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ThisIsHowItWorks

Fidelity

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I'm not really sure what I want to say to kick off this discussion but I'll do my best...

This seems to be among the few almost-straightforward Regina songs out there. It seems to be a romantic ode to the benefits of letting go of fears and insecurities to allow oneself to love, and be loved. The narrator describes an onrush of emotion upon doing this, saying this confusion 'breaks her heart.' Or her ha-ah-ah-ah ah-ah-ah ah-ah-ahahah-art. Despite the negative connotation of the phrase, the narrator is using it bittersweetly, as a means of summing up several emotions: a. anxiety over the realization that she has put her heart at risk, b. gratefulness toward herself for doing so, and c. love (duh).

I'm sure there's someone who sees this very differently, so, Let the discussion begin!

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I'm not really sure what I want to say to kick off this discussion but I'll do my best...

This seems to be among the few almost-straightforward Regina songs out there. It seems to be a romantic ode to the benefits of letting go of fears and insecurities to allow oneself to love, and be loved. The narrator describes an onrush of emotion upon doing this, saying this confusion 'breaks her heart.' Or her ha-ah-ah-ah ah-ah-ah ah-ah-ahahah-art. Despite the negative connotation of the phrase, the narrator is using it bittersweetly, as a means of summing up several emotions: a. anxiety over the realization that she has put her heart at risk, b. gratefulness toward herself for doing so, and c. love (duh).

I'm sure there's someone who sees this very differently, so, Let the discussion begin!

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I've already established that I'm rubbish at song interpretations. So... that said...

Like you said, I've always seen this as relatively straight forward. The narrator has never fully experienced love. The narrator has always shielded his/her heart from commitment, and really feeling deep emotion for another person.

I don't know if this sounds ridiculous but I've always thought of the "I hear in my mind" part as kind of other people telling the protagonist to do things. Other people and songs and such telling him/her what to think about love, and commitment, and all of this stuff that confuses him/her anyways, and is so overwhelming that it breaks the narrator's he-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-art. Wink

I'm going to refer to the narrator as a female, just for the sake of life being easier, but I don't think the narrator necessarily has to be female. It's kind of a universal feeling, the feeling of overwhelming emotion that someone's little heart isn't quite ready to feel. And love has become so... commercial, almost, you know? So it's almost like the character doesn't know what her own feelings are, but she knows what she's being told to feel. And this sort of scary thing of having actual emotion is something she's not experienced before. It's always been very... manufactured. Not sincere.

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quote:
Originally posted by almostspotless:

I don't know if this sounds ridiculous but I've always thought of the "I hear in my mind" part as kind of other people telling the protagonist to do things. Other people and songs and such telling him/her what to think about love, and commitment, and all of this stuff that confuses him/her anyways, and is so overwhelming that it breaks the narrator's he-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-ar-art. Wink

That doesn't sound ridiculous at all! I really like what you're saying about being told to feel, rather than actually feeling. (Time is All Around, anyone? "Why I am I supposed to love...") Your ideas about how "the character doesn't know what her own feelings are" are also very interesting... It offers a completely different palette of emotion to the song.

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And kind of almost... the narrator is trying to feel real emotion, trying to drop the wards around her heart, and yet she can't because of all of these distractions of other people telling her what to think, what to feel etc. like the "voices in her mind."

Or we could go with the more literal translation, that the narrator is a schizophrenic with commitment issues. Wink

(I have nothing to do today, I'm giving my horse a day off, so I'm pretty much bumming around here. It's okay. It's rainy and cold.)

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quote:
Originally posted by almostspotless:

And kind of almost... the narrator is trying to feel real emotion, trying to drop the wards around her heart, and yet she can't because of all of these distractions of other people telling her what to think, what to feel etc.

Aaah so the voices, words and music are breaking her heart because they're keeping that pesky other foot stuck firmly on the ground? Very interesting...

Something that hasn't been brought up yet is the concept of 'singing love songs just to break my own fall.' I love the irony of someone writing about a topic they intentionally are afraid to know anything about.

However, as your interpretation explains, she is starting to leave these fears behind, which makes sense, as the verses are in past tense, while the chorus is in the present.

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quote:
Originally posted by ThisIsHowItWorks:

quote:
Originally posted by almostspotless:

And kind of almost... the narrator is trying to feel real emotion, trying to drop the wards around her heart, and yet she can't because of all of these distractions of other people telling her what to think, what to feel etc.

Aaah so the voices, words and music are breaking her heart because they're keeping that pesky other foot stuck firmly on the ground? Very interesting...

Well, yes, and no. Haha. Here's where my lack of the ability to communicate thought comes in.

I think that the combination of feeling real emotion, real love so to speak (heh) and at the same time "hearing all these voices" is so overwhelming, that it's just too much for her heart to take. You know how it feels, y'know? When your heart is so full of conflicting emotion that it feels like it's bursting at the seams, and you just wish you could siphon off a bit of those extra feelings? So it's not so much that hearing the words and the music breaks her heart, but how they conflict with her other burgeoning emotions of love. All these people telling her what to feel when her heart is clearly telling her otherwise is just overwhelming.

And with each sentence, it gets more and more confusing. :|

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wow! i like how u guys look at this song. i agree that trying to pick it apart is rather confusing... (maybe Regina wrote it that way on purpose. Eeker)

You guys seem to agree, so i've compiled an opposing interpretation (i've not spent much time on this song. it's always seemed so simple and candid!)

Here goes:

"i never loved nobody fully. Always one foot on the ground..."

it's interresting that Reg chose to narrarate the song so matter-of-factly. usually there's metaphor, or some really roundabout way of saying things that are introspective. a character almost never says, "i'm lonely." or "i don't fit in." You usually get, "his words are quiet like ... stains that are trying to cover for each other. Or at least blend in with the pattern."

Yet in Fidelity, everything is presented candidly, which is probably why we've been having trouble forming definite stories for it. We're used to Folding Chair or Riot Gear, songs that require personal interpretation, imagination, focus on detail and wording, and extrapolation to make much sense past being stories and general randomness. (lol)

So anyway, the most promising alternative option is: Fidelity is a breakup song. i was reading through the lyrics, and her heart is still broken by the ending. And "it" hasn't "broken" her heart. it "breaks" her heart. As in, continually crushes her.

"i never loved nobody fully. and by protecting my heart, i became lost in (the sounds)." In other words,

"Before you, i'd never fallen hard for anyone. I was wandering around with a cautious (probably boring) love life, because i'd never thrown myself heart and soul into a relationship." (subtext: "...like i wound up throwing myself into /our/ relationship.")

"i hear in my mind ... and it breaks my heart."

In her mind, she's hearing all of this... stuff haha. Now here, i'm a little torn. Are the voices, music, and words positive, or negative? They're mentioned as an observation, so it's hard to tell whether she's hearing happy, chirping birds, or a song that sounds like Ezra Pound lol (ominous/dark). Going with the breakup song theory, i'm gonna say hearing this stuff in her mind is negative.

We learn that the things she hears "break her heart". The previous posters say the heart breaking is a positive thing in a way because she's overcome with intense love, but for now, the broken heart is just a broken heart.

Verse two is a refection on their relationship: how things got started, and how they would've been different if she'd stuck with her established pattern of reservation. Mostly, people don't think this way if they're happy with their partner. It's usually after a breakup that you say, "if i'd done this instead..." or "maybe it would've been better if you'd never..." So the second verse is her/him wondering just where things went wrong. Then, "suppose i kept on singin love songs just break my fall" changes the context. (any thoughts on the significance of the word "own" in this line?) In these last lines of the verse, rather than reflecting on past behavior, the nararator now indicates their current state: singing love songs to comfort his/her self (break their fall). Which is common behavior among those in recent breakups, esp. if they're in a mindset that allows them to reminisce on their happier times.

then the friends are, of course, comforting the sad nararator. And they're British. Smiler

I really need to find a way to shorten these posts. lol

Thoughts?

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^^^ I tend to disagree with your interpretation, due simply to the language of the second verse. While you say that the speech isn't that of someone happy with their relationship, I disagree. While I easily see how it could go both ways, I feel that the narrator is saying that "sing... love songs just to break [their] own fall" would have been a regrettable, whereas allowing the listener to "kiss [her] so sweet and so so-o-o-o-oft" was the right decision. The vocal delivery of the first few "supposes" is sweetly retrospective, while that of "my own (fall)" reflects sentiments of past foolishness and selfishness. (the emphasis on "own" being key)

Maybe I'm just an optimist. After all, I'm also the one who doesn't think Folding Chair is about suicide.

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"After all, I'm also the one who doesn't think Folding Chair is about suicide."

that made me smile.

i'm not sold on that interpretation. I don't really see this being a song about being madly in love. i mean, really?

something that sticks out to me, while over-analyzing the lyrics, is the fact that, upon hearing all of these things in her mind, her heart is broken. Perhaps the things she hears are good and positive, yet they're only superficial, or technical. And she's contemplating breaking up with him, because she doesn't feel as strongly for him as she knows she should. knowing how she wants to feel about him, and maybe how he says he feels about her, yet being aware of how she really feels deep down, breaks her heart.

Singing love song to break her fall, then, would mean singing songs written by people who feel the way she wishes she could. In which case, it's possible that the songs aren't literally songs, but rather the deep expressions of love that she pretends to have for him. So the "love songs" are sweet nothings like "the ocean couldn't contain all the love i feel for you" (lol obviously i don't spend much time flattering people!), but they're not sincere, and she's only saying them in the hopes that she'll feel them someday. so she's hoping that creating the pretense of falling for him will somehow make all of this easier, and "break her fall".

this would also keep the "gonna get better" portion in context. i don't see how that very significant part of the song would fit in with your take on things..?

as for the beginning/ending of the song (sorry for jumping around!)

"i never loved nobody fully...and it breaks my heart" could be rationalizing why she is the way she is. "i've never felt very strongly about someone before, and as a result, i got lost, in a way" is kind of an excuse, or her way of explaining to herself what's holding her back from having this great relationship with this great guy.

(i keep thinking in terms of the nararator as a woman. dunno why.)

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