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Released: 2013

James Arthur’s “Impossible” is a heart-wrenching ballad that encapsulates the raw emotions experienced when grappling with a broken relationship. It’s a poignant exploration of love’s fragility and the gnawing pain of betrayal, painting a portrait of dashed dreams and emotional scars.

James starts off on a melancholic note, reminiscing about how he was warned to tread carefully with love. Despite his partner’s strength, his illusion and oversight leads to a painful conclusion. This can be seen in lines like, “And you were strong and I was not, My illusion, my mistake, I was careless I forgot, I did.” The painful realization of how carelessly he treated love, ultimately steering the relationship to a tragic end. This theme echoes throughout the verses.

Continuing, he urges his former lover to share their narrative of heartbreak, as he sings, “You have gone and so effortlessly, You have won you can go ahead, Tell them, tell them all I know now, Shout it from the roof tops, Write it on the sky line.” Notable here is the empowering way, despite the pain, he encourages the sharing of their love story that ended up in ruins.

The term ‘Impossible’ becomes a refrain in the chorus, a lament for a lost love that he believed would last. His aspirations for a bright future with his lover have now become ‘impossible’. Included here is also an admission of his state of emotional turmoil: “And my heart is broken, all my scars are open”. This lyric reminds us that while love can be a source of joy, it can also result in unbearable pain and heartbreak.

The song also delves into the bitterness of deceit, “falling for betrayal is worse, broken trust and broken hearts, I know.” Here, Arthur alludes to his lover’s betrayal as a significant contributing factor to their relationship’s demise. It punches a hole in the trust they’ve shared, marring his perception of love.

Finally, the song comes full circle as he returns to the opening lines, again conveying the caution he was once advised to have with love – “I remember years ago, Someone told me I should take, Caution when it comes to love, I did”. This, for me, insinuates the weight of regret and family wisdom he had initially overlooked in the throes of passion.

James Arthur’s “Impossible” is a gut-punch of a pop song, taking listeners on a roller-coaster of romantic highs and lows. With an immensely vulnerable lyric pattern, the song serves as a reminder about the potent risks and rewards of falling in love.

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