The song “Let Her Go” by Passenger (Michael David Rosenberg), in the album All the Little Lights is a really fascinating song because all the lines have various types of intricate language which I never realized when listening to the song. After analyzing the lyrics, I remember parts of my life of people coming and leaving like the song suggests. Passenger creation of this song could go both ways, it is one of those songs that could work as its own poem instead of a song and nobody would know the difference.
The overarching meaning of the song represents losing someone you really cared for and not realizing what you had or how much you really appreciate the person in your life until they are gone. This song especially focuses on the thoughts and struggles within re-memory and further reminiscing about regrets in your life. For Passenger, this song was used as a way to express the loss he felt after a loved one left him. Subsequently, he conveys that he took for granted her affection and presence and assumed she would stay no matter what. The song’s layers are so significant because each line talks about different ideas that all interconnect. Throughout the song, the motif of the sun frequently emerges as a metaphor to his regrets.
Lyrics to “Let Her Go” Passenger – Let Her Go Lyrics – Genius
The beginning of the song starts off with this line which is repeated throughout the song as a way contribute to the overall meaning of the story and add a multidimensional meaning to each part.
“Only miss the sun when it starts to snow”
This line is an alliteration because the “s” sound is repeated at the beginning of words in the same line. The sound helps the lyrics flow better which completely enhances the meaning throughout, and expresses feelings through the words “miss” and “sun” used to convey his regrets. Similarly, the word “only” is repeated throughout half the lines to emphasize that you only relate to what the singer is describing after you have lost someone or something you love. This experience is parallel to many poems that allow you to either relate or immerse yourself in an experience or situation.
Once again, Passenger includes the word “only” in a line, that still has a completely different meaning.
“Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low”
This is an example of an oxymoron since people can’t feel high and low (happy and sad) at the same time. However, it enables the listener to think about the text more, and in one sense make it seem a little humorous. The contradictory terms high and low appear in conjunction with one another to reiterate the struggles he is experiencing, while still being in such a low after this breakup.
“Only hate the roads when you’re missing home”
Passenger uses this to compare missing his home to the road, more specifically his homesickness of the person he loved and misses that made him feel so at home. Although, this part has multiple meanings, for example fighting and also comfort in a relationship. Passenger insinuates his own relationship may have been fighting and bliss.
“Only know you love her when you let her go”
Throughout the song the phrase is repeated 15 times to emphasize the idea. Passenger wanted the listener to understand that the reason the couple broke up is because the man was not trying hard enough so the woman let go. Ultimately, he lost her not because he didn’t love her at all or enough but because he loved her too much.
Overall, Passenger sings about losing a loved one and the two dimensions that comes with it: pain and heartache. Through these troubles, he utilizes strong poetic language to express the toll and affect this had on him. He mourns his actions and feeling a mix of many things but especially, what he could’ve before it was too late. This song is a way for him to release everything he had been thinking, parallel to poetry. Altogether, the meaning of this song relates to loss and remorse.