"Follow your heart", he said, "your heart will take you there."
"Swallow your pride", he said, "for pride is anything but rare."
So I walked into your eyes without a raincoat on
And in the salty sea, I find you're all but gone.

Take my hand, you're treading water.
I feel sand slipping away from underneath my toes.
Nobody knows... where is it she goes?

Looked in the bathroom stall, your back against the wall.
Cold tiles beneath your knees, your body broke your fall.
Spitting into your own reflection gazing back.
Inside your porcelain fists, your palms begin to crack.

So take my hand, you're treading water
And I feel sand slipping away from underneath our toes.
Nobody knows... where is it she goes?

When those sad eyes start to close
Nobody knows... where is it she goes?
When those sad eyes close



Lyrics submitted by thatgirl 48, edited by smallwonderrobot

Porcelain Fists song meanings
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  • +1
    Song Meaning"Follow your heart", he said.
    Do what your heart tells you

    Your heart will take you there.
    and it will take you where you need to go.

    "Swallow your pride", he said.
    Don't be egotistic

    For pride is anything but rare.
    as many people are.

    So I walked into your eyes without a coat on
    I looked closer at you to see what I could learn without any safety precautions for me
    And in the salty sea, I find you're all but gone.
    Even though it seems you can't be saved, I found that there is hope for you yet. The salty sea is referring to tears, crying.

    Take my hand, you're treading water
    Come with me, you're not on stable ground.

    I feel the sand slipping away from underneath our toes
    The solid ground is leaving us and we are still not stable

    Nobody knows Where is it she goes?
    No one knows where her happy place is, where she escapes to when reality is too much for her

    Locked in the bathroom stall
    (Double Meaning) Literally and she's trapped by her own fear and insecurity.

    Your back against the wall.
    (Double Meaning)Literally and she's cornered. There's nowhere else to go.

    Cold tiles beneath your knees,
    Literally

    Your body broke your fall.
    She's bulimic and weak from purging so she's fallen as she goes to purge again.

    Spitting into your own reflection gazing back
    Not happy with the way she looks, she sees herself in the reflection of the water in the toilet

    Inside your porcelain fists, your palms begin to crack.
    Porcelain is often associated with perfection (porcelain dolls) she seems perfect but really she's breaking down inside. Fists are used for fighting. she's trying to fight herself

    When those sad eyes start to close
    People often close their eyes to go to their happy place, to leave the world for a second.

    Nobody knows Where is it she goes?
    No one knows where her happy place is, where she escapes to when reality is too much for her

    When those sad eyes close
    Same

    How's that for a 13 year old???
    eyeroll2010on March 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthow has no one commented this song?
    i feel like it's one of the most beautiful off of this album.
    it's my personal favorite.
    natty27on November 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree, this is my favorite too :D
    This may be incorrect, but it's just my interpretation...
    For the second verse, could she maybe be talking about someone with an eating disorder?
    Cold tiles beneath your feet - the girl is kneeling in the bathroom
    Spitting into your own reflection gazing back - she sees her reflection in the toilet
    Of course, this is my first post on this site and I'm not that good at interpreting songs yet lol but it's just how I see it...
    sorry if it's like COMPLETELY wrong lol...
    gorgeous song though :)

    xxvaleriexxon February 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdoesn't she say "I feel sand slipping away from underneath my toes" the first time also?
    3infactappleson February 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the basic meaning of the song is about a troubled girl with an eating disorder...and shes barely making it through the day (treading water)...also i think the part about the salty sea is talking about the girl's tears...because that would explain why the person talking in the song would need a raincoat to walk into the girl's eyes...great song though..so beautiful
    deathbychocolateon April 07, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree, I also think this song is about a person struggling with an eating disorder, most probably Anorexia Nervosa or Boulemia.
    This person is battling this disorder everyday she isn't moving on, she's stuck in this terrible time'treading water' I also think she gets frustrated when she conforms to the disorder 'Inside your porcelain fists, your palms begin to crack' - I really like that line it has such amazing meaning and imagery attached to it. I love this song in general.
    jbarry1991on October 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI don't think that this song is about a girl with an eating disorder. I think it's about a girl who's being raped. This is just mine interpretation but I think it makes sense.

    "Follow your heart", he said.
    Your heart will take you there.
    (It's like somebody who she trust tells her that)

    "Swallow your pride", he said.
    For pride is anything but rare.
    (Again, she'll do this because this words are from someone who she believes 'cause she's just a child)

    So I walked into your eyes without a raincoat on.
    (She didn't think that this person could hurt her, so she wasn't prepared for tears)

    And in the salty sea, I find you're all but gone.
    (She doesn't recognize this person anymore)

    Take my hand, you're treading water
    I feel I am slipping away from underneath my toes
    Nobody knows
    Where is it she goes?
    (She wants to get away so she just closes her eyes and hopes it's going to past soon, maybe she also wants to die?? )

    Looked in the bathroom stall
    Your back against the wall.
    Cold tiles beneath your knees,
    Your body broke your fall.
    (she reminds her self on what happened)

    Spitting into your own reflection gazing back
    Inside your porcelain fists, your palms begin to crack.
    (she can't look her self in the mirror, she feels filthy, she breaks the mirror.. porcelain fists symbolize innocence so I assumed she's just a little girl)

    So take my hand your treading water
    And I feel sand slipping underneath my toes
    Nobody knows
    Where is it she goes?
    When those sad eyes start to close
    Nobody knows
    Where is it she goes?
    When those sad eyes close
    (and then again, she's thinking about suicid, she wants to drown in a river ??, not shure about this part)

    Such an amazing song, yet so hard to listen. Ingrid Michaelson put so much feelings in her music and that's why I love her <3


    ibeeon January 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationMost songs that were not well known in their time, such as this, I find from (go ahead and make fun) fanvideos.

    I heard only a small portion of the song and instantly fell in love with the beauty and sadness of it. In regards to the video, the song was interpreted as heartbreak. She was suffering from a painful relationship that did not end well. Now, this is very general, because I still consider this an option as far as how I interpret it. On the other hand, I can also agree with the person above me in the case that it could involve violence or rape. Though I could never tell you the true meaning that Ingrid Michaelson intended, I do have my own visions based on the source in which I first discovered this masterpiece!
    sevendeadlysinson August 06, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentcorrection its "i feel the sand slipping away from underneath our toes" and "locked in the bathroom stall" ok so to analysis, i think everyone here is wrong no offense. I feel like its 2 girls best friends, one is struggling with a mistake they made while the other is trying to help her. The girls dad is the one who says "follow your heart [and] swallow your pride" to try to give advice to help her but he's not very good because he doesn't know the whole story but the best friend (who's singing) does.
    So I walked into your eyes without a raincoat on
    And in the salty sea, I find you're all but gone. - her friend is crying but she is still comfortable with ehr (without a raincoat) she looks into her eyes and tells her she's still the same person, she sees no change even with her mistake (i find youre all but gone)
    Locked in the bathroom stall
    Your back against the wall. - she's not listening to her friend she's gone and locked herself in the bathroom as the friend is trying to console her
    Cold tiles beneath your knees,
    Your body broke your fall. - she's crying sitting on the dirty bathroom floor and her friend is trying to say that what she's doing isn't doing her any favors (your body broke your fall)
    Spitting into your own reflection gazing back - yet she's still disgusted with herself
    Inside your porcelain fists, your palms begin to crack. - she's fragile, and starting to break but before she shatters her friend is trying to save her, theyve only begun to crack, i think this is saying before she gets lost in her sorrows too far she's trying to fix the problem at the start, heal her before the wound gets too big to control.
    So take my hand your treading water
    And I feel sand slipping underneath my toes - she's saying, i'm trying to help you so take it because pretty soon i wont be able to help (i feel the sand slipping away) they'll both be swept out to see and it'll be much harder to get back to shore so take my hand now, she says
    Nobody knows, (youre treading water) youre not drowning yet, she's telling her friend it is not yet too late, get over it now before it consumes your life because right now youre still hanging on
    Where is it she goes?
    When those sad eyes start to close - she's sympathizing with her, she knows she doesn't quite understande what it feels like (where is it she goes when those sad eyes close) nobody gets it, but as a best friend, she's doing the best she can to help

    i know exactly how it feels to be in the narrators shoes.
    rokouttilur80on November 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI absolutely adore this song and I'm pretty sure that the line ''inside your porcelain fists, your palms begin to crack'' means that someone who seems very strong, is actually fragile and breaking inside. But I have know idea what the rest if the song is about, so I'm just going to listen it and think how beautiful it is.
    highwayon November 18, 2010   Link

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