I have a deep, deep crush on Florence right now. This song is incredibly theatrical in its album cut, but this acoustic version is pretty fucking amazing too, even without the kettle drums and backup vocals and such. What a gift of a voice.
I got this album a month or two ago, and this song immediately became a sort of grieving anthem for me. I know it’s most easily interpreted as about romantic love, but the lyrics really crystallize something about being in the aftermath of loss:
And in the dark, I can hear your heartbeat
I tried to find the sound
But then, it stopped, and I was in the darkness,
So darkness I became
The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out
You left me in the dark
No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight
In the shadow of your heart
For me, that’s part of what grief feels like: a perpetual shadow, a darkness that seems preferable to the lonely day. The song’s loveliness makes the darkness beautiful and alluring, an acceptable tradeoff for the possibility of being with the person you love. But outside the song, there’s no trade: there is only the present, there is only twilight, there is only your own inexplicable self, alone and alive.