"Shelter" as written by Romy Anna Madley Croft, Oliver David Sim, James Thomas Smith and Baria Qureshi....
I find shelter, in this way
Under cover, hide away
Can you hear, when I say?
I have never felt this way

Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on
Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on

Could I be, was I there?
It felt so crystal in the air
I still want to drown, whenever you leave
Please teach me gently, how to breathe

And I'll cross oceans, like never before
So you can feel the way I feel it too
And I'll mirror images back at you
So you can see the way I feel it too

Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on
Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on

Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on

Lyrics submitted by miss_moto

"Shelter" as written by Oliver David Sim Romy Anna Madley Croft

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Shelter song meanings
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  • +17
    My InterpretationAlthough all of the interpretations above seem legitimate, I have always thought of this song in another way that has nothing to do with sex. I considered it as having something to do with someone who finds shelter in guarding her feelings and maybe not letting them out as much as she should (I find shelter in this way. Under cover, hide away).

    But then she doesn't make it clear to the other person how she feels and has to try and make it knowledgeable somehow, offering to be more honest (Can I make it better with the lights turned on?) and again (And I'll cross oceans like never before...) could mean that she is now willing to do whatever is needed to make her lover understand how she really feels (I still want to drown whenever you leave).

    She needs to learn how to open herself up so she can enjoy the relationship better (Please teach me gently how to breathe) and so she needs help from her partner to build a trusting relationship.

    -I hope this interpretation makes some sense.
    astrausson April 16, 2012   Link
  • +6
    General Commenti think this song is about a pretty demanding relationship where she (the singer/whoever it might be) is deadly in love with someone she can't absolutely live without (I still want to drown, whenever you leave). It also makes me feel that the other person might not be as deeply in love and in the relationship as the first person (Can you hear, when I say? / And I'll cross oceans, like never before/So you can feel the way I feel it too/And I'll mirror images back at you/So you can see the way I feel it too). The part (Maybe I had said, something that was wrong/Can I make it better, with the lights turned on) makes me think about the 2nd person being really picky and critical, creating arguments that are mostly solved in bed. :)

    btw this was my first comment, sorry if i'm being too...crazy. LOL
    LCrofton February 17, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentHere is the story I take from the lyrics:

    She finds shelter problems/conflict in the bedroom, using sex as a means of solving and/or avoiding problems in her relationship. She is asking herself (or her lover), can I NOT fall on that habit and actually DEAL with problems in a real and healthy way?

    She is mad for this person and hates that she can't function without him. She feels so strongly that she can't even believe her moments with him were real. She wants him to bear with her and help her to change and ultimately grow as a person. She seems to feel like she isn't up to par for this person, and is promising that she will make great leaps and make him love her.

    I could be pretty off, as what I stated above is very close to my current situation. This song hits me really hard, and my goodness, its beautiful.
    curiouseron March 27, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI thought it was that the boy had said "I lobe you" or something showing his devotion and she has trouble showing the same devotion, though she feels the same way as he. She is hoping that he will listen to her now and believe that she truly hold that same feelings.
    Sunshineshineon March 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsimplicity. strange how she's from south london but sings with a frenchy twang. nouvelle vague should recruit her.
    JasonBourneon August 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis is one of my favorite songs from the xx. I think the meanings are pretty obvious.
    First verse: I take refuge in my emotions for you.
    Chorus: If I did something wrong, can I fix it without being in bed with you?
    2nd verse: My memories of you are crystal clear; I don't know how to be without you.
    3rd verse: I would do anything for you, and I wish you could see that.

    (Side note: My favorite remix is the Death To The Throne remix. I think it really pushes the song to another level.)
    saveyoursanityon January 03, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentpretty song. her voice is amazing.
    mochi_keion February 12, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust Beautiful.
    mcD0MINATI0Non June 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationAt first I thought this was about a long distance relationship, but that's just one aspect of it. It's definitely more than that.
    I feel like it's about an unbalanced relationship. The POV is very devoted to the person/deeply in love, and would do anything for them. POV thinks that this person may not feel the same to that extent.
    What I picture is maybe a relationship that developed from a one night stand/sexual encounter. POV wants something more with their partner, but the partner doesn't feel as emotionally connected, and views their relationship as more of a one-time-thing.
    rustyoldguitarson September 14, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentStunningly gorgeous and understatedly beautiful to the max. I couldn't listen to a more heartbreaking song.
    Technophobiaon August 21, 2009   Link

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