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Released: 2011

Features: The Magician

“I Follow Rivers – The Magician Remix” by Lykke Li is an insistent proclamation of unwavering devotion set to a pop beat. It presents the image of a relentless lover, unafraid to chase, be it into the deep sea, or through dark doom, highlighting themes of intense adoration, pursuit, and surrender.

Lykke Li sets the tone right from the get-go. “Oh I beg you, can I follow? / Oh I ask you, why not always?” reflects a sense of persistent longing. She’s ready to follow her lover anywhere, asking for his approval to always be with him. When she says, “Be the ocean, where I unravel / Be my only, be the water where I’m wading,” she’s likening her lover to a vast, mysterious sea, where she can lose herself and surrender entirely. This ocean imagery encapsulates her deep desire to immerse herself in their love.

“You’re my river running high / Run deep, run wild / I, I follow, I follow you” is the mantra-like chorus that recurs throughout the song. “River running high” denotes the abundant emotions and high stakes of their relationship. When she pleads to “run deep, run wild,” she’s calling for passion and disregard for restraint. This chorus serves to reaffirm her robust dedication to follow her lover, regardless of the depth or chaos of the journey.

As the song progresses, Li introduces complex descriptors for her lover, like “Deep sea baby” and “Dark doom honey.” The “deep sea” again hints at vastness, the depth of her feelings, and fraught, hidden danger. The term “baby” softens this and lends a sense of intimacy. Similarly, “Dark doom honey” combines ominous “dark doom” with the sweet familiarity of “honey,” illustrating the abiding affection she maintains even in foreboding circumstances.

“He a message, I’m the runner / He the rebel, I’m the daughter waiting for you” introduces a shift in dynamic. She becomes the messenger and aligns herself with the role of a daughter, suggesting a sense of duty and submission. Her lover is rendered a rebel. This could imply a form of rebellion against norms, against the expectations that might restrict their love. This shift acknowledges disparities in roles but importantly also reinforces her unwavering commitment to him.

As a whole, “I Follow Rivers – The Magician Remix” is a lyrical testament to indomitable adoration. Li’s words lay bare an alluring tale of love that’s fervent, boundless, and relentless. Through the narrative created, the lyrics mirror the rhythms of love at its most wild – swirling, tumbling, and uncharted. It paints a sonic picture of surrendering to the current of the beloved, societal norms be damned. Now that’s what I call pop with a side of profound.

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