Basket Case

Album: Kaleidoscope Heart (2010)
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Songfacts®:

  • This track finds Bareilles talking directly to a guy, telling him that without him she is "just a basket case." Bareilles wrote this song for a man she used to work with. She said on a Reddit AMA: "I was broken hearted when we parted ways. It wasn't romantic love, but it was love."
  • A basket case is a person or thing regarded as useless or unable to cope. The term originated from World War I, indicating a soldier who had lost all four limbs and needed to be literally carried around in a litter or "basket." The image is of someone unable to support themselves physically.
  • A couple of other songs where the emotionally crippled singer refers to themselves as a "basket case" are:

    "Basket Case" by Green Day (About the various panic disorders lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong suffered from while he was growing up)

    "Cellophane" by Sia (Sia references her inability to deal with the pressures of the music industry by calling herself a "basket case" and comparing herself to a basket wrapped in cellophane.)

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