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Meaning of ‘Symphony’ by ‘Clean Bandit’ feat. Zara Larsson

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Released: 2018Features: Zara Larsson”Symphony” by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson, is an emotive anthem that weaves a tale of longing and love. The song poignantly expresses the desire to be loved completely and unconditionally, and uses music as an intricate metaphor for relationships and the feeling of being in love.

Diving into the lyrics, the opening line “I’ve been hearing symphonies / Before all I heard was silence” sets the motif for the song: the contrast between a lonely silence and the vibrant, all-encompassing sound of a symphony. This deliberate juxtaposition is a clear nod to the transformative power of love, which is capable of turning emptiness into a ‘symphony’.

The line “A rhapsody for you and me / And every melody is timeless” underscores the idea that their love is profound and eternal, like a timeless melody – the kind of love songs are written about. Love is portrayed as a ‘rhapsody’ – a piece of music that’s expressive and episodic, mirroring the highs and lows of a relationship.

When we move on to “Life was stringing me along / Then you came and you cut me loose”, Larsson describes a sense of aimlessness removed by the arrival of a new love. The phrase ‘stringing me along’ is common vernacular for being led on without any real intention of commitment. When her lover ‘cuts her loose’ from this string, it suggests she’s found someone who genuinely wants to be with her.

This theme continues with “Was solo singing on my own / Now I can’t find the key without you”. This portrays a journey from solitary existence to interdependent love. The ‘key’ is a technical term in music, but here it doubles as a symbol for direction and purpose in life that she now finds through her partner.

Lastly, the recurrent hook “I just wanna be part of your symphony / Will you hold me tight and not let go? / Symphony / Like a love song on the radio” captures a deep-seated yearning to be part of her lover’s life in a significant way, much like how an individual instrument is part of a wider symphony. The ‘love song on the radio’ metaphor emphasizes the public, open nature of their love; she wants a love that is celebrated and acknowledged, not hidden away.

All in all, “Symphony” is a poetic exploration of unyielding, intricate love, expressed through the authentic language of music. As is often the case in pop music, the profound is found within the simple, turning a catchy melody into an enlightening ode to love.

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