"Turn It Off" as written by and Hayley Nichole/farro Williams....
I scraped my knees while I was praying
And found a demon in my safest haven, seems like
It's getting harder to believe in anything
Then just to get lost in all my selfish thoughts
I wanna know what it'd be like
To find perfection in my pride
To see nothing in the light
I'll turn it off
In all my spite
In all my spite
I'll turn it off

[Chorus]
And the worst part is
Before it gets any better
We're headed for a cliff
And in the free fall I will realize
I'm better off when I hit the bottom

The tragedy, it seems unending
I'm watching everyone I looked up to break and bending
We're taking shortcuts and false solutions
Just to come out the hero
Well I can see behind the curtain (I can see, yeah yeah)
The wheels are cranking, turning, so on the way we're working
Towards a goal, that's non existent
It's not existent, but we just keep believing

[Chorus]

I wanna know what it'd be like
To find perfection in my pride
To see nothing in the light
I'll turn it off
In all my spite
In all my spite
I'll turn it off
Just turn it off

Again
Again

[Chorus: x2]


Lyrics submitted by aristuma21

"Turn It Off" as written by Hayley Nichole/farro Williams

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Turn It Off song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis song is not written from the point of view of someone who has lost their faith.

    It's the difference between people who have a more tolerant view of Christianity and those who have a rigid sort of fundamentalist view. Also it's about her questioning her own personal beliefs. Along those same lines, it's about how Hayley is open to learning from difficult life experiences and exploring things in her music, even when it involves the questioning of faith itself. Basically, she starts questioning her belief but at the same time accepts it as a learning experience rather than pretending like she's perfect and hiding behind a facade.



    "I scraped my knees while I was praying
    And found a demon in my safest haven, seems like
    It's getting harder to believe in anything
    Then just to get lost in all my selfish thoughts"

    -- Obviously this is about her questioning her beliefs but more importantly, she's willing to admit it.

    "I wanna know what it'd be like
    To find perfection in my pride
    To see nothing in the light
    I'll turn it off
    In all my spite
    In all my spite
    I'll turn it off"

    -- The thing she's talking about "turning off" is the train of thought that has her questioning her faith. But she's also criticizing those Christians (or religious people in general) who don't have an open mind and see themselves as totally perfect with a high horse attitude. She's kind of sarcastically saying that she wishes she could be as perfect as these people.

    "And the worst part is
    Before it gets any better
    We're headed for a cliff
    And in the free fall I will realize
    I'm better off when I hit the bottom"

    -- This line is about how (during the time she wrote this song) she realized that the questioning of her faith would get worse before it gets better. But she's not giving up. She's saying that despite all this questioning, she'll be better off when she hits the bottom because it's a growing experience and perhaps it strengthens her beliefs or something to that effect.

    -- It could also perhaps be about relationships within the band. The idea being that there might have been disagreements about what topics are appropriate for Hayley to explore lyrically. So it's the relationships between band members that's "headed for a cliff." Fans of Paramore will notice that "Playing God" is about Hayley writing lyrics that certain other people in the band didn't necessarily agree with.

    "The tragedy, it seems unending
    I'm watching everyone I looked up to break and bending
    We're taking shortcuts and false solutions
    Just to come out the hero"

    -- A lot of people she looked up to in her life are adopting false solutions to problems (either individual problems or social issues) and in doing so are denying aspects of reality in order to conform to a more dogmatic or rigid way of thinking. And instead of using the more positive side of faith they're diving into the mentally confining aspects. These people are shutting themselves off from parts of the world and are missing out on meaningful learning experiences. They are using fake solutions in order to seem like they're perfect but it's all wrong.

    "Well I can see behind the curtain (I can see, yeah yeah)
    The wheels are cranking, turning, it's all wrong the way we're working
    Towards a goal, that's non existent
    It's not existent, but we just keep believing"

    -- It's about how rigid fundamentalist beliefs are pushed onto particular aspects of reality in a way that just doesn't fit or make sense.

    -- Essentially (at the time of writing this) Hayley is someone who feels that faith is a very important part of her life. However, she's not a fundamentalist. She has a more relaxed, tolerant view of Christianity. And more to the point, she focuses more on her relationship with God, faith and positivity as opposed to the dogmatic features that often plague religion. She's open to exploring the world instead of hiding from it even if it means questioning her faith.



    "Turn it Off", "Playing God", "Monster" and "Renegade" are all along the same lines really and are probably at the root of why the Farro brothers left the band.

    I assume one thing that initially happened is that Hayley was writing lyrics that question a belief in God. This topic likely wasn't well accepted by certain other members of the band and it could have been one of the issues that created a rift in the group. Basically Hayley was interested in exploring different topics through her music that were met with resistance.
    Penwheelon September 24, 2012   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaningok, first off. the song is NOT about christianity, at least not to me.

    I scraped my knees while I was praying
    And found a demon in my safest haven
    (Where she used to feel safe, she doesn't feel so safe anymore/feel like she belongs there)
    Seems like it's getting harder to believe in anything
    Than just to get lost in all my selfish thoughts
    (Instead of like, following her dreams or something, she's considering acting like she's all that, maybe being a showoff)

    I wanna know what it'd be like
    To find perfection in my pride
    (To think she's "all that", etc)
    To see nothing in the light
    (To see nothing for what it really is)
    I'll turn it off, in all my spite
    In all my spite, I'll turn it off
    (She would "turn off the lights" and not see things for how they really are)

    And the worst part is
    Before it gets any better
    We're headed for a cliff
    (It's gonna get worse before it gets better)
    And in the free fall
    I will realize I'm better off
    When I hit the bottom
    (When you hit "the bottom", that's the worst point: she thinks it will get better from that point, and she can get back up and try again)

    The tragedy, it seems unending
    I'm watching everyone I looked up to break and bending
    We're taking shortcuts and false solutions
    Just to come out the hero
    (pretty self explanatory...)

    Well, I can see behind the curtain
    (she can see what's really going on)
    The wheels are cranking, turning
    It's all wrong, the way we're working
    Towards a goal that's non-existent
    It's not existent, but we just keep believing
    (If you don't have a goal, what are you working towards? NOTHING!)

    after that it just repeats things from before...

    so basically, it's like, things are getting worse b/c people are being showoffs, thinking that they're all that. if you also listen to "playing god" you can tell that, like this whole album pretty much, it's about the band and their struggles.

    it reminds me of my school sometimes, well, kind of. like, "I'm watching everyone I looked up to break and bending" makes me think of these people that I thought were these straight A, really good students who really put a LOT of effort into their schoolwork and tried to follow their dreams, well, I guess that's not always quite so true. "I found a demon in my safest haven" - I feel safe there, but maybe it's not quite where I belong... I think my school used to be better, idk. It's a middle school, and don't get me wrong - I love my school (one of the best schools in the area) - but I want to go on to high school already and move on to bigger things, "ditch this town before it ditches me" etc.

    just a rant... lol dont ask (:
    randomperson123on November 16, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think you're taking the non-existant but we keep believing part out of context
    unless i'm not understanding you correctly.

    i don't think she's saying that god is non-existant but they just keep believing
    its more like, being in the spotlight theres been a lot of comments about her christianity
    and it gets tiring so its harder for her to believe in anything
    but then she goes on to say that functioning that way isn't really helping anything
    this goal (possibly deflecting the comments about her beliefs by not believing in anything)
    shes trying to achieve isn't really the right way to go about it.

    my favorite line is
    "in the free fall i will realize i'm better off when i hit the bottom"
    as a christian to me that means at the bottom is when i will finally cry out for god
    and he will come to my rescue
    even if you arent a christian, i look at it like, well im at the bottom only way to go now is up.
    and thats a good thing in the end. a sort of motivation.


    i love this song.
    canvaswingson September 23, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI believe this song speaks of the consequences of abandoning your beliefs and follwing your 'pride'. The song seems to be on a hypothetical level (at least for me). As if she's trying to say 'what if'. However inevitably her selfish thoughts lead her to peril (thus the 'cliff'). As exciting as the 'free fall' may seem, she ultimately 'realizes' how the consequences are severe and the only aspect of her life that can save her has been turned off (thus the title). From here on there is too much damage done to be reversed or restored so she keeps living without any motive just finding 'shortcuts and false solutions' to get by. I was slightly baffled by the use of the lines;

    "We're taking shortcuts and false solutions
    Just to come out the hero"

    The "hero" may aswell have inverted commas on them in the lyrics just by the way she sings the song here. I believe there is a link between "demon" in the first verse and "hero" in this one. As if she's realized the one that led her stray used deception and made himself out to be a saviour only to lead her to destruction and therefore she is now trying to distance herself from him. Her capability for seeing the 'demon' for what is it is demostrated in this verse:

    "Well, I can see behind the curtain
    (I can see it now)
    The wheels are cranking, turning
    It's all wrong, the way we're working
    Towards a goal that's non-existent
    It's not existent, but we just keep believing"

    The whole song you can depict to be two voices in Hayley's head: one telling her to try the notion of listening to her pride and abandoning her belief;

    "I wanna know what it'd be like
    To find perfection in my pride
    To see nothing in the light
    I'll turn it off, in all my spite
    In all my spite, I'll turn it off
    Just turn it off
    Again, again, again"

    However another voice counter-acts this and presents the consequences of becoming stray:

    "And the worst part is
    Before it gets any better
    We're headed for a cliff
    And in the free fall
    I will realize I'm better off
    When I hit the bottom"
    queen15840on October 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPeople, read what ParamorePrincess23 posted, Hayley's words about the song:

    "In accordance with 'Playing God' this song is the emotional result. How I feel when I think about the stupidity displayed by so called Christians and it seems that people who don't fall back on faith seem to have life figured out. Or at least it works fairly smoothly on the surface. What I've found out is there is beauty in "figuring out"... I hope I never have life figured out for myself. I want to be in a content state of learning and growing and I hope God can always show me from the bottom there are more ways to look up."

    The song is about wanting to think for yourself and have the pride to say "this is how I want to do it, not anyone else not God, me."

    The first verse is all about how she has believed for so long, but now her religion seems to go against her very nature. Religion preaches that being selfish is wrong, but she's understanding the importance of it.

    The "it" she is turning off in the chorus is her reliance on God. She is expressing desire to take pride in herself (a major "sin"), but feels guilty because she is taught pride is wrong, so she says she's being spiteful.

    The cliff is about how life is very hard on your own, without a crutch to fall back on. The toughest thing a human can ever do is say s/he's going to figure it out on his/her own, but once you bottom out that first time, it's never that hard again.

    The verse about the curtain, the wheels, and the non-existence is most certainly about God/the afterlife. She's living success. She's understanding how the world works. It's making her question her faith. It's certainly connected with the verse about people taking shortcuts and false solutions. She's seeing the way everyone who is supposedly "good" actually acts.

    The difficulty she is having is that she's finding more fulfillment from her selfish and earthly desire than her selfless and heavenly desires, and she has been taught the former are wrong and the latter are correct, so she feels guilty. In actuality, the opposite is true.

    This song is extremely Objectivist in nature, though I doubt Hayley realizes it.
    Jayemelon January 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song really good.
    xxaidenxxon September 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me, this seems to be Hayley struggling with herself and the way the band was working. The chorus really makes me think that this is what the song is about.

    "And the worst part is
    Before it gets any better
    We're headed for a cliff
    And in the free fall
    I will realize I'm better off
    When I hit the bottom"

    It sounds like she really wants to be happy with the success that they have, but its hard for her to enjoy it when they're all so miserable.

    That and the second verse:

    "The tragedy, it seems unending
    I'm watching everyone I looked up to break and bending
    We're taking shortcuts and false solutions
    Just to come out the hero

    Well, I can see behind the curtain
    (I can see it now)
    The wheels are cranking, turning
    It's all wrong, the way we're working
    Towards a goal that's non-existent
    It's not existent, but we just keep believing"

    Hayley feels that they're not doing the right thing to get to their goal, which she also thinks is non-existent. They want to be a successful and happy band, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. Especially when you don't want to talk to your bandmates.


    "I scraped my knees while I was praying
    And found a demon in my safest haven
    Seems like it's getting harder to believe in anything
    Than just to get lost in all my selfish thoughts"

    Shes trying not to be the selfish frontwoman but its hard when the band is the way it is. Remember, the guys didn't like the fact that Hayley was getting all the attention. The "demon in my safest haven" sounds to me like shes saying there was a problem in the band.



    Rayne9045on September 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI see a lot of you are published by the meaning of this song. Luckily, I have a copy of Hayley Williams song lyric journal and I will type it up.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In accordance with "Playing God" this song is the emotional result. How I feel when I think about the stupidity displayed by so called Christians and it seems that people who don't fall back on faith seem to have life figured out. Or at least it works fairly smoothly on the surface. What I've found out is there is beauty in "figuring out"... I hope I never have life figured out for myself. I want to be in a content state of learning and growing and I hope God can always show me from the bottom there are more ways to look up.
    Paramoreprincess23on October 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationUnlike almost everyone else here, I don't take this song as a religious questioning.
    Hayley Williams wrote it like that, and (obviously) i respect her opinion. However, these lyrics are open to interpretation. and i took this song completely differently.
    to me, this song is primarily about suicide.

    To see nothing in the light
    I'll turn it off, in all my spite

    She says, Nothing in the light, which can refer to going to heaven, and how people often claim to "see the light" when dying, and that she isn't going to see anything. She says turn it off, which is even the name of the song. did anyone think to interpret this as turning life off, as though she can't handle it anymore in all the horrible things she's feeling?

    getting harder to believe in anything
    Than just to get lost in all my selfish thoughts

    now she's saying she has a hard time believing, as though life and her purpose has no meaning. she also mentions getting lost thinking. when one is down in the dumps, or dead, they can be thought of as "lost". like you may say, "i lost my grandfather in a car crash" etc. In books i have read similar to this topic, people have thought it was selfish to leave the world of the living, and take the easy way out, which can be selfish to leave others to deal with the consequence. Sometimes, you want to take the whole sentance to interpret, other times it's just a single word like these which can give you a clue.

    Towards a goal that's non-existent
    It's not existent, but we just keep believing

    now she's basically saying her goals, or purpose are non-existent. so what's the point in living? She keeps saying that life and such isnt really there. But she's still trying to believe.
    still not convinced, take these last, but most important lyrics.

    And the worst part is
    Before it gets any better
    We're headed for a cliff

    So, things are getting worse, but the worse is yet to come.

    And in the free fall
    I will realize I'm better off
    When I hit the bottom

    in the freefall, or when she's falling down into the unknown. she's finally going to realize that everything is better when she hits the bottom of all of it, or when she's dead. If one falls off a cliff, when they hit the bottom, suprise, they're dead! hayley is saying that while in the midst of it she will realize she's better off once committing suicide

    not even saying it's hayley who feels this way, but i believe the narrator of the song, or who it is about, honestly does feel this way...

    Walker143on June 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis is one of my favorites by Paramore.

    In the first verse she sings of how, as a
    christian, sometimes you go through troubles and
    sometimes find bad things in a situation that you
    thought was good and how it seems harder to
    believe than to just let go and follow your
    selfish thoughts.

    In the chorus She sings of how when we fight
    against God were just pushing ourselves over a
    cliff, But as were falling down farther we realise
    that once we reach the bottom the only way to go
    is up (In the free fall I will realize i'm better off when I hi the bottom)

    In the second verse she says that everyone around
    her seems to be breaking away from God to try and
    take shortcuts or "False solutions" to try to get
    out on top.

    In the third verse she sings of how in Gods big
    plan (Behind the curtain), All the wheels are
    working but the way that we're living our lives is
    all wrong because were "working towards a goal
    that's non-existent" but we believe that its the
    right way to do it.

    The bridge of the song is a little trickier. I
    think shes saying that it would be so much better
    if we saw "perfection in our pride" and live as if
    we were alredy in Heaven therefore "seeing nothing
    in the light" because it is no better than how
    were supposed to be living, And if we were able to
    turn off our spite we would be able to live that
    way because there would be no more arguments, no
    more wars, etc...
    Newf17on August 05, 2010   Link

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