“Who would have known how bitter-sweet this would taste?!“
The final lines of Adele’s song recurred in my head over and over, leaving me in tears as the music tunes faded away slowly. I watched her in her determination and spirit crying freely before thousands of audience, live in the Royal Albert Hall, full of awe, amazement, and, strangely, a sense of relief.
When she was singing, she was somewhere else. Her body was on stage but her soul wasn’t. She was soaring… and so were most of those attending the concert. With her teary choked words, the audience were clinging to one another. There were those who clung to their partners, scared they may have to say the same words one day, and there were others who clung to their memories, closing their eyes, attempting to relive those long-ago days one more time, even for few seconds.
Despite the weakness in the song, Adele transpires as much more stronger every time she sings it. I feel stronger every time I hear it. Something which has left me wondering over and over again about Adele’s success in general and the unsurpassed popularity of this song in particular.
In essence, I believe Adele’s success emanates from the true experience she puts in her songs. In each and every song, there is a piece of her heart, there is an unbelievable ability to express her internal tumult and vent it out. And because we are all humans and the human experience is just the same, it just reincarnates in different shapes and at different times, we all know what she is talking about. Actually, we all want her to continue speaking on our behalf.
We all soared with the first light touch of Love’s magic wound, and we all crashed at one point in our lives, hitting the ground hard. But the unique way in which she is able to capture our emotional havoc, and her ability to find the right words to articulate the trauma we go through, adding to it the velvety musical touch, combined with her legendary well-mastered voice, is really what made her the star she deserves to be.
Said it before and will say it again and again; our ability to communicate is the core reason of human race existence to present day. We create words in an attempt to translate the meanings endlessly evolving inside us, while words create and shape us too. Words make us one, and words drive us apart. Words can hurt us, and words can heal us, but silence kills us… sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, and that’s why .. it is so scary.
Sadly the more we develop and grow, the less we communicate, the more our eloquence weakens. “This is not what I meant at all!” qualifies as the tagline describing the dilemma of modern man. The world outside grew so complex and so did our emotions. It has become a challenge be able to speak our minds.
It’s the blessing of release. Otherwise, your feelings will pile up, get you edgy and nervous, engrave horrid pathways on your skin, in their attempt to find a channel to burst through, they make you ill, and they make you sick. Your heart swells inside your chest, it toughens and hardens as the pressure increases, and your poor brain gets the wrong message. It starts working on containing everything even more, reigns them even in a smaller room at the back of your mind, and suddenly, you are living but you are not living. You are on auto-pilot mode. You withdraw back, lock yourself up, you go around just a face, but you are self-engrossed fighting the wrong internal battle.
Until one night, you open a book, watch a movie, or hear a song. You hear yourself, you hear the words you’ve been trying to find, and you discover that all along you were fighting the words, when actually winning the battle meant you let them go. The words hug you, pat your shoulder, hold you closer, and whisper in your ears “You are not alone, everything will be ok”. It’s the bliss of expression.
That’s why to me artists and writers are our salvation. Their ability to imagine, create, describe the indescribable, and explain the unexplainable, give us an aperture. They give me the words I need when my mind betrays me, or when my feelings are too dense for it to perceive, let alone, transform into sentences. Is this why the romantic school in late 18th century came up with the concept of the Poet-Prophet?!
But what’s specifically the secret with Adele’s song “Someone Like You”? For me, and I think for lots all over the world, She has said everything I wanted to say in one of the most unselfish and humbling experiences a man or a woman can go through.
We all need this act of unselfishness, where we put someone else’s comfort and joy ahead of ours. Am not saying it should be a life pattern, but we need to feel this overwhelming emotion that would have us –if we need to- bring someone else’s happiness before ours. Admitting you have to stand out of the way, get yourself out of their life, be a friend from a long time ago, and settle for your own “Bitter Sweet memories” is cleansing and purifying. It transcends us and takes us to complete new realms of humanity.
There is something elating and purgatory about giving in on a war you know you are losing, in acknowledging this is one thing you cannot control, in surrendering to the higher power of life, and let things simply take their course without any more resistance, there is something so proud in succumbing to your tragedy (for at the moment it feels like so), and accepting things the way they are. You wish them best of luck, kiss them one sweet final nostalgic goodbye kiss, turn your back, hold your head high, and just go.
“I wish nothing but the best for you” is really the sum up of the song, and it is the reason from my personal view why it has captured the hearts of millions. It’s the elegant weakness embedded in the simple line, it’s the larger-than-life downfall.
The memories become “Bitter-sweet”, they are all you have left, they will make you sad, but you will always go to bed with them. You find yourself whispering wishfully “Don’t forget me, I beg,” and you feel so strong in conceding to your deepest weakness.
It’s the beauty of words again and the ethereal world of music. The audience in the Royal Albert Hall cried .. so did Adele, and so did me. Her words have unlocked our hardened hearts, unleashed our internal turmoil, set our feelings free. They exploded as we all become one, as we all become larger than life, and as we all surrender to the overpowering forces of fate.