Adele’s album 25, was released in 2015. This album was groundbreaking and was the fastest-selling US album ever. Once Adele finished her 25 world tour, she decided to take a break from creating a new album to spend more time with her child who was only three years old at the time. Six years later, Adele just released her new album 30 on November 19, 2021. This album already broke the 2021 sales record in just three days. Similar to many of Adele’s albums which address her love and breakups, this album focuses on her recent divorce. It takes the listener along with her on her journey of motherhood while she reconstructs her life. While many of Adele’s songs are powerful, I find “My Little Love” to be particularly moving.
This song demonstrates the complex feelings involved in a divorce, especially when a child is involved. Adele, as a mother, feels guilty for subjecting her son to the pain of his parents. Parents never want to inflict any pain on their children, but some emotional hardships are unavoidable. During these hard times, the parent-child dynamic is reversed. Adele is in so much pain herself that her child is actually helping her learn to navigate her new world.
When you lay on me, can you hear the way my heart breaks?
I wanted you to have everything I never had
I’m so sorry if what I’ve done makes you feel sad
Adele uses imagery to express the immense pain she is in. Her heart is literally broken and not only does she express visual images, but she also adds auditory elements and the sense of touch that listeners can relate to. This helps deepen the listener’s understanding of her pain and guilt. She feels like her son’s pain is her fault and hates that she has subjected him to any pain at all. In a way, she is trying to prove just how badly she feels for what she had done.
I don’t recognise myself in the coldness of the daylight
Adele juxtaposes coldness and daylight. This represents Adeles deeper feelings of isolation. She feels like a new person and is learning to live without her ex-husband. Her surroundings may have not changed but she feels a sense of internal displacement. Her son is one of the few consistent factors in her life, so she relies more heavily on him than ever before.
I’m having a bad day. I’m having a very anxious day
I feel paranoid, I feel very stressed
Um, I have a hangover, which never helps, but
Adele brings us into her own experience as she talks through the thoughts in her head. The short phrases demonstrate the chaos and emotional turmoil that she is experiencing. Her thoughts seem to be spinning and the listeners may be able to relate to times when their own thoughts may have been racing.
Adele in this album takes us on a deeply personal journey and through her words, allows us to experience some of her feelings. I think almost anyone could relate to either these feelings associated with the impact of a divorce on your own life, feelings of motherhood, or simply feelings of general pain and anxiety.