"MIA" as written by and Emma Moss....
The day that we
Took out a car in the rain
Is the day you forgot how to
Brake and see
How quickly the picture will change
Filled with fingers and voices and teeth
I still remember holding my hand
Against your face just before it was sprayed
Across the radio
As it played

And you and me
Are still but the scenery moves
Well why would it stop just 'cause
Suddenly
There's one where there used to be two
And everything's quiet but yo
Looks like the speaker lived through the blow
Still playing some compilation you made
Feels like a lifetime sitting alone
So I start humming along to the tape

I always liked this singer
I remember how you were the one who told me that her name
Was either mia
Or m.i.a.

And I am thinking
How many hours till I'm home
How long do I stay in this place
Who's going to wash all the blood from my clothes
Who's gonna cancel my date
Who's gonna cancel my date

And I think
I always liked this singer
I remember how you were the one who told me that her name
Was either mia

And I think
I always liked this singer
I remember how you were the one who told me that her name
Was either mia
Or m.i.a.

And the day that we
Took out a car in the wet
I thought to myself that the sky was blue
As I've ever seen it but yet
Still tinted with red


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"MIA" as written by Emma Moss

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MIA song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationFrom news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/…

    Q: In one of your songs, you talk about the moments immediately after a car crash, when all you can think of is how to pronounce the name of the singer MIA. How did that come about?
    A: When I was really young, my school bus crashed. I was the only kid who wasn't hurt, and I was near my house so I started running home. And I turned around and the last thing I remember was seeing the driver with glass all over his face and he was holding up a bloodied hand, and my mum told me he'd lost a finger. So that's always been in my mind and I've always been interested in what people think - the inappropriate things you think when something goes badly.

    Q: It is probably a coping mechanism.
    A: I guess so. I'm just very interested in what people do in a catastrophe. I will always read the paper if they've done an interview with someone who survived an earthquake, or even someone who has just lost a parent or a friend. I'm just really interested in people's reactions to it.
    dutparon February 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUtterly heart-breaking description of a fatal car accident. "Suddenly there's one where there used to be two" - so poignant and so brutally simple a depiction of being in the presence of death.
    Also, this song (like many of Emmy's) has such an unusual lyrical rhythm, it's completely arresting.
    songsbstuon December 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn particular I find the matter-of-factness these lyrics posess to be as shocking as the subject matter. She is such a clever and unique lyricist.
    Jonnyxxon January 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRight this is probably kinda far out but bear with me - everyone's saying they like how literal her lyrics are and this goes against it so i'm probably wrong!
    I think perhaps she's cheating on her boyfriend/husband/whatever and he's rammed the car off the road when he's found out...
    I'll try to explain - i thought the lines "who's gonna cancel my date" (repeated) and "you forgot how to brake" were kind of odd.
    If you take "date" in the sense of man meets woman to go out - i wouldn't have thought you'd refer to a long term couple going on one of these dates, and even if you would, if your dating partner was lying dead next to you i doubt you'd think "i need to cancel"? Perhaps she had already arranged to meet another man?
    Then the line "you forgot how to brake" is suspect in that it doesn't say "you swerved" or "skidded" it says "you forgot" as though he should have been braking and it was obvious he should be doing so, but for whatever reason chose not to.
    As i say, probably too overly analytical - but it was the only explanation i could come up with to satisfy my stupid theories...
    Minimorelloon February 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, Emmy's going to be big this year methinks. And jonny, the "matter-of-factness" I think is trying to show the shock of how you would sometimes feel in this situation. it's not that she doesn't care at all that this person is dead, but at the time i think it happens that people just can't deal with thinking about what just happened, so they do just focus on something else.
    The bit that gets me is all the imagery, like the bit 'filled with fingers and voices and teeth' - clearly this other person was completely destroyed. And the bit where the sky is "tinted with red" - that's got to be blood sprayed on the windscreen. i can just imagine it, there's this mangled corpse and emmy's just staring at the sky and listening to MIA.
    tom_omgon January 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the person above me.
    Emmy's lyrics are all pretty literal.

    She was in a car crash with her boyfriend or friend, whomever during the rain and he forgot to break and they crashed. He didn't survive as well as the rest of the car was pretty damaged but the speakers and the stereo did and the song playing was from a tape he made her.
    millyme!on May 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think of it like something terrible had just happened and the way she grieves is to think of the good times they had
    draglineon October 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd also... how can the sky be as blue as she's ever seen it if it's raining/wet? Anyone help me out? There's the obvious "it was wet then it cleared up but the road was still wet answer" but meh... i dunno.
    Minimorelloon February 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThe song is about disorientation for me, the way that the mind goes into shock to protect itself from a terrible incident.

    I notice that although there is a lot of duration in the song "feels like a lifetime sitting alone", "how many hours till i'm home" the whole story happens in the duration of a single MIA song, which suggests the time dilation that often accompanies a crisis experience.
    Breakfaston June 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRe-listening to this again the other day I suddenly thought - I wonder if it's actually the speaker who dies in the crash, not her boyfriend/friend/whoever it is who's in the car with her?

    'everything's quiet but you' was what made me think of it - that she herself hasn't survived, it's the 'you' who's injured but still living.

    'holding my hand across your face just before it was sprayed across the radio' - 'it' could be his face as I initially assumed, or her hand.

    The 'sitting alone' of course undermines this. :/
    tonightweflyon August 11, 2009   Link

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