Song Analysis – Hello Hurricane – Switchfoot

[Hello Hurricane strikes me as an ironic title. Most people respond to natural disasters with fear. Few would have the courage to stand up to a hurricane and greet it. Critics disagree about whether Switchfoot is a Christian band, an alternative band, or both.]

Oh, I’ve been watching the skies

They’ve been turning blood red

Not a doubt in my mind anymore

There’s a storm up ahead

[Red skies are a bad omen, a portent of doom. We usually doubt signs of  what may happen in the future, like clouds suggesting a storm. I have often seen clouds and thought a storm was coming, but then no storm comes. Here the speaker emphatically states that he has no doubt. Storms symbolize conflict, change, and strong emotions. Think of a stormy relationship, a political tidal wave, or a person storming out of a room.]

Hello hurricane

You’re not enough

Hello hurricane

You can’t silence my love

I’ve got doors and windows boarded up

All your dead end fury is not enough

You can’t silence my love

Oh (my love)

[The speaker treats the hurricane like a disliked relative. He says, “Hello” but quickly recites the reasons why he loathes it. But the hurricane isn’t a real hurricane but instead a conflict or a surge of emotion. The line, “You’re not enough,” is bold and powerful. What if we could say to our problems, our diseases, “You’re not enough to scare me. You’re not enough to change my mind. You’re not enough to turn me into a different person.”? He tells the hurricane that it can’t silence his love. Imagine the sound intensity of a hurricane. His love is louder than that. The version of the lyrics I have says “dead end fury,” yet when I hear the song, I think I hear, “damned fury.” If it’s “dead end fury,” he’s suggesting that the fury of the storm has no effect on him. If it’s “damned fury,” he’s highlighting his anger at the storm. ]

Everything I have I count as loss

Everything I have is stripped away

Before I started building

I counted up these costs

There’s nothing left for you to take away

[This section might mean the speaker doesn’t value material things. Or it might mean that he thinks he must atone for whatever he owns, so each item represents a loss. He implies that he has already unloaded whatever he has, so this storm can’t take anything away from him. If we look at our possessions as losses, we can liberate ourselves from some of the pain of disasters.]

Hello hurricane

You’re not enough

Hello hurricane

You can’t silence my love

I’ve got doors and windows boarded up

All your dead end fury is not enough

You can’t silence my love

My love

I’m a fighter fighting for control

I’m a fighter fighting for my soul

Everything inside of me surrenders

You can’t silence my love

[This is the last new part of the lyrics. He calls himself a “fighter.” I envision a man with a powerful rifle, but one could just as easily picture a boxer in the ring. It’s a flexible word. He says he’s fighting for his soul. This implies the storm is a conflict within himself. “Surrender” is quite interesting here because there’s a duality, perhaps even a paradox here. When a fighter surrenders, it means he’s lost. But in matters of the soul, “surrender” can denote victory. Surrendering to God means overcoming the desires that corrupt a person. The speaker elegantly presents surrender and love as a two-part solution to the storms within.]

Hello hurricane

You’re not enough

Hello hurricane

You can’t silence my love

I’ve got doors and windows boarded up

All your dead end fury is not enough

You can’t silence my love

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  1. #1 by Saladin on July 11, 2010 - 11:27 pm

    Heh. I remember when Hurricane Eva hit Hawai’i when I was a kid. I raced down to the beach, despite the tremendous winds, and bodysurfed in the enormous waves. I wasn’t afraid…I was a part of that storm for that moment. It was beautiful. I like that your post is about overcoming that power with submission and faith. Powerful.

  2. #2 by KimSBock on July 13, 2010 - 9:29 pm

    I needed this. Thank you Asad.

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