Decoding Love Songs

Valentine’s Day is on the 14th February, and if you’re planning on impressing your significant other with some love songs, it might be helpful to know the actual meaning behind the music. Here are some of our favorite love songs from the past few years, with a few helpful notes on each one.

Music can bring romance to any setting.

Many love songs use unusual similes to describe their feelings. A simile is a figure of speech where two different things are compared, showing their similarities using the words 'like' or 'as'. When you understand the meanings, you can amaze your partner with your knowledge of the music and the language.

Justin Timberlake – Mirrors

This song was written as a tribute to Timberlake’s wife, inspired by the long marriage of his grandparents. The basic meaning behind the song is that he hopes his wife will continue to be with him forever.

It's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me
I couldn't get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me
And now it's clear as this promise
That we're making
two reflections into one
'Cause it's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me

  • You’re my mirror – Timberlake thinks his wife is a reflection of him. A metaphor to show they are inseparable (you can’t get rid of your reflection, after all) and that he feels confident that his wife understands his feelings and values.
  • I couldn’t get any bigger – A reference to how his wife has helped him to become the best he can be. (Possibly a link to the phrase 'Behind every great man is a great woman').
  • As this promise that we’re making – Here Timberlake is mentioning the vows they made when they got married. When he says 'two reflections into one', he points out that they reflect each other, so two things become one since they are so close to one another.

Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud

The first song to ever spend a whole year in the UK Top 40 Charts, this song was written by Sheeran for his girlfriend. Despite being about spending the rest of his life with the woman, they were only together for a year.

So honey, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

  • Honey – A term of endearment.
  • Take me into your loving arms – Another way of asking for a cuddle.
  • The light of a thousand stars – Here Sheeran is referring to a clear night sky, perhaps imagining it to be a romantic setting.

Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand

Glynne wrote this song when she was suffering with anxiety. It is a plea for help from the one she loves.

Darling, hold my hand
Oh, won't you hold my hand?
'Cause I don't wanna walk on my own anymore
Won't you understand?
'Cause I don't wanna walk alone
I'm ready for this, there's no denying
I'm ready for this, you stop me falling
I'm ready for this, I need you all in
I'm ready for this, so darling, hold my hand

  • Hold my hand – Glynne is looking for a sign of affection and support
  • I don’t wanna walk on my own anymore – This is a way of saying that she wants to share her life with someone.
  • I’m ready for this – Glynne is referring to the fact that she would like to commit to a relationship
  • I need you all in – She wants complete commitment from her partner.
Holding hands can signify many meanings.

With so many love songs to choose from, it would be impossible to make notes on them all, but hopefully this gives you an idea of what some of the most popular chart songs mean. To further impress your loved ones, why not take a look at our course offerings and sing them a few more songs in English. Have a happy Valentine's Day!

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