By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Last year, before Passion Pit exploded, I was lucky enough to be a part of their music video for The Reeling. It was a fun shoot and the guys could not have been more down to earth. Now the boys (after being nominated for a MTV VMA last year) are back with a new video for the feel-good Little Secrets, which features the amazing voices from the kids at PS22 Chorus.

Above: Myself (with friend) & Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit

Many have wondered the meaning behind Little Secrets. Some say drugs — but I highly doubt this theory, because the kids who sang on this track are 5th graders and no school would want a possible backlash with regards to their students lending their voices for a song covering the topic of hard candy. As far as I know, Passion Pit has not explained the story behind this song, but here’s an opinion I agree with the most, posted by flakeytoday at

This song is about the healing from childhood sexual abuse.

The first verse refers to what happens when you recognize the pain (“salty wounds”) and what was stolen from you (gold in Emperor’s tomb), and while to cope with the abuse you had a mind out of body experience, but in healing you “come down”.

The next few verses are about this knowledge and that you’re not “ugly”, and understanding the “neighborhood’s disgrace” of expressing this knowledge then recognizing the “confines of this chemistry” or that you just can’t tell everybody.

So when you do tell somebody, it’s your “little secret” (next verse and song title). Yet, when you tell someone, there is elation, freedom felt; higher and higher and higher. Notice this chorus is sung by children.

The next two verses are about the sense of being alive and happy, symbolized by the light references “halogen”.

The next verse relates to empowerment: “so goddam strong”, and frustration of “taking so damn long” to understand what the abuser did: “he tried to squeeze the lemon juice to rain”.

The next verses are about judgement: “friends complain you’ve caused all this pain and you proudly shame your whole family’s name”. Mother’s reaction is staring at the ceiling.

But in the end you rise above climbing higher and higher…

What is your interpretation of Little Secrets?

Check out the video, directed by Timothy Saccenti, below.


  • [...] Here’s a nice cover to make your Friday even better! BTB Fav’s and pop-darlings Passion Pit have covered Smashing Pumpkins 90’s ballad Tonight, Tonight, and let’s just say, they smashed [...]

  • kw cali:

    jealous you got to meet the lead singer !

  • [...] [Related Post: Passion Pit Drops 'Little Secrets'] [...]

  • [...] [Related Post: Passion Pit Drops 'Little Secrets'] [...]

  • Garmin:

    Yay google is my queen, helped me to find this great website!

  • jukai:

    It’s heroin. He mentions lemon juice. It couldn’t be more obvious. I don’t get the 5th grader angle. It’s better for them to sing about molestation rather than drugs?

  • [...] [Related Post: Passion Pit Drops 'Little Secrets'] [...]

  • Jon:

    I was actually bummed when i saw the video for this.. you say.. “Passion Pit has not explained the story behind this song” and I doubt they ever will. interpret it for yourself and leave it at that. Maybe I’m just a junkie.. but every line says heroin to me.

  • eon:

    i totally agree that it’s heroin, feverish need, lemon juice, higher and higher, hit the mark/staring at the dark/people staring at my scars, anyone who has or knows someone that’s been through that doesn’t need an overextended metaphor to relate.

    also, i couldn’t help but notice this guy posting this link on the songmeanings entry “uhh hay guyis this articl wil expln it all!!1″.. when the whole article is based on someone else’s songmeanings comment..

  • ithinkabouttrees:

    I feel that it’s pretty much about coming out of the closet. “Painting Rainbows across my ugly face against this cardboard neighborhood’s disgrace” can be seen as going against the mold of the non-progressive neighborhood and embracing the rainbow. “Within the confines of such chemistry” can be seen as a blow to the old argument that being gay goes against human nature and chemistry. “But I feel alive and I feel it in me” talks about how even though he will hide it and people don’t want to see him this way, he still knows who he is on the inside.

    “Oh have you ever felt so goddamn strong, how come it takes some people so damn long” talks about how he feels good about the way he is, but he doesn’t understand why others take so long to accept him even though he himself is happy about it. “Watch the basin drain as your life lines wane and you can’t explain as your friends complain you’ve caused all this pain and you proudly shame your whole families name” remarks how he is losing a lot being this way. His family and friends don’t like the fact that he is gay, but he doesn’t care what they think.

    “Mother I can tell what you’ve been thinking staring at the stars on your ceiling thinking once there was a power that you were wielding” has a line about the stars on her ceiling, which can be seen as a symbol for the plastic stars on kids ceilings, and how she feels she has lost her son. She doesn’t know where she went wrong.

    So yeah, that’s my take on it.

  • conehead15:

    I do feel that this song has references to empowerment. However I also believe that this feeling of empowerment comes thru a breakthrough from addiction to something. Doesnt have to be drugs. The fact that 5th graders sing the chorus wouldnt rule out the context of possible sinister events, after all they do use words like goddamn and damn. So the reference to it not being about drugs cant be ruled out completely. It starts with a down trodden lifestlye that comes thru a bout with addiction or some type of negative event, then the song progresses into a more aleviated feeling, replacing a false high with a natural high and realizing past short comings are necessary to a more stable and serene present and future.

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