"Shock to Your System" as written by and Tegan Quin Sara Quin....
You seem like you’re so restless, young at heart

Who gave you reason?

You should be out driving people wild

Who gave you reason?

You got a shock to your system

Knocked your heart right out of sync

You’re only meant to hurt once in a while

Who gave you reason?

You’re only meant to cry once in a while

Who gave you reason?

You got a shock to your system

Pull yourself out of it

I know that shock to your system

Knocked your heart right out of sync

What you are
What you are
What you are
What you are

What you are is lonely
What you are
What you are is lonely
What you are

You must rely on love once in a while

To give you reason

You must rely on me once in a while

To give you reason

You got a shock to your system

Pull yourself out of it

I know that shock to your system

Knocked your heart right out of sync

What you are
What you are
What you are
What you are

What you are is lonely
What you are
What you are is lonely
What you are

What you are is lonely
What you are is lonely
What you are is lonely


Lyrics submitted by llscience, edited by Mellow_Harsher, slider142

"Shock to Your System" as written by Tegan Rain Quin Sara Keirsten Quin

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Shock to Your System song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationWithout addressing what caused the 'shock' I like to interpret this song as a conversation between the mind and the heart.

    The first stanza is spoken by the mind who is scolding the heart as if to remind it to do its job, namely to manage the emotional needs of the person (the system). The question “who gave you reason?” is rhetorical as if the mind is saying: “That’s my job, stick to yours”

    The third stanza is also spoken by the mind but takes a conciliatory tone in contrast to the advisory one in the first stanza. The new tone makes the rhetorical “who gave you reason?” seem to be a gentle admonishment. The repetitive question also can take on a second, more linguistically poetic, meaning which can be elaborated as: “Who is the reason you cry so much?” or a third meaning: “Who gave you permission to cry so much?” Personally I take all of these reasons together because the question is repeated often and because it gives this conversation the complexity that is deserving of a banging song like this one.

    The second and fourth stanzas, along with the chorus (what you are…is lonely) I interpret as being spoken by an omniscient narrator who gives the listener the context behind the heart-mind conversation that we are listening to.

    The only stanza left to address is the sixth one which is the one spoken from the heart’s perspective–an answer to the earlier stanzas. The words themselves are straight forward however this reprisal tells us that the heart has a modicum of self assurance. It’s important because while it is clear that heart is part of, and the reason why the system is struggling at the moment, it isn’t to be thrown aside, forgotten about, or belittled by the mind because it has unique value.

    While there is no real conclusion from the laconic and pithy conversation, I think the song does offer up a succinct diagnosis: “What you are is lonely.” Its simplicity is pleasant and fitting because it is thoroughly blameless, which has been the tone throughout the song. It’s the blamelessness that imbues this song with the lyrical optimism that perfectly matches the upbeat melody.
    MNEman13on March 07, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that it's sort of like... well, Sara is writing this to herself, saying this stuff to herself.
    TheWrongGirlon February 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI seriously love this song.

    I think it's maybe about someone right after a break up.
    emilypowerson January 17, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationShe said this song was about herself...
    Poor baby. :(
    shangkaion January 17, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit reminds me of Stuck in a Moment by U2. its kind about the same thing. being stuck and not being able to move on.
    madmule3on January 18, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSeems to be about a relationship ending. The circumstances aren't clear so it could be a break-up, a fight, or even about the death of another. I think the bigger message is to move on, though.
    rowkem388on February 18, 2013   Link

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