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Meaning of ‘If Only’ by ‘The Marías’

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Released: 2024

At the heart of “If Only” by The Marías, lies a beautifully haunting tale of longing and an inability to let go. This song wraps the listener in a cocoon of dreamy sounds, while also tugging at the heartstrings with its introspective lyrics. It’s about being stuck in the space between dreaming and waking, where memories of a loved one linger so vividly, it makes it impossible to move on. Let’s dive deeper into these velvet-smooth lyrics and unravel what they’re really saying.

The opening lines, “Even when I dream / You are next to me”, immediately sets a tone of intimacy and closeness that transcends physical presence. It’s as if the singer is saying no matter where they go, or what state they are in, the thought and presence of their lover is inescapable. The line, “I can’t fall asleep / If only”, reveals a deep yearning, a wish that things could be different. The repetition of “if only” throughout the song reinforces this sense of regret and longing for an alternate reality where they didn’t have to part ways.

As we move to, “I can’t say goodbye / Even when I try / Why’d I even leave? You tell l me”, there’s a palpable sense of conflict. It shows the internal struggle of the singer, unable to bid farewell, tormented by the choices they’ve made. The rhetorical question, “Why’d I even leave?”, suggests a moment of self-reflection or doubt, hinting at the complexity of the situation that led to the separation. The use of conversational tone, “You tell me”, evokes a sense of seeking answers or closure from the other person.

The bridge, “Don’t give up on me / You’ll eventually / Then I’ll only see / You in my dreams”, brings a plea for patience and hope. It’s as if the singer believes in a possibility of reconciliation, that even though they are currently apart, there’s a future where they can be together again. However, there’s also a resignation to the current state of affairs, accepting that, for now, the only place they can be together is in dreams. This captures the essence of wanting to hold on, despite knowing deep down that it might only ever be a dream.

Overall, “If Only” by The Marías isn’t just another love song. It’s a delicate exploration of the complexities of love, loss, and the human condition. Through its ethereal melody and poignant lyrics, it invites listeners into a shared experience of melancholic longing, making it universally relatable and deeply impactful.

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