Bush – “Swallowed” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Bush’s “Swallowed” taps into the feeling of being emotionally overwhelmed, torn between connection and isolation. The song is like a rollercoaster of moods and emotions, all jumbled together. It discusses the complexities of love, self-esteem, and the unsettling feeling of not being entirely present in your relationships or even in your own life. Gavin Rossdale, the band’s frontman, seems to touch on personal experiences and emotions, making the song a raw, introspective journey.

Hungry for more? Keep reading to delve into the nitty-gritty of the song’s lyrics, the story behind its making, and why it resonates with so many.

“Swallowed” Lyrics Meaning

Let’s kick things off with the line “Warm sun feed me up / I’m leery loaded up / Loathing for a change.” It gives off mixed vibes. On one hand, there’s the warm sun, a symbol of hope or renewal. But there’s also a sense of weariness and loathing for change. Rossdale masterfully encapsulates a state of emotional flux.

Then we hear “Swallowed, followed / Heavy about everything but my love.” The term “swallowed” here is more than just a word; it’s an emotional state. It’s like being consumed by the complexities of life while being indifferent or ‘heavy’ about everything but love. It’s an isolating feeling, where you’re “with everyone and yet not.”

The line “Just wanted to be myself” stands out in a sea of confused emotions. It implies that amid all these complexities, what’s craved most is the simplicity of being true to oneself. Isn’t that what we all want?

The lyrics then drift into more poetic lines: “In the middle of a world on a fishhook / You’re the wave, you’re the wave, you’re the wave.” These lines could be about love’s complexities, or how in the grand scheme of things, love is the captivating wave that draws us in.

“Piss on self-esteem / Forward busted knee / Sick head, blackened lungs / And I’m a simple selfish son,” bring us back to earth with a jolt. The lines paint a picture of self-destruction and vulnerability, but also hint at a desperate need for self-love and acceptance. It’s a raw, unfiltered look into the mind of someone grappling with their imperfections and desires.

The song closes with “I miss the one that I love a lot,” leaving us with a sense of longing and incompleteness. It’s a raw, poignant end that leaves an emotional aftertaste, making “Swallowed” a deeply relatable anthem for anyone who’s ever felt stuck in emotional quicksand.

The Story Behind “Swallowed”

Gavin Rossdale was going through a transformative period when he wrote “Swallowed.” Released as part of Bush’s second album, “Razorblade Suitcase,” the song was a departure from their earlier, more grunge-oriented work. It showed a softer, more vulnerable side of Rossdale, which wasn’t as prominent in their debut album “Sixteen Stone.”

In various interviews, Rossdale has explained that “Swallowed” was born out of a time of introspection and personal challenges. It’s said that he penned the song during an isolated period, which probably explains the heavy emotional tone and lyrical depth. The lyrics reflect someone battling against their own inner demons, seeking a way to emerge whole. It’s as if Rossdale was using the song to work through his feelings and come to grips with who he was at that time.

The song resonated with fans and critics alike, becoming one of Bush’s most iconic hits. That’s the power of “Swallowed.” It’s an emotional outlet not just for Rossdale but for anyone who’s ever felt emotionally overwhelmed, lost, or simply craving to be themselves in a world that often demands otherwise.