False Hope was written after Laura's experience of Hurricane Sandy after spending three days trapped in a New York Air BnB, where she experienced "the horror of being in an enormous metropolis with no power"....
Is it still okay that I don't know how to be alone?
Would it be okay if I'd just came home tonight?
We stay in the apartment on the upper west side
And my worst problem is I don't sleep at night
Woman downstairs just lost her mind
And I don't care how, I surely don't care why
Why I know false hope
Why I know false hope

A storm hits the city and the lights go out
Before I can prepare
The whole downtown looks dark like no one lives there
We stay in the apartment on the upper west side
And my worst problem is I don't sleep at night
The woman downstairs just lost her mind,
And I don't care how, I surely don't care why
Why I know false hope
Why I know false hope

She'll be alright tomorrow
Neither of us is gonna sleep tonight
We've false hope
I hear you begging through the wall
A dying animal's last call

Is it still okay that I don't know how to be at all?
There's a party uptown but I just don't feel like I belong at all
Do I?
We stay in the apartment on the upper west side
And my worst problem is I don't sleep at night
The woman downstairs just lost her mind,
And I don't care how, I surely don't care why
Why I know false hope
Why I know false hope


Lyrics submitted by ohsnap23

"False Hope" as written by Laura Beatrice Marling

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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False Hope song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentJudging by the lyrics in paragraph two, this song takes place in late October or early November of 2012, when Hurricane Sandy knocked out electricity to the lower half of Manhattan.

    I remember riding the bus into the city from Brooklyn at night (since trains weren’t running), marveling at how apocalyptic NYC felt without power. The most bizarre part was hitting 42nd St, which hadn’t been impacted, and seeing all the lights still blazing at Times Square. It felt so self-indulgent after the somber blackness of downtown, where so many people spent days in apartments and workplaces without power and hospitals struggled to keep patients alive on borrowed generators.

    We see a similarly jarring disconnection with the song’s narrator. While the rest of the city deals with power outages and relief efforts, she stays in an apartment uptown (a relatively unimpaired area), and her “worst problem” is insomnia. Her downstairs neighbor, on the other hand, is literally losing her mind, but the narrator remains detached, dismissing her plight: “She’ll be all right tomorrow.”

    Perhaps this is where the concept of false hope comes in. Maybe the narrator really is callous and disconnected, or maybe she recognizes a link between herself and the woman losing her mind. She realizes she doesn't belong uptown, where people and things are still normal, because she doesn't know how to be alone, or how to BE at all. She has more in common with the woman downstairs, and the neighbors downtown, who operate in darkness, disconnected from normalcy by a storm (internal or external) they didn't expect or have time to prepare for properly. The false hope is that this is a phase, a fleeting feeling. By tomorrow, everything will be back to normal. She'll feel ok, the neighbor will be all right, and the lights will come on across NYC, with no lasting damage to the city or its citizens. It's a false hope, and it allows her another sleepless night pretending not to care about the turmoil around and inside of her.
    leaflibraryon September 10, 2015   Link
  • 0
    TranslationThese are the lyrics as in the liner notes (some minor differences from above, which it won't let me edit):

    Is it still OK that I don't know how to be alone?
    Would it be OK if I just came home tonight?
    We share an apartment on the upper west side
    And my worst problem is I don't sleep at night
    Woman downstairs, she's lost her mind
    And I don't care how, sure don't care why

    Why no? False hope
    Why no? False hope

    A storm hits the city and the lights go out before I can prepare
    The whole of downtown looks dark like no one lives there
    We share an apartment on the upper west side
    And my worst problem is I don't sleep at night
    Woman downstairs, she's lost her mind
    And I don't care how, sure don't care why

    Why no? False hope
    Why no? False hope

    She'll be alright tomorrow
    Neither of us are going to sleep tonight
    So it'll come slow
    I hear you banging through the wall
    A dying animal's last call

    Is it still OK that I don't know how to be at all?
    There's a party uptown but I just don't feel like I belong at all
    Do I?
    We share an apartment on the upper west side
    And my worst problem is I don't sleep at night
    Woman downstairs, she's lost her mind
    And I don't care how, sure don't care why

    Why no? False hope
    Why no? False hope
    smallwonderroboton March 25, 2015   Link

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