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To Be Human
Love
Artist MARINA
Album LOVE + FEAR
Type Single
Released April 4th, 2019
Recorded 2017 - 2018
Genre Indie pop • baroque pop • electro
Length 4:06
Label Atlantic Records
Format Digital download, CD (with album), vinyl (with album)
Writer(s) Marina Diamandis
Producer(s) Joel Little
LOVE + FEAR track listing
"To Be Human" is track number 7 on LOVE and the 7th track on the album.
Previous track
"True"
Next track
"End of the Earth"

"To Be Human" (also referred to as simply "Human") was written by Welsh singer-songwriter MARINA and is about a desire for unity.[1] It is the seventh track from her fourth studio album, LOVE + FEAR, and was released with the rest of the "LOVE" side on April 4 2019.

It served as the fourth single from the album, as a music video was released on April 8th, 2019.

Background

Lyrics from the first verse were included in Marina's Heals Space exhibition in September 2018.[2]

On March 27th 2019, Marina posted a short clip of the song to Instagram. [3] She posted a second snippet the next day containing lyrics from the chorus. [4]

The instrumental was leaked by DiamondGarden[5] on the 10th of April 2019.

At some point, To Be Human was re-registered under a separate ISWC number on BMI's repertoire. One version lists Joel Little as a co-writer, while one does not.[6][7]

During her livestream on Bose's Instagram, on 10 April 2020, Marina played an acoustic rendition of the song.[8]

Meaning

Marina has said that "[To Be Human] is probably the most important song on this record for me because thematically it sums up the head-space where I've come from in the past three years. I think the subject matter is really important, it talks about unity. I name check a lot of places all around the world, São Paulo, Verona, Angola, Chicago, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Greece. And I think when I was writing that what I was trying to do was create this picture of humanity because in our political climate we are constantly being made to see other people as "other", like if you're from a different culture you are seen as different and potentially dangerous and I really hate that, I really think that's a sad way to see humanity. So, I wrote this song thinking about that and for that reason it really forms a core part of the record."[9]

She also said “[To Be Human] is my favourite track on LOVE. It solved a big subject that I was trying to get my head around. Again, going back to that chapter where I didn’t understand life, what I should be doing in it and what my purpose was anymore. And this song tool ages to write, actually. Like, four months between writing the verse and the chorus. I just didn’t know what I was trying to say. I was just trying to paint a picture and show that we all very similar but we’re living in a political time where we’re actually being divided constantly, every day. I’m so pained by that. I think it’s an awful way to look at humanity.”[10]

"Thematically, ‘To Be Human’ sums up the head space that I’ve come from in the past three years” Marina explains. “The subject matter is really important. I talk about unity, name checking a lot of places around the world to create this picture of humanity because in our current political climate we are constantly being made to see different people as ‘other’ and I hate that.”[11]

On May 8, 2019, the popular song lyric website Genius released an interview video with Marina in which she discusses the meaning of the song.

MARINA - "To Be Human" Official Lyrics & Meaning

MARINA - "To Be Human" Official Lyrics & Meaning

Videos

Official music video

Music Video Information
MARINA - To Be Human -Official Music Video-

MARINA - To Be Human -Official Music Video-

Premiere April 8, 2019
Filmed TBA
Director Anna Patarakina
Producer TBA
Production co TBA
Exec. producer TBA
Editor Thomas Gold
Choreographer TBA
Length 4:05
Source

Official versions

  • Album version - 4:06
  • Instrumental version - 4:06

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
The pagodas and the palaces
Dressed in gold leaf, hide the damages
Spot the Geisha as she balances
Life’s a cakewalk, full of challenges

Go to Russia, see the Red Square
Lenin’s body lying dead there
From Kyoto, Hiroshima
Watch the black cloud crawling nearer

[Pre-Chorus]
There were riots in America
Just when things were getting better
All the things I’ve done and seen
Still I don’t what life means

[Chorus]
All the people living in
Living in the world today
We’re united by our love
We’re united by our pain (Ooh)
All the things that I’ve done and seen
Still I don’t know, don’t know what it means

[Verse 2]
Fly to Athens, pass the Parthenon
See the village where my father’s from
To Chicago from Angola
São Paulo to Verona

[Pre-Chorus]
And anywhere you go you see
People are just like you and me
All the things I’ve done and seen
Still I don’t what life means

[Chorus]
All the people living in
Living in the world today
We’re united by our love
We’re united by our pain (Ooh)
All the things I’ve done and seen
Still I don’t know, don’t know what it means

To be human
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Still I don’t know, don’t know what it means
To be human
A real human being

[Bridge]
I like to think about how we all look from afar
People driving fancy cars look like beetles to the stars
The missiles and the bombs sound like symphonies gone wrong
And if there is a God, he’ll know why it’s so hard

[Chorus]
To be human
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Still I don’t know, don’t know what it means
To be human
A real human being

[Outro]
(To be human)
I want connection, ooh
I want to feel human again
(To be human)
Lost my direction, ooh
I want to feel human again

To be human
To be human
To be human
To be human

Credits

Personnel

  • Marina Diamandis - Songwriting, Vocals, Backing vocals
  • Joel Little - Engineer, Keyboards, Percussion, Producer, Synthesizer, Drum Programmer
  • Niko Batistini - Mix Engineer Assistant
  • Geoff Swan - Mixer
  • Dave Kutch - Mastering

References

  1. http://press.atlanticrecords.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Marina-Love-Fear-Bio-2019.docx
  2. https://www.heals.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Marina_Diamandis_space-24-2100x1400-ec5f808d-f959-4a02-b810-9e55a061444e.jpg
  3. https://www.instagram.com/p/BvhrDYRBXmX/
  4. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvj-9QqhT8o/
  5. http://www.diamondgarden.net/topic/5002-love-instrumentals
  6. https://repertoire.bmi.com/DetailView.aspx?detail=titleid&keyid=30325241&ShowNbr=0&ShowSeqNbr=0&blnWriter=True&blnPublisher=True&blnArtist=True&blnAltTitles=True
  7. https://repertoire.bmi.com/DetailView.aspx?detail=titleid&keyid=29653894&ShowNbr=0&ShowSeqNbr=0&blnWriter=True&blnPublisher=True&blnArtist=True&blnAltTitles=True
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfrYHXqFTzg
  9. https://twitter.com/MarinaDiamandis/status/1114123614972981250
  10. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/love-fear/1451645560
  11. http://press.atlanticrecords.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Marina-To-Be-Human-Video-Release.docx
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