You want every day to be like that magic first
When she took shape in your eyes and you in hers
You're going down to see her, it's a big mistake
She got ice she don't want anyone to break
Don't call on me to make disguises fade away
Cause honestly I’m more inclined to let them stay
On your faces and over mine
I know how to turn others inside out
I can't stand by here waiting while they dumb me down
I fit the perfect picture that you want for all
The fix is in I’m going where i don't belong
Sweet nothing is a something in me
Sweet nothing is a something in me
Sweet nothing, pretty nothing
When you go talking trash I’m surprised at what you say
Why you want to keep these lies on parade
Nothing's going to make me shy
I know how to turn others inside out
I can't stand by here waiting while you dumb me down
I fit the perfect picture that you want for all
The fix is in I'm going where i don't belong


Lyrics submitted by planetearth

The Fix Is In song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentWow... this song is amazing. Never really listened to the lyrics before.
    hannyanny68on July 07, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionThis song is not about breakups. It's in the first person...or perhaps about breakups, but not in the same sense as the others were speaking. It's a beautiful song. I personally enjoy Heatmiser more now 20 years later than I did as a teen and more than solo Ellliott now. I feel (and this comes from experience not what I know or don't about Mr. Smith) it is about a toxic love affair with drugs and the wanting to end it and at the same time wanting that "sweet nothingness". However, interrupted it is purely poetic and gorgeous.
    lorelei112on December 29, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is testimony to Elliott Smith's genius and is evidence of the differences in style between Smith and Neil Gust. It may be one of Elliott's most underrated songs.

    It seems to be an outsider's point of view of a break up. A friend trying to console and let his friend know that he needs to let go. It may be tough, but that it is something that he has to live with, that he'll be there for him, but that he will no longer aid his friend in the fantasy that he's gonna win his lost love back. It's kind of a smack in the face.
    Roxxmaon November 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see it more as the outsider who is covering up about a friend's breakup, to other people.
    ' I can't stand by here waiting while they dumb me down
    I fit the perfect picture that you want for all '
    But it's just a thought.
    This is definitely one of my favorite songs that Elliott wrote.
    ikefoxon January 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis is a great song. this is yet another example (amoung dozens) of Elliott Smith's lyrics echoing exactly thoughts that have rattled around on my noggin. I like the song even more for the undeniable "Heatmiser Sound" -- that electric, punk influenced sound.
    I strongly believe that this song is a sort of confession, as many of Smith's lyrics seem to be. The song is put forth like a conversation with the confessor, which I believe is a framing device for the subject matter. The subject, in this case, hits very close to home for me: he is in a "relationship", if it can so be called, that he knows all too well is doomed. The woman he is with is cold, distant, and despite all of the attempts to get her to open up, to share herself with him in a way that is not physical, she rebuffs him. It becomes -painfully- obvious that the entire affair is a one way street. What he feels for her she does not feel for him in any sense whatsoever. It may be that she is incapable of love for any number of reasons, incapable of loving him in particular, or she loves somebody else. Whatever the case, the relationship is doomed. Still, this woman is special to him. She has qualities that are unique and endearing, she is beautiful, even in the places she doesn't want him to see, the places of herself she sees as ugly, dark places, even these he sees beauty in because they are hers. He finds that he cannot just let her go. And for whatever reason, she cannot simply split the scene either. Even though what they have is a sham, just a fantasy, he doesn't care. He is more inclined, for the time being (it's always for the time being) anyway, to pretend, to willfully believe in the fantasy, than to confront the obvious and put the poor, sickly "relationship" out of its misery. He reason, "she seems to be willing to keep this up, to wear this mask. So can I, then. Maybe there is hope after all?"
    I may have superimposed too much of my own feelings onto this song. I don't know. One thing is certain: it's a great freakn' song
    NullAndCrazedon July 01, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFirst off, fucking love this song since I first heard it! Even those first 2 notes with the fuzz tone on the guitar just hit me like a “fix” of some musical drug. So being slightly obsessed with this and all of Elliot’s work I broke it down:

    You want every day to be like that magic first
    When she took shape in your eyes and you in hers
    You're going down to see her, it's a big mistake
    She got ice she don't want anyone to break

    “You” (the girl presumably) in her first-love way, is thrilled by that first date feeling after meeting a boy (Elliot or the narrator in the song) and tries to keep that excitement going, but it's a mistake to go and see her because you might break the illusion (represented by "ice").

    Don't call on me to make disguises fade away
    Cause honestly I’m more inclined to let them stay
    On your faces and over mine

    The “me” in this part seems to be Elliot’s alter-ego or his inner thoughts, which advises him to leave the apparent façade as is.

    I know how to turn others inside out
    I can't stand by here waiting while they dumb me down
    I fit the perfect picture that you want for all
    The fix is in I’m going where i don't belong

    This part is interesting and could be interpreted in a lot of ways. The “I” is obviously the narrator (Elliot) who says in response to his inner thoughts that he himself can “turn others inside out” (i.e. remove the disguises), which is necessary to not be dumbed down to a fantasy world. The next line about fitting the picture I’m stumped by, maybe he’s saying that he fits this girl’s romantic ideals, but nevertheless he’s had the urge to leave and he’s already decided to go. Another thing that also confuses me about this part is why he doesn’t “belong” – it could be that he’s going to her and will fulfil the “mistake” and essentially doesn’t belong being with her.

    Sweet nothing is a something in me
    Sweet nothing is a something in me
    Sweet nothing, pretty nothing

    I fucking LOVE this chorus and the mix of darkness and light, the contrast of the word sweet with the tonal eeriness of the instrumental and softness of Elliot’s voice.

    Lyrically, Elliot seems to say that his nothingness or emptiness is actually “sweet” and indeed is “something” in him. He goes as far as to be adoring of this inner vacuum by saying “sweet nothing, pretty nothing” as though he’s doting over it like it were real and that it something that only he is aware of.

    When you go talking trash I’m surprised at what you say
    Why you want to keep these lies on parade

    This is the first time the narrator actually describes the lover/girlfriend and it obviously is disparaging of her, saying that she’s false and seems to be cool with just openly lying and again living this kind of fantasy full of falseness and lies.

    Nothing's going to make me shy

    This line lyrically set’s up the last part of the song because it expresses that the narrator has had enough, he’s decided to leave and nothing is going to stop him or make him “shy”. Then we get the repeat of the pre-verse.

    I know how to turn others inside out
    I can't stand by here waiting while you dumb me down
    I fit the perfect picture that you want for all
    The fix is in I'm going where i don't belong

    Let me know if you agree/disagree with my interpretation, would really like to know how others see this song…
    Coldriddleon February 03, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah this song is great, pretty deep, and maybe a little sad depending on your point of view. Like other comments on here, I agree that it seems to be about a girl that is not actually in his best interests. He remains enchanted by her because of the lovely strong first memories that were formed with her. But like a drug, he keeps going back because of the anticipation of a high that is no longer a good thing and makes him feel pretty stupid or small (dumbed down, becoming nothing)afterwards. But, of course elliott's perspective always surprises us as he calls it not ugly nothing but a "pretty" nothing. He simply desires to be with her despite the fact that it might not be his best self. He basically is saying "so what if I can't overcome this delusion; it still has beauty in it and i'm going to accept it for what it is". I think in a nutshell this song captures the difficulty of embracing change sometimes.
    TangledRutson August 26, 2018   Link

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