"Tornado" as written by and Jon Thor Birgisson....
You grow, you roar
Although disguised
I know you

You'll learn to know

You grow, you grow like tornado
You grow from the inside
Destroy everything through
Destroy from the inside
Erupt like volcano
You flow through the inside
You kill everything through
You kill from the inside

You'll
You'll learn to know

I wonder if I'm allowed ever to see
I wonder if I'm allowed to ever be free

You sound so blue
You now are gloom

You sound so blue
You now are gloom

I wonder if I'm allowed just ever to be


Lyrics submitted by arnfdeno

"Tornado" as written by Jon Thor Birgisson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Tornado song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    My OpinionIncredible
    gplpark92on March 10, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI absolutely love this song!


    The music is achingly beautiful and the way it rises a third of a way through never fails to lift my spirits.
    illuminieon March 24, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song sounds like it's being sung to a child or a baby, even the lyrics, though brutal, are so raw and real I feel like it's directed at a child - telling them what lies ahead.

    "You grow, you roar
    Although disguised
    I know you

    You'll learn to know"

    Telling the child, in this instance my two year old niece, You'll grow up, and you'll roar and make as much noise as you can, you'll put on make up and experiment with your image, you'll disguise yourself, but I'll still know you... and eventually you'll learn to know you too.

    "You grow, you grow like tornado
    You grow from the inside
    Destroy everything through
    Destroy from the inside"

    You'll grow up, fast and out of control, like a tornado. You'll grow up emotionally aswell, from the inside you'll grow. The next lines I don't think are literaly meaning destroy, but by growing you destroy, you have to destroy to create, and sometimes she'll have to hurt and 'destroy' to make room for new growth - There'll be times where she'll be devestated and in pain, but it's all a part of the growing process.

    "Erupt like volcano
    You flow through the inside
    You kill everything through
    You kill from the inside

    You'll...
    You'll learn to know"

    She'll get mad sometimes, and she'll get frustrated and make bad choices and mistakes, she'll 'kill' everything and it'll kill her inside. Some things will be taken and some heartaches can't be avoided. But she'll learn "You'll... You'll learn to know" She'll learn from her mistakes, learn to know how to get back up and move on. She'll learn...

    "I wonder if I'm allowed ever to see
    I wonder if I'm allowed to ever be free"

    Questions she'll ask herself one day, cause we all do at some point.

    "You sound so blue
    You now are gloom

    You're now so blue
    You now are gloom

    I wonder if I'm allowed just ever to be "

    I'm not sure what this part means, but it completes the song... the lullaby.
    Lakunaon February 21, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthmm, i read it in a different way... for me, jonsi (and i totally relate to this!) is speaking to his own internal problems... loneliness... or self-destruct instinct...

    so when he says "you grow like tornado... from the inside" he's talking about something emotional, within him, that is stopping him from being truly happy (even if the situation he is in means he should be happy - something is still standing in his way that he can't control or really understand).

    for me, this is the time that you meet someone new, you love them and want to be with them - but there are demons within you that eat away at your happiness and turn it sour. it's probably insecurity. at some deep level, maybe you don't want to be happy, or at least don't feel you deserve to be happy.

    this is the tornado that grows within you, the erupting volcano that "kills from the inside". you can't fight Nature - it will overpower you in the end.

    this song always makes me cry, every time. but it has a positive message - even just knowing the volcano is there, means you can get stronger every time and learn to fight it.
    time4bedzebedeeon April 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song resonates soo much! I die at the line "You kill from the inside". This song killed me from the inside when I saw him live. He destroyed me from the inside. Best experience of my life. Sounded SO much better than the recording which is still moving.. I love you Jónsiii! He has the cutest accent.. I told him it was hard not to cry from the concert while at the record signing. ANYWAY...

    So the meaning... first I wanted to decide on who 'you' was referencing, and after debating if it's a significant other or love interest(which could very well be argued) I think it might be an impersonal statement. Impersonal, although Jonsi is probably taking it from his point of view and experience. So picture his situation and how he's generalizing it to a hypothetical situation applicable to anyone. It's like he's saying- when this ___ happens 'you' grow, become a tornado etc., as in anyone. He makes these statements, then adds thoughts from his own example. This is shown through the lines:

    'I wonder if I'm allowed just ever to be'

    'I wonder if I'm allowed ever to see
    I wonder if I'm allowed to ever be free'

    where Jonsi is obviously talking about himself. This line made me think that he feels like somethings trying to change him or bother him. I actually changed my mind about the 'you's' being an impersonal statement. It's mostly just talking directly to the hypothetical catalyst:

    'You grow from the inside
    Destroy everything through
    Destroy from the inside

    You flow through the inside
    You kill everything through
    You kill from the inside'

    He maybe only uses the impersonal statement to reference a hypothetical person in a similar situation in the lines "You'll learn to know". Although that could be about the catalyst learning it's error. Maybe it is a person. Anyway, the catalyst first attacks internally and causes further turmoil. Probably an idea, statement, feeling that offends Jonsi and causes that sick feeling of regret or depression that just eats away and away. Picture a tornado or erupting volcano inside of you. Anyway the problem mushrooms as the power of the song heightens then kind of gets quiet and dead, almost like a death "You're now so blue, You now are gloom". I'm kind of stuck here. I'm not sure how much sense this makes because of my inconsistency. Well I'll pass the baton here:
    lisasonodaon April 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is sung BY someone TO their own self-destructive self. The the self-destructive 'self' holds anger/pain/frustration, and it destroys everything in its path, including the other side of the person, the other 'self'. And this other self wants to be free of it.
    jiggadywigon April 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song, to me, is about all of us.

    we make the world around us. it comes from inside. we are what we think, to quote a good quote.

    one day we will all know.
    blikstaon May 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan't describe how much I love this song :)
    bohogalon August 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds like he's the villain in his own story.
    He's battling with himself.
    And in order to reach his full potential, he has to learn to know.
    Know himself, that is, and who he is in comparison to who he wants to be.

    He just wants to be free of himself, and I think a lot of us feel that way sometimes.
    shesavedmeon April 19, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou learn. You learn from mistakes. You learn from mistakes to grow. You learn from mistakes to grow into a tornado.

    You develop. You develop a strong sense. You develop a strong sense of value. You develop a strong sense of value for others to learn from.
    dp11on May 24, 2011   Link

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