"Tidal (Ellipse)" as written by and Imogen Jennifer Jane Heap....
Before electric light,
You paddled through the soup of darkness as a crocodile,
Cherry picking in the river,
I would leave crisp note footprints at the bankside

Watch it closely you will see it begin to move
Watch it closely you see it begin to flicker

While we're here, let's see what happens
What we got, got, got to loose (what we got to loose)
While we're tidal and flexed on a full moon
It'd be a sure, sure shame to not to

In every wonder what you are
I've blurted everything I know just for a piece of it
Flash frozen, patch worked and fallow
I sprung up in hearts and arrow superhighways

Watch it closely you will see it begin to move
Watch it closely you see it begin to flicker

While we're here, let's see what happens
What we got, got, got to loose (what we got to loose)
While we're tidal and flexed on a full moon
It'd be a sure, sure shame to not to

Do what you feel just how you like
Nobody has to know
Nobody has to know

Do what you feel just how you like
Nobody has to know

Watch, watch, watch, watch, watch,
What we got to loose

While we're here, let's see what happens
What we got, got, got to loose (what we got to loose)
While we're tidal and flexed on a full moon
It'd be a sure, sure shame to not to

Do it for England
Do it for love
Do it for us
Do it for goodness sake
Do it for all the times
We wished we had

Do what you want, just how you like
Nobody has to know
do what you want, just how you like
Nobody has to know.


Lyrics submitted by bekkiboo46

"Tidal" as written by Imogen Jennifer Jane Heap

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Tidal (Ellipse) song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI agree that the song is about a "forbidden love."

    For me, personally, at the time the album came out, I was reading a romance novel about an English girl who flees to the Amazon and falls in love with the wealthiest man there (also an Englishman). So the first stanza, and the "Do it for England" part really made me think of that. ^^
    janeaparis1on November 24, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentforbidden love.

    she doesn't know whether she really wants to pursue or just keep quiet...
    AlecsPenon September 27, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commentmy take: this is about a friend who she'd like to be involved with.

    first verse: they flirt around a bit, kind of feeling their way around. i imagine a clumsy crocodile waddling around in the dark and trying to figure out what to make of the "crisp note footprints".

    second verse: she feels like she's made a fool of herself by blurting out all kinds of silly things to get his attention, but she still feels like she's falling hard for him...i know pretty much exactly how springing "up in hearts and arrow superhighways" feels. :)

    what a great song. fantastic beat, fun melody and really evocative lyrics. very accurately describes the feeling of newness and fun when you first start falling for someone.

    i love immi! <3
    joyfulgirl26on September 28, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song totally remind me of a guy ii want to date so0o0 BAD!! iim gay and he's...Well, Bi-Curious and he says that he doesnt know what it is but when he looks at me he juss feels kiinda weird. I keep telling him that we should juss give it a try "What we got, got, got to lose?". Ugh, but ii totally understand if you cant but "Do what you want, juss how you like, NOBODY has to know" Like, ii wont tell ANYONE that your curious coz ii remember when ii was in the closet and diidnt want ANYONE to know. And he plays football so its like thats messing with his Career/his liife. But in the back if my head im like "Do it for England, for CALIFORNIA, do it for us, do it for goodness sake, do it for all times we wished we had" Like, C'mon, thiis may be your only chance. Since then ii have moved on, im in a relationship with a guy who i LOvE but sumtimes ii think. Would ii leave him to be with thiis guy who's not even sure what he wants?
    lilpoppy10on August 11, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI believe this is an Ode to the miracle of life. I think she's sort of picking apart the components of life, how we came about, and conveying this message like - "This is too good to be true - so please, do something with it".

    Before electric light
    You paddled through the soup of darkness as a crocodile
    Cherry picking in the river
    I would leave crisp note footprints at the Bankside

    --Here, speaking of the primordial soup which we came from. In an abstract way, I think here she's telling us of this cycle that we are all in: the never ending birth and rebirth that is our own energy - "before electric light". Perhaps she is also imagining a scenario in which she was once a dinosaur, leaving her prints to be found later on.--

    Watch it closely you see it begin to move
    Watch it closely you see it begin to flicker

    --Watching the miracle of life metamorphosing, becoming something greater and bigger.--

    While we're here, lets see what happens
    What we got, got, got to lose
    While we're tidal and flexed on a full moon
    It'd be a sure, sure shame to not to

    --Now that we are at this state, whether it be because of creationism or evolutionism (or both), take in everything life has to offer you. You've only got one life (as far as we know for sure). Since our very existence has been dependent on the "tides" of Earth, and the full moon (our full potential) is now - It would be a shame not to live fully.--

    In every wonder what you are
    I've blurted everything I know just for a piece of it
    Flash frozen, patchworked and fallow
    I sprung up in hearts and arrow superhighways

    --Speaking about the sheer wonderment of being alive. The curious reasons why we came to be here; she's kept on regurgitating all the information she's learned just to understand, even a small piece, of the answer. Life everywhere has been flash frozen: cryopreservation from the ice age etc; patchworked: dinosaurs, human ancestors and all kinds of life literally patched together by present day humans, bone by bone; and fallow: all of the land and creatures that have never come to their full realization. Humanity has evolved way beyond the time of those remnants, to come to deeply understand, or rather place emphasis, on love and build a society revolving around technology (I sprung up in hearts, and arrow superhighways).

    Do you what you feel, just how you like
    Nobody has to know

    Watch, watch... watch... watch, watch...

    Do it for England
    Do it for love
    Do it for us
    Do it for goodness sake
    Do it for all the times
    We wished we had

    -Encouraging the listener to live their life according to their own rules.-

    Do what you want, just how you feel
    Nodoby has to know
    terraeron March 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI get that the chorus and ending are telling him to just let go and have sex with her, but I don't get what the two stanzas are about? And probably what's "moving" and "flickering" is the kindle/sparks/relationship between the two. <3 I love that message, but I would really like to undertand it more with the two stanzas!!
    whitefroufrouon September 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentforbidden love.

    she doesn't know whether she really wants to pursue or just keep quiet...
    AlecsPenon September 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor years I was confused about the lyrics just from listening to them, but once you actually read them, they make sense. Forbidden love pretty much sums this one up.

    However, I have a crazy theory about this song which is probably dead wrong, but interesting. I often associate Imogen Heap's music with the movie Atlantis: the Lost Empire and I like to write Atlantis fan fiction while listening to these albums. Today I was researching Washington, DC, the city in which some of the movie is set, and I couldn't help noticing a little possible symbolism in this song.

    1. "Before Electric Light" The movie is set in 1914, so, yes, there was electric light, but it was still fairly new then.

    2. The title "Tidal" made me think of the Tidal Basin, a famous man-made lake in Washington, DC.

    3. "You paddled through the soup of darkness as a crocodile" can also refer to the Tidal Basin, since it's a lake. The "river" and "Bankside" lyrics add to this, since the Tidal Basin is technically part of the Potomac River.

    4. "Cherry picking in the river": Washington, DC is famous for its cherry blossom trees, especially near the Tidal Basin.

    5. "Do it for England" doesn't really make sense, since Washington, DC is basically the centre of the USA...

    Okay, I'll shut up now.
    HedonisticHermiton January 02, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, one more thing. The title of this album is called Ellipse and the oval-shaped park in front of the White House is called The Ellipse. Spooooooky...
    HedonisticHermiton January 02, 2014   Link

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