I feel like the word reel occurs often in Irish folk songs. Does it refer to turning around as in dancing? Is there used the same meaning as in There's a reason?

So let that feeling

Grap you deep inside

And send you reeling

Where your love can't hide

And then go stealing

Through the summer nights

With your lover

Naturally, I would assume it refers to opening to the world (like a string reels off a reel).


closed as off-topic by choster, ColleenV Jan 12 '18 at 16:03

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  • 1
    Your natural assumption is based on incomplete knowledge of the word reel, which exists both as a noun and as a verb. You should really have looked this word up in a couple of good dictionaries first. A punch in the jaw can send you reeling. Too much strong drink can send you reeling. Love can send you reeling. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 12 '18 at 11:45

A reel is an Irish (or Scottish) folk dance that is danced to music with the same name, which is why you hear it often when listening to folk songs.

To reel is to stagger, feel unstable or intoxicated. It is used in the lyrics to describe the feeling of love.

  • and of other intoxicants. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 12 '18 at 11:41
  • In context of the song? I'm not in the position to listen to it right now. – Lars Mekes Jan 12 '18 at 11:42
  • I meant "the lyrics of Irish folk songs" generally. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 12 '18 at 11:47

"To send you reeling" in those lyrics refers to the giddy/crazy feeling you get when you are in love. Reeling is being used figuratively in the sense of whirling. In other contexts it can refer to a feeling of dizziness, shock, bewilderment, confusion, disarray, physically/mentally staggering

Other examples:

I was sent reeling by her admission of guilt.

My mind was sent reeling when the doctor revealed I had a terminal illness.

The government was sent reeling after the scandal was reported in the media.

The other meaning of reel which you alluded to, is a kind of dance popular in Scotland and Ireland. The dance originated in Scotland. The noun is derived from the verb to reel, in the sense of whirling/spinning.

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