Hunter eyes
I'm lost and hardly noticed, slight goodbye
I want to rip your lips off in my mouth
And even in my greatest moment doubt
The line between deceit and right now

Simple math
It's how our bodies even got here
Sinful math
The ebb and flow to multiply

What if I was wrong and no one cared to mention?
What if it was true, and all we thought was right was wrong?
Simple math
The truth cannot be fractioned
Either way

I imply
To mitigate the guilt, we could align
A perfectly constructed alibi
To hush the violent guilt that eats and never dies
In actual blame, they called me once the dark divide

Simple math
It's why our bodies even lay here
Sinful math
The truth cannot be fashioned

What if you were crazy, would we have to listen then?
What if we've been trying to get to where we've always been?
What if I was wrong, and started trying to fix it?
What if you believed me? Everything is brilliant

What if I've been trying to get to where I've always been?
What if we've been trying to get to where we've always been?
Simple math
Believe me, all is brilliant
What if we've been trying to kill the noise and silence?
What if I was wrong and you had never questioned it?
What if it was true, that all we thought was right was wrong?
Simple math
The truth cannot be fractioned
I imply, I've got to get it back then


Lyrics submitted by Kixur413

Simple Math song meanings
Add your thoughts

16 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    Song MeaningIt's a song about infidelity.

    "'Simple Math,' that song is fictional, and the verses are a kind of storytelling of what I think an affair would be like; the stirring emotion of temptation and lust," Hull tells Spinner. "The chorus is written more spiritually, so that's where the lyrics say 'What if all we thought was right was wrong?' [It's] the scary idea of 'Oh God, what if I've been believing the wrong thing forever?' That's sort of what the record title means."

    Quote taken from spinner.com/2011/02/28/manchester-orchestra-simple-math/
    ZiggyZoomberon May 19, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentAlthough I do see where the questioning the belief in God comes in, especially in certain lines such as “What if I was wrong and you had never questioned it?
    What if it was true, that all we thought was right was wrong”

    Here’s an analysis based on my original/gut feeling about the song, as a song about a loss of innocence/morals:

    Hunter eyes — He feels pursued by his lover, his own desires, society’s expectations, etc.

    I'm lost and hardly noticed, slight goodbye — He feels as if he is saying goodbye to a part of himself, but only slightly because he is so caught up in the moment. In retrospect, he sees that he “hardly noticed” leaving his values/part of himself behind.

    I want to rip your lips off in my mouth — Simple animalistic desire, the feeling that leads him to do what he now regrets.

    And even in my greatest moment doubt — Even though this moment is so great with all its intense feelings and passion, he still does feel doubt about the actions he is about to take.

    The line between deceit and right now — I take the deceit as maybe deceiving both himself and his partner, telling both of them that they were ready for the next step “right now” even though they clearly were not. Or possibly, he is just deceiving himself, telling himself that it is okay to throw his morals away in the “right now” and in the “greatest moment.”

    Simple math
    It's how our bodies even got here
    Sinful math
    The ebb and flow to multiply — This part of the chorus is pretty much saying that although it is simple and something that has been done since the beginning of time to procreate (the ebb and flow to multiply), intercourse also has a much deeper and emotional connection. He begins to realize it is “sinful”, a type of math he did not calculate for in the beginning. Also, I believe the “ebb and flow” refers to how life goes on as his guilt/doubt/regret “multiplies.”

    What if I was wrong and no one cared to mention?
    What if it was true, and all we thought was right was wrong?
    Simple math
    The truth cannot be fractioned
    Either way — This is pretty much just rhetorical questions, either to himself or things he wishes he could say to his partner. In the aftermath, he can’t bring himself to talk about it with her; he worries that he was wrong and possibly pushed her, but she didn’t “mention” or say no. He also feels that he has made a huge mistake in his life, that even though he thought his decision was “right” at the time, it turned out to be “wrong.” The “truth cannot be fractioned” means that this story cannot be split up; it is all one giant mess.

    I imply — Still he cannot bring himself to talk to his partner about the act, so he hints around it and “implies.” It’s eating away at him, but he cannot bring it up directly.

    To mitigate the guilt, we could align — He knows that he feels guilt, and that she probably does too, and he is trying to find a solution to ease it.

    A perfectly constructed alibi — I feel that this is more lying to themselves; like they cover it up and smooth it over, as if to say “Oh, it’s okay because we’re in love” or some other shallow excuse. However, this will just be a surface saying, when inside, it is really tearing them apart, and possibly tearing them apart from each other as well.

    To hush the violent guilt that eats and never dies — This imagery is just…amazing. It personifies guilt, and I can imagine it as sort of a black creature. But anyway, this line is pretty much saying that no matter how hard they try to create excuses or “alibis”, they cannot rid themselves of the guilt.

    In actual blame, they called me once the dark divide — I am a little puzzled by this line, I will admit. My best guess is that he feels he is the one to blame, and that his foolish actions and his desire to have intercourse when they were not ready created a “dark divide” between him and his lover. But I don’t know, the order of the words is a little funny, so it could mean something else.

    Simple math
    It's why our bodies even lay here
    Sinful math
    The truth cannot be fashion — The same thing as before, except “fractioned” changes to “fashion” — My take on this is although sex is glamorized and fashionable, the truth is that it was not as fun as it looks and in the aftermath, they are changed people who destroyed a big part of themselves. So truth does not equal fashion.

    What if you were crazy, would we have to listen then? — Maybe he is thinking that his lover was crazy for suggesting/going along with the intercourse? Or maybe he is wishing that they are crazy in the aftermath so that they would not have to deal with the regret that they feel; they could just go through life not “listening”.

    What if we've been trying to get to where we've always been — After sex, the couple tries to get back to the loving relationship they once had, but the blame is too great — both blame for each other, but mostly blame for themselves.

    What if I was wrong, and started trying to fix it? — Again, he feels that he is in the wrong and really wants to fix it with his lover, but feels he cannot reach her. So this is mainly a hypothetical question — What if I TRIED to fix it? As if he does not even know where to begin.

    What if you believed me? Everything is brilliant — What if his lover just accepted whatever shallow excuse they created (the “alibi” from before). Everything is brilliant: at the surface this means, Yay, everything is back to how it was, isn’t life brilliant? But I think a better meaning is, Everything is brilliant; we are blinded by our dazzling lies and excuses so that we do not even have to look back at the sin that caused us so much pain.

    What if I've been trying to get to where I've always been? — A personal journey to regain, well, not his physical virginity, but the part of himself, the moralistic part, that he threw away along with his innocence.

    What if we've been trying to get to where we've always been? — Again, the journey to get through all this pain and regret while still maintaining their relationship.

    Simple math — It did really seem simple, but it turned out to be quite the opposite.

    Believe me, all is brilliant — We can’t see anything anymore because we’re so busy lying to ourselves about what we did, consumed in our sins.

    What if we've been trying to kill the noise and silence? — Nothing is right anymore after they sinned, both the noise and the silence need to go away. The silences are just painful, and the noise is equally so — shallow small talk as they both try to tiptoe around the subject that they both need to speak about the most. As they journey, they are going to have to talk about it eventually, and therefore “kill the noise and silence.”

    What if I was wrong and you had never questioned it? — Again, questioning whether he is the one to blame for this whole mess. (What is his lover wanted to say no, but didn’t “question it” at the time?)
    What if it was true, that all we thought was right was wrong? — A repeat of the questioning of morals and values — how did we screw up so badly?

    Simple math — This simple math is different. It’s not, Oh, everything is so horribly complicated. It’s, Oh, this is simple. What’s done is done, it’s irreversible. But it is quite obvious that they need to get on the road to healing emotionally.

    The truth cannot be fractioned — We cannot divide or split up the truth. We cannot tell a half-truth. Basically, we have to face up to what we did, accept responsibility for our actions, take the consequences, and eventually find a way to move on and heal.

    I imply, I've got to get it back then - This is so beautiful, how phrases from throughout the song come together to make up the end, but have a different meaning at the end than they did in the middle. “I imply” means that it is obvious; I must stop questioning everything and forgive my lover/myself eventually. There is nothing I can do about it; it is implied that I have got to move on. “I’ve got to get it back then”: I have to get back on my own two feet; I have to stop being an emotional mess. I made a mistake, and although I will regret it forever, I have to learn from it and continue to live.

    Anyway…This song is incredible. I believe it could have multiple meanings, but here's one stance. Sorry for the novel
    kaitlin74on March 13, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthe said in an interview that the verses are a fictional story about infidelity, while the chorus is more of a questioning of morality and right vs. wrong.
    brooks450on March 07, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI hear "The truth cannot be fashionED"
    wackojackoon May 11, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Link(s)He explains what he wrote the song about in this video.
    simple math: man + woman = new man

    it's about fidelity and infidelity, written on his personal experience with him and his wife


    youtube.com/…
    youWallfloweron November 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about trying to come to terms with the fact that we'll never really know if god is something worth believing in.
    presdaddyon March 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think its about the belief in god and also the purpose of life. these are things that people feel are clearly defined. for most people their view is simple. to others the answer is more complex. that would also explain the video where small simple shapes come together to make complex structure... MO FTW, BTW
    bronxboi87on March 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentive been listening to this over and over... another thing i found interesting is the line "I imply To mitigate the guilt, we could align A perfectly constructed alibi". hes saying that when he talks about the chance that there is no god hes only implying that idea so he doesnt feel so guilty about saying it.

    btw this is maybe one of their best songs
    bronxboi87on March 06, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthe said in an interview that the verses are a fictional story about infidelity, while the chorus is more of a questioning of morality and right vs. wrong.
    brooks450on March 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about questioning monogamy and how we feel guilt towards infidelity.
    Effexoron June 06, 2011   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain