From the ear to the heart: Florence + The Machine

All of Florence + The Machine’s songs are perfect, but here’s my favorite, Never Let Me Go. Written by Florence Welch, Paul Epworth and Tom Harpoon, the  song is the third song off of Florence + The Machine’s second studio album, Ceremonial, released in 2011. The song speaks of succumbing to (or maybe being overwhelmed by) an emotion, perhaps passion, love or depression.

The best thing is, not only is Florence an amazing singer, her lyrics are incredibly deep, and even her MVs are so meaningful!

Florence Welch has such a powerful voice, and her ballads truly speak to the soul. Take a listen yourself (and if you have time, check out Cosmic Love, too; it’s another one of my favorite by F+tM).

Looking up from underneath
Fractured moonlight on the sea
Reflections still look the same to me
As before I went under

And it’s peaceful in the deep
‘Cause either way you cannot breathe
No need to pray, no need to speak
Now I am under

Oh, and it’s breaking over me
A thousand miles out to the sea bed
Found the place to rest my head

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me
And all this devotion was rushing over me
And the questions I have for a sinner like me
But the arms of the ocean deliver me

Though the pressure’s hard to take
It’s the only way I can escape
It seems a heavy choice to make
But now I am under, oh

And it’s breaking over me
A thousand miles down to the sea bed
I found the place to rest my head

(Never let me go, never let me go
Never let me go, never let me go)

And the arms of the ocean are carrying me
(So cold and so sweet)
And all this devotion was rushing out of me
And the questions I have for a sinner like me
But the arms of the ocean deliver me

And it’s over and I’m going under
But I’m not giving up
I’m just giving in

Oh, slipping underneath
So cold and so sweet

In the arms of the ocean, so sweet and so cold
And all this devotion, well, I never knew at all
And the questions I have for a sinner released
In the arms of the ocean deliver me

Deliver me

(Never let me go, never let me go
Never let me go, never let me go)
Never let me go, never let me go)

And it’s over
I’m going under
But I’m not giving up
I’m just giving in

Ah, slipping underneath
Wooh, so cold, but so sweet

It’s interesting to see how this song can be applied to such a wide range of feelings & emotions. On one hand, you can see it as one being drowned by love & passion. In a ironic way, the lyrics remind me of the original Little Mermaid (the one where she dies at the end); the Little Mermaid “[looks] up from underneath the fractured moonlight on the sea,” dreaming about becoming human and falling in love with a prince. But while Florence sings about falling into the arms of the ocean, the Little Mermaid falls into the arms of the land, praying for it (and the prince) to “never let [her] go.” But nevertheless, the prince fails to choose her as his bride, and now “it’s over and I’m going under; I’m not giving up; I’m just giving in.” As she turns into sea foam, she returns into ” the arms of the ocean, so sweet and so cold/And all this devotion, well, I never knew at all /And the questions I have for a sinner released/In the arms of the ocean /deliver me.”

It’s so beautiful, this song, but on the other hand (especially if you look at the music video), it can also describe sinking into depression. In regards to Virginia Woolf’s death, this song seems to capture the final moments of her life, sinking underneath the waves. “The  the pressure’s hard to take/It’s the only way I can escape/It seems a heavy choice to make…A thousand miles down to the sea bed/I found the place to rest my head.” And if you read the final note Woolf wrote to her husband, the song is even more applicable and beautiful. (Here’s the note: Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time… You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came…What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that—everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.“)

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12 thoughts on “From the ear to the heart: Florence + The Machine

  1. radiantandreceptive says:

    I seriously love this song so much. It reminds me of a special person in my life who I haven’t seen/spoken to in a long time. This post was a reminder for me of how important they are to me, so thank you for that! I think it is awesome that you made the connection with the little mermaid, I have never seen or thought of this song in that way, so that was very interesting to read! Honestly, this song makes me very emotional but I can’t really describe the feeling I get when I listen to it. This song is so ridiculously powerful and it just kind of makes me escape reality for a bit. I love Florence+The Machine and I loved reading this post as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. whatlifeimitates says:

    Florence+The Machine is one of my favorite musical groups, and Florence Welch as a vocalist is an extremely powerful and skilled artist. Her delivery of the song I think adds layers to the emotion within the song. At times, seeming desperate, other times loving, but always passionate. In a strange way, to me, the song seems religious, maybe not in a classical sense, but the recurring theme of “devotion” emotes a certain nuance.

    Liked by 1 person

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