"Wait It Out" as written by and Imogen Jennifer Jane Heap....
Where do we go from here?
How do we carry on?
I can't get beyond the questions.
Clambering for the scraps
In the shatter of us collapsed.
It cuts me with every could-have-been.

Pain on pain on play, repeating
With the backup makeshift life in waiting.

Everybody says that time heals everything.
But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between?
Are we just going to wait it out?

There's nothing to see here now,
Turning the sign around;
We're closed to the Earth 'til further notice.
A stumbling cliched case
Crumpled and puffy faced
Dead in the stare of a thousand miles

An all-out one, only one street-level miracle.
I'll be a an out-and-out, born again from none more cynical.

Everybody says that time heals everything
Oh in the end.
But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between?
Are we just going to wait it out?

And sit here cold?
We'll be long gone by then.
And lackluster in dust we lay
Around old magazines.
Fluorescent lighting sets the scene
For all we could and should be being
In the one life that we've got.

In the one life that we've got.

Everybody says that time heals everything.
But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between?

Are we just going to wait it out?
We sit here
Just going to wait it out
Sit here cold
Just going to threat it out
Wait it out.


Lyrics submitted by beenie_08, edited by xpacc

"Wait It Out" as written by Imogen Jennifer Jane Heap

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Wait It Out song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentOkay, this is probably way off (and just because of personal experience), but this song actually seems to me to be about miscarriage. "The wretched hollow"-- you could not describe it better. Especially when you and your partner are at a loss as to where to go from there. You want to hide away (be "closed to the earth")-- and the fluorescent lighting/old magazines just seems like a doctor's office. That's my personal read at least.
    jbesson December 06, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's about despair and giving up. The listlessness of the "in-between" the event and the recovery. The withdrawal from the world in an attempt to stop the hurt.

    It's about a situation where no matter how hard you wished for things to change, there is nothing you can do that will make it better, short of a miracle. Where you stop struggling to stay afloat and let yourself sink.

    It's about grief so deep you can't even imagine how things can ever get better after it. Even if it does, you'll never trust the world in the same way again.

    You can't escape it, you can't beat it, and you're not quite ready to die yet, so you really have no choice but to wait it out.
    S14on October 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's pretty much clear what this song is about. I just love the lyric "The endless inbetween"

    It's so true.
    g00dappleon August 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree that on the surface this appears to be a break-up song. But to me, there seem to be allusions to the songwriting process. It's not unusual for your internal dialog with yourself to refer to 'we' or 'us' (Imogen takes this to the extreme in the song 'Bad Body Double'). So from this point of view, one can imagine the songrwriter struggling to overcome a dry period, where inspiration is in short supply. I imagine working to complete a song:

    "Where do we go from here? How do we carry on? I can't get beyond the questions.
    Clambering for the scraps in the shatter of us collapsed - it cuts me with every could-have-been."

    The unfinished writing/recording process:

    "Pain on pain on play repeating."

    And the alternative to being a successful songrwriter/musician:

    "With a back-up, makeshift life in waiting."

    Impatience, frustration:

    "Everybody says: time heals everything. But what of the wretched hollow? The endless in-between?
    Are we just going to wait it out?"

    The self-portrait of the frustrated artist:

    "There's nothing to see here now - turning the sign around.
    We're closed to the earth til further notice.
    A stumbling, cliche case: crumpled and puffy-faced, and dead in the stare of a thousand miles."

    Invoking the muse:

    "All I want's only one street-level miracle. I'll be an out and out born again for none more cynical."

    Let's do this thing:

    "Everybody says that time heals everything: ALL IN THE END.
    But what of the wretched hollow? The endless in-between?
    Are we just going to wait it out? Sit here cold?
    We'll be long gone by then, luckluster, in dusty layers on old magazines."

    So back to the drawing board/studio:

    "Fluorescent lighting sets the scene for all we could and should be being
    In the one life that we've got. Ah...! In the one life that we've got..."

    "Everybody says: time heals everything. And what of the wretched hollow?
    The endless in-between? Are we just going to wait it out? Sit here?
    Just going to wait it out? Sit here, cold? Just going to sweat it out?
    Wait it out?"

    Apparently - not.
    Lennoon November 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this song is about a broken relationship.

    She doesn't want to let go because she doesn't know what good could happen in the future and doesn't want to give up that possibility.

    They say that time heals everything, and she wonders if it will eventually heal the relationship by waiting it out. However, if they wait for that to happen, what will they do to fill the hole while they wait? They're closed off from the Earth (other people) because they are choosing to stay together and hope it gets better with time, but she fears they'll waste their entire lives hoping it will get better.
    Redblondeon April 22, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI would have to disagree with everyone, although I see the break-up thing, but I relate to this song as someone struggling with the way people seem so lethargic or apathetic about changing the world.

    Waiting out each worldly tragedy, wishing for the courage to makeshift yourself into a hero, stumbling around in self-conscious agony of what people might assume from your youthful tears, frustrated with logical, and born again cynics yet sharing opinions with both hoping a street-level miracle makes the connection between sides.

    That's just how I related to the song anyway.
    Zhenisison September 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsorry i don't know some of the lyrics. i found a video of Immi singing this live from PopTech... and i thought Immi fans might want some of the lyrics.

    youtube.com/…

    theres the video.
    xoxoxo
    beenie_08on October 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAllowing my comment to be representative of ImogenHeap.com's "iBabble" forum topic "Wait It Out", here are the generally accepted and fan-discussed lyrics (I only offer you corrections, beenie_08; you have a very attentive ear, though!)

    [...]

    Clambering for the scraps
    in the shatter of us collapsed.
    Is cuts me with every "could have been."

    Pain on pain on play, repeating.
    With the backup makeshift life in waiting.

    Everybody says
    that time heals everything.
    But what of the wretched hallow?
    The endless in-between?
    Are we just going to wait it out...?

    There's nothing to see here now
    turning the sign around
    We're closed to the Earth til further notice.
    Clambering for the scraps, clambering in the light
    We're closed to the Earth til further...

    All-in-one, only one street-level miracle
    I'll be an out-in-out, born-again from none more cynical.

    Everybody says
    that time heals everything.
    But what of the wretched hallow?
    The endless in-between?
    Are we just going to wait it out...?

    ...and sit here cold?
    Look, you'll be long gone by then,
    and lackluster.
    In dust we lay
    'round old magazines.
    Fluorescent lighting sets the scene
    for all we could and should be being
    in the one life that we've got.

    Everybody says
    that time heals everything.
    But what of the wretched hallow?
    The endless in-between?

    Are we just going to wait it out?
    Sit here cold...
    ...just going to sweat it out?
    Just going to sweat it out?

    Wait it out.
    Corylindinbeon January 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wonder if this is the song that got left off the Narnia soundtrack. I remember hearing awhile ago that she had written something for the movie but Disney didn't like it and ended up going with Regina Spektor instead and she was going to put it on the new album. It fits quite well within the context of the movie/book at any rate.
    fluxy2535on September 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom the booklet:

    Where do we go from here?
    How do we carry on?
    I can't get beyond these questions...

    Clambering for the scraps in the shatter of us collapsed
    that cuts me with every could-have-been

    Pain on pain on play repeating
    with the backup, makeshift life in waiting

    Everybody says time heals everything
    but what of the wretched hollow?
    The endless in between
    are we just going to wait it out?

    There's nothing to see here now,
    turning the sign around
    We're closed to the earth 'til further notice

    A stumbling cliched case,
    crumpled and puffy faced
    Dead in the stare of a thousand miles

    All I want, only one, street level miracle
    I'll be an out and out, born again, from none more
    cynical

    And sit here cold, we will be long gone by then
    In lackluster, in dust we layer on old magazines,
    fluorescent lighting sets the scene
    in the one life that we've got

    And sit here
    Just going to wait it out
    And sit here cold
    Just going to sweat it out
    Wait it out

    I tried to keep the punctuation consistent but sometimes my fingers couldn't help adding between stanzas...

    anyhow, the lyrics looked generally correct, except my favorite line:
    "All I want, only one, street level miracle"

    I think the song is about breaking up, trying to move on and knowing that you will eventually, but just that at this moment in time you're far from it...and that everyone is telling you you will be okay and everything, but you just keeping thinking about it-

    the perfect post-break-up song.
    AlecsPenon September 03, 2009   Link

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