"Anything Could Happen" as written by James Eliot and Ellie Goulding....
Stripped to the waist
We fall into the river
Cover your eyes
So you don't know the secret
I've been trying to hide
We held our breath
To see our names are written
On the wreck of '86
That was the year
I knew the panic was over

Yes since we found out
Since we found out
That anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could

After the war we said we'd fight together
I guess we thought that's just what humans do
Letting darkness grow
As if we need it's palette and we need it's color
But now I've seen it through
And now I know the truth

That anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could

Baby, I'll give you everything you need
I'll give you everything you need, oh
I'll give you everything you need
But I don't think I need you

Stripped to the waist
We fall into the river
Cover your eyes
So you don't know the secret
I've been trying to hide
We held our breath
To see our names are written
On the wreck of '86
That was the year
I knew the panic was over

Yes since we found out
Since we found out
That anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could happen
Anything could

I know it's gonna be
I know it's gonna be
I know it's gonna be
I know it's gonna be
I know it's gonna be
I know it's gonna be
I know it's gonna be
I know it's gonna be

(But I don't think I need you)
(But I don't think I need you)
(But I don't think I need you)
(But I don't think I need you)


Lyrics submitted by simdanes, edited by annainn

"Anything Could Happen" as written by James Eliot, Ellie Goulding

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, DOWNTOWN MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

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Anything Could Happen song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +7
    Song MeaningI disagree! I don't think this song is about a Generic relationship. I think it has much more depth. I think it's written by the perspective of a mother, whose expecting her first child, an unplanned pregnancy. A bittersweet moment.

    Ellie Goulding was born in 1986.

    "On the wreck of 86'
    that was the year I knew
    the panic was over

    Seeing her daughter, she knew her life has ultimately changed but for the best, having trouble with her relationship, breaking up with the baby's father. who promised her.

    "Baby, I'll give you everything you need
    I'll give you everything you need, oh
    I'll give you everything you need"

    Reluctant about raising the child by her own, knowing they didn't love each other anymore, she grew to accept the turn of events, having the thought of abortion run through her head, feeling helpless. She ultimately decides that

    "But I don't think I need you".

    That she doesn't need him and his promises.

    "I know it's gonna be
    I know it's gonna be
    I know it's gonna be
    I know it's gonna be
    I know it's gonna be
    I know it's gonna be
    I know it's gonna be
    I know it's gonna be"

    She is unsure how it's gonna be, she doesn't know if it's going to be all right or worse, but she's accept that "anything could happen" in life and she ultimately has to move on if not for herself for her daughter.
    ImAndroidon October 11, 2012   Link
  • +4
    My Interpretation"Stripped to the waist
    We fall into the river"

    - Here, I feel like Ellie is describing what it's like to start a new relationship. You feel "stripped" and exposed to be so intimate with this new person. "The river" could simply be her way of describing a relationship: something fast-paced that can consume you (whether that's good or bad).

    Less generally, Ellie could also be talking about what it's like to start a relationship while being in the public eye. She and her boyfriend, feeling "stripped" and exposed, fall into "the river" that is the media.

    "Cover your eyes
    So you don't know the secret
    I've been trying to hide"

    - Here, Ellie could be addressing her new boyfriend. Like in every relationship, there are certain secrets you don't want your partner to know.
    Again, Ellie could be addressing the media and the "secret" could simply be her love-life that she would like to keep private rather than public.

    "We held our breath
    To see our names are written
    On the wreck of '86"

    - Here ellie is expecting the worst. She thinks her relationship will inevitably end and she’ll be grouped together with the other twenty-somethings of her ‘wreck’ of a generation.

    "That was the year
    I knew the panic was over"

    - I actually don’t think she’s referring to 1986 here. Instead, I think she’s talking about the year she spent with this person. She no longer has to worry about being compared to her ‘wreck’ of a generation. She feels she’s found the one: panic over.

    "Yes since we found out
    Since we found out
    That anything could happen"

    - This is where the relationship, in my opinion, goes wrong. "Since" coming to terms with the idea that this person may be the one, their seemingly perfect relationship comes to end, at which point they realise that "anything could happen"

    "After the war we said we'd fight together"

    - After what seemed like a 'war' of a break-up, they both agree to remain friends.

    "I guess we thought that's just what humans do"

    - This could mean that they both agreed that it was the most kind and 'human[e]' thing to do
    Or maybe it's a bit more cynical, implying that people always end up forgiving those who hurt them.

    "Letting darkness grow"

    - Here Ellie suggests that remaining friends with her ex was not easy. The 'grow[ing] darkness' implies perhaps that it caused more pain and sadness, at first, than happiness.

    "As if we need its palette and we need its colour"

    - Although this was a hard time for her, she felt like she still 'need[ed]' this person in her life, even though he made her feel 'dark.' And eventually she manages to find 'colour' in this 'darkness' - suggesting things are gradually on the mend between them.

    "But now I've seen it through
    And now I know the truth
    That anything could happen"

    - Pretty self-explanitory, she saw it through it through and now she knows that 'anything could happen' - in this case, being friends with someone she used to love and with whom she had a difficult break-up.

    "Baby, I'll give you everything you need
    But I don't think I need you"

    - This could be what's left of their relationship. They're friends. She's there for him if he needs anything. But just as a friend. She doesn't need him anymore, romantically.

    "I know it's gonna be
    I know it's gonna be"

    - Ellie repeats this line many times, and to me, it seems like Ellie is at a loss to describe what their relationship/friendship is going to be. She doesn't 'know it's gonna be' good, she doesn't 'know it's gonna be' bad. All she knows is that 'it's gonna be' i.e. that whatever they have is going to continue - reinforcing the theme that 'anything could happen'.
    lazyboy8on August 24, 2012   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI believe that Ellie is a Pleiadian starseed. That is why she is depicted as an angel in video. They are like angels of light. We have all incarnated into our bodies had decided not to remember who we are. We had two world wars and there was a lot of cold war turmoil in 86. Challenger disaster and Chernobyl occured, however the wreck of 86 I think she is referring to is the UFO crash in eastern Russia (Russia's Roswell). Harmonic Convergence happened in 87 and the world was balanced again. Sure their have been wars and deaths but that is just humans inviting darkness so that we may learn lessons in life. There really is no true death. The things that are going on now like the shootings and happenings are just set up to cause emotional stress but they are all acts, not real. The title of her album is Halcyon is a mythical bird that calms the seas and storms at the winter solstice, Dec. 21. She is saying there is nothing to fear. We are getting rid of the darkness.
    Rothsdadon January 05, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI really love this song. It's so hopeful, in my opinion.
    And I love the part where she sings "AND I DON'T THINK I NEED YOU!" <3
    ToTellALieon August 10, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI interpret this song to be the voice of a woman who comes to see she has been following a script. As the result of this realization, she gains a fresh perspective and appreciation of the possibilities for herself and her relationships.

    Ellie and her boyfriend are like star-crossed partners, reincarnated after dying in a car wreck--suicide or accident--in 1986. As others have pointed out Ellie was born December 30, 1986. "Stripped to the waist" could mean that the past life lovers did not fully consummate their relationship before dying ("falling into the river") or it could allude to efforts to save their lives after the wreck--emergency workers having stripped them to the waist so they could revive their hearts.

    Ellie and her boyfriend, in their current lives, did not want to know the truth about their past. As a result they were repeating the same destructive patterns that led to the accident or suicide in the first place; their relationship was based on obsession or karma rather than choice. When they found out they were freed to go in another direction, with or without each other ("anything could happen")

    "After the war we said we'd fight together." This is another example of playing a role based on the past. Even though the war is over, they will continue fighting because that is what they know. Because of their determination to cling to the familiar, their worlds become dark and their vision muddied ("we let the darkness grow, as if we needed its palette and we needed its color"). But Ellie breaks free, so that "anything could happen."

    "Baby I'll give everything you need...but I don't think I need you." When a boyfriend promises to meet all her needs, she realizes those needs are rooted in the past and are no longer relevant. She is willing to let go, which is why she does not need him. In the video of this song, Elie leaves his corpse on the beach.
    hanamion December 29, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionFirst, let me say I know nothing about Ellie. This is what this song means to me.

    "Stripped to the waist
    We fall into the river"

    - I agree with Lazyboy8 this is about the start of a new relationship and diving into the unknown.

    "Cover your eyes
    So you don't know the secret
    I've been trying to hide"

    - The way I hear this song, "cover your eyes so you don't know the secret" she is talking to herself. Covering her own eyes and diving into the unknown. "I've been trying to hide" ..... she is hiding from the truth she knows is there but taking the dive anyway.

    "We held our breath
    To see our names are written
    On the wreck of '86"

    - "86" slang meaning is "to get rid of". The wreck of 86 is slang to heading for a train wreck bound to happen. Diving into the unknown following your heart but knowing there are hidden secrets and a train wreck is inevitable.

    "That was the year
    I knew the panic was over"

    - She is not referred to a specific year. The year she met her lover, she wanted to believe panic was over and felt peace although had a feeling there was something else she didn't know.

    "Yes since we found out
    Since we found out"


    - This has a double meaning. The first "since we found out" is relative to time and "when" we found out. The second "since we found out" is a "because" we found out.

    "Anything can happen" x 7

    - These are the monument circumstances (7) that played out in the life of the relationship.

    "After the war we said we'd fight together"
    "I guess we thought that's just what humans do"

    - Promises to each other of working through anything together no matter what the war. The friendship held more true despite the secret(s), but she begins to doubt the relationship after the monumental circumstances.

    "Letting darkness grow"

    - The darkness grows and she is finding herself wondering if this is really what she wants. The unknown. Secrets still unspoken although she knows now what they are.

    "As if we need its palette and we need its colour"

    - She is hanging on to doubtful hope and realizing it is not going to change. She knows the secret(s).

    "But now I've seen it through
    And now I know the truth
    That anything could happen"

    - She sees through the lies and again counts the monumental circumstances.

    "Baby, I'll give you everything you need
    But I don't think I need you"

    - She still gives everything he needs, but no longer all of her. She sadly no longer needs him.

    "I know it's gonna be
    I know it's gonna be"

    - Lyrics say "Oh Whoa" at the end of this repetition. The repetition is because she wants to stay because she loves him and his friendship, but wants to leave because the secrets are unbearable. She can't quite say "Over" and instead says "Oh Whoa".

    "But I don't think I need you"

    - She doesn't "need" him. The words "I don't think" means she feels she can stand on her own and very ready, but emotionally still questioning whether it's the right move for her.
    MsRobynon November 22, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFirst of all, lets give some attention to that sound that Ellen keeps saying.
    It will be explained later.

    Stripped to the waist
    We fall into the river

    After the war of angels between god and "satan", the fallen angels was throwned into THE river of fire
    Notest that its not some random river. Its THE river.

    Cover your eyes
    So you don't know the secret
    I've been trying to hide

    The fallen angel whos singing the song knows something that the other ones doesn't know.
    It will be explained later.

    We held our breath
    To see our names are written

    Then, at some point, a prophecy its made.
    Someone will born in the future and restore the power of the fallen angels.
    Some of the fallen angels will be responsible to guide this persons path on earth.
    The fallen angels who's singing, discover that his name and some others are written,
    meaning that they will be responsible for the task described above.


    On the wreck of '86
    That was the year
    I knew the panic was over


    They have been banned for the skies for so long that they were in panic.
    But in 86 that person who is gonna help them was born.
    That person is... Ellen Goulding, who were born on December 86!

    Yes since we found out
    Since we found out
    That anything could happen
    Anything could happen


    But once she was born, they realize that she may not help them.
    She may not become famous...
    She may choose the other path (God)
    A several variables. And so, he (the fallen angles) become full of doubts


    After the war we said we'd fight together
    I guess we thought that's just what humans do

    After the holy war, that send they to "hell" (which its here, earth), they said that they will fight to restore their power by fighting.
    But then, they realize that theres no need of a fight.
    Humans are too easy to manipulate.

    Letting darkness grow
    As if we need it's palette and we need it's color

    They dispise some of human concepts, as evil and good, white and black,
    saying that our pallete if "colors" its to limited.

    But now I've seen it through
    And now I know the truth
    That anything could happen
    Anything could happen

    Like said before, he realizes that things may not turn the way they have planned...

    Baby, I'll give you everything you need
    I'll give you everything you need, oh
    I'll give you everything you need
    But I don't think I need you


    This verse its directioned to Ellen.
    The fallen angel says that he will help her, in everything she needs to achieve their goal.
    But...
    He thinks he doesn't need her anymore!
    He can do it, with or without her!

    And then, he shouts:

    I KNOW IT'S GONNA BE!

    Notest two things: From here to the end of the song, he doesn't say anymore that "Anything Could Happen".
    His doubt was replaced by absolutelly knowing that "IT'S GONNA BE", no matter what.


    The song ends with him saying: BUT I DON'T THINK I NEED YOU.
    And then Ellen keeps repeting that weird sound, which its actually the letter "E".
    From Ellen.

    So, the end of the song it's something like this:

    E, E, E, E, E, E E, I don't think I need you!

    Meaning:

    Ellen, Ellen, Ellen, Ellen, I don't think I need you!
    gledsonguedoon December 14, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo what does Ellie say? "'I've been with the song a long time." It started with random things, childlike and innocent. It is thought provoking. Everything can change in an instant. "I'm hoping it will make people go out and propose to their girlfriends or go on that holiday they never ended up doing. She describes this album as weird and dark, and it was written during a breakup with her boyfriend. There is the song, and there is the music video, directed by Floria Sigismondi.

    The lyrics are sparse, so readily open to projection.

    It is stated that there is a secret. People look to "the wreck of 86" for a key. The most well known and literal wreck of 86 was the Circus Train wreck of 1918 which immedialty killed 86 people on their way to entertain. The engineer fell asleep at the wheel. The deceased people and animals were so badly burned as to be unidentifiable, with descriptive names on tombstones and monument.

    1918 was also the closing of WWI. It was also the year of the panic of the great influenza outbreak. "That was the year we knew the panic was over."

    So putting these historical events together you have a series of tragedies, when one would keep thinking, " So what could happen next?" Well, anything. Fate can be a cruel and senseless hunter.

    The video nails it home, with a personal tragedy familiar to many, the car wreck. My loved one was recently in a head on. I watched this and cried my eyes out, later sharing it with my loved one. The emotional impact of the video is heightened by the surprise ending, beginning with the hint of the nose bleed. I was enjoying the heavy synth and counterballanceof her sweet voice, difficult to achieve. I was not familiar with her music besides Lights, and was blown away.

    We were confirmed, in a great healing way, the mark of a wonderful song. For we had learned that anything can happen, and we are making every day that beautiful holiday of celebration and devotion to each other. That is our projection. Thank you so much Ellie.

    The combination of heavy, driving synth, and Ellie's sweet, breathy voice portrays the fragility of an individual ife in our great and terrible world. The secret which we hate to admit to ourselves is that it ends at any time. Live it while you can.

    severnon February 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningl love this song I thank it is A lot of deprichen from the past when the words come to my head one of the lyrice seces we find out god is beside that person now that person is A sperit goust we dont want to meat some one in the past to cantrol us and we need to just give that person to are lord to not to hung on to forgive that person when that action that can give ellie A head ingreay from that day of her old life some day she will find out what she went throw maybe she could not for give herseafe from a lot of stress
    redhairon April 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Link(s)Just a bit of insight, I've been searching everywhere for an explanation from Ellie herself and could find nothing but "she drew inspiration from her childhood"...
    Then I found this quote that might help:

    Her childhood was an important period and she puts some details in the video about a friendship that made her compose these lyrics.
    "It's a song of realization, because at the end I say, 'I'm the girl that can give you everything you need, but actually I don't need you necessarily,'" she explained. "It's just about someone finding freedom in some capacity."

    sweetslyrics.com/…
    samikins24on June 20, 2013   Link

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