Bruises Lyrics: The Meaning of the Song by Chairlift

Updated on February 2, 2018
Lead singer, Caroline Polachek, of the band Chairlift.
Lead singer, Caroline Polachek, of the band Chairlift. | Source

About the Band Chairlift

Chairlift is an electronic synth-pop band from Brooklyn, New York, currently formed by the group’s tandem duo of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly. Former member Aaron Pfenning left the band in 2010 to pursue his solo career.

The band released two more albums in 2012 and 2016.

Bruises Lyrics Resonate Throughout the Song

One of Chairlift’s most famous songs ‘Bruises’ from the album Does You Inspire You soared to the top of the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart back in 2008.

Unfortunately, the song failed to reach the official top 100, but was very close to making it over the hurdle. The song was also featured in an iPod Nano commercial to promote the release of the 4th generation version of the Apple product.

The meaning of the song Bruises by Chairlift has been discussed in several online forums and the song can be interpreted in various ways. Bruises lyrics are somewhat simplistic, but deeply symbolic at the same time.

This article will aim to unleash the true meaning of the song by analyzing each stanza of the lyrics.

After reading, please leave your own opinion of the song in the comments section.


Official Music Video: Bruises by Chairlift

Bruises Lyrics by Chairlift (with Meaning Explained)

Stanzas 1 and 2

I tried to do handstands for you
I tried to do headstands for you
Every time I fell on you yeah every time I fell
I tried to do handstands for you
But every time I fell for you
I'm permanently black and blue, permanently blue
For you

I tried to do handstands for you
I tried to do headstands for you
Every time I fell on you yeah every time I fell
I tried to do handstands for you but every time I fell for you
I'm permanently black and blue, permanently blue

The first and second stanzas suggest that the girl sacrificed a lot for a guy who she used to be in love with.

By ‘headstands’, she means that she strived to impress her boyfriend, but it wasn’t enough to capture his interest permanently.

So as a result, she ended up hurting her heart in the end. She ‘fell’ for the guy she was in love with and now feels sad because the man didn’t reciprocate the same level of affection towards her.


Chorus

For you ooh
For you ooh
So black and blue ooh
For you ooh

The chorus reminds us of the fact that the girl is ‘black and blue’ for the guy – or is hurt emotionally and sad because of him.

It could also emphasize that she’s telling the guy that she has such strong feelings for him that she’s going through this pain to show him just HOW MUCH she likes him.


Stanza 3

I grabbed some frozen strawberries so
I could ice your bruising knees
But frozen things they all unfreeze and now I taste like
All those frozen strawberries I used to chill your bruising knees,
Hot July ain't good to me
I'm pink and black and blue
(for you)

The third stanza of the Chairlift song is sung by the man in this pop duet.

The ‘frozen strawberries’ are symbolic of the man’s attempt to heal the girl’s pain, but his efforts were not enough to permanently help her in the long run.

His help, though well-intentioned, is now like a sad reminder to the girl of their failed relationship. Perhaps she thought the guy was so ‘sweet’, but in reality he was actually was too ‘frozen’ or cold-hearted to return her love in a way that she deserved at the time.

The end of the stanza is open to interpretation. However, July could have been the time of year when the couple broke up. Now the man is feeling heartache as well.

He could actually regret their breakup and wish he had been as loving towards the girl as she was to him.


Stanzas 4 and 5

I got bruises on my knees for you
And grass stains on my knees for you
Got holes in my new jeans for you
Got pink and black and blue

Got bruises on my knees for you
And grass stains on my knees for you
Got holes in my new jeans for you
Got pink and black and blue

The forth and fifth stanzas are sung by the girl again.

She playfully expresses that they had fun together and that the pain she went through was still worth it.

Perhaps, it is better to have loved and lost than not loved at all.


Chorus (repeats)

For you ooh
For you ooo
So black and blue ooh
For you ooh


Ending

Do doo do do do
Do doo do do do
Do doo do do do
Do doo do do do
Do doo do do do

The ending of the song seems to echo, suggesting that this is often a recurring them in the love between two people – especially in the innocence of youth.


Here is the band performing at the Treefort Music Fest in 2016.
Here is the band performing at the Treefort Music Fest in 2016. | Source

Bruises Lyrics by Chairlift – The Conclusion

Based on this interpretation, the meaning of the song Bruises by Chairlift is about how the imbalance of love between couples can cause pain in romantic relationships.

Love leaves a scar for both people, though it’s a scar worth keeping because it’s a reminder of not only the bad, but the good times as well.

Do you have any personal thoughts about the song?

Please leave your opinion in the comment section below. Also, feel free to participate in the poll about relationships.

In your last romantic relationship, who initiated the breakup?

See results
Aaron Pfenning, Patrick Wimberly, and Caroline Polachek of Chairlift
Aaron Pfenning, Patrick Wimberly, and Caroline Polachek of Chairlift | Source

Questions & Answers

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