She's not the kind of girl
Who likes to tell the world
About the way she feels about herself
She takes a little time
In making up her mind
She doesn't want to fight against the tide

Lately I'm not the only one
I say never trust anyone
Always the one who has to drag her down
Maybe you'll get what you want this time around

Can't bear to face the truth
So sick he cannot move
And when it hurts he takes it out on you

Lately I'm not the only one
I say never trust anyone
Always the one who has to drag her down
Maybe you'll get what you want this time around

The trick is to keep breathing
The trick is to keep breathing

She knows the human heart
And how to read the stars
Now everything's about to fall apart

I won't be the one who's going to let you down
Maybe you'll get what you want this time around
(the trick is to keep breathing)
I won't be the one who's going to let you down
(the trick is to keep breathing)
Maybe you'll get what you want this time around
The trick is to keep breathing [Repeat: x7]


Lyrics submitted by Nevers0ul

The Trick Is to Keep Breathing Lyrics as written by Shirley Ann Manson Douglas Elwin Erickson

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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The Trick Is To Keep Breathing song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    well janice galloways 'the trick is to keep breathing' is credited in v2 so i'm guessing thats something to do with it... it's about a woman whos fiancee dies&how she deals with her subsequent depression

    maddiieeeon September 01, 2002   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I won't be the one who's going to let you down Maybe you'll get what you want this time around (the trick is to keep breathing)

    Through all the loss of trust, troubles of work, anxiety of making the right decisions in life just to avoid the hurt that you've been through already. You have to keep trying. To keep breathing, to let others earn your trust, to let opportunity come your way. Because just maybe, life will treat you good today.

    As dark as it may seem, your life isn't done living.

    JessicaBecauseon September 30, 2018   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I just wanted to share something that not everyone realizes. Shirley Manson suffered from a very severe depression problem, rooted in very low self-esteem. I believe the point of the song is everyone tells you to just take a deep breath and it'll be okay. Which is absolutely BS. You'll get to have a little bit of a high, just to fall farther when the high ends. This song could be about a friend, a boyfriend, husband, parent. The point is, life may look really good for a while, and then someone will come in and ruin it, and then once they've brought you down they just start emotionally kicking you, because you care.

    AngelAnnaon February 22, 2023   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    THis song is getting though the hard times. The girl in this song is your average girl with a dark secret. The line "When it hurts he takes it out on you," suggests that her boyfriend, or her dad, or someone abuses her. This song is an anthem to anyone who is going though difficult times, wether it be abuse, depression, or what not, Shirley is telling those people to just keep breathing, to just hold on and wait a little longer, and things will get better.

    sentimentalf0olon June 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song is based on a novel called 'the trick is to keep breathing'. i haven't read it but a friend of mine has and from what i remember her saying, it's about a girl who is engaged to a guy who beats her and she kills him and then escapes in a boat and floats around it the sea. or something like that. anyways, that's what i think...

    xpankfrisston July 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think this song is an encouragment to survive the hard times-''the trick is to keep breathing'', the trick is to stay alive.Sometimes it is hard to have a will to live in a difficult situation.But, this song reminds you that ''maybe you will get what you want this time around''.This song definetly speaks about a girl trapped in some sort of situation, perhaps one involving broken trust and abuse.The melody is the best part of this song, although the lyrics are appealing. This song has depressing subject matter, but a hopeful message. I once had someone tell me to never let anything get me down. This song has that message too, for everybody struggling with diffcult situations.

    summer graceon July 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    To me, "the trick is to keep breathing" means that the girl is on the verge of imploding, of beginning to scream at the top of her voice, which she does not want : she wants to calm herself down, which she manages to do by trying to breathe normally : you know, it's like when you are really really upset, either on the verge of crying or of bursting with anger, your breathing becomes difficult because your throat becomes narrower little by little and you can't help it. And you tries to control your breathing, and while you manage to keep breathing normally you can control yourself (I'm not sure I'm expressing myself very clearly hum :/ ). To sum up, to "keep beathing" means to collect yourself and to calm down.

    Auroreon March 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Shirley wrote this song for a friend who was having a bad run of boyfriends.

    Deebson September 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Right Deebs, she wrote for a friend when her husband and mother turned their backs on her. She went home and the friend showed up and collasped in front of her.

    MyGrannyIsATrannyon January 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I do know for sure that this song was based off the novek of the same name and that it was inspired by one of Shirley's close friends. The best part of this song for me are the string arrangements and how they seem to carry you from one part of the song to the other. I also can't get enough of the lyric, "maybe you'll get what you want this time around." Amen to that.

    feelgoodtime05on January 23, 2007   Link

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