"Keep Your Head Up" as written by and Benjamin John Howard....
I spent my time, watching
The spaces that have grown between us.
And I cut my mind on second best,
Oh the scars that come with the greenness.
And I gave my eyes to the boredom,
Still the seabed wouldn't let me in.
And I try my best to embrace the darkness
In which I swim.

Now walking back, down this mountain,
The strength of a turnin' tide.
Oh the wind so soft, and my skin,
Yeah the sun so hot upon my side.
Oh lookin' out at this happiness
I searched for between the sheets,
Oh feelin' blind, I realize,
All I was searchin' for, was me.
Oh oh-oh, all I was searchin' for was me.

Oh yeah, keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
No, no, no, no, keep your mind set, keep your hair long.
Oh my, my darlin', keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
Na, oh, no, no, keep your mind set in your ways.
Keep your heart strong.
Now I saw a friend of mine, the other day,
And he told me that my eyes were gleamin'.
Oh I said I'd been away, and he knew...
Oh he knew the depths I was meanin'.
And it felt so good to see his face,
All the comfort invested in my soul,
Oh to feel the warmth, of his smile,
When he said, 'I'm happy to have you home.'
Oh oh-oh, I'm happy to have you home.

Oh yeah, keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
No, no, no, no, keep your mind set, keep your hair long.
Oh my, my darlin', keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
No, no, no, no, keep your mind set in your ways.
Well keep your heart strong.

'Cause I'll always remember you the same.
Oh eyes like wildflowers, oh with your demons of change.

(Keep your head up)
(Keep your heart strong)
(Keep your head up)
(Keep your heart strong)
May you find happiness here.
(Keep your head up)
(Keep your heart strong)
(Keep your head up)
(Keep your heart strong)
May all your hopes all turn out right.

Keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
No, no, no, no, keep your mind set, keep your hair long.
Oh my, my darlin', keep your head up, keep your heart strong.
No, no, no, no, keep your mind set in your ways.
Keep your heart strong.

'Cause I'll always remember you the same.
Oh eyes like wildflowers, oh with your demons of change.


Lyrics submitted by DefeningSilence, edited by M4TTY

"Keep Your Head Up" as written by Benjamin John Howard

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Keep Your Head Up song meanings
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19 Comments

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  • +7
    My InterpretationFor me this song is powerful in getting over the lose of a relationship Its amazing what Ben Howard's voice can do when he sings. With "Only Love", the simplicity of that song is easy to recognize it is all about the pure love that one possess in a relationship with another...simple and free-ONLY LOVE no bullshit. With "Keep Your Head Up" you feel the optimistic misery in it. Though the song has a happy beat, its quite sad(well maybe not sad) but defintley emotional in terms of a couple that no longer is together.
    For me it is about-exactly- this:

    "I spent my time, watching
    The spaces that have grown between us.
    And I cut my mind on second best,
    Oh the scars that come with the greenness.
    And I gave my eyes to the boredom,
    Still the seabed wouldn't let me in.
    And I try my best to embrace the darkness
    In which I swim."

    -Here he is speaking about how he has watched them grow apart(spaces) and he has stressed about how he feels second best in her life. And after all of this stress and after all the heart break is gone, he can finally let his scars heal(greenness)- and let himself be bored(lonely) and try to embrace the darkness( the emptiness of not having her anymore).

    "Now walking back, down this mountain,
    The strength of a turnin' tide.
    Oh the wind so soft, and my skin,
    Yeah the sun so hot upon my side.
    Oh lookin' out at this happiness
    I searched for between the sheets,
    Oh feelin' blind, I realize,
    All I was searchin' for, was me.
    Oh oh-oh, all I was searchin' for was me."

    Here hes talking about the next chapter in his life(walking down the mountain/turning tides)-change. And how there may be obstacles(wind, heat) but there will be happiness again because he realizes as hes making his way down/making changes in his life that all along he wasn't searching for someone to complete him, but rather he was searching for who he really was.
    .
    Now I saw a friend of mine, the other day,
    And he told me that my eyes were gleamin'.
    Oh I said I'd been away, and he knew...
    Oh he knew the depths I was meanin'.
    And it felt so good to see his face,
    All the comfort invested in my soul,
    Oh to feel the warmth, of his smile,
    When he said, 'I'm happy to have you home.'
    Oh oh-oh, I'm happy to have you home.

    Here- he's just saying:no matter the pain and trials your going through in your life keep your head up and keep moving forward with your mind set on the "prize"because it will get better. Have friends that can look in your eyes and know what your going trough, and be able to lift you up ( feel the warmth of his smile-and all the comfort invested in his soul)

    'Cause I'll always remember you the same.
    Oh eyes like wildflowers, oh with your demons of change

    And lastly here: he is saying no matter what happen, how much pain he is in- or that she is in, he will have a memory of her that will never be tainted- the good memories, but will know that there was always "demons" of change that made the relationship unsuccessful.

    In all- this song is teaching the lesson of-"Either your a lesson or a blessing" and maybe she was both. They might no longer be together, but they changed each others life- becasue maybe without each other they never would have learned the lessons in life they needed to learn at the time they were together
    loco990on July 10, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think it's about him, finding himself.
    thefirstdaysofspringon October 13, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMy heart just flutters whenever he says "eyes like wildflowers."
    UntitledCeilingKittenon June 02, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about a failed relationship with a beautiful girl that ended up having a dark side (the end-"eyes like wildflowers within demons of change"). This opened his eyes to see all the important things in his life that he's been putting on the back burner (himself, friendships) when all the while he was engrossed in this tragic relationship. It seems learning to know himself and friendships are what ultimately helped him through it.
    scottyTison December 11, 2012   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningCould it be about cheating on a partner? The first two verses seem to suggest this.

    Notably:
    "And I cut my mind on second best,
    Oh the scars that come with the greenness.
    And I gave my eyes to the boredom"
    mentalismon March 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationVerse1
    "I spent my time watching the spaces that have grown between us"
    'Spent'.. note this line is in the past
    I think this implies how the narrator had watched the relationship crumble as they grew apart.
    "And I cut my mind on second best or the scars that come with the greenness"
    Green.. Envy?
    Now moving into the present (I think) .. where he is now suffering under the thoughts of jealousy due to another person (prahaps) having his lover, and then 'second best'. Maybe this is because he know's no-one will compare to her/him.. (rumours that BH is Gay..).
    'the darkness'
    The place he's been (mentally) since the termination of his relationship.
    "And I gave my eyes to the boredom,
    Still the seabed wouldn't let me in.
    And I try my best to embrace the darkness
    In which I swim."
    Maybe this is when he seeks comfort in the sea/beach/surfing but even this couldn;t cure his bordem/longing.

    I think..
    MusicSaveASoulon June 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat a beautiful lyric

    'Cause I'll always remember you the same
    Oh eyes like wildflowers oh with your demons of change'

    The simplicity yet the power of the juxtaposition of the statement.
    I love this song. I have it on repeat to lull me to sleep. Gets me through my toughest times. Reminds me to keep my head up.

    I think by the 'keep your hair long' lyric, it means don't change yourself. Don't try to heal yourself by cutting off your hair or shedding your old skin. That's what I think.
    DumbWithLoveon April 29, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI spent my time watching the spaces that have grown between us
    And I cut my mind on second best or the scars that come with the greenness
    And I gave my eyes to the boredom, still the seabed wouldn't let me in
    And I tried my best to embrace the darkness in which I swim
    Oh, the darkness in which I swim
    I'm walking back down this mountain with the strength of a turning tide
    Oh, the wind's so soft on my skin, the sun was so hot upon my sides
    Oh, looking out at this happiness, I search for between the sheets
    Oh, feeling blind and realise: all I was searching for was me
    All I was searching for was me

    Keep your head up, keep your heart strong
    No, no, no, no
    Keep your mind set, keep your hair long
    Oh, my darling, keep your head up, keep your heart strong
    Oh, no, no, keep your mind set in your ways
    Keep your hair, keep your hair long
    'Cause I'll always remember you the same
    Oh, eyes are wild flowers, within demons of change

    I saw a friend of mine the other day and he told me that my eyes were gleaming
    Oh, I said I had been away, and he knew
    Oh, he knew the depths I was meaning
    And it felt so good to see his face or the comfort invested in my soul
    Oh, to feel the warmth of a smile, when he said:
    "I'm happy to have you home, oh, I'm happy to have you home."

    Keep your head up, keep your heart strong
    No, no, no, no
    Keep your mind set, keep your hair long
    Oh, my, my darling, keep your head up, keep your heart strong
    Oh, no, no, keep your mind set in your ways
    Keep your hair, keep your hair long
    'Cause I'll always remember you the same
    Oh, eyes are wild flowers, within demons of change
    MayaMooon November 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt’s about a guy that is in a relationship that consumes him, and when he gets out of it he notices how far away from himself he had become.
    random111on May 08, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationVerse2
    "Now walking back, down this mountain,
    The strength of a turnin' tide."
    He feels as tho his life is being pushed along/down by somthing as relentless as the tide.
    'BACK down'.. this seems as though he's retracing his steps to find and mend where it went wrong or collapsed.
    Maybe that somthing pushing him along is his emotions?
    "Oh the wind so soft, and my skin,
    Yeah the sun so hot upon my side."
    2 things here.. the first that he's beginning to recover in that he can see the good again or maybe the second being that his raw emotions are whats causing this sensitivity.
    "Oh lookin' out at this happiness
    I searched for between the sheets,"
    -Reminiscing his relationship's happiness.. or other people's happiness or his ex's current happiness.
    'The sheets'
    Symbolising their love/making love
    Or his bedridden sadness
    but this was in vain..
    "Oh feelin' blind, I realize,
    All I was searchin' for, was me.
    Oh oh-oh, all I was searchin' for was me."
    Blinded by his clouded judgment due to his depression.
    The turning point of the song:
    "All I was searchin' for, was me."
    In actual fact, his mind so set on searching for his other half to complete him again, that he fails to realise this isnt the case. Alll he really requires it to find himself, again.

    :)
    MusicSaveASoulon June 30, 2013   Link

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