A Completely Unnecessary Analysis of Human by Christina Perri

I tried.

I really did. 

I tried so hard to think about other songs to dissect and deconstruct that were not sung by Christina Perri. I really did.

My last analysis was one of her songs as well, so I was really bound and determined to find some other singer/songwriter to assail this time around. I searched through my catalog of music, I listened to random stations on Pandora and Spotify, even ventured into over the air stations. (The things I do for you guys... sheesh.) But it all came back to poor Christina. If it means anything to you, I am sorry. I really do enjoy your voice and skill... but my mind just... well... it's gonna do what it's gonna do. 

So with that half-hearted pre-apology I present another entry in my Completely Unnecessary Analysis series of blog posts. 

This particular entry came about while I was driving, as many of my more interesting thoughts seem to do. 

Unlike the previous song, "A Thousand Years," this particular ditty does not claim to be written about or in a fictitious world where regular rules don't apply. No 1000 year love affairs here. However, in this song Ms. Perri talks about things pertaining to the state of her health... apparently. Let's start with the first words, as they give us our first glimpse into her mental and physical state. 

The name of the song is Human and here is the video for you to play and follow along if you so choose:


I can hold my breath
I can bite my tongue
I can stay awake for days
If that's what you want

The first two, ok. Whatever. Who can't do those things? A 2 year old can hold their breath and whether you're talking about actually biting your tongue (ow) or just keeping in the words you actually want to say, those aren't difficult. I bite my tongue every now and again just chewing food, because my teeth sometimes have difficulty discerning the difference between food and the tongue it's been sharing a living space with for a few decades. I also know when to bite my tongue metaphorically, because I work. I work with other people. If I didn't bite my tongue I wouldn't have a job. Or friends. Or family that talks to me.

Then the interesting lines begin. 

I can stay awake for days
If that's what you want

You... you can? You can stay awake for days? How many days are we talking here? 2? 4? A week? On that same note, why would I want you to do that? Are we on watch? Do we live in a reality where someone has to be alert and awake at all times like a zombie apocalypse? Are there aliens waiting for that moment when we fall asleep to do unspeakable things to us? Primarily and most likely to our butts?

If so, then yes I do want you to stay awake for days if you can. She's saying she can do that if that's what I want. So in the case of a worldwide invasion, I want Christina Perri on my patrol. No question. The first two lines actually make more sense now because if in all actuality we are fending off an attack of some kind, then yeah you better be able to hold your breath. What if they come at us like interplanetary bros and we have to duck under the water to survive? Everybody knows aliens can't handle water (spoiler alert!) because M. Night Shayamalan's Signs told us so. 

Awesome. Now we are getting somewhere! So she can hold her breath for underwater escape tactics, she can stay awake for days, and she knows when to keep quiet to avoid detection. Let's see what other skills she has to help us during the invasion!

Be your number one
I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part
If that's what you ask
Give you all I am

Clearly she's saying she is excellent at espionage. There's no two ways about it. She can be my number one, my go to person for all things stealthy. Fake smiles, fake laughs, even some dancing! That's all super important spy stuff! Ever since True Lies, the 1994 James Cameron/Arnold Schwarzenegger/Jamie Lee Curtis spy epic, everyone knows that you can't do spy things properly unless you know how to do a mean Tango. I bet Christina can Tango. Coincidence? No. Not a coincidence. This song is practically her resume!  She even repeats the mantra three times: I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT! She's begging to be considered for a job as an international woman of mystery! Am I the only one that sees this?! *sigh* Moving on...

But I'm only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I'm only human
And I crash and I break down

Hmmm... odd thing to put on a resume. Or is it? 

She seems to be talking all about her awesomeness and then this. She's only human and she bleeds when she falls down. Wait, what? She says she's only human, but why would you say that? Why assert that you're a human when everyone already knows that you are? Particularly if you're claiming to be a bleeder. Then it gets weird. After asserting, once again, that she's just a human she mentions crashing and breaking down. Why? She makes no mention of a car or other conveyance that would signify her ability to "crash" or "break down." I don't get it. Honestly, these are terrible things to put as special skills on your spy resume but whatever. Let's see what else we can find in this enigma of a pop song. 

Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
I'm only human, yeah

My words in your head? My knives in her heart? Why would my words be in her head and then my knives in her heart... No way! Wait... SHUT UP!


Look at the facts! My words in her head because robots only say what you program them to say. If I tell my robot (that looks like Perri) to say she'll wait for me a thousand years then that's what she is going to say. She's a DAMN robot who carries Government Issue knives in her special heart knife compartment! That's a perfect plan! She's pretty, she can dance, and she clearly sings well, so you tell me: what guy (her target) is going to be able to resist her wiles?! NOW IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE!!

  • She can stay awake for DAYS because she doesn't need to sleep: Typical of a robot.
  • She can hold her breath. Of course she can. Robots don't need to breathe. 
  • She can bite her tongue... okay that's not real robot-y.
  • She can totally fake emotions because her non-verbal cues to signify her fibbing do not exist: because she's a robot.
  • She crashes, she breaks down, she had knives in her heart-shaped knife-box and she'll say whatever you want her to because you program her to say it!
  • She says I build her up and she falls apart... you know who else gets built and can be taken apart? Yep. You guessed it. Robots.

I don't even know if there is any reason to go on. I think the meaning of this song becomes clear once you really listen to it. But I feel there may be some doubters still in the wings, unconvinced. I submit to you unbelievers the definitive proof:

I can turn it on
Be a good machine
I can hold the weight of worlds
If that's what you need


She's said it loud and clear! She can be a good machine! She can hold the weight of friggin' WORLDS! No mere human can do that. She's a machine. Plain and simple. 

The song Human is Christina Perri's covert admission to the world that she is indeed an android secret agent who is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the survival of her Human creators. The title isn't so much a title as the opening to a very formal letter to the human race.

Human. I will protect you. There will be no zombies that can escape my all-seeing digital eyes. There will be no alien forces landing and having their way with your delicate race (or it's anal cavity.) You are safe, Human. Because I, Christina Perri, am on guard.