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Meaning of the song ‘Send Them Off!’ by ‘Bastille’

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Released: 2016

“Send Them Off!” by Bastille is a compelling exploration of the mind’s internal struggle with envy and insecurity, echoed through a conjuring of references to religious rituals and classic literature. With its pleading refrain of “exorcise my mind”, the lyrics implore for liberation from crippling thoughts and the shackles of past experiences.

From the very first lines, we’re introduced to a comparative reference, as Dan Smith, Bastille’s frontman, likens himself to perhaps the greatest literary genius, Shakespeare’s character Othello, setting a high bar for the perceived slight to his honor. In the world of Bastille, betrayals don’t just sting, they bring one to the mental brink.

“I’ve got demons running ’round in my head, And they feed on insecurities I have” Here, Smith isn’t just talking about your garden-variety negative thoughts—these are full-on ‘demons’, the kind that feast on insecurity. The lyrics express a deep craving for soothing intervention, hence “Won’t you lay your healing hands on my chest?”.

Through the next stanzas, the lyrics trace a dark, haunted journey. There’s a powerful reference to “Desdemona”, which clearly alludes to Othello’s ill-fated wife in the Shakespearean tragedy. The verse “When I’m haunted by your ancient history” reflects protagonist’s inability to shake off the baggage of past relationships. It’s like a psychic exorcism is needed — hence the repeated plea to “exorcise my mind”.

At the heart of the song, in perhaps the most revealing lines “I should be thinking ’bout nothing else when I’m with you-ou”, the lyrics suggest the struggle to completely immerse oneself in the present moment, in the love at hand. The song ends on a relentless plea for exorcism, signaling an urgent need for emotional and psychological cleansing.

In a nutshell, “Send Them Off!” is a brilliantly layered pop piece that examines jealousy and insecurity through a wide literary reference lens. It’s a plea for mental freedom, echoing the collective human struggle with self-defeating thoughts and the desire to attain emotional liberation.

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