Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine

The problems from earlier are the horse — she’s had enough of it. She’s going to move on from her problems and put to rest her regrets, or metaphorically speaking, kill the horse and bury it.

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September 14th, 2013

Another twisted cliche. The saying goes “bury the hatchet.” Here she’s burying the horse she’s been dragging around. She’s going to bury all her mistakes and forget about them.

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I'm always dragging that horse around Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine

Her problems are like an old horse that cling onto her, dragging her down as she tries to move on

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Mea
February 7th, 2014

I think when she sings “I’m always dragging that horse around” It comes from the phrase “beating the dead horse with a stick”. She is saying that she has all of these regrets that she has been carrying around with her and eating them constantly affect her. Like she is carrying baggage around.

September 14th, 2013

This is one of a few twisted cliches in the song. It’s usually “wild horses could not drag me away” but instead it’s her dragging the horse(s) i.e. the past, her demons, her mistakes.

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He don't do half what he say D.S. by Michael Jackson

He’s very deceitful — he’s lying about what he’s doing, he has a hidden agenda. Likewise, he can never complete anything, while Michael always does. He claims success without any of the work.

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I bet he missioned with the CIA D.S. by Michael Jackson

This sneaky man is part actually part of the CIA, an independent civilian surveillance company. He’s watching to find any dirt that he can exploit

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As he came into the window, it was the sound of a crescendo Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson

The entry through the window was the first move in an increasingly dangerous move. The crescendo here is the criminal’s attack — it starts off quietly but will end deadly.

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They'll kick you, then they beat you
Then they'll tell you it's fair
Beat it by Michael Jackson

These people/gangs will hurt you badly and get away with it because they make the rules — they run the streets.

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March 9th, 2013

They’ll kick you and **they’ll beat you

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It's always darkest before the dawn Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine

Referring to the fact that dawn comes after the darkest night sky — as light breaks from this darkness, so can happiness come through sorrow.

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And every demon wants his pound of flesh Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine

These many demons she has to face up to are rutheless in their demands. The wager suggested refers to this — it originates from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. The insistence by Shylock of the payment of Antonio’s flesh is the central plot device of the play.

In an interview with Chelsea Handler, Florence talks about how song-writing is exorcising the “demons of the night before”, and the “pound of flesh” reference is the offering of a song to the demon.

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And all of the ghouls come out to play Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine

All of her horrors have returned to her, adding to to the problems she faces.

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Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out
Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa
Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine

Two meaning are present:

  1. Shaking the devils of regrets off her back. It’s a metaphor for moving on and letting go of her past problems.
  2. Literally, this refers to “shaking out” the sluggish feeling of a hangover; Florence was in a hangover when writing this song.

What matters here is the metaphorical meaning. It’s a simple, inspirational phrase. Dance with them, not for them. Shake off your regrets and dance!

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