One night to be confused
One night to speed up truth
We had a promise made
Four hands and then away
Both under influence
We had divine sense
To know what to say
Mind is a razor-blade

To call for hands of above, to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me, no

One night of magic rush
The start: a simple touch
One night to push and scream
And then relief
Ten days of perfect tunes
The colors red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love

To call for hands of above, to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me, no
To call for hands of above, to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me, no

And you, you knew the hand of a devil
And you, kept us awake with wolves' teeth
Sharing different heartbeats in one night

To call for hands of above, to lean on
Would that be good enough for me, no
To call for hands of above, to lean on
Wouldn't be good enough for me, no

Lyrics submitted by Elin, edited by sorchale, Dressed2Depress, Whimsye, LazyAfternoons, xypotion, Greenleavez

Heartbeats Lyrics as written by Olof Bjorn Dreijer Karin Elizabeth Dreijer Andersson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Heartbeats song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentBah. José González have nothing on the original, this version is superior in every way.
    Varulfon December 08, 2005   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThis song is a confessional about the situation and after-effects of an encounter between two people.

    The initial verse is about the meeting. We learn that she is already disoriented and "confused" about what happened from the meeting and that this was the one chance to "speed up" the truth and to act upon their attraction for one another. We also understand that she and him knew one another prior to their meeting due to them having "a promise made" to simply be physical. Both of them are "under influence" which could either mean they are either drunk on love/lust/alcohol, all of which are enhancers of emotions and can disorient. In this state of drunkenness they "know what to say" to one another because they knew how the other felt; however, she refuses to think about the situation and the "promise made" of simply being physical because the "mind is a razor blade" and can cut and ruin the magic of the encounter.

    The second verse is about the encounter itself and the after effects. To her the one night was "a magic rush" that was started by a "simple touch" from him. This physical discourse eventually leads to them having sex where they "push and scream" and are finally have "relief" either sexual orgasm or mental relief knowing the night was over. Afterwords we find out that she is so "in love" that she is seeing everything more vividly and wildly, in what she states as being "red and blue". We also find out the couple made another promise after ten days that they are "in love".

    Sadly we find out things don't go according to plan. She finds out that he was stealthy and cunning in wooing her that she believes him to know "the hand of the devil". Even after all of their intense sex which she compares to "wolves teeth" she realizes that he was "sharing different heartbeats in one night". You can either take this as he is A) seeing another woman or B) Simply not in love with her b/c his heartbeat (aka: his intentions) wasn't the same as hers.

    And for the chorus, she feels so awful and low that she believes that not even God, himself can help her woes from heartbreak and rejection from this man.

    Overall a great song with EXTREMELY deep lyrical content. My interpretation of course. :)
    danielp1on October 26, 2011   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThis song is about two people who weren't supposed to be together,
    but ended up hooking up anyway.

    They've known each other for some time,
    they've been fighting their feelings,
    but somehow that one night,
    both not sober,
    they finally gave in to their feelings,
    and hooked up.

    The attraction between them was so strong
    that it disoriented them both and confused them.

    They clicked in every single way.

    Physically, the chemistry is undeniable.

    Mentally, it's like finally being with your soul mate,
    like they had divine sense to say all the right things you always wished someone would say to you.

    Outsiders would assume it was a casual encounter,
    except they ended up falling in love.

    That one night was it.
    Their love was a forbidden love so they end up separating.

    The girl sings:
    "To call for hands of above, to lean on
    Wouldn't be good enough for me, no"

    To be separated from someone who you know deep in your soul is the one person in the world you were meant to be with....

    Well, when you're put in a position like that,
    not even calling on God's help would be good enough to
    comfort her from the feeling of losing the one man she fell in love with.

    This song perfectly describes an amazing few hours with someone... a long time ago.
    And I never really got over it.
    angelnightmareon September 20, 2015   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationMy Interpretation....

    This song is about two people who are attracted to one another for some time, but society says that they shouldn't be (due to age or marital status or gender). They supress their feelings, until one night, after a couple of drinks, curiousity gets the better of them and they succomb, promising that it would be "just this once".

    One night to be confused (Feeling badly about doing the "wrong" thing, but enjoying it, simultaneously)
    One night to speed up truth (After so much time spent supressing their feelings, finally being about to live out the truth in limited time)
    We had a promise made (The promise to live it for one night)
    Four hands and then away (Knowing that they would have only this once, four hands could refer to them grasping hands and then having to leave. Or hands, as in hands on a clock, refering to 4 hours, a four hour time limit)
    Both under influence (probably alcohol)
    We had divine sense (possibly refering to Emily Dickinson's "Much Madness is divinest sense", meaning that things that seem "wrong" or like "madness" to the public eye are actually supremely "right" or "ability to see Truth amidst distracting voices")
    To know what to say
    Mind is a razor blade (refering to their walking a fine line between what is right and what feels good, or knowing that if they think about what they are doing it will surely ruin the moment)

    To call for hands of above to lean on (To call for God to "save" her from doing these things wouldnt be enough this time)
    Wouldn't be good enough for me

    One night of magic rush
    The start: a simple touch
    One night to push and scream
    And then relief (pretty self-explanitory, sex, beginning slowly and then reaching orgasm)
    Ten days of perfect tunes (either refering to during their time together, and exaggerating about "a lot" of good music, or the 10 days afterwards, how every song reminded her of him or how everything seemed "perfect" now that they had experienced one another)
    The colors red and blue (often used to show opposition, ie in team sports or politics, to show how her feelings running "hot and cold" about the experience)
    We had a promise made (The promise to keep it just that once)
    We were in love (They fell in love during their one night together)

    To call for hands of above to lean on
    Wouldn't be good enough for me

    And you
    You knew the hand of a devil (could be two things- you were no stranger to "holding the hand of the devil", or doing "wrong" or could be a sexual reference)
    And you
    Kept us awake with wolves' teeth (he kept reminding them of the "piercing" reality of their situation)
    Sharing different heartbeats in one night (refering to the way that their very separate paths crossed and they fell in love for the one night)

    To call for hands of above to lean on
    Wouldn't be good enough for me

    Again, its just my interpretation of the song, based on things that I have come to know in my own life... But I think that it makes sense. I would welcome any thoughts on it.
    CJP1027on April 25, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentGreat song, enjoyed reading some of the interpretations posted.

    Not sure if it's correct, but Legolas' idea of a breakup after a 10-day passionate relationship, that kicked off when they were "both under influence," sounds appealing to me... the sad fatalist, that I am.

    "Push and scream" could be them pushing and screaming at each other.
    "and then release" could mean them "letting go" (... not just orgasm ;^)

    I can understand the idea of it being "anti-religion," but it seems "anti-religion" is too strong a description.

    "... hands of above to lean on" reminds of an old gospel lyric, "leaning on the everlasting arms," but all she's saying is that it wouldn't be enough; She needs hands from down here (a person) to lean on too.

    So many views, only they know what they meant.

    The "birth" idea is pretty cool too.
    rrrrrrrushon April 05, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe beauty of English language songs written by foreign bands is that the thoughts often end up a little disjointed and are lost in translation. As a result, the song can have dozens of equally valid meanings. This song is no exception and cover artists have treated it with incredible diversity over the years.

    I'm reaction to the José Gonzalez take.

    This song has always reminded me of how I met and married my wife. We were friends for a long time, dated briefly, then drifted away. It was a stunning and beautiful moment that left us both breathless and unfulfilled.

    Half a decade later, we ended up getting married. We always had a promise to take care of one another; one of those silly 20-something cliches about marrying someone by 35. We actually ended up doing it, though we didn't realize that until after the fact.

    That one night was never enough. We were completely in love years before we ever had a real relationship but we weren't ready to face what it meant. We weren't yet ready for one another. These lyrics, performed acoustically, suddenly fit that memory like they were written for it.

    So many valid interpretations, and yet this one fits for me and me alone.

    Sometimes a song has a very specific meaning. Other times if you know enough about the artist, you can deduce it (example: Massive Attack's teardrop was a reaction to the death of Jeff Buckley but if you don't know that it could mean a million other things - none of which are any less valid to the listener).

    I don't see tragedy and breakup or drug use here. I see the promise of young love fulfilled years later. I'm 99.99% sure that's not where The Knife was going but it sure is where José Gonzalez was headed when he did his acoustic rendition.

    Keep enjoying the music and remember, whatever you feel it means is the correct interpretation for you! The arts are not meant to be pedantic.
    isarmstrongon December 19, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentabout an one-night-stand which led to love.

    really a sexy tune.
    eleonon February 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentin my opinion, jose gonzales' cover is beutiful, but, the original is unbeatable.

    love it =]
    luce88on April 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentcould this song possibly have hints of anti-religion?
    "hands of above" being religion..
    it seems to be about multiple subjects.. Or at least that is what i think
    DigiLSDon September 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy girlfriend introduced me to the knife and i love =) i have a tendancy to not listen to lyrics or understand them too well =( i guess i dont 'read' them in the way they are ment to be read.

    to me it sounds like it's about a one night stand and reading more that ends up with love.

    just like the people above stated.
    inversechion September 14, 2006   Link

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