Suddenly I See


 KT Tunstall.

Adopted. Outsider. Half chinese, half Irish.

Told at 27 she was “too old” to be a rock star. 

10 years of singing in coffee shops, lovingly told to “get a real job” by her father.

Yet she persisted.

What do the words to this song mean to you?

“Suddenly I See”

Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she’s a beautiful girl
She’s a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

I feel like walking the world
Like walking the world
You can hear she’s a beautiful girl
She’s a beautiful girl
She fills up every corner like she’s born in black and white
Makes you feel warmer when you’re trying to remember
What you heard
She likes to leave you hanging on her word

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

And she’s taller than most
And she’s looking at me
I can see her eyes looking from a page in a magazine
Oh she makes me feel like I could be a tower
A big strong tower
She got the power to be
The power to give
The power to see

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
This is what I wanna be
Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)
Why the hell it means so much to me

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21 Responses to Suddenly I See

  1. hillary says:

    I love KT Tunstall dearly. I think she is amazing. with this song, i always thought the bridge, “She’s taller than most… The power to see,” seemed really out of place. That’s the only part that I’ve ever interpreted as having anything to do with actual looks or anything of the sort.

  2. Rachel says:

    She’s amazing. I’m checking the rest of her stuff out. Not only is she amazingly gorgeous, she’s got a nice groove going on.

    I can definitly identify with her lyrics. :-)

  3. Nats says:

    KT Tunstall is a wicked person! All her songs have relevence in some way or another.
    THis song I love, but it makes me realise I do not think anything like she does and nor do I see what she sees. I wish I did! I would be alot better off for it.

  4. Vanessa says:

    argh! how you’ve gone and got this pop song in my head. and it really isn’t my kind of music. why on earth did you call her a “rock” star? this ain’t rock, lady.

    i feel more empowered by songs about kicking ass and taking names. like “maybe vampires is a bit strong but..” by the arctic monkeys. THAT’s rock.

  5. mamavision says:

    Hi Rachel: It’s interesting that you say she is gorgeous, she says she always felt like she didn’t fit in anywhere because of her mixed background.

    I posted the lyrics for everyone to read. At first I was confused, like ‘what is she saying?’ But when you watch the video and listen you see she is saying she accepts herself, knows she is beautiful, and she will be a star regardless of others holding her back because she doesn’t fit their idea of a star.

    She’s got the power to be.
    The power to see.
    The power to give.

    These are the key lyrics for me. Self confidence, the ability to persevere through rejection….and for this community – the ability to see your own beauty and shine.


  6. mamavision says:

    Hi Vanessa: I agree, I generally go for the kickin ass type songs, not quite Arctic Monkeys level, but Public Enemy, Green Day, or have a listen to Sari, by Nellie McKay.

    Tell me your favorite song and I’ll post it along with a few others, this could be a fun voting thing we could do.


  7. I like that song. You listen to the crazy stuff, mama. Who knew you were a rocker chick!

    My favorite song: Love’s the Only House- Martina McBride.

  8. Vanessa says:

    favorite song? or favorite inspirational song?

    right now my favorite song is “riot van” by the arctic monkeys. that and the vampire song i mentioned which is both more rockin and more inspirational.

    but my favorite inspirational song is “empty cans” by the streets.

  9. Elle says:

    I need to rant. This is in somewhat response to the line “She’s taller than most” in this song.

    I’m 5′ 11″ and female. I am constantly reading lately that tall is a beauty ideal for women. When did this happen? Yes, models are tall, but they are also on paper or on runways and are rarely shown standing at full height next to a man. Models are tall mostly to accentuate how thin they are. Actresses are also examples of beauty ideals and most actresses are NOT 5′ 11″. Even if an actress is tall, every effort will be made to make her look shorter than the leading male. Women are not in any way expected to be tall (I understand this issue is far different for men) nor are they really desired to be tall. Women are traditionally expected to be shorter than men and to take up less space. A tall woman in everyday society is not wanted. She feels huge, unfeminine and out-of-place. Men are intimidated by her and don’t seriously pursue her, but she stands out and gets cat-calls from sexist pigs. She is seen more as an object than a person because her body is a constant focus. Models may be tall, but clothing sold in stores are not cut for tall women. Her pants will be too short and her sleeves never reach her wrist and shoe shopping is a humiliating experience.

    Just consider these things the next time you want to tell a taller woman she is LUCKY to be so tall. Just what is lucky about it? Oh, being objectified, having no clothes fit, and intimidating men from dating you is SOOO lucky.

    Just appreciate your height. I know I will get little to no sympathy because most women have been brainwashed into thinking tall women have it great. ::sigh::

  10. Elle says:

    Oh, I looove Nellie McKay. Also listen to her song “It’s a Pose”

  11. Josie says:

    I’ve only recently learnt about her, and damn i love her! (and not only cos she’s British!!! haha).
    I love that she’s all eco-friendly, loves her food (won’t conform to the skinny thing) and is so individual.

  12. Sarah says:

    i am too 5’11. i can say it is one of the FEW things i love about myself. but i’m also really into modelling. short girls can be pretty yes.. but tall girls just have something extra going on. i like it when guys are intimidated by me because it shows how not many they are!

  13. Elle says:

    Thank, Sarah, for totally undermining what I had to say. Not all tall women can be models. You are even luckier than the rest of us lucky tall women. I was often told I should model. Your comment makes me wonder how many tall woman are encouraged to model. I imagine many if not most are. This would make me believe even more that tall women are objectified more so than average height woman.

  14. Josie says:

    Elle – fantastic comment! I’m 6 feet tall, and so is my sister. Both of us have been told countless times we should model just because we’re tall (i’m not thin and neither of us are really pretty – we’re both gawky).
    Being tall is shit for all those reasons you’ve listed. Are there any advantages? I can reach the top shelf in the supermarket…whoopee..
    I’ve been turned down by guys (and vice versa) because i’m so tall. I’ve been teased about it constantly. People think i’m older and more confident and more sensible than i am. I just want to dissapear, but i’m a walking giantess.

  15. Katie says:

    Yay Elle! I’m 6’3”. In the real world it’s really hard being tall and female. Honestly, I think some of that even played in to my developing an ED.

    I don’t want to model or play basketball just because I’m tall. I really wish I was average height and I could just go out and buy clothes without having to order special size 14 shoes and 39” inseam pants online for more than everyone else pays.

    I HATE getting comments about my height. There are the model and basketball player comments, but I also get people staring and whispering when I walk down the halls at school. Today I heard a couple guys commenting “Whoa, that b**** is TALL!” as if I can’t hear because I’m so high up.

    Anyway, I could rant for a while, but yeah, being a tall female is SO not fun.

  16. Josie says:

    Katie – you have so much sympathy from me. Us 6ft and 5’11 girls have nothing to complain about in comparison really..

  17. Sass1948 says:

    hahahaha i didnt know u guys in the US new arctic monkeys! saw them live last yr! really good. but not as FABULOUS as PRINCE last in London wowee xxx

  18. Elle says:

    Agreed Josie. I don’t think I could possibly handle being any taller at all. I already wish I could just disappear most the time.

    I am thankful that I “only” wear a size 11 shoe. A size 10 would be alot easier to shop for, but a size 12 is pretty much impossible and I have no concept of what it would be like to shop for a size 14, so I count my blessings there. My mother is 6′ 1″ and honestly needs longer than the traditional 34″ tall inseam, but she never spends enough money on herself to get proper fitting pants.

    I think I have grown an unhealthy hatred for basketball because of all the times I get asked if I play it. I hated basketball ever since I was a little kid.

    I feel for you Katie.

  19. wow, i thought tall women would have more confidence. i guess it’s just another general misconseption we are brainwashed about. i hate to think that anyone would feel like a walking giant and just want to disapear. that’s heartbreaking. i felt sorry for myself when the song with lyrics ‘short people got…no reason to live’ came out. for the record, i love watching women, tall and short. i’m only 5’2 and sometimes in victoria’s secret or whereever i’ll see big undies and bras and think ‘whoever buys that must be a lot of woman’! and wish i could imagine being that big! enjoy you bod, it’s all we’ve got really!

  20. panda07 says:

    when i look at what she say`s about being taller
    “she`s taller than most
    she makes me feel i could a tower
    a big strong tower
    she has the power to be
    the power to give
    the power to see”
    This to me is all about personal growth.nothing to do with how tall someone is in height HaHa,sorry that made my laugh.
    Its all about having the courage,standing tall,knowing who you are.knowing our place in the world and being happy with it.

    “The people who surrond her feel the benefit of it
    it makes you calm
    she holds you captivated in her palm”
    to me is screams wisdom,at the start of the song when she sings that “her face is a map of the world” tells me that she has someone older,strong and wise to look up to.this is everything she would like to be…not what she already is.
    i dont see KT in this song,but someone insperational to her.someone she will/can learn from,to use her strengh to become a stronger person herself.

  21. jane says:

    are you implying or subliminally messaging the fact that it’s about anorexia? that us girls in the general public are looking up to all the skinny fashion models and we “suddenly see” that they’re what we want to be?

    because that’s not what the song is about. KT wrote this song with reference to HER idol Patti Smith who inspired her to become a singer. not an anorexic.

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