i can't break the cycle
am i just a fool?
falling down like dominoes
hit by family jewels

pass it down from kid to kid
chain will never end
unless i decide to go to it
will i see the end?

oh don't you find it strange
only thing we share is one last name
did i beat you at your own game
typical of me to put a sword to shame

welcome to the family jewles
coal to diamonds, sold to fools
welcome to the family jewels
simmer and suffer, can't keep his cool
i can't keep my cool
i can't keep my cool

family said i decided
to live a loveless life
is it my fault we stay divided?
'cause i've got too much pride
pass the parcel, wrap unwrap
and open up the locks
out come flying all the secrets
of pandoras box

oh, you think im unfit
little did you know i was cut for it
no glass slipper will ever fit
'cause i could never see a diamond in it

CHORUS

and when we're in the dark
it echoes in your heart
and when your far away
it beckons me to stay

CHORUS x2


Lyrics submitted by Hippolyta

The Family Jewels song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationI think it's about how she feels different from her family and unconnected with them "only thing we share is one last name". “Coal to Diamonds sold to fools” is referring to a common myth that Diamonds actually come from coal, in which they don’t, but some foolish people still believe it. I think marina is metaphorically referring her family to a messed up shady business that sell fake diamonds to fools. I think she's saying that people in her family all lie and are untruthful to each other. I think the song is about how she doesn't want to be like the people in her family and she can't relate to them.
    LiniKFon July 19, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI honestly can't believe there are no comments on this song?! it's amazing! This song is so full of emotion. So many of her songs seem to be about her family, but I think this one is the most raw of them all.
    Ismmehowruon March 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is, IMO her most poignant song. Her parents divorced when she was a teen. Very good play on her last name (Diamandis) too given that it means Diamond in Greek.

    "Is it my fault we stay divided?" - possible self blame for her parents' divorce.
    AnGaelon July 29, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song, to me, seems to be about her dad and possible abuse she endured at the hands of him. What kind of abuse is unspecified, but she talks about not being able to break "the cycle", referring to the cycle of child abuse. "Pass it down from kid to kid, chain will never end, unless i decide to go to it, will i see the end?" Here she is referring to how the cycle of abuse is passed down from parent to child, and then passed down again. She wishes to break this cycle, saying that she has "beat him at his own game". She is afraid of ending up like her father, like many child abuse survivors are, which is why she says "simmer and suffer, can't keep his cool. I can't keep my cool", noting that she is exhibiting similar actions to his. "Typical of me to put us all to shame" talks about how her trying to better herself is seen as shameful in the eyes of her father, a common idea from abusers. "Welcome to the family jewels" could possibly be a play on both their last name (diamandis) and the fact that it sounds like "family duels", and "coal to diamonds, sold to fools" could be implying that while her family appears put together on the outside, it is just a front. And finally, "and when we're in the dark, it echoes in your heart. and when you're far away, it beckons me to stay", is reminiscent of the conflicting feelings of abuse survivors. When they're together, in the "dark" so to speak, she knows that what he's doing is wrong, but when she is far away from him, she feels guilty, and feels like she must return and give him a second chance, thus "beckoning her to stay".
    hauntedpanelson May 18, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so heartbreaking I can't listen to it without crying. My family is messed up, as are both my parents. but we never speak about it, just to save face or because it's too awkward. it's usually the youngest i.e. the angsty teenager which I expect Marina to be here who addresses it or i.e. "causes a scene" or address the issues. This is why she says "typical of me to put us all to shame" or "I can't my cool." Like the "Smart Alec"-y, moody kid at the family dinner (perhaps when meeting one of her parents new spouses), ruining everything by not just pretending to be fine with everything. Parents have a real a real tendency to just gloss over everything to try not to hurt you, or more really because it's more easy for them. She talks about the secrets flying out of Pandora's box; there is still SO MUCH that was never properly explained to me, kept from me. But you WILL find out everything in the end! This also obviously refers to just general "skeletons in the closet", all the secrets we keep locked away behind the happy families "family jewels" front."
    I get two things from "Family Jewels." Number one I think it's the "Happy Family" front i.e. the "picture perfect" family, with lots of nice material items, and family heirlooms that are passed through generation. But all of that just being a mask to hide the pain and dysfunction.
    And probably more obviously, the family jewels being generational pain that keeps getting passed down. Dysfunction really does run through generations, as dysfunctional people are more likely to bring up dysfunctional children. My Mothers Mother was abusive to her, she was estranged to her other 2 daughters and then eventually to my Mum as well. My Dad had an overly strict upbringing, I think my Grandfather was abusive to him, although he has never said but he was always horrible to my dad when we went to visit, and his Mother died when he was a teenager. I don't want to talk about what happened in my (immediate) family, but it's awful.

    Marina can't seem to break the cycle of pain that is passing down the generations. There are lyrics such as "family says I decided to live a loveless life" and "no glass slipper could ever fit, because I could never see a diamond in it" This hits me HARD. I am so scared to start a family now, after seeing how much you can really mess each other up and I almost don't see the point now after seeing how tragically things can end. "No glass slipper could ever fit" means Marina can't see any fairytale ending for her now because she could "could never see a diamond in it."
    Basically, she means she can't see any hope for a happy, functional relationship or family. She can't see some fairytale, magical, fantasy ending i.e. "a diamond", she's soon too much pain and too much of what can go wrong on.
    I also think "diamond" my be referring to her last name. Her parents set her no decent example for a functional family/relationship, there for she can see no examples to live up to in the glass slipper (I think by glass slipper she may mean a marriage proposal, or just invitation or suggestion to settle down into a stable relationship or family). Our relationship with our parents is our first example of a loving relationship, and she doesn't have that, therefore she see's no hope for a loving, bright, family orientated future in the "slipper."
    (Obviously this is a very dramatic version of the point i'm trying to make she's like 30 now and is a stunning successful women who i'm sure would be in a relationship or at least have no trouble finding one)
    I also think by "glass slipper" it may link back to this idea of "family jewels"; expensive material items being passed down through generations but she doesn't care because she see's no "diamond" in it, she see's nothing pure, nothing real in it.

    I'm sure this could mean so much to so many different people, I could only begin to go into how many ways certain parts can be interpreted. Breaks my heart that it only has 4 comments.
    hazeleyes27on May 07, 2018   Link

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