I love it when songs have hidden meanings. It marks the domain of a really intelligent artist and that a lot of thought has been put into that song. The best hidden meanings are the ones that you never realised were there. For example, I have listened to Razorlight’s ‘In The Morning’ countless times and I have always thought of it as a happy song. It’s got a dancing beat and the song tells of someone having a night out, to celebrate their crazy youth. It was playing at work the other day and I was just at the till in the Co-Operative listening to it, when it hit me. This song isn’t about happy night outs at all; it’s about… Well, let’s refresh our memory first.
(Sorry, I posted the wrong link. Press the next button arrow twice to get to the third song.)
Initial thoughts? It is hardly a dark song right. It is about a guy reminiscing on his past “Remember when you were young, you would lose yourself” and then deciding to go out and have a crazy nights “not regretting a thing”. The song is about realising that you are so drunk and happy that “in the morning, you know he won’t remember a thing,” yet he still has absolutely no regrets, because he is taking control of his life and just having fun. It seems like a good enough message to call it quits. Live for the moment, enjoy the music and just be happy. Hell, it’s like the go-to moral for almost any musician out there. Razorlight probably just threw these lyrics together with the awesome music they just jammed too and then went home to get high over their BRIT awards.
What if I told you the song was about suicide?
It starts off like a man preparing himself mentally for the task of suicide. “I don’t know what I’ve been doing wrong, maybe I’ve been here too long.” It comes onto the next verse where “Last night was so much fun” and we assumed that this was the part, where he seized the day and took control of his life with some crazy partying. Well, what if he did take control, but he took control by ending his own life. There is an eerie excitement to the moment, as if the self-killer is amazed at the idea of committing suicide. He sees it as a night out and the thrill of making a change to his routine day is exhilarating. It makes the next line “but now you’re sheets are dirty” even eerier. We always thought that it was puke or urine, depending on how drunk this guy was. It could even be semen, if he happened to bump into the kind of girl that likes off-their-face drunk lads (the ladies from the Portsmouth area then). But now with a pained realisation, we realise he is talking about blood on his bed, from where he presumably put a gun into his own mouth and blew his brains out.
So of course ‘In the morning, he won’t remember a thing”, because he is dead. And in committing suicide, he has wiped all of his bitter memories and past from his mind and has found peace in the cold, silence of death. This is beginning to sound less like a happy rock song and more of a Edgar Allen Poe song. Or at very least, something by Lana Del Rey. The rest of the song isn’t explicity backing up this theory, but it still takes a dark route. It says that suicide “was not his fault; it’s a very dangerous age”, suggesting that was doomed to happen from the start. And this is the point of the song you cannot help but wonder how you ever thought this song was a happy one.
And the kicker is, the part of the song when it struck me that this was a song about suicide, was the lyric: “Are you really gonna do it this time?” Over and over again. His mind taunting him into taking that leap into the noose or the push of the trigger. It becomes a chilling chant, and as the music builds in the background, you realise that it is not the crescendo of a song drawing to its finale, but the dramatic orchestra of the final few moments of a man’s life. That final few rapid beats of the heart, as he goes through that brief burst of adrenaline. Suddenly, the moment that could have been the catchiest and best part of the song becomes a very uncomfortable watch.
Oops, did I just spoil that song for you? Can you still dance to that if it comes into the clubs? Will you call a counsellor for your friend if she tells you how much relates to this song? Stuff like this really fascinates me, as I am always stumped at how I missed this song. If anyone else has hidden meanings for songs, send me a comment. I love diving into them and finding new material in the same, old songs to keep them alive for a few months longer.