A Writer's 21st Century Memoir.

Lights by Ellie Goulding

Wikipedia says that the song, Lights, by English recording artist Ellie Goulding from her debut album, Lights (2010) was written by Goulding, Richard Stannard and Ash Howes. It goes on to say that the song was released in the United Kingdom on March 13 2011 as the album’s sixth single overall, and second from the Bright Lights re-release and that it was inspired by Goulding’s childhood fear of the dark; but my sister pointed out another possible meaning that I would have never thought about attributing to this upbeat pop-sounding club song.

*Trigger Warning* Here’s another interpretation:

“I had a way then losing it all on my own / I had a heart then but the queen has been overthrown” suggests that at one point she had a choice of how she wanted to have her sexual debut, but the choice was taken from her. “And I’m not sleeping now the dark is too hard to beat / And I’m not keeping now the strength I need to push me,” here’s where the fear of dark comes in, however, the fear of darkness in this interpretation is associated with sexual abuse. The speaker talks about an incredible strength that she had at one point in time to muster in order to go through with the event.

“You show the lights that stop me turn to stone / You shine It when I’m alone,” the lights in this interpretation of the song shine into the speaker’s dark bedroom from the light outside of an opening door. She becomes paralyzed with fear, as if she had turned to stone, and the lights only shine into her bedroom when she is alone.

“And so I tell myself that I’ll be strong / And dreaming when they’re gone, / Cause they’re calling, calling, calling me home,” the lyrics suggest that she told herself to be strong as she dreamed and prayed that the lights would go away, but even though the horrific event has passed the terrible memories bring her back to those awful moments.

“Noises, I play within my head / Touch my own skin and hope that I’m still breathing / And I think back to when my brother and my sister slept / in an unlocked place the only time I feel safe,” the speaker tries to drown out the horrible moments with other noises and distractions in her head, and she pinches herself to make sure that she’s still alive. The speaker then thinks back to her brother and sister sleeping in the next room and feels safe that they were left alone.

This is obviously a darker interpretation–but makes a world of difference to the way I feel about the song now.


2 responses

  1. Natasha

    Yeah I like my interpretation better than her just being afraid of the dark.


    January 28, 2013 at 3:50 PM

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