Hole – “Violet” 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.

Hole’s “Violet” takes listeners on a roller coaster of emotion, depicting feelings of desire, defiance, and pain. The song touches on the transient nature of desires and how they can sometimes lose their appeal once they’re met. Courtney Love, Hole’s lead singer and songwriter, seems to channel personal experiences, illustrating the complexities of love, vulnerability, and power dynamics. The repetition of “Go on, take everything” screams of surrender but also challenges as if pushing someone to see how far they’d go.

Intrigued by Courtney Love’s raw expression in “Violet”? Continue reading to get deeper into the passion and pain behind every lyric.

“Violet” Lyrics Meaning

“And the sky was made of amethyst. And all the stars were just like little fish”. Here, Love paints a picture of a world where the skies and stars are not as they seem. The “amethyst” sky could represent a state of intoxication or disorientation, while “little fish” portrays something fragile and delicate, perhaps feelings or fleeting moments.

“You should learn when to go. You should learn how to say no”. The lines hint at boundaries, possibly emphasizing the need for self-preservation in relationships. Learning “when to go” and “how to say no” speaks of independence and understanding one’s worth.

“Might last a day, yeah, Mine is forever”. There’s a comparison between something temporary and something eternal. This can suggest how superficial feelings contrast with deeper, lasting emotions.

“When they get what they want, and they never want it again”. These lines are a poignant statement on the nature of desire and fulfillment. It suggests a pattern where once desires are satisfied, they lose their allure, pointing to a possibly toxic cycle in relationships.

“Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to”. Repeated multiple times throughout, this refrain has a dual meaning. It can be perceived as a cry of vulnerability, wanting someone to take everything, heart and soul. But there’s also an element of defiance and challenge, as if testing the limits of the taker.

“I told you from the start just how this would end. When I get what I want, then I never want it again”. Here, Love gives a warning of her own tendencies, maybe reflecting a self-awareness about her behavior in relationships. The cyclic nature of desire and dissatisfaction is highlighted again, providing insight into her mindset.

“It’s my lie, you’re mine, you’re mine”. This line reveals possessiveness and hints at manipulation in the relationship. By declaring “you’re mine,” there’s an assertion of control, but it’s entwined with the acknowledgment of deception with “It’s my lie.”

The Story Behind “Violet”

When Courtney Love penned “Violet,” she wasn’t just crafting a grunge anthem. She was stitching together fragments of her own life, raw emotions, and experiences into a tapestry of sound that spoke to many. At its core, “Violet” is deeply personal, yet its themes resonate universally.

Courtney Love has always been a magnetic figure, drawing both admiration and criticism throughout her career. In the early ’90s, when “Violet” was conceived, her life was a whirlwind of emotions. Hole’s breakout album, “Live Through This,” which includes “Violet,” was released just a week after the tragic passing of her husband, Kurt Cobain. While the album’s songs were written and recorded before his death, the rawness and vulnerability in “Violet” capture the intensity of Love’s world at that time.

“Violet” channels Love’s tumultuous relationships, her battles with self-worth, and the fierce determination to assert her identity in an often critical world. The song’s demanding chorus, “Go on, take everything,” is said to be inspired by her turbulent relationship with Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins. The relationship was characterized by its intensity and was marked by a mix of passion and turmoil.

While it’s rooted in Love’s experiences, the song taps into the broader human experiences of love, betrayal, and resilience. The feeling of giving everything to someone and challenging them to take even more is a sentiment many can relate to. In “Violet,” Courtney Love doesn’t just share a chapter of her life; she offers a reflection on the complexity of human emotions and relationships.