Smoke and Mirrors- Is it All What it Seems?

Smoke and Mirrors is a song off of Gotye’s Making Mirrors album, glorious album, by the way. The song in question has a sound similar to that of lounge music and, although it may seem straightforward, could it be hiding something in plain sight? What if the song is more than meets the eye? Autobots, Roll Out!


You’re a fraud and you know it
But it’s too good to throw it all away
Anyone would do the same
You’ve got ’em going
And you’re careful not to show it
Sometimes you even fool yourself a bit
It’s like magic
But it’s always been a smoke and mirrors game
Anyone would do the same

So now that you’ve arrived well you wonder
What is it that you’ve done to make the grade
And should you do the same?
(Is that too easy?)
Are you only trying to please them
(Will they see then?)
You’re desperate to deliver
Anything that could give you
A sense of reassurance
When you look in the mirror

Such highs and lows
You put on quite a show
All these highs and lows
And you’re never really sure
What you do it for
Well do you even want to know?
You put on quite a show

(Mother)
Are you watching?
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)

You’re a fraud and you know it
And every night and day you take the stage
And it always entertains
You’re giving pleasure
And that’s admirable, you tell yourself
And so you’d gladly sell yourself
To others

(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?
(Mother)
Are you watching?

Such highs and lows
You put on quite a show
All these highs and lows
And you’re never really sure
What you do it for
Well do you even want to know?
Yeah you put on quite a show


I’m changing up my style to see what fits, so tell me in the comments if you like the Benson Hedges format more, or this one, thank you!


The term “Smoke and Mirrors” Holds a facade, a false face with real things happening behind the screen.

The first line addresses “you” as someone who is a fraud, and you know it, but it’s too good to throw it all away (Lines 1 and 2). This makes whatever “You” are doing seem reprihensable, but perhaps it’s your only option with the line anyone would do the same (Line 3) signifying that you may not have many other shots, anyone would do the same in your position. You’ve got ’em going, and you’re careful not to show it, sometimes you even fool yourself a bit (Lines 4-6). You live a terrible life, but you’re trying to do something to make it better, you sometimes even fool yourself into thinking it’s all good. It’s like magic, but it’s always been a smoke an mirrors game, anyone would do the same (Lines 7-9). You switch your demeanor at the drop of a hat, going from a miserable woman to someone that people can watch,hiding yourself for the sake of others, and, hopefully, anyone else would do the same.

So, now that you arrive, well, you wonder what it is that you’ve done to make the grade, and should you do the same (Lines 10-12)? You question what led to this point, and if you should continue, or try something else. Is that to easy? Are you only trying to please them? Will they see, then, you’re desperate to deliver anything that could give you a sense of reassurance, when you look in the mirror(Lines 13-19)? You look at yourself, what you’ve become, but you know it’s for the best, and that this is the best way to help. You set up an illusion that it’s all good, perfect, but that facade is worse than unsound.

Such highs and lows, well, you put on quite a show, but you’re never really sure what you do it for. Do you even want to know? Well, you put on quite a show (Lines 20-26). You’re sometimes confused about what you do this for, you question if it’s the wrong thing for the right reasons, or if you should give up from the start.

Mother, Are you watching? Are you watching, mother? Are you watching(Lines 27-32)?  You are shown to refer to the speaker’s mother, which brings a whole new layer into this.

You’re a fraud, and you know it. Every night and day, you take the stage(Lines 33-34). Every night and day you demean yourself, you do something terrible for the right reasons, look on the bright side, It always entertains (Line 35). You’re giving pleasure, and that’s admirable, you tell yourself, and so you gladly sell yourself to others (Lines 36-39). You’re admirable, working such a disgraceful job so that your children can live. Your job is demeaning to you, perhaps it’s at a strip club and you are a very modest woman. Or maybe, it’s having to leave your children that’s the real smoke and mirrors.

Mother, Are you watching? Are you watching, mother? Are you watching(Lines 27-32)? You don’t pay enough attention to your beloved children. Oh, if only you could tell them what’s happening, and tell them what you’d do for them and are doing for them.

Such highs and lows, well you put on quite a show (Lines 48-49). You still pretend to be happy, to do whatever it takes to keep your family alive. All these highs and lows, and you’re never really sure what you do it for. Do you even want to know? Yeah. You put on quite a show (Lines 50-54). You sometimes forget who you do it for, but you’ll never give up, because you’ve gotten this far, so go, put on that show.

Mother is a person not worried about her own troubles and struggles, only worrying about others, and doing whatever it takes to keep her loved ones with her.


What do you guys think? Am I right? Or am I all Smoke and Mirrors? Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think.


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