treated like a princess, I'm now dealt with as a rebellious ingrate who has to be kept in line with constant monitoring and excessive restraints."
    T.C.on June 03, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlthough I've already commented on a similar theme on "Mad Girl", I think the idea is also applicable here. Particularly in the chorus and the bridge, "Swallow" prompts the idea of Emilie's experience in the asylum and with anti-depressants/mood stabilisers. Within this theory, the sea would represent Emilie's depressive phases and when Emilie sings that she "will swallow/ if it will help my sea level go down", it would mean that she will swallow the drugs if it will help her stop feeling so low. "I'll come back to haunt you if I drown" within this context would be Emilie's warning to those making her take the drugs that if they don't work and she still suffers from depressive episodes, she will "come back to haunt" them. When Emilie sings about "sinking slowly" this is maybe a refernece to her lifelong descent into her mental illness. Within the same part of the song, "Can I trust you?/But I don't want to" could refer to Emilie not wishing to follow the advice she's been given to take the drugs. In the bridge, the line "the brighter the light/the darker the shadow" perhaps refers to the idea that the stronger the manic episodes she feels, the stronger the depressive episodes. "I don't need a minder/I've made up my mind/Go away" could refer to Emilie's rejection of a doctor's medical care within the asylum.
    There's lots more to write about but this has already been a long comment.
    littleredridinghoodon December 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI myself think this song has nothing to do with a relationship, rather dealing with a depression and a battle with oneself whether to take medicine or not.

    Some of the lyrics (I'll tell the truth, all of my songs / Are pretty much the fucking same) is her looking down upon herself.

    "Twenty years, sinking slowly" might mean she's had this depression for a very long time and it's only getting worse. "Can I trust you / But I don't want to" is her talking to the doctor. She's sceptical, because so far nothing have worked

    In that case, 'swallow' would literally refer to swallowing, such as swallowing the pills. And she will only do it if they actually work (If it will make my sea level go down). But if she gets addicted to them, or they only make things worse, she will make things worse for the doctor(?) who gave her them.

    "I don't want to be a legend, oh well that's a goddamn lie / I do / To say I do this for the people / I admit it's heardly true" makes me think her depression is caused by being famous, she thinks her music is worth nothing and she hates herself for not being a legend

    "You tell me everything's alright / As though it's sometihng you've been through" Her doctor acts understanding, but she feels offended

    "You think this torment is romantic / Well it's not, except to you" She misinterprets his professional friendliness and is insulted when he tries to talk her out of the depression
    PaperAngelon July 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationEveryone wants to make this song a relationship. But are we all forgetting people that EA is ASEXUAL!!! So in my mind I feel its about her whole change of tune!!! Here's my interpretation.

    I'll tell the truth: all of my songs
    Are pretty much the fucking same
    (She feels that she can never be happy after the asylum and all of her songs are all very depressing but have hope)

    I'm not a faerie but I need
    More than this life so I became
    This creature representing more to you
    Than just another girl
    (Though she has moved on from her Enchant Era she isn't satisfied being normal, so she decided she needed to become the best musician she could, that way she could still feel like she was different.)

    And if I had a chance to change my mind
    I wouldn't for the world
    (She has accepted her institutionalization and has decided to move on with her life, because it has inspired a whole new music for her.)

    Twenty years
    Sinking slowly
    (This is her talking about her slowly declining depression that eventually led to her being suicidal.)

    Can I trust you
    But I don't want to
    (She has stated in her interviews that she wishes she wouldn't have told anyone about her depression, because she feels that people deal with it way to harshly and don't understand it at all.)

    I will swallow
    If it will help my sea level go down
    But I'll come back to haunt you if I drown
    (She will accept this new look on life, but if she ever falls into her state of suicide again she is going back to the people she told to show them that mental institutions don't really help.)


    I don't want to be a legend
    Oh well that's a god damned lie - I do
    (Going back to the fact that she wants to be amazing and retain her faerie-like attitude.)

    To say I do this for the people
    I admit is hardly true
    (She is stating that she isn't trying to be the emo-chick girl. Though some people want her to be.)

    You tell me everything's all right
    As though it's something you've been through
    (She is saying that the people she told didn't understand her being suicidal at all.)

    You think this torment is romantic
    Well it's not except to you
    (The fans love her gloomy, dark sound, and she just wants to return to her happy light-hearted sound.)


    Low tide and high tea
    The oysters are waiting for me
    (Her true fans are still longing for her faerie-ness.)

    If I'm not there on time
    I'll send my emissary
    (Even though the fans want her to be a faerie she can't so she'll try to give them the closest thing she can.)

    If I photoshop you
    Out of every picture I could
    Go quietly quiet
    But would that do any good
    (If she could forget her previous self she would, but she can't. If she does, she will forget all the happy things in her life.)

    Will it hurt? No it won't
    Then what am I so afraid of
    (She's at war with herself about her wanting to forget her happiness, because she's seen all of the love she's received from her new fans.)

    Filthy victorians
    They made me what I'm made of
    (Her alter-ego in the institution was a Victorian girl. Victorians started the brutal institutions. If it weren't for them she wouldn't have had to change.)

    The brighter the light
    The darker the shadow
    (The more she looks back on her previous self, the more aware she becomes of her new self.)

    I don't need a minder
    I've made up my mind
    Go away
    (She's talking to her mind saying she wants this confusion to end. She just wants to be relatively normal.)

    **Reply please and and let me know what you feel about my interpretation. I'm also open to the belief that it's about her struggling with drugs possibly, but I can't make all the lyrics point to that.
    Hirateon March 01, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've read that it's about her bipolar disorder. Like she'll swallow the lithium pill if it will help her manic depression level go down so she can control it, but if it doesn't and she gets worse, she'll come back to haunt whoever told her to take it. She'll swallow, if it will help the "sea level" go down. The "sea level" is the illness, and if one drop of water is added (it gets worse) she'll drown (in the insanity), and then she'll come back to haunt the person. That's basically what she's saying.
    I sometimes feel that way too, really.
    SideshowJazz1on March 05, 2012   Link

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