A poem is a poem, and every poem is different in the way it flows and impacts the reader. However, every song starts as a poem. “Repeat Until Death” is part of the album “Birthplace” written by Welsh artist Novo Amor. The song itself transports the listener into another world with its dream-like instrumental, but when diving deeper into the lyrics, one can interpret the poetic nature of this song.
“Low, a part of me now
A palm to my mouth
I said it, almost
Snow, brother, I’ll bet it all gold
Shudder with blood in my nose
I had it, almost
Don’t go, you’re half of me now
But I’m hardly stood proud
I said it, almost”
Recurring throughout the entirety of the song, at the end of each verse is the word “almost”. Although it may seem like an innocent or unimportant addition, the placing of the word almost works to describe the pain that goes along with raising your hopes only to be disappointed again and again. In a way, this song serves as a self-reflection for the speaker, and the repetition of the word “almost” in the context of this song insinuates regret. As each verse goes on, the speaker describes a time in their past in which they were so close to obtaining what they wanted, and the end result was simply always “almost”. Throughout the song, Novo Amor depicts how you can give yourself to a person to the point where they become half of you, only to take more of you until there is nothing left.
“Oh, I’ve been low
But dammit, I bet it don’t show
It was heaven a moment ago
Oh, I had it almost
We had it almost”
Further along in the song, the artist describes the pain of loving someone with a series of highs and lows, with things never working out the way they should. The transitional use of “I”, and then to “We” when describing “almost” further emphasizes the meaning of the song, in terms of the way two people can become one. The use of the word “dammit” preceding “I bet it don’t show” speaks to the frustration the artist feels when it seems as if they try and try but can never seem to be fully satisfied. In addition, the comparison of the artist’s relationship to heaven further adds to the contrast of the negative emotions present throughout the song. This addition serves as a good juxtaposition to emphasize the helplessness felt when something that felt like heaven falls apart.
“Oh, I can’t seem to let myself leave you
But I can’t breathe anymore
Oh, I can’t seem to not need to need you
And I can’t breathe anymore”
Finally, at the end of the song, the speaker gives up and reveals that the damage is not worth the reward. The figurative use of “But I can’t breathe anymore” is very powerful in this context as it speaks to the physical effect that emotional trauma can have on people. At a certain point, the pain is too much, and it feels suffocating, which is put into words in a poetic way throughout the entirety of this song.