By: Gabriela Yareliz
Today’s song became Adele’s second number one in the U.S. “Someone Like You” hit the airwaves and stayed there on repeat. It’s one of the last songs on 21, and it makes sense. This song marks the end to the relationship the entire album talks about. The song serves almost as a punctuation mark.
About this song, Adele said, “When I was writing it, I was feeling pretty miserable and pretty lonely, which I guess kind of contradicts ‘Rolling in the Deep’. Whereas that was about me saying, ‘I’m going to be fine without you’, this is me on my knees really.” (Source)
Let’s take a look at the song, whose video just has her wandering the streets of Paris all sad.
“[…] ‘Someone like You,’ the stirring, somber closer in which Adele goes to visit a former love (with high hopes of a reconciliation), only to discover he has not only moved on with his life, but is in a much better place. And though she’s heartbroken, she puts on a brave face, stubbornly proclaiming she’ll find someone just like him, even if she knows that she never will. And that conclusion makes you ache not only because it’s so daunting, but because it’s so real. We’ve all felt that way, tried to trick ourselves into thinking that any other outcome was possible. In Adele’s music, much like life, there are no happy endings.”James Montgomery of MTV News talking about “Someone like You”
/I heard that you’re settled down
That you found a girl and you’re married now
I heard that your dreams came true
Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you/
Adele was in a relationship with a man she thought she was going to marry, and then, he broke up with her, and shortly after, she found out he was engaged. (Source) Then, she wrote this song. I won’t be snarky about this. I have a lot of empathy for what she went through, as just about the same thing happened to me around the same age. I find it interesting that this is what inspired this song, and yet it’s probably the song I like the least from her. I guess we all experience life so differently. She wrote a song about finding someone like the person who broke her heart. I was pretty damn sure I wanted the opposite of the person who broke mine.
She starts the song stating that she knows about his recent marriage. It’s like a sad confrontation is happening. She indicates this when she sings:
/I hate to turn up out of the blue, uninvited
But I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it
I had hoped you’d see my face
And that you’d be reminded that for me, it isn’t over/
Clearly, this is a person who hasn’t let go.
/Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you, too/
One thing that crossed my mind here is, why does she want to find someone like this? Clearly, if he broke her heart and then was engaged shortly after, this person is unstable and incredibly dishonest. Also, if supposedly the whole album is about him, then isn’t this the incredible manipulator and liar we found in “Rolling in the Deep”? WHY DO WE WANT SOMEONE LIKE HIM??
She states she wants the best for him, and yet is confronting him and begging him not to forget her. It’s like she wants a place and presence in his present (ignoring the fact that they are now part of each other’s pasts). Maybe the best for someone is to have us out of their lives, and better yet, it may be what is best for us (and they just did us a favor).
It’s a human thing to not want to be forgotten. (This is a big motivator for many of our actions, whether we realize it or not). I think we have all felt this at some point or another. We want things to matter for others as much as they mattered for us.
/You know how the time flies
Only yesterday was the time of our lives
We were born and raised in a summer haze
Bound by the surprise of our glory days/
A theme throughout the song is this romanticization of the past.
/Nothing compares, no worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?/
There is this idea in culture that it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. I don’t know if that is entirely true every time. I think there are many relationships and interactions we would have been much better off without. I don’t think regrets and mistakes suddenly become justified because they are memories made. It would make more sense for us to really determine what kind of memories we want and to choose accordingly. The past doesn’t always have to be bittersweet, and yet it often is. Does that mean we just don’t choose well or is it just a part of being human? (Drop your thoughts in the comments).
Adele concludes singing:
/Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead/
It’s a divine thing to have love last. If we get Biblical– (yes, I am going Biblical), love endures all things. And yes, love can hurt, too. God is love, and He is pained when we choose something other than Him. Being made in His image, love brings us pain when someone chooses against our love. (We weren’t created to experience that or cause that). Something I find comforting about God is that, for Him, it’s not that love either lasts or hurts. His love for us lasts even when it hurts. Our humanity is too frail and broken to understand that. But someday, we will.
For now, we let go. We heal. We let Him put our hearts back together again. We leave the door to our hearts open. Sometimes, it’s not just the hurt that shows up uninvited. Sometimes, good things and good people show up uninvited, too. Leave room for the uninvited.