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Thread: Climb

  1. #16
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    My interpretation of the lyrics.

    Verse 1

    A woman in mid-life reflecting back on her younger self
    it's a long long climb going back in time

    References to Saint Veronica are made in both the chorus and bridge.

    [According to tradition, St. Veronica is known as the woman who offered a cloth to Jesus so He could wipe His face on the way to His crucifixion. The cloth is believed to exist today in the Vatican and is considered one of the most treasured relics of the Church.
    She is not mentioned in the Bible but is known in the Catholic church and is represented in the Sixth Station of the Cross, "Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus."]

    Chorus

    The woman is navigating a difficult path in life and is seeking relief from the pain.
    All of me wants to be... believe
    That somehow you will save me Saint Veronica



    Verse 2

    Looking back in time, the woman recognizes that she's paid a high price for being outspoken and brutally honest about controversial subjects throughout her adulthood: the trappings of Christianity, sexual assault, and the stigma of aging in an industry which glorifies and rewards female youthfulness.
    He said "Kneel before your judges in reverence
    Your penance for the woman you'll become
    You knew if you talked there'd be a consequence
    Your sentence for the woman you'll become"
    Ten days of hell in Satan's cell


    Bridge

    [Legend states that as Christ was walking to Calvary, his face dripping with sweat and blood, Saint Veronica, a bystander, was moved with compassion. She approached Jesus and offered Him a cloth, likely her veil, which He accepted and used to wipe His face.]

    The woman desires to transcend time.
    Dream of dimensions
    Then cross through the veil to them
    Wrap yourself in linen holding Jesus close
    Calling Saint
    Calling Saint
    Saint Veronica



    Verse 3

    St. Veronica tells the woman that escape from the prison she's created resides within her own power and that it is up to her to "save" herself.
    "Climb out of the belly of the beast" she said
    "Become a witness out of the abyss
    The temple of the soul will have to heal the flesh
    Only when you're whole can you forgive"


    St. Veronica references:
    http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=1953

  2. #17
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    I wonder if she is writing about her paternal grandmother, and the song is strangely nostalgic to me, which I love so much.

  3. #18
    burning up the bible BettahDevil's Avatar
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    What a gorgeous song this is. It's easily creeping into my top 3. Climb + me = good cries right now. I just want to put it on repeat. Saint veronica 4evs. Really loving the interpretations..
    Last edited by BettahDevil; 09-13-2017 at 09:07 AM.

  4. #19
    Queen of Spades Alamo's Avatar
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    This one is a treasure

  5. #20
    Senior Member datura1452's Avatar
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    Still my favourite.

  6. #21
    For me, it's a song about sexual abuse in the church. It's like a little threee part-play, sung in the voices of the young woman, the priest/vicar, and Saint Veronica who the woman had been imploring for support.
    It's sung by the woman looking back on her early life, and ends with the (painful, profound) realisation that recovery from abuse takes a lifetime.
    The narrative covers the covert nature of the abuse ("climb over the church wall"...so no one sees you come in), the cover story (feeding the koi in the pond), misogyny and the use of religious ideology to justify abuse ("your penance for the woman you'll become").

    I think that the "dream of dimensions, then cross through the veil to them" part could be about dissociation as a protective strategy, a way of trying to cope with trauma.

    I love this song. I think it's stunning, one of her best and most truly profound and meaningful.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksahara View Post
    For me, it's a song about sexual abuse in the church. It's like a little threee part-play, sung in the voices of the young woman, the priest/vicar, and Saint Veronica who the woman had been imploring for support.
    It's sung by the woman looking back on her early life, and ends with the (painful, profound) realisation that recovery from abuse takes a lifetime.
    The narrative covers the covert nature of the abuse ("climb over the church wall"...so no one sees you come in), the cover story (feeding the koi in the pond), misogyny and the use of religious ideology to justify abuse ("your penance for the woman you'll become").

    I think that the "dream of dimensions, then cross through the veil to them" part could be about dissociation as a protective strategy, a way of trying to cope with trauma.

    I love this song. I think it's stunning, one of her best and most truly profound and meaningful.
    This is how it strikes me as well. It's such a simple song musically, but the lyrics are quite emotionally devastating.

  8. #23
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    I was waiting for this one to hit me, and today it did. I burst into tears at the "only when you're whole can you forgive" line. I've been coming to terms with my own childhood and abuse, and I think something in my brain wouldn't allow this one in until I was ready.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I was waiting for this one to hit me, and today it did. I burst into tears at the "only when you're whole can you forgive" line. I've been coming to terms with my own childhood and abuse, and I think something in my brain wouldn't allow this one in until I was ready.
    That's basically what happened to me with this song as well, it took a few days and then it just sank in deep. I also think perhaps I was semi-subconsciously not letting it in at first. The resonances with my own experience are really hitting me emotionally at the moment, even to the pleading to St. Veronica for help - she was my favourite saint in my Catholic childhood, and I did just that more than once. Looking back on that now as a middle aged woman, at a time when I'm realising the toll my young life took on me for decades, is sobering.

    I honestly don't know how Tori does this, turns these things into song.

  10. #25
    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    For me this song is about looking back in middle-age at the young woman I once was. I took so much emotional abuse from men I loved and there were times when I spoke out about things that later came back to haunt me. For a long time I was looking for someone or something to rescue me from my loneliness and it's only been in the last few years that I've realized that it is up to me to "save" myself.

  11. #26
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by another light View Post
    That's basically what happened to me with this song as well, it took a few days and then it just sank in deep. I also think perhaps I was semi-subconsciously not letting it in at first. The resonances with my own experience are really hitting me emotionally at the moment, even to the pleading to St. Veronica for help - she was my favourite saint in my Catholic childhood, and I did just that more than once. Looking back on that now as a middle aged woman, at a time when I'm realising the toll my young life took on me for decades, is sobering.

    I honestly don't know how Tori does this, turns these things into song.
    Yup. My mind wouldn't let me absorb it. But then all of a sudden I was bawling on the subway . And yes, having to come to terms with your own abuse is absolutely the penance for the woman you'll become. For damn sure. When I think of how much it held me back I could scream.

  12. #27
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    My partner is really into this song and keeps asking for it. He connects with it more than I do. I think it is beautiful but it has not hit me as much as some of the other songs have yet.

    Him: "Can you play that song that I think should have been the first single and you say all the Tori fans like?"
    Me: "Climb?"
    Him: "Yes, yes!"

    Also - the Climb photo in the artwork is one of my favourites. Just gorgeous. And the knives / arms up pose may fit with the sexual abuse interpretation blacksahara made earlier in this thread.

    Last edited by Beelust; 09-14-2017 at 03:50 AM.
    Robbing the muse...

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kala View Post
    For me this song is about looking back in middle-age at the young woman I once was. I took so much emotional abuse from men I loved and there were times when I spoke out about things that later came back to haunt me. For a long time I was looking for someone or something to rescue me from my loneliness and it's only been in the last few years that I've realized that it is up to me to "save" myself.
    The idea of there being consequences of speaking out about things that need addressing is central to this song, and something I think perhaps only hits you with its full weight at a certain point in life. This is true in a variety of contexts - in our personal experiences of abuse of power in relationships, and the wider political implications of abuse of power on a huge scale. Speaking truth to the false reality has never been more crucial, but it always has a cost.

    The empowering aspect is in the last stanza - 'Climb out of the belly of the beast, become a witness out of the abyss.' In the end, if you can find the strength to do that, you have prevailed. You've paid the price, but survived. You have an understanding of truth that can sustain you in your own life and be passed on to help others.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Yup. My mind wouldn't let me absorb it. But then all of a sudden I was bawling on the subway . And yes, having to come to terms with your own abuse is absolutely the penance for the woman you'll become. For damn sure. When I think of how much it held me back I could scream.
    This is one of the toughest things to come to terms with I think, the sense of what you and your life might have been if you hadn't had to deal with all of that. It can still get me some days. If I'm feeling stronger, I quiet myself with the possibility that maybe, just maybe, I have a degree of understanding and empathy I would not possess if I hadn't experienced that struggle. This is some comfort in a world and a time that is not exactly abundant in those qualities.

    I do think this is a central tenet of Tori's work, which is the reason it drew me in the first place. 'Climb' is like a distillation of what she's been saying in many different ways since the beginning.

  15. #30
    Queen of Spades Alamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I was waiting for this one to hit me, and today it did. I burst into tears at the "only when you're whole can you forgive" line. I've been coming to terms with my own childhood and abuse, and I think something in my brain wouldn't allow this one in until I was ready.

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