"Smoke & Mirrors" as written by and Walter Andre De Backer....
You're a fraud and you know it
But it's too good to throw it all away
Anyone would do the same
You've got 'em going
And you're careful not to show it
Sometimes you even fool yourself a bit
It's like magic
But it's always been a smoke and mirrors game
Anyone would do the same

So now that you've arrived well you wonder
What is it that you've done to make the grade
And should you do the same?
(Is that too easy?)
Are you only trying to please them
(Will they see then?)
You're desperate to deliver
Anything that could give you
A sense of reassurance
When you look in the mirror

Such highs and lows
You put on quite a show
All these highs and lows
And you're never really sure
What you do it for
Well do you even want to know?
You put on quite a show

(Mother)
Are you watching?
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)

You're a fraud and you know it
And every night and day you take the stage
And it always entertains
You're giving pleasure
And that's admirable, you tell yourself
And so you'd gladly sell yourself
To others

(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?

Such highs and lows
You put on quite a show
All these highs and lows
And you're never really sure
What you do it for
Well do you even want to know?
Yeah you put on quite a show


Lyrics submitted by liquidsky

"Smoke and Mirrors" as written by Walter Andre De Backer

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Smoke & Mirrors song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentThis song is about impostor syndrome. Look it up.
    inanevoyageon April 09, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think this song is about self-doubt. It's about bluffing your way through life to get ahead. But never really believing in yourself.
    Craine84on January 31, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTo me this song reminds me of cramming for a job interview in a field or something that is way over your head. "You're a fraud and you know it / But it's too good to throw it all away"

    You aren't really qualified for the job but you know it's your dream job. It's what you've always wanted. You're willing to work your ASS off to pull it off. it's really difficult for you to keep up that intensity. you work overtime 6 days a week just to meet deadlines and keep your job. "Anyone would do the same / You've got 'em going / And you're careful not to show it / Sometimes you even fool yourself a bit"

    You're not sure how long you can keep up this charade. "Are you only trying to please them / (Will they see then?) / You're desperate to deliver" Basically, you're trying your best to succeed and impress your boss or the people around you.

    It played on the new USA Criminal Drama 'Suits.' Similar concept
    bear72on July 09, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is a good picture of Borderline Personality Disorder. Poor sense of self you are a people pleaser so you can get a positive projection of self from others that you can see when you look in the mirror. In other words, they dont really know who they are so they put on fraudulent displays. Emotional disregulation, the hallmark of the disorder, is also evident by the "highs and lows."

    Finally, the origin of BPD, although unknown, most studies point to issues in parental attachment explaining the mother reference. A good example would be an overbearing mother who is never satisfied with her child's accomplishments. She too likely suffers from the same disorder.
    Oats2005on March 04, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlright guys, I'm going to give you my opinion of what the song means. It reminds me of my ex girlfriend. There are people out there that have mental problems and disorders of certain kinds, and this song explores an example of an individual like this.

    "You're a fraud and you know it
    But it's too good to throw it all away
    Anyone would do the same
    You've got 'em going
    And you're careful not to show it
    Sometimes you even fool yourself a bit
    It's like magic
    But it's always been a smoke and mirrors game
    Anyone would do the same"

    Basically this is saying this individual (in my opinion, a female or ex g/f) puts on a "Show", being one person, but acting like another, like split personalities. The person is a "fake" or "fraud". They're a fraud. It's a smoke & mirrors game means that this person is putting on a front, working magic to get what they want, they are selfish.

    "So now that you've arrived, well, you wonder -
    What is it that you've done to make the grade?
    And should you do the same?
    (Is that too easy?)
    Are you only trying to please them?
    Will they see then-
    You're desperate to deliver
    Anything that could give you
    A sense of reassurance
    When you look in the mirror"

    The making the grade part is meant to come off as sarcastic, meaning this person really hasn't accomplished anything. Pleasing people is mentioned in here as well, which is self explanatory. They will do anything, even act out of desperation to make themselves feel better at the end of the day, they are insecure.

    "Such highs and lows
    You put on quite a show
    All these highs and lows
    And you're never really sure
    What you do it for
    Well do you even want to know?
    You put on quite a show"

    High and lows refers to how inconsistent this person is with their life, whether emotions, relationships or career. This person is unsure about why they do what they do, but at the same time you wonder if they do it on purpose, to put on a show. Ultimately, this person, deep down does not have a purpose for what they do, no excuse for their actions.

    "You're a fraud and you know it
    And every night and day you take the stage
    And it always entertains
    You're giving pleasure
    And that's admirable you tell yourself
    And so you gladly sell yourself
    To others
    Mother
    Are you watching?"

    This is saying that the person puts on a show, like an entertainer, both physically and mentally. Playing mind games with people, while also selling herself or her body to get what she wants, no matter the consequences. "Mother, are you watching?" has stumped me, but my best guess is that he's asking the person's mother if she is watching how crazy and psychotic this person is, the one she raised.

    That's my opinion, any comments are welcome.
    wwilliams23on March 05, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Link(s)This song is about how the famous are put on a pedestal. It may seem they have it all...But deep inside, they don't feel great.

    thumbser.blogspot.com
    Thumbseron May 12, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song reminds me of the guy I was with at the time.
    He was a former heroine addict and current cocaine addict. I didn't know it at the time but gradually realized this as I began to unravel the well crafted wall of lies he built. Drug addicts are truly gifted at lying. He had me defending him when other people called him out on it and he would tell me lies upon lies about everything. This song actually fits the situation so perfectly from my perspective it's creepy. He had issues with his mother which he of course distorted when telling me about it. He made her out to be the bad guy but really she just wouldn't let him come home until he could pass a drug test. He only ever admitted to me once that he was still using then tried to deny it afterwards. I honestly think that sometimes he even thought he was okay. It got the point where it was like he was hanging off a cliff and I was holding his hand, constantly slipping closer to the edge, and I realized that if I let go, he would hit the bottom, and if I held on, he would hit bottom. It came down to whether or not I was going to fall too. I couldn't save us both, and I didn't even do drugs. It was the emotional burden of trying to help someone who isn't ready to be helped.

    i'm sure every song has a different meaning to the artist and to everyone who hears it but that's just what this song means to me.
    dascooligon May 14, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI could be completely off, but my interpretation of this song is about maybe a girl working as a stripper or at a burlesque club.

    to me, it's her struggle to justify it to herself as she hides her 'second life' from friends and family. when she takes to the stage she
    'gives them pleasure
    'And that's admirable, you tell yourself
    And so you'd gladly sell yourself to others'
    yolandawhion February 12, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think is about his mother!
    dootaon May 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationOkay- I definitely agree with all the existing top comments but I thought I would share an oddly specific insight my friend and I had. Listen to this song and think of it as being about how his mother is a stripper who neglected or left him in his childhood to keep working and make easy money.
    Contrived? Yes, but amusing none the less.
    CielleIsHereon June 05, 2013   Link

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