I"m Clifford Stumme, and also I usage literary evaluation and research to define the deeper definitions of pop songs. Feel totally free to leaving a comment or to email me in ~ clifford


SONG MEANING: "When us Were Young" by Adele is about meeting up with friends native the past and also discussing how things have been. Adele meets one girlfriend in certain and renders amends through him. But the song is really about making amends with the past, stood for by that friend.

You are watching: When you were young song meaning

Adele is slowly releasing singles from she album 25 in ready for the album"s release on Friday. The album is one of the many anticipated in history, and also after her single "Hello" offered over a million units in one week, everyone"s expecting 25 to additionally be huge.

On she website, Adele explains, “My last document was a separation record and also if I had actually to brand this one ns would speak to it a make-up record. I’m consisting of with myself. Making up for lost time.” She further explains that she felt poor for constantly wishing to gain older and also to move onto the following thing. Currently she wishes she had actually it all back, so in this album, she’s revisiting it s her at period 25 come make tranquility with the past.

In “When we Were Young,” she makes tranquility with one friend in particular. Their relationship seems come have finished poorly, and it’s not definitely clear whether the person is male or woman or if the connection was romantic, for this reason there’s plenty of room for open interpretation. (In my explanation, i won’t assume romance yet will describe the human as male.)

I’ve added “When we Were Young” and several various other recent access time to my Spotify playlist “Clifford Stumme’s popular music Prerogative.” Feel totally free to monitor the playlist! (If the song’s no yet there, I’m waiting for that to release on Spotify. Thanks for your patience!)

"When us Were Young" lyrics Meaning

The setting of the track is a small more complicated than many listeners will mean at first. In one interview v SiriusXM Music, Adele explains that the track is set at a party. Anyone there knew each other once they were younger, and also now they’re almost everywhere fifty. They’ve been inserted in this party whereby they acquire to congregate and also catch up and also meet again after many years.

Obviously, Adele’s is leaning heavily into dramatic nostalgia for the past and also all the points we’ve missed as we’ve live our lives–the things we’ve let go in both ours lives and also in others. V 25 and “When us Were Young,” she trying come go ago for a second chance in ~ understanding and also living some of that time.

In the very first Verse, Adele sings around the person she’s conference again at this reunion. She describing that for she listeners. “Everybody loves the things” he does. They evaluate the “way girlfriend talk” and also “the method you move.” She sings that he feeling “like home”–he’s from far enough ago in her past that he reminds she of her childhood. He’s “a dream come true,” and she desires to know if he is “here alone.”

Because that is, she says they talk together for a moment. This isn’t so much because she desires to record up but more because she desires to think about the past they shared. Until he verified up, she reminisce the the previous was incomplete–she was by herself “all night long / hoping you’re someone I offered to know.” She’s not worried around the present and wants come talk about the past.

In the very same interview above, Adele said her favourite lines in the song are the Pre-chorus in which she sings, “You look prefer a movie / friend sound prefer a track / mine god, this reminds me / Of when we to be young.” This person’s presence way a lot come her due to the fact that it take away her ago to her past.

Instead that letting the conversation die and also her leaving, Adele desires to psychic this nostalgic minute itself since it reminds she of she nostalgia for the past. In the Chorus, she sings, “Let me photograph you in this light / In instance it is the critical time / the we could be exactly like us were / prior to we establish / us were sad of obtaining old.” human being age every the time, but they don’t always realize it–usually because they’re also busy enjoying life.

For this moment, Adele and also her girlfriend feel favor they’ve gone back in time; conference up has actually helped them look and feel younger. She afraid that they’ll never feel choose this again, therefore she desires to memorialize it by photographing (or remembering) castle now. Lock will proceed to thrive old and also to feeling sad around it, however she will have the ability to look back to this time nostalgically.

She finishes the chorus by singing, “It made united state restless / it was similar to a movie / that was just like a song.” In this moment, her feelings around the man and the moment end up being one. It’s difficult to tell whether Adele worths re-meeting the male or the memories he’s brought with him more. Perhaps, in an summary sense, they room the exact same for Adele. At the least, she experience them the exact same way.

In verse 2, Adele sings, “I to be so fear to challenge my fear / cause nobody told me the you’d it is in here.” She wasn’t sure about going to a party that would certainly bring ago the past–a past she might not be particularly proud that or happy with–but this emotion of nostalgia and also re-meeting this girlfriend (who she “swore . . . Moved overseas”) have been precious the trouble. Even though he had actually left her, she’s glad he is back.

In verse 3, Adele sings the “t’s tough to win me ago / every little thing just take away me ago / To when you to be there.” she’s finding it an overwhelming to continue to be in the present since she’s daydreaming around the past they had actually together. She admits the “a part of me keeps stop / just in situation it hasn’t gone,” and also she wonders if he wants the same–“I guess i still treatment / execute you tho care?”–not since she actually desires to go back, yet seemingly much more because she wants to recognize if that feels the nostalgia choose she does.

Based on mine reading, “When we Were Young” is about an ext than a relationship. Adele is interested in the past and also with the thought of the past. The relationship hinted at in “When we Were Young” serves together a vehicle for Adele come sing around her thoughts about the past itself.

A Thought around Nostalgia

I think “When we Were Young” is a beautiful song and it raises beneficial questions around our pasts. Should I dwell on mine past? deserve to I discover from the past? can I make my future far better by looking come the past? i think Adele takes it one step more when in this song she appears to celebrate her find for that feeling of nostalgia from “when we were young.”

We have to be certain to no to love the past at the cost of abhorring the future. We have the future; we’ve lost the past. And we have to address it (not the Adele isn’t prepared to attend to the future). Yes sir no injury in looking back (and no damage in Adele’s song, that course), but I discover it interesting that the past itself seems more important than the partnership in “When us Were Young.” It argues Adele is considering the attributes of nostalgia and also “the past” an ext than she’s came to with the nature of the relationship, and anyone listening to her song would be way to take into consideration this.

See more: Here'S How Do You Explain Color To A Blind Person, Six Tips For Explaining Colors To A Blind Child

Thanks because that reading about “When we Were Young” by Adele!

Clifford Stumme has his master’s in English literature and also is a blogger and a university instructor/desk-watcher at Liberty University. He likes juggling and reading/writing, and also he is married to the wonderful and beautiful wife April. He thinks popular music music is awesome. Seriously awesome.