Psychoanalysis of text: Sky full of Song. Florence + The Machine and the tiring world

The synthesis of poetry can communicate complex meanings in very few words, in one verse, as happens in this beautiful song by Florence + the machine.

It would be enough to stop and analyse this verse to understand the whole song “Sky full of songs” because its meaning is hidden here.

I couldn’t hide from a thunder in a sky full of song.

Thunder, there is nothing more precise to describe the fear and fatigue of which the singer speaks.

Thunder is the first danger that a child who discovers the world feels he cannot manage, and he feels that he also goes beyond the control of his parents. Thunder is the first noise that defines the outside, the world outside, and at the same time the interior, the home, the place to rest safely and without danger.

To talk about what she lives, Florence uses an image that represents a primordial fear, that of the little girl scared by thunder.

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Thunder at the same time is the rude sound, which, in a sky full of songs can be transformed into those songs that are at the centre of his life.

The sky is the world outside that is tired, but at the same time it gives the possibility of turning thunder into songs, and it is impossible to do so if you are in a place with a roof over your head, even if this place is safer.

It is around this inner clash between the inside and the outside that develops the beautiful song by Florence + the machine.


How deeply are you sleeping?

…Be careful my darling
Be careful of what it takes
What I’ve seen so far
The good ones always seems to break

I was screaming at my father
And you were screaming at me
I can feel your anger
From way across the sea

Florence aims to a non-specific person, simply singing using the second person. This type of poetic form addressed to an undefined person, opens the door to the unconscious logic that sees overlap meanings.

As I have already written here, unconscious logic allows the existence of multiple meanings within the same discourse, even in opposition to each other.

Poetry, like this poem, makes it possible to approach a universe of unconscious meanings, which does not see a defined person in an interlocutor but depending on the interpretation the interlocutor can change.

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Florence is directing to a man, a woman, a father, a mother, a friend, herself, and it is possible that she does all these things at once.

This overlap of meanings in verses is even more evident:

I was screaming at my father
And you were screaming at me

Here the relational confusion becomes more evident, when the emotions strongly characterised by the unconscious logic radically guide the behaviour, it can happen to no longer understand against those who are screaming, with those who are fighting: with own father, with own boyfriend or with yourself.


Grab me by my ankles

Grab me by my ankles
I’ve been flying for too long
I couldn’t hide from the thunder
In the sky full of song

And I want you so badly
But you could be anyone
I couldn’t hide from the thunder
In the sky full of song

Whoever takes another person who is flying from the ankles is someone who risks being left behind, to stay low. The scene that Florence describes sees her flying and asking to be grabbed and brought down because she is tired, she flew for too long and wants to rest.

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Fatigue is strong because her flight is solitary. The person he addresses does not fly with her, we do not know who that person is, but we know that she or he is able to bring her back to rest.

The “tiring world” it makes sense to sing it if referring to someone like Florence does. It doesn’t matter to whom his speech is reported, as long as it is aimed outside.


Aiming to the outside

This is the most incredible side of writing: the possibilities it gives to those who use it.

When writing a thought, a doubt, an emotion, we aim to the outside.

Writing means inserting your thoughts in a speech, in a dialogue that can be solitary, it may not be shared with other people, but it is able to transform perspectives and allow us to sense new meanings.

The British singer is doing this, she puts her fatigue out of her, turns it into a dialogue with herself and with a variety of people.

The interlocutor, in this case, can be anyone and Florence says it with an image that appears as in a sudden flash between two thunders:

…I couldn’t hide from the thunder
In the sky full of song

And I want you so badly
But you could be anyone
I couldn’t hide from the thunder
In the sky full of song


The tiring world

Hold me down, I’m so tired now
Aim your arrow at the sky
Take me down, I’m too tired now
Leave me where I lie

Florence wants to rest and be left where she can do it, but she can’t stop and asks to be hit down with an arrow.

While Florence explicitly constructs a metaphor about her high and tiring flight, she still refers to a universe of the past that in this case seems to be a non-personal past, but a collective one.

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The arrow could be turned to her to be stopped in her flight and therefore dying could be the only possibility she has of stopping. But with the image of a human being who throws the arrow to the sky calls into question the past of being human itself, in which science had not yet given meaning to the events of nature.

The thunder as it scares the child even today frightened the man before the discovery of fire, and throwing the arrow at the sky seems an attempt by that man to fight with the wrong means something that he wants to fight.

In many authors, they have compared the time of childhood, to the time of the primordial human being, in which the dangers are not yet understood and rationalised.

Florence seems to look at rest with fear, as if it were a danger, because resting could mean dying, not existing anymore, at least not as she knows herself flying in a sky full of songs.

I thought that I was flying
But maybe I’m dying tonight

So far she has turned thunder into songs, overcoming the scientific rationality that pervades our lives more and more, bringing significant benefits to humanity, but perhaps taking something away from relationships, and a vision of the world that thanks to poetry (and songs) it can be more satisfying and exciting. But now she feels tired.

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What Florence feels we all feel when we think that stopping could mean falling, and therefore that the most useful thing to combat the danger we perceive is to move faster.

Florence, however, writing the song and using these words shows us that she still uses her ability to turn thunder into songs, even if they continue to be scary.

It makes us understand that speaking, writing and pronouncing words that sometimes seem frighteningly thunders themselves, can mean turning those fears into something different, and the thunder suddenly can start to sound, to sound like music.