Busy Bee (Deb of our pals Secret Nudist Friends) has just released their newest album, “I Am You“! The only “hint” we were given while analysing the song ‘Behind Glass‘ was that its inspiration, like the rest of the tracks on the album, were based off their experiences in quarantine. We are such fans of Deb’s usage of metaphorical lyricism, and couldn’t wait to dive into listening to this song!
Can’t touch you
Can’t feel your fear
This bubble gets bigger
When you are here
Bre: I’m curious if the bubble is a bubble of protection, which increases upon having that other entity there, or if it’s more like they are on the outside of the bubble, and the space they aren’t allowed to exist in increases?
Em: I kind of read this negatively. I feel like the bubble is protecting the speaker from this person, and when they get close the speaker throws up a wall around themselves. A theme I get right away is isolation/separation.
Bre: That’s interesting cause I could see the negative feelings, but more towards the situation and less towards the person. Like, ‘can’t touch you, can’t feel your fear’, I feel like that’s the speaker wanting to be there for the person, and not being able to.
Look, Look at all the light in the building shining
Look, look at all the people looking at you
Sweet honey bee buzzing
it’s time to rest
i see you have hunger
Bre: I feel like the bee is either the human race as a whole, or the earth in general? Like saying, now is the time to rest (referring to quarantine). Like we see we need that break, so take it, and give in return.
Em: That’s really interesting that you see a “big picture” with the bee metaphor, because I read it as the bee is an individual that the speaker is addressing, but I definitely see how this could be a blanket statement kind of metaphor. It could be addressing anyone who’s struggling, anyone who needs to hear that it’s okay to feel burnt out. Bees are typically busy (pun intended) and being told to slow down and breathe could be a huge weight lifted. It’s a very interesting approach.
And all that we have feared
Is just a particle of dust
You choose to breathe it in
And it will blacken up your lungs
Bre: This stanza is interesting because at first I feel like it’s saying all that we fear is, in reality, just something so small. But then breathing it in, choosing to accept it, will still blacken up your lungs. So you can accept the reality you face, but it might still hurt you in the long run? Maybe I’m reading super into that.
Em: I agree, I think this is an acknowledgement of having to take in the bad with the good. Life isn’t black and white, you can’t be entirely giving or entirely self-serving, there will be parts of you that are selfish, and you have to accept what is. You have to accept that there are parts of you that you aren’t proud of, but they are parts of you that you will always carry.
We are all just children of our mothers and fathers and our mothers and our fathers are the children of their moms and dads and they are all the children of their parents and their parents and their parents etc.
And we are all the children of the earth // And we are gonna take good care of her // We are all the children of the earth // And we are gonna take good care of her
Em: I think this repetition is just meant to be like a mantra of encouragement. No matter who you are or what you do, everything is relative and everything will be okay in the grand scheme of things.
Debs thoughts below:
Can’t touch You //Cant touch //Can’t feel your fear //This bubble gets bigger //When you are here
Deb: “This part is about my awareness of others’ fear during this time, and my awareness of how I prefer to heal. I’m incredibly empathetic and often find a lot of connection through physical touch – and it was challenging to realize that people are afraid and I can’t touch them. As in, if I could touch them, maybe I could help them feel better. And at the same time, I am wanting to protect myself from others’ fear because I don’t want to create that energy for myself. And the bubble is really referring to this metaphorical bubble of my personal quarantine. Sometimes the bubble just has me inside. And sometimes I might go on a walk with a friend – and it feels like for that moment that my “bubble” is getting bigger.”
Look, Look at all the light in the building shining //Look, look at all the people looking at you //Behind glass //Behind glass // Sweet honey bee buzzing // it’s time to rest // i see you have hunger // pollinate us
Deb: “Y’all did really well with this one! I see the bee as sort of a representation of every individual person. And the “pollinate us” is speaking to this idea that it’s okay for people to rest from their busy world of work, and stress, and worry, and ambition – and now they can use that energy to nurture community. Another part I feel called to express about this point is that living in a city, I’ve been really aware of how strange it is that no one is really out on the streets – so that’s where the “behind glass” part comes in.”
And all that we have feared // Is just a particle of dust // You choose to breathe it in // And it will blacken up your lungs
Deb: “I love what you both had to say about this section. I really think this was stemming from this idea that fear really is something so small – because it’s abstract. It’s a construct. Fear is something that our egos create based on past experiences, but it literally doesn’t exist- it’s about the idea of something that COULD exist. But when fear manifests because we choose to see the fear as a reality, then it has a very real impact on our lives. And I see how this has happened with the virus – people created so much fear and believed it into existence, and so the abstract fear turned into very real pain. The key here is that fear is a choice. It’s a story. And we don’t have to tell ourselves that story.”
We are all just children of our mothers and fathers and our mothers and our fathers are the children of their moms and dads and they are all the children of their parents and their parents and their parents etc. And we are all the children of the earth // And we are gonna take good care of her // We are all the children of the earth // And we are gonna take good care of her
Deb: “This is actually a slight homage to a wonderful folk singer that I grew up listening to named Billy Jonas. He has a song called “Some Houses” about how everything ultimately comes from the ground, including people. We all come from each other, and eventually- if you go back far enough – all life on earth comes from the same place. And that’s really what I feel like is the message of my whole album – we are ALL the same. We are all one. We are in this together. And if we use this as an opportunity to show each other unconditional love and compassion, we can work together to build a better world.”