Posts Tagged ‘Florence and The Machine’

I’ve got a lot of really great songs on my iPod, but there are some that stand out as real gems– songs that totally suck me in and long to see the song and the performer live.  “Shake it Out” by Florence + The Machine is one of those songs and artists.  Unfortunately the only show I was able to find anywhere near me was too expensive to purchase tickets at the time (I was a bit broke) and then quickly sold out.  Still got my fingers crossed for one day…

I’ve been trying to figure out whether or not the lyrics are as upbeat as the mood it evokes in me when listening to the song.  The chorus in particular leaves me all smiling, uplifted, inspired:

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaaah
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah

It speaks to me the notion that you can’t enjoy life– you can’t dance– if you’re carrying around too many unnecessary burdens that you can instead just shake off.  I try and live my life by the philosophy of not sweating the small stuff, not getting upset over stupid things.  Those become devils you put on your own back.

So shake him off!  Hell yeah!

But then I read this part of the song:

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark and right at my throat
Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me

Which leaves me wondering… is the character in the song’s story unable to shake off that devil?  Is she unable to dance?  If that’s the case then the song isn’t actually all that uplifting, no?

I know often that songs, like poems, like some stories can be purposely vague, allowing the person listening or reading to fill a lot in with their own perceptions and experiences, to create a piece of art unique to themselves.  I suspect that’s what’s going on here… and if so I’m curious– what are your feelings and thoughts when you listen to this song?

Or am I just blatantly missing the real tone/message of the song?

Full lyrics behind the cut:


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