"Eyes Open" as written by and Taylor Swift....
Everybody's waiting
Everybody's watching
Even when you're sleeping
Keep your ey-eyes open

The tricky thing
Is yesterday we were just children
Playing soldiers just pretending
Dreaming dreams with happy endings
In backyards, winning battles with our wooden swords
But now we've stepped into a cruel world
Where everybody stands and keeps score

Keep your eyes open

Everybody's waiting for you to breakdown
Everybody's watching to see the fallout
Even when you're sleeping, sleeping
Keep your ey-eyes open
Keep your ey-eyes open
Keep your ey-eyes open

So here you are, two steps ahead and staying on guard
Every lesson forms a new scar
They never thought you'd make it this far
But turn around (turn around), oh they've surrounded you
It's a showdown (showdown) and nobody comes to save you now
But you've got something they don't
Yeah you've got something they don't
You've just gotta keep your eyes open

Everybody's waiting for you to breakdown
Everybody's watching to see the fallout
Even when you're sleeping, sleeping
Keep your ey-eyes open
Keep your ey-eyes open
Keep your ey-eyes

Keep your feet ready
Heartbeat steady
Keep your eyes open
Keep your aim locked
The night goes dark
Keep your eyes open (keep your eyes open)

(Keep your ey-eyes open)
(Keep your ey-eyes open)
(Keep your ey-eyes open)

Everybody's waiting for you to breakdown
Everybody's watching to see the fallout
Even when you're sleeping, sleeping

Keep your ey-eyes open
Keep your ey-eyes open
Keep your ey-eyes open
Keep your ey-eyes open
Keep your ey-eyes open


Lyrics submitted by Breakingbenjaminfan, edited by Switlyswiftie1

"Eyes Open" as written by Taylor Swift

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Eyes Open song meanings
Add your thoughts

12 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentWriting from Katniss Aberdeen's point of view, Swift drew parallels with her life situations and the song sums up perfectly about the movie's implications as much as Swift's career's.

    But best of all, it's this haunting real-life musings that we can take from the song and apply to our own lives that makes this such a lovely song, and that she wrote it herself, Swift finally shows up a side of herself that probably not many of us know - that fragile, vulnerable yet determined and dogged self.
    Marovskyon April 12, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Commenthmm this song to me is about repetitively enforcing the importance of really opening your eyes and paying attention to the signs that are adding more and more validity to what you believe in. If you deeply believe in something that you feel to be truth, slowly but surely you will see signs and synchronicities appear in your life that directly help your cause. In a sense your past and future is created continuously based on your present state thought.

    Even when your sleeping, watch for the signs, our subconscious is more complex than we can give it credit for.

    The ego will try so desperately to taunt you into a false sense of probable impending breakdown and fallout if you try to follow your thread and experience more of what you are. Present state is the focal point to what will be and what has been. Cherish it.

    When the time comes when you need to keep your feet steady on the ground, your heart in synch, and the night goes dark (darker than night?), follow the light in the darkness, no one's here to save you but yourself through your light.
    The song is simple, be open to observe and create.
    spencykinson April 24, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIf anyone has read the Hunger Games series, I think you'll agree that this song is pretty self-explanatory. The thing I think that's interesting about this song is it could easily apply to Taylor's life in the spotlight as well. Either way, it's a great song.

    I can't wait until her next CD. These two songs for the first Hunger Games movie are such a tease. :)
    mcclizzleon March 22, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentEveryone is watching to see you fall flat on your face,because they think you are a complete joke and don't trust anyone.
    redshiftdazzleron July 24, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's so interesting how the lyrics can parallel life in the spotlight and not letting your guard down or slipping up. I didn't even realize that until some review pointed it out! I love the double meaning though. Although, I wonder if Taylor really meant it as such when she was writing, considering she's always been so adamant that complaining about fame in any way would be obnoxious. But who knows? Maybe if she thought she could write it into a song that sort of also had another meaning, it would work :)
    jojoinpink54on March 27, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think I know the meaning of "Eyes Open"
    Everybody's waiting
    Everybody's watching
    Even when you're sleeping
    Keep your ey-eyes
    open

    The tricky thing is yesterday we were just children
    playing soldiers just pretending
    dreaming dreams with happy endings

    She's saying that it wasn't that long ago that we were merely children, unaware of what the world actually held and that we were just trapped inside our own imaginations, where everything is right and nothing can go wrong.

    In backyards winning battles with our wooden swords
    but now we've stepped into a cruel world
    Where everybody stands and keeps score

    We've all played fake battles, and everything was just a game, but now we’ve actually been introduced to the real world, where there are people who criticize and who judge us every day

    Everybody’s waiting for you to breakdown
    Everybody’s watching to see the fallout
    Even when you’re sleeping, sleeping
    Keep your ey-eyes, open

    She’s saying that the people in this world are cruel and there are those who are your enemies and want to see you breakdown, and are watching to see you fall apart. But you’ve got to stand guard and keep your eyes open for all the dangers that lie ahead

    So here you are
    Two steps ahead and staying on guard
    Every lesson forms a new scar
    They never thought you’d make it this far

    You’ve made it through tough times and are staying strong and those who are causing you trouble are shocked and surprised you actually pulled through and are standing where you are at today

    But turn around
    Oh they’ve surrounded you its a showdown
    and nobody comes to save you now
    But you got something they don’t
    Yeah you’ve got something they don’t
    You just gotta keep your eyes open

    She’s saying but keep watch, because they are right at your heels and ready to bring you down the second you let your guard down. And there won’t always be people there to help you back up on your feet, you wont always have friends at your side but you’ve got something they don’t, you have what makes you you, and you aren’t the kind of person who backs down you can make it.

    Keep your feet ready
    Heartbeat steady
    Keep your eyes open
    Keep your aim locked
    The night goes dark
    Keep your eyes open

    This is basically self explanatory. Keep your feet ready, stay on guard. Heartbeat steady, keep it cool, don’t freak out and don’t worry. Stay calm and relaxed, and don’t let everyone think you’re losing. Keep your aim locked the night goes dark, stay focused, the world is a dark and cruel place and you’ll need all your attention and focuse to make it through it all. Keep your eyes open, stay aware, stay alert. The world isn’t always that kind and fair to you.
    AlyssaMaslowon June 15, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTaylor wrote this track for the soundtrack of the movie, The Hunger Games. The film is set in a damaged post-apocalyptic world where teenagers fight to the death in an event aired annually on live television and this song finds her attempting to hang on as others watch her struggle. "Everybody's waiting for you to break down/Everybody's watching to see the fallout/Even when you're sleeping, keep your eyes open," she sings of the trials and tribulations that the youngsters portrayed in the film are forced to undergo.


    Taylor also contributed a second song to the soundtrack, the collaboration with The Civil Wars titled "Safe and Sound."


    Taylor told Rolling Stone that it was an enjoyable change of pace penning tunes for the fictional character, Katniss Everdeen, rather than writing confessional songs about her own past. "Slipping into her mind was such a wonderful break," she said. "It's pretty intense writing about my own life, my own struggles. It was almost like a vacation to get to write from someone else's perspective."
    musicrocks13on November 11, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know this is about the hunger games but I see it another way - I see it that she's writing about her life as a "celebrity" and that no matter what people are watching everything she does and their waiting for her to mess up and paparazzi are always following her no matter what and she has to be careful with what she says or does because the media always paints her as a bad person when she's not
    thats just what I think
    Switlyswiftie1on July 11, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI know this song is for the Hunger Games. But I don't think that means I can't interpret it other ways. For the Hunger Games, I think it's what she would tell Katniss. Telling her not to give up. To stay ready and to stay alive. Maybe it's Haymitch talking to her. Probably not, because Haymitch isn't really a touchy-feely kind of guy. I mean, he has emotions, but he wouldn't speak of them like the lyrics of this song do. But if you suspend your disbelief a little, Haymitch could say these things to Katniss. He was a victor. He knew exactly what Katniss was feeling. He knew what advice she needed: to stay alert and stay alive. Stay alive was his last piece of advice, after all. I think that's kind of a dual-meaning of "keep your eyes open." Keeping your eyes open means keeping an eye out for your enemy. But also staying alive.

    Apart from Hunger Games, I think this song could be taken as being about growing up, particularly about surviving bullying or abuse. Let me explain a bit more in detail with my own experiences:

    "The tricky thing is yesterday we were just children..."

    That section, in my opinion, is about being a little kid. When little kids play fight, there are no real consequences. It's just fun to them. Even if they have a little spat regarding the "fairness" of the outcome, they're typically over it pretty quickly because it was, at the end of the day, just a game.

    "But now we've stepped into a cruel world where everybody stands and keeps score."

    In my opinion, when I relate this song to myself, I think about going into middle school. My middle school years were pretty rough. Most of the bullying I faced in elementary school was mild. It was just a game. But something changed when I got into middle school. I became a target of things that were actually very hurtful. My sister was the leader of the worst of the bullies. And her public bullying transformed into abuse behind the closed doors of our home. I had to grow up very quickly. I had stepped into a cruel world.

    "Keep your eyes open."

    I view this as an encouragement from my best friend. She knew what was going on but was powerless to prevent it. All she could do was encourage me to keep surviving. I see this line as saying "keep your head up" or "you can make it if you try."

    (Chorus)

    This would refer to the bullying. My sister's friends used to like to watch her attack me. They thought it was funny. They wanted to watch to see the fallout. People in my class were the same way. They always waited for my mistakes. They waited to pounce on my mistakes to further put me down.

    "So here you are two steps ahead and staying on guard."

    Children going through bullying at school and/or abuse at home learn to stay on guard. We learn it's the only way to survive. We go home knowing we could die. No child should ever have to accept the fact that their murder is possible. But many of us need to as a means of survival. That's how I lived my life pretty much from ages 12-15. Accepting the fact that I could die in my home. I learned to protect myself by not trusting people.

    "Every lesson forms a new scar."

    Each "lesson" here is an instance of abuse. They act as lessons on how to avoid further abuse in the future and how to protect yourself when you can't avoid it.

    "They never thought you'd make it this far. But turn around. They've surrounded you. It's a show down and nobody comes to save you now. But you've got something they don't."

    Abusers and bullies never want you to survive with your sanity. They want to destroy you. They don't expect you to make it as far as you can come. I can remember times in both my experiences with bullying and, more significantly, my experiences with abuse, where the statement "it's a showdown" were the best description. "And nobody comes to save you now." Sadly true. No one ever saved me. The only people who knew were my friends. And they were just kids dealing with their own issues too. But every survivor has something the bullies don't. To be a survivor, you need great strength, courage, and a great will to live. I thank God I had these.

    At this point the chorus repeats. I won't bore you by reiterating my previous point.

    "Keep your feet ready, heartbeat steady. Keep your eyes open. Keep your aim locked. The light goes dark. Keep your eyes open."

    To me, this reads: "Always be ready for an attack. Always be prepared. Don't let your guard down."
    FanGirlingon October 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI was raped while being asleep after drinking alcohol and woke up in the middle of it. I was with' friends', so I though I was safe. Not long after that, I fell on this song. Since then, I listen to it and it reminds me of it. It's good, because I don't want to forget. I reminds me to always be on guards. I don't drink anymore, of course.
    xxholicon November 22, 2013   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