"One More Time with Feeling" as written by and Regina Spektor....
Your stitches are all out
But your scars are healing wrong
The helium balloon inside your room has come undone
And it's pushing up at the ceiling
And the flickering lights it cannot get beyond

Everyone takes turns
Now it's yours to play the part
And they're sitting all around you
Holding copies of your chart
And the misery inside their eyes is
Synchronized and reflecting into yours

Hold on
One more time with feeling
Try it again, breathing's just a rhythm
Say it in your mind until you know that the words are right
This is why we fight

You thought by now you'd be
So much better than you are
You thought by now they'd see
That you had come so far

And the pride inside their eyes
Would synchronized into a love you've never known
So much more than you've been shown

Hold on
One more time with feeling
Try it again, breathing's just a rhythm
Say it in your mind, until you know that the

Words are right

This is why we fight
This is why we fight

Lyrics submitted by looiz, edited by ReSpektFan

"One More Time with Feeling" as written by Regina Spektor

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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One More Time with Feeling song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI think Regina does a really clever job of using metaphor - in this case, acting vernacular - throughout the song. The speaker makes numerous references to acting and audition "language" - "everyone takes turns / now it's yours to play the part," just as actors take turns with lines during an audition...then there is the entire chorus with the director saying, "Hold on / one more time with feeling / try it again," etc. While this is going on, I'm pretty sure that the speaker is thinking about something bigger - what it's like to fight disease or something of that magnitude in this case.

    She just does it so masterfully, I feel like it's as if Regina has these stories running through her head, and when she wants to, she sits down to choose an image or idea to focus on in one of her songs. Sometimes the image is related to the plot in her head, but sometimes it isn't, and then she just proceeds to kick the hell out of infusing that object into the plot because she's awesome and felt like sharing some of her badass talent with us through song.
    dayeemastaon December 26, 2007   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI know everyone thinks this is about someone who is sick and in the hospital, I think this could be very true but personally I think the hospital references are just a metaphor for you to apply your own story. Personally I see it as giving up all your time and effort for one thing (for me dancing) and you feel like you put so much effort in and are getting nothing out and you wish that everyone would see that you are actually good and "you have come so far". You tell yourself that if you try just one more time "with feeling" and you keep working it will be worth it someday and that day is "why you fight" but it feels like the only reason you are fighting is to keep fighting.
    artsyemma224on January 05, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is beautiful. It seems quite a few songs lately have been speaking to me. I lost my daughter in June after 19 months of hospitals, medicine and tests. The crazy thing is she loved helium balloons and always had on in her room and she ultimately died because she couldn't breathe on her own. When I hear this song it is so relevant to the feelings of detaching yourself from the situation and seeing it like a play, "hold on one more time with feeling, try it again breathings just a rhythm. This is why we fight" We fought because we could see the life in her and she wanted to show it.
    alynnpon November 14, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is about being hospitalised, hence the "helium balloons", "flickering lights" and "standing all around you holding copies of your charts"

    It's saying to "hold on" and "this is why we fight", meaning this is why we fight to stay alive
    aliboongaon July 27, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI instantly thought this song was about a person in the hospital who is dying...
    the helium balloon pushing at the ceiling and the flickering lights is the soul, still attached to the body but trying to leave... and "everyone takes turns, now it's yours to play the part.."... ie dying.
    They're proud of this person, but he/she still feels like their true self is not known, and this person is desperate, before they go, to make the people at the bedside understand him/her.
    And Regina uses the metaphor, "hold on, one more time with feeling.." something you might hear a music instructor say.. comparing life to music, breathing to a rhythm, so hold on and try it again, keep breathing - keep the rhythm going, one last time to make them understand before you go...
    fickyvidon December 28, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commenthmmmmm I think the album version (and the album itself) is FANTASTIC. but that's just me
    l3naon June 27, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI've always thought that this song was about someone who has trouble with public speaking. In the song the person is giving a presentation of some sort. That's what the charts are about. Regina is trying to give encourage. "Say it in mind until you know that the words are right." and so on. I don't know what the first four lines mean though.
    tman2ndon May 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOh, Regina's new song is so gorgeous. She just keeps getting better.
    I absolutely LOVE this song.
    LoveJezabelon July 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI just heard this song for the first time, and the images blew me away. To me, it speaks to exactly how I felt when my best friend/lover tried to kill herself. She has severe bipolar, and because of that she feels as though she is always playing a part. She is never happy. She never truly wants to be alive, but she puts on a face and pretends. The image of the scars healing all wrong..like the giant purple scar on my friend's wrist...
    Like the helium balloon, she fights to pull herself up, but is always prevented from being free by her disease. And here, that freedom has two meanings. One path to freedom for her would be to obviously get better, to overcome her illness and learn to be happy. But for her, the only true path to freedom that she sees is death. The balloon is like her soul, caught in this artificial world struggling to be free from it all.
    I once tried to kill myself, and her and I have discussed how the worst part is the way everybody looks at you afterward...like you're fragile and broken and pitiful. It's the last thing you want but the only thing you can seem to see in anyone's eyes.
    In the chorus, she says "say it in your mind until you know the words are right." To me, this also has double meaning. One is trying to find the words to appease everyone, to tell them that you're fine and that everything will be okay. Another is trying to sort out exactly how you feel and why you did what you did, but the words never seem to convey the depth of the emotion. And so you just have to breathe.
    And the fight never ends. She does think that she would be better by now, that magically somehow she would start loving life. But it never seems to get better...
    And the love she'll never know...because so much self loathing prevents her from ever allowing anyone to truly love her...and the love of her parents, and from me, which she feels she doesn't deserve and thus doesn't understand or feel.
    This is why we fight...she's still fighting. Still trying to get better. And she and I are still fighting over it. She's fighting to live, I'm fighting for her to seek help, I'm fighting to stay strong...but something makes it worth it...that is why we fight.

    I know that this was long and disjointed. But this song truly moved me, and hopefully it spoke to someone else who has struggled with this, which I am sure it has. Just don't forget why you're fighting.
    bridgetraton December 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song.

    I certainly think that the hospital metaphor makes sense, but also that it's only the outer layer of meaning in the lyrics.

    Personally, this song speaks to me about mental illness (much like bridgetrat suggested) - struggling so hard to battle the symptoms; being hospitalised at times; "healing wrong" by rushing through therapy due to being so desperate to convince everybody that you are better. But as with her other songs, I'm sure that the lyrics can be applied to an endless combination of scenarios.

    Essentially, though, the verses seem to be expressing the pain and misery that people experience in various stages of their lives, and the reactions of those around them during these periods. But the "and the pride inside their eyes..." section seems to imply that one can always hold hope that they can love to be loved. The chorus seems to be an attempt to encourage somebody else, or yourself (or both), to hold on - that "this", being life (regardless of all of the pain that it may contain), is always worth fighting for.
    protege--moion April 25, 2010   Link

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