"Secret Door" as written by and Alex Turner....
Fools on parade cavort and carry on
For waiting eyes
That you would rather be beside than in front of
But she's never been the kind to be hollowed by the stares

She swam out of tonight's phantasm
Grabbed my hand and made it very clear
There's absolutely nothing for us here
It's a magnolia celebration

To be attempted on a Wednesday night
It's better than to get a reputation
As a miserable little tyke
At least that's the conclusion
She came to in this overture

The secret door swings behind us
She's saying nothing
She's just giggling along

Her arms were folded most indignant
Not looking like she was soon to leave
I had to squint in order to believe
And then like a butler pushing on a bookshelf

I'm unveiling the unexpected
I, who was earlier reluctant,
Was suddenly embarrassed and corrected
How could such a creature
Survive in such a habitat

The secret door swings behind us
She's saying nothing
She's just giggling along
And even if they were to find us
I wouldn't notice, I'm completely occupied

As all the fools on parade
Cavort and carry on for waiting eyes
Ones you would rather be beside than in front of
But she's never been the kind

To be hollowed by the stares
Fools on parade
Frolic and fuck about to make her gaze
Turn to a scribble on a page by a picture

That holds her absence
But you're daft to think she'd care

Fools on parade
Fools on parade
Fools on parade
Conduct a sing-along


Lyrics submitted by life_aint_chess, edited by tumblah, prayingmantis84, HatefulSwan

Secret Door song meanings
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34 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentObviously another song written about Alexa. I think the fools on parade are specifically the paparazzi.

    There are lots of pictures of Alexa (looking pissed off) pulling Alex along by the hand early on in their relationship. All of this would have been relatively new experience to Alex, even though he was clearly famous already.

    "To make a gaze turn to a scribble on a page by a picture that holds her absence."
    The paparazzi can take one picture and create it's own story with it, regardless of the truth to it.

    When he says "ones you would rather be besides than in front of" he may be referring to Alexa's dream of being a photographer, but I may be getting too literal...
    belledujouron September 24, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Commentbelledujour has the lyrics correct (as they are typed in the lyrics booklet that comes with the album). I agree its most likely about Alexa (what I wouldn't give to be that girl!!), and that the 'fools on parade' are paps. I think the part about "a butler pushing on a bookshelf" is so killer. Especially the line "I who was earlier reluctant was suddenly embarrassed and corrected, how could such a creature survive in such a habitat?" it feels like its probably about the first time that he realized how Alexa dealt with the paparazzi. He assumed she was a certain way, but was embarrassed at his assumption because she was clearly different. In this context I kind of find this song to be almost defensive of Alexa ("you'd be daft to think she'd care") against the paparazzi and what the media writes about her.
    dangerouslionesson January 18, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentListen carefully at 3:07 sounds like alex is crying xD

    Humbug is a masterpiece and so this song, the final part is epic
    libertineboyon August 26, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment...Does anyone else take the fools on parade to be the famous themselves, rather than photographers or media-stalker types? I think that makes more sense, especially when he says "fools on parade cavort and carry on for waiting eyes," with the fools being the celebrities making their way down a red carpet for photographers and other fame whores waiting for them (the waiting eyes). Also, I think Alex gives more hints that celebrities themselves are the fools on parade: they "frolic and fuck about" as they live their fabulous lives, hoping to get a picture taken by at least one of those waiting eyes.

    And what gets him about this particular female is that she plays the part of one of those fools on parade so perfectly. But after he knows her more, he sees that she's not a fool on parade, but she willingly and almost eagerly plays the part, because "it's better that than get a reputation as a miserable little tyke." In reality, her thoughts are like hey-I'm-with-you-but-I'm-not-like-you when it comes to the celebrity/public situation.

    To me, the rest of the lyric's meanings are about his amazement at her façade, and how he feels like "a butler pushing on a bookshelf and unveiling the unexpected" when he finds out that it's all a show ("how could such a creature survive in such a habitat?"..."she's saying nothing, she's just giggling along"). The best part of it is that despite all the bullshit of the exterior, the two of them are super cool and air-tight on the inside. He's smitten ("Even if they were to find us, I wouldn't notice. I'm completely occupied") and she is too ("..But you're daft to think she'd care") and they could both care less about who is or looks like a fool on parade.

    Every time I hear this tune, I flash back to those pictures belledujour pointed out, lol. Probably my Humbug favorite.
    bueller84on February 11, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFools on parade
    Cavort and carry on
    For waiting eyes
    That you would rather be beside than in front of
    But she’s never been the kind to be hollowed by the stares

    She swam out of tonight’s phantasm
    Grabbed my hand and made it very clear
    There's absolutely nothing for us here
    It's a magnolia celebration to be attempted on a Wednesday night
    It's better than to get a reputation as a miserable little tyke
    At least that’s the conclusion she came to in this overture

    The secret door swings behind us
    She’s saying nothing
    She’s just giggling along

    Her arms were folded most indignant
    Not looking like she was soon to leave
    I had to squint in order to believe
    And then like a butler pushing on a bookshelf
    I'm unveiling the unexpected
    How she was never gonna look to?
    Suddenly embarrassed and corrected
    How could such a creature survive in such a habitat

    The secret door swings behind us
    She's saying nothing
    She's just giggling along
    And even if they were to find us
    I wouldn't notice, I'm completely occupied

    At all the fools on parade
    Cavort and carry on
    For waiting eyes
    That you would rather be beside than in front of
    But she’s never been the kind to be hollowed by the stares
    Fools on parade
    Frolic and fuck about to make her gaze
    Turn to a scribble on a page by a picture
    That holds her options
    But you’re daft to think she'd care

    Fools on parade
    Fools on parade
    Fools on parade conduct a sing-along
    l8punkroceron July 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSounds like "I who was nearly unreluctant" not "how she was gonna look to"
    and the line after is "was suddenly embarrassed and corrected"
    spiritussancti87on August 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaningokay, I know this is like the 3rd comment I've left here, but now that we've got the lyric corrections out of the way...let's get to the song meaning. the important part. so I'll just go ahead and analyze what I feel is the key verses and whatnot. enjoy (:

    "Fools on parade cavort and carry on for waiting eyes
    Ones you would rather be beside than in front of
    Though she's never been the kind to be hollowed by the stares"

    an introduction to the girl later referenced. a prologue, if you will. starts off by saying many people strive to be in the limelight, but it actually really sucks. this girl, however, is the kind of beautiful and amazing that everyone just naturally stares at her and judges her. but she's used to it, and it's pretty much just normal to her, and he admires that it doesn't bother her.

    "She swam out of tonight's phantasm
    Grabbed my hand and made it very clear
    There's absolutely nothing for us here"

    so he meets this fabulous girl at a party. she drags him away, wanting to be alone with him. not in a, er, sensual way, but just in a way where she can be herself without everyone being all judgmental. he's a little wary, probably because he sees her as...untouchable, too perfect. you know.

    "Her arms were folded, most indignant,
    Not looking like she was soon to leave
    I had to squint in order to believe

    Then like a butler pushing on a bookshelf
    I'm unveiling the unexpected
    I, who was earlier reluctant,
    Was suddenly embarrassed and corrected
    How could such a creature survive in such a habitat?"

    he really would rather be back at the party, away from the girl, but she's stubborn. she stays put and makes him see the real her, not the person everyone assumes she is from the outside. and he realizes he really, really likes this girl on the inside.

    "And the secret door swings behind us
    She's saying nothing, she's just giggling along

    Even if they were to find us
    I wouldn't notice, I'm completely occupied"

    this is referencing the secret place they go to when they're together. metaphorically, of course. it's the only place where they can be themselves.

    "Fools on parade frolic and fuck about to make her gaze
    Turn to a scribble on a page, by a picture
    That holds her options, but you're daft to think she'd care"

    the other guys, the "fools on parade", think that they want her, too. but they don't, not really. they want the girl that they think she is, superficially, not who she actually is. alex is the only guy who loves her for who she is, and that's the only thing she wants.
    gracelizabethon June 10, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think its about a secret that a girl doesnt wanna tell
    so she says: theres absolutely nothing for us here
    and she acts as if she was enchanted by those fools on parade that they are watching. those fools might be the ones that dont know the secret either.
    he stands next to her watching them, because that's what she does until the question he shouldn't have done, fades.
    well read!
    YugoSlapon December 23, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningto me this song seems to be about celebrity life and red carpet situations with alex. the secret door i suppose being the barrier between their lives in the public eye and their private life. the song makes sense the most through that lense. really good song though. one of tops off the new album.
    edge360on August 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe secret door swings behind us
    She's saying nothing
    She's just giggling along
    And even if they were to find us ------its 'love' right? not 'us'. 'Love' would make much more sense.
    I wouldn't notice, I'm completely occupied
    dhameyon August 23, 2009   Link

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