Heartache is powerful. And on “home with you”, FKA twigs makes us feel her woes as she pulls us through a 3 minute journey of her romantic relationship. The song is apart of her larger work MAGDALENE, which is the artists’ first studio album. The title is an ode to Mary Magdalene, the saint who famously witnessed the resurrection of Jesus and was one of his first followers. Historians suggest that Mary was Jesus’ close confidante, and she had a crucial role in healing people as a disciple. FKA twigs connected with Mary’s story and created an album where she navigates loss, love, and the conflict of staying authentic as a musician.
The opening lines expose the uncensored perspective of a girlfriend. She doesn’t shy away from her emotions, which clarifies what the central idea is and strengthens the song’s message. It starts with FKA twigs talking about how she’s in a headspace to focus on her relationship, devoted to her partner fully, and indulge in the love that her partner can give her. But she also battles with insecurity and doesn’t know if she is worthy of them. In the line “When I get my lessons learned, Apples, cherries, pain” she is showing how her positive attitude is tapering off and instead of sweetness, she reverts to focusing on the difficulty of her relationship. She then starts to talk about how the people who were her support system only reach out to her because she is more successful now. It makes her question which people want to be in her life for genuine reasons, including her partner. The verse ends without her gaining clarity, and this displays how her romantic love is distracting her from reaching a resolution to her internal conflicts. The songwriting technique of a proposed question with no concrete answer makes the listener feel idle, as if love is just as powerful when no action is taking place. The love occupies space in her mind and forces her to question what, if anything, is more important than loving others.
"I've never seen a hero like me in a sci-fi So I wonder if your needs are even meant for me"
In the quoted line, she is talking about the lack of representation for Black women in science fiction. She hasn’t seen examples of women who look like her being the protector and hero, which damages her capability to connect with that trait. The media that people absorb shapes who they are as individuals, and in the absence of good role models it’s more difficult to learn how to interact. Specifically, technology and social media have made younger generations rely heavier on seeing their favorite characters personify their values. Throughout the next lines she sings softly, almost as if she is whispering and unsure if she wants her partner to know about her ignorance as a lover. A certain embarrassment stems from her ignorance and she begins repeating the line “If you’d have just told me, I’d be home with you”, which shows that even though she doesn’t have the experience of being a hero, her passion gives her the courage to try and love unconditionally.
"But I'd save a life if I thought it belonged to you Mary Magdalene would never let her loved ones down"
She emphasizes that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. One means that there is no love present at all, and the other is that the love is there when she is as well. She doesn’t want her partner to feel lonely and pushes herself to embody the selflessness of Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene was a saint, but for centuries her significance was reduced to being a prostitute. Despite the gossip and ostracization she faced, Mary still chose to heal and project love onto others. FKA twigs is following suit and even though she doesn’t have the most positive view of herself, she would risk everything for her partner. Mary Magdalene was misjudged by others, and FKA twigs represents the perspective of people who have a harsh judgement of themselves. Additionally, the metaphor of being home symbolizes how she chooses to be present for the one she loves and see herself entirely. By being home and not far away in the entanglement of her insecurities, she is consequently repairing the self-doubt that harbors within herself.
The central idea of the song is that even when it feels vulnerable and uncertain, relying on the love you have for another person is the best choice. FKA twigs does not know how her relationship is going to end, but she knows that at any given moment she’d go to be with the person she loves. She leans into the love she shied away from at the beginning of the song, and it works out in her favor. Love drives her to be firmer in her conviction and the connection that she has in her relationship. FKA twigs wants people to understand a message that extends beyond her personal experience. The larger theme portrayed in “home with you” is that love prompts you to change, and being receptive to that change is the only way to mold happiness from pain and heartache.