"Breathing Underwater" as written by and James Shaw Emily Haines....
I'm the blade
You're the knife
I'm the wind
You're the kite
They were right when they said
We were breathing underwater
Out of place all the time
In a world that wasn't mine to take

I'll wait
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?

I'm the blade
You're the knife
I'm the wind
You're the kite
They were right when they said we should never meet our heroes
When they bow at their feet, in the end it wasn't me

Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?

Lights of days
Will beat a path through the mirrored maze
I can see the end
But it hasn't happened yet
I can see the end
But it hasn't happened yet

Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?
Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?

Am I breathing underwater?
Am I breathing underwater?


Lyrics submitted by smileforthecamera, edited by Hobbitses, inasense, emma581

"Breathing Underwater" as written by James Shaw Emily Haines

Lyrics © CHRSALYIS MUSIC GROUP INC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Breathing Underwater song meanings
Add your thoughts

10 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    My InterpretationThe way I take it, this song is about maturing against your will in the throes of young love. Maybe they're high school sweethearts, maybe they're of a bohemian set... but they've obviously been told in the past that it's unsustainable and the narrator is beginning to grow up enough to see the merit in their ideas ("They were right when they said we were breathing underwater"). Maybe she's become disillusioned from their contemporaries and peers breaking up or throwing in the towel on the life they're leading, ("They were right when they said we should never meet our heroes") but while she feels self-conscious about their situation ("Is this my life? Am I breathing underwater?"), her lover doesn't agree and seems content to stay immersed ("I'm the weight, you're the kite").

    This is a particularly bittersweet song since she isn't expressing these thoughts to segue into a breakup, she's content to remain in this relationship, but is aware that the odds they're against ("I see the end, but it hasn't happened yet") and in the meantime, has to live with that knowledge. The lack of resolution gives this song some real heft (and Emily's delivery of the "never meet our heroes" line guts me every time). Incredible tune.
    DackAttacon September 09, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnyone else think she's saying "I'm the weight, you're the kite" ?

    "Wind" makes more sense, but if that's really what she's singing, she's pronouncing it really weird.

    Anyways, I don't have a great grasp of what this song is about. The only thing I can pick out from it is that there's a sense of not being where you belong.

    "Breathing underwater" suggests that in itself. The phrase "fish out of water" comes to mind.

    "Out of place all the time/In a world that wasn't mine to take" - more on feeling out of place, not belonging.

    I dunno, that's all I've got. This song is absolutely beautiful.
    hobbes123on August 03, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe lyric is weight not wind.
    twelvevoltson August 31, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI believe that this is a story about two people who are perfect for each other (I'm the blade, you're the knife, I'm the weight, you're the kite). Others think that love between them is about as possible as breathing underwater (They were right when they said we were breathing underwater, out of place all the time) and that the girl doesn't deserve the boy (In a world that wasn't mine to take). But the girl thinks about it, and wonders if they really are perfect or not (Is this my life? Am I breathing underwater?).
    She thinks about whether or not to give up on her love (They were right when they said we should never meet our heroes) and if her love for him will pass the test (When they bow at their feet, at the end it wasn't me).
    Once again she questions whether or not love is possible, and finally realizes that their love will carry on through the smoke and mirrors everyone has been setting up for them (Lights of days will beat a path through the mirrored maze) and that even if their love is doomed, they can enjoy it while they can (I can see the end, but it hasn't happened yet).
    This is a really deep song about standing against all odds and daring to love who you want to love. This is a fantastic song and anyone who is questioning their own love should listen to it.
    MelodyPikaon March 21, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIn my opinion, I think that the band is talking about a couple who think that they're deeply in love and think they are meant for each other, and dream of having the perfect life; A nice house, good jobs, raising a family, etc.

    Soon after, they realize that all of this isn't easy to have. They realized they've been 'breathing underwater' because they've been fantasizing about a life that isn't meant to be, and they have to face reality.

    This song is amazing though <3
    audrey430on April 05, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionI believe lyric is "I'm the wave, you're the tide"

    Great song by the way.
    Music4Allon September 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is about the band's success. "Breathing Underwater" means achieving what everyone thought was impossible.

    "I'm the blade, you're the knife / I'm the wind, you're the kite"
    This is band talking to their fans, saying that one doesn't work without the other. The band got to where they are because of their fan base, and they make the music that their fans love so dearly.

    "Out of place all the time / In a world that wasn't mine to take"
    The band is constantly on the move, doing tours and interviews. They never expected to be so successful.

    "Is this my life? / Am I breathing underwater?"
    There is a note of happy incredulousness here. They are ecstatic they made it this far, achieved the impossible.

    "They were right when they said we should never meet our heroes / When they bow at their feet, in the end it wasn't me"
    This part's a bit tricky. Perhaps they're saying that, in order to stay original, to be 'Metric,' they couldn't become their heroes.

    "Lights of days will beat a path through the mirrored maze / I can see the end but it hasn't happened yet"
    The road the band's taken through the music industry -- all the failures, all the successes -- is long and winding and, at times, confusing. The memories and hopes are what guide them through that maze. And they know that they can't keep doing this forever, but they choose to live for now and savor it while it lasts.

    The reason I interpret it this way is because, if you watch the music video, it's distinctly triumphant; there's no hint at a relationship between a couple. It's pure happiness, and it's the band doing what they do best.
    MNiceon August 05, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me, the phrase "breathing underwater" means dreaming - I have had many dreams where I was underwater, yet breathing.

    The booklet says "weight/kite" which makes more sense than wind, because blade is to knife as a weight is to a kite - part of the whole.
    rcs7825on November 26, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationLike many people above me have stated, I interpret this song more as a love story that anything else. Two people who are meant to be together, but then they come to face with reality, and the end of their happiness with each other is in sight. Everyone wants to live in a fantasy, but then reality comes to strike us down. As someone who thought they had a perfect relationship, this song has a great amount of meaning to me. It's my most played song in my iTunes library.
    EDonuton March 13, 2014   Link
  • -1
    General CommentAs a swimmer and SCUBA diver this song has special meaning to me! Absolutely love it!!!
    rajwoodsonon July 12, 2012   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