"Surprise" as written by Stephen Daniel Mason, Charlie Lowell, Dan Haseltine and Matt Odmark....
Shoot a dream in your arm
And sleep away
It's not the stuff that kills you
That keeps your life at bay

Every crash pulls you in reach
Of a watershed of signal flares
That cover your beach

These are just placebos
To make us feel all right
Illusions in our pockets
Make our feathers float us high

For a second I thought I saw
Your eyelids rise
A moment something restless
Caught you by surprise
Surprise, surprise

We are so beautiful
When we sleep
Hearts of gold and eyes
So deep, deep, deep

But love won't cure the chaos
And hope won't hide the loss
And peace is not the heroine
That shouts above the cause

And love is wild for reasons
And hope though short in sight
Might be the only thing
That wakes you by surprise
Surprise, surprise

And dream, little ones
See the world just begun

And love is wild for reasons
And hope though short in sight
Might be the only thing
That wakes you by surprise

For a moment I thought I saw
Your eyelids rise
Surprise, surprise



Lyrics submitted by JoshPowell

"Surprise" as written by Dan Haseltine Charlie Lowell

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Surprise song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentDan Haseltine is quickly becoming my favorite writers...
    brianjjon March 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsorry
    "one of my" favorite writers.
    brianjjon March 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I hear this song I think of dreams we have and how they seem so real (For a second I thought I saw your eyelids rise,
    For a moment something restless caught you by surprise) but then we wake up its all over, it was only a good dream that won't come true. (These are just placebos to make us feel all right,
    Illusions in our pockets make our feathers float us high.) This song is so sad and beautiful at the same time.
    left the porchon August 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love jars of clay's lyrics...this song is exceptional. i've had this album for a while, but only recently fell in love with this song. and kudos to the person before me for the interpretation. i like that. :)
    carrie_elfin689on November 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think the meaning of this song is much more obvious than what you might think. I think its about a friend who drugged himself/herself into a coma from heroin (or something els).

    Shoot a dream in your arm and sleep away,
    It's not the stuff that kills you that keeps your life at bay.

    this first line is clearly about some one using heroin.

    These are just placebos to make us feel all right,
    Illusions in our pockets make our feathers float us high,
    For a second I thought I saw your eyelids rise,
    For a moment something restless caught you by surprise,
    Surprise, surprise, surprise.

    the first part of this verse is the singer morning the loss of his friend to placebos to make us feel all right, drugs, and the second part is about wishing and hopeing that your friend comes back, for a second i thought i saw your eye lids rise.

    We are so beautiful when we sleep,
    Hearts of gold and eyes so.. deep, deep, deep.
    But love won't cure the chaos, and hope won't hide the loss,
    And peace is not the heroine that shouts above the cause.
    And love is wild for reasons, and hope though short in sight,
    Might be the only thing that wakes you by surprise
    surprise, surprise, surprise.

    the first two lines of this verse are about seeing some one in a coma, and the next two are the singer morning the fact that they cant do anything to help their sleeping friend. the final three lines are the singer accepting that he still needs to love and hope because it might be the only thing that wakes you by suprise.

    it ends with the singer thinking that his friend has finally awoke, for a second i thought i saw your i lids rise, but fishes with him still waiting for his friend because, suprise, his friend is still helplessly sleeping.
    aggroforgoldon August 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think the meaning of this song is much more obvious than what you might think. I think its about a friend who drugged himself/herself into a coma from heroin (or something els).

    Shoot a dream in your arm and sleep away,
    It's not the stuff that kills you that keeps your life at bay.

    this first line is clearly about some one using heroin.

    These are just placebos to make us feel all right,
    Illusions in our pockets make our feathers float us high,
    For a second I thought I saw your eyelids rise,
    For a moment something restless caught you by surprise,
    Surprise, surprise, surprise.

    the first part of this verse is the singer morning the loss of his friend to placebos to make us feel all right, drugs, and the second part is about wishing and hopeing that your friend comes back, for a second i thought i saw your eye lids rise.

    We are so beautiful when we sleep,
    Hearts of gold and eyes so.. deep, deep, deep.
    But love won't cure the chaos, and hope won't hide the loss,
    And peace is not the heroine that shouts above the cause.
    And love is wild for reasons, and hope though short in sight,
    Might be the only thing that wakes you by surprise
    surprise, surprise, surprise.

    the first two lines of this verse are about seeing some one in a coma, and the next two are the singer morning the fact that they cant do anything to help their sleeping friend. the final three lines are the singer accepting that he still needs to love and hope because it might be the only thing that wakes you by suprise.

    it ends with the singer thinking that his friend has finally awoke, for a second i thought i saw your i lids rise, but fishes with him still waiting for his friend because, suprise, his friend is still helplessly sleeping.
    aggroforgoldon August 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsorry for the duble post
    aggroforgoldon August 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThis song reminds me of the idea CS Lewis talks about (in the preface to Pilgrim's Regress) of a longing or desire that can be awakened by many things in this world, but is ultimately meant to point us to God:

    "... there is a peculiar mystery about the object of this Desire. Inexperienced people (and inattention leaves some inexperienced all their lives) suppose, when they feel it, that they know what they are desiring. Thus if it comes to a child while he is looking at a far off hillside he at once things 'if only I were there'; if it comes when he is remembering some event in the past, he thinks 'if only I could go back to those days'. If it comes (a little later) while he is reading a 'romantic' tale or poem of 'perilous seas and faerie lands forlorn', he thinks he is wishing that such places really existed and that he could reach them. If it comes (later still) in a context with erotic suggestions he believes he is desiring the perfect beloved. If he falls upon literature (like Maeterlinck or the early Yeats) which treats of spirits and the like with some show of serious belief, he may think that he is hankering for real magic and occultism. When it darts out upon him from his studies in history or science, he may confuse it with the intellectual craving for knowledge.

    But every one of these impressions is wrong. The sole merit I claim for this book is that it is written by one who has proved them all to be wrong. There is no room for vanity in the claim: I know them to be wrong not by intelligence but by experience, such experience as would not have come my way if my youth had been wiser, more virtuous, and less self-centered than it was. For I have myself been deluded by every one of these false answers in turn, and have contemplated each of them earnestly enough to discover the cheat. To have embraced so many false Florimels is no matter for boasting: it is fools, they say, who learn by experience. But since they do at last learn, let a fool bring his experience into the common stock that wiser men may profit by it.

    ...

    It appeared to me therefore that if a man diligently followed this desire, pursuing the false objects until their falsity appeared and then resolutely abandoning them, he must come out at last into the clear knowledge that the human soul was made to enjoy some object that is never fully given--nay, cannot even be imagined as given--in our present mode of subjective and spatio-temporal experience. This Desire was, in the soul, as the Siege Perilous in Arthur's castle--the chair in which only one could sit. And if nature makes nothing in vain, the One who can sit in this chair must exist."

    so,
    "These are just placebos to make us feel all right,
    Illusions in our pockets make our feathers float us high,"

    All of the false objects of desire may make us feel good for a while, but they do not satisfy the true longing of our souls.

    and,
    "Love is wild for reasons, and hope though short in sight,
    Might be the only thing that wakes you by surprise"

    Love is wild and sometimes painful because something needs to wake us from our complacency.

    whitworth.edu/Academic/Department/Philosophy/Courses/PHEL261_Baird/html/…
    drlukeon August 17, 2011   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThis song is quite cryptic, so it helps to know the context in the album. Two songs ago was "Good Monsters" which is about the evil that is the indifference of good people. The previous song was "Oh My God," which is about the struggle to trust God amid a world that really sucks.

    With that in mind, I think that this song is written to a Christian/good person struggling to awake from complacency.

    Indifference is consistently described in terms of a person taking drugs so they can be happy at the expense of those who need them. Every time the drugs run out and they crash, they have a chance to see the plethora of signs that people need them.

    "We are so beautiful when we sleep"

    This is one of the most sarcastic lines I've ever heard in a song.

    "But love won't cure the chaos, and hope won't hide the loss, And peace is not the heroine that shouts above the cause."

    This is a form of love, hope, and peace that is present in the mind of a sleeping hero that could have been. And it is worthless.

    "hope though short in sight,
    Might be the only thing that wakes you by surprise"

    Hope for the future might be mere delusions. But it's the only chance.

    As the song ends, the person being addressed has just begun to see ugly world he's not helping. But rather than being congratulated for being so progressive, the singer is disgusted that the bar has been set so low, that the mere rise of an eyelid is enough to be the case of surprise.
    jmamoson February 10, 2008   Link

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