Remember when you were the hunted?
Remember how I swallowed you in?
Remember the rewards shimmering on the floor
Off the plastic chandelier?

Remember when I saw you in orbit?
Remember when I pulled you back in?
Remember looking on, blinking into the dawn
Thinking how this will never end?

Surrounded
Let's romanticize our beloved memories
Surrounded
Let's demonize our softest injuries
Surrounded
Can we get behind distortion and liberties?
Surrounded
We're surrounded or spiraling

Remember when I played assassin?
Remember when my joking turned grim?
Remember how we thought if we followed the dots
It would stop all the accidents?
Remember when you broke my halo?
Remember how I tied your wings in?
Remember how we slipped on the lies we equipped
Just to bring back the goods again?

Surrounded
Let's romanticize our beloved memories
Surrounded
Let's demonize our softest injuries
Surrounded
Can we get behind distortion and liberties?
Surrounded
We're surrounded or spiraling

Is it perfect
In our little hell?
Are you dancing
Or stumbling beside me?
Well this might not be
We'll just wait and see

So now that we've stopped hearing echoes
And now that the replay wore thin
Just remember who held you
Remember who held you
Remember who held you
Remember who held you

Surrounded
Let's romanticize our beloved memories
Surrounded
Let's demonize our softest injuries
Surrounded
Can we get behind distortion and liberties?
Surrounded
We're surrounded or spiraling

Is it perfect
In our little hell?


Lyrics submitted by prp2

Surrounded (Or Spiraling) song meanings
Add your thoughts

8 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is mesmerizing.

    I'm quite sure it's about a couple that is going through bad times/falling apart but trying to keep it together.
    There is a lot of evidence for this in the lyrics.

    The "Remember..." lines are talking about when they met/were still totally into each other

    The rest of the lines are a commentary on the current (sad) state of their relationship. ("is it perfect in our little hell" = they're acting like everything's ok when it's not; "romanticize our beloved memories" = let's hang onto the past; "can we get behind distortion and liberties" = can we just pretend it's all good?, etc.)

    He's surrounded, because they feel like they're in so deep they can't get out and they're both acting like it's all good.

    I think that's definitely the meaning.
    ninjapirateon June 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell this is definitely one of my favorite songs off swoon.

    it seems to be a critique of the American media or government judging by the chorus. the sensationalizing of news and triumphs and defeats or injuries.

    its obviously not a favorable critique, "is it perfect in our little hell?"

    my suspicion is that its partially about the distortion of things to help remove liberties in recent times.
    Yossarian82on April 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlike substitution, i think this song is about suicide. i know the album was written during a rough period when suicide was contemplated/attempted, i don't remember the details.. thats why it took like 2 years to be released. it has to do with how things used to be.. like, remember when i took care of you, and watched over you (verse 1), and now do you remember when things with me went from good to drastically bad ("remember when my joking turned grim," verse 2, etc)? and do you remember how we thought we could stop it, that we were bigger than it and could control it? the chorus has to deal with making the good times seem vastly better than they really were, and the second line is the complete opposite - demonizing injuries is making things seem exponentially worse than they actually are. "is it perfect in our little hell?..." refers to how its being dealt with and whether or not the support needed is actually being provided. also, "spiraling" is a psychology term referred to a complete downward spiral where one starts seeing things as being continuously negative and never getting better. it precedes suicide. just my input, but i know a lot of the album is based around suicide and it just seems to fit.
    suchaxsuckeron May 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe verses are about a romanticized (in the sense of "made larger than life") version of a relationship. The chorus refers to exaggerating the good times and covering up the bad, whitewashing over a more realistic memory of their past together with "distortion" and taking "liberties" with their time together.

    The one thing I really don't have a handle on with this song - and it bugs me because it's the title, which is a testament to its importance in the theme of the song - is the relationship between being surrounded and spiraling.

    Being surrounded indicates being trapped in one spot due to outside forces.

    Spiraling seems more like a self-directed path to an inevitable center point - usually, as someone else mentioned, a downward spiral, as if the end result is undesirable.

    It doesn't seem like either of them is something you'd want to be... both indicate a type of being trapped. So what's the important distinction between the two? Others surrounding you and boxing you in vs. spiraling out of control, doing it to yourselves?

    So then they're stuck in this idealized relationship, that they want to think is "perfect," even though it might just be "our little hell." Maybe if they're not actually surrounded/trapped in the relationship, if it's really not working out and they're just spiraling toward a more and more broken relationship, they need to come clean with themselves about how unhappy they are?

    The surrounded/spiraling imagery is so vague and not directly related to anything else in the song, so it's harder to get a handle on.
    HungLikeAJuryon July 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think its talking about a relationship that started out great, but they started bringing out the worst in each other "remember how u broke my halo, remember how i tied ur wings in" but they cant admit that there heaven is actually hell
    silversunloveon July 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOk, this is going to be long and I'm going to go from verse to verse, but this is my interpretation of the song.

    To begin, I think that he's talking to someone he had been in a relationship, or someone that he was still in a relationship, and he's reminding them and thinking back to all the times in their relationship.

    "Remember when you were the hunted/remember how I swallowed you in/remember the rewards shimmering on the floor/off the plastic chandelier"

    Here, he's looking back at the beginning of the relationship. It implies that he was "hunting" or chasing the girl, trying to get her to be with him and that he eventually swallowed her in, or in other words, got what he wanted. I'm not sure about the plastic chandelier part, but obviously they got a reward.

    "Remember when I saw you in orbit?/Remember when I pulled you back in?/remember looking on, blinking into the dawn/Thinking how this will never end?"

    Ok, so here I'm not quite sure what's going on. Perhaps she was on cloud nine or "in orbit" and he somehow pulled her back down to reality, perhaps making her realize that this is for real. The "blinking into the dawn" part might signal the beginning (dawn) of their relationship, the time when everything is all blissful happiness, and she believes that it will "never end."

    I'm going to skip the chorus for now.

    "Remember when I played assassin?/Remember when my joking turned grim?/Remember how we thought if we followed the dots/It would stop all the accidents?/Remember when you broke my halo?/Remember how I tied your wings in?/Remember how we slipped on the lies we equipped/Just to bring back the goods again?"

    Here he starts to talk about the bad parts. When he played assassin: when he started killing the mood, perhaps. When his joking turned grim: when he stopped seeing the good and funny anymore. If they followed all the dots it would stop all the accidents: if they did everything right, nothing would go wrong anymore.

    This next part is one of my favorite parts: "remember when you broke my halo/remember how I tied your wings in?" This is just screaming at me that they took each others innocence. And their innocence could have been anything: first time having sex, realizing that relationships aren't all they're cracked out to be, cheating on each other, etc. And then they got lost in all the lies that they told and perhaps came clean to make everything the way it was before or "bring back the goods again."

    "Is it perfect/In our little hell?/Are you dancing/Or stumbling beside me?/Well this might not be/We'll just wait and see"

    This has always been my favorite part. But I think here he's realizing that they aren't in a blissful state anymore and he's wondering if their relationship is perfect or if it's hell. He asks "are you dancing or stumbling beside me?" implying that he can't tell if she's happy or trying to keep up. Is it perfect and are you dancing or are we in hell and are you stumbling? And then he says that it might not be hell or perfect in our hell, but they will just have to wait it out to see either way.

    "So now that we've stopped hearing echoes/And now that the replay wore thin/Just remember who held you/Remember who held you/Remember who held you/Remember who held you"

    I actually don't get this part. Before I read the lyrics I thought it said "Now that the Reaper walked in" meaning that someone was going to die, but obviously I can now see that's not what it means at all. I think maybe it means that now that everything is gone and out in the open, now that they aren't pretending or trying to make everything the way it was before, he's reminding her that he did love her once and that he was there for her before and she shouldn't forget that.

    "Surrounded/Let's romanticize our beloved memories/Surrounded/Let's demonize our softest injuries/Surrounded/Can we get behind distortion and liberties?/Surrounded/We're surrounded or spiraling"

    Here in the chorus it's pretty easy to see what he's saying. He's pointing out that what they're doing is making the good memories better than they really were and making the bad memories worse than they really were. "Can we get behind distortion and liberties?" Either he's asking if they can put it behind them and be real or he's asking how long they can hide behind all the lies and distortions they're making. And the surrounded or spiraling part I think is just him saying that either they're surrounded by all of their lies or they're spiraling toward an end or a hell that they don't want to get to. I'm not sure why it can't be both.

    So overall, I think this song is about the end of a relationship and looking back on how the relationship progressed to where it is now: in their perfect hell.
    tjamieon July 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is about the life cycle of adenine and guanine
    masquirinaon November 26, 2012   Link
  • -1
    General CommentGranted, I just finished reading the Twilight series, but regardless, I sense "vampire" meanings in their lyrics
    aurora513on May 29, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain