Song analysis: Skyfall

On YouTube, there is a channel called Cup of Team, consisting of two people. You most likely haven’t heard of it, because it isn’t very mainstream. But they used to do a feature called Song Analysis, were one of them would mock the lyrics of songs and find out what they really meant.  They haven’t done this for a while, but I thought I would do an analysis of “Skyfall” and see what it literally means. I’ll go line by line. The notes are italicised.The results may shock you…

“Skyfall” – By Adele

First Verse

This is the end – This obviously refers to an apocalypse of some kind.
Hold your breath and count to ten – This signifies the near immediate impact of the event.
Feel the earth move and then – As the earth has been moved by the event, it could be an earthquake or collision.
Hear my heart burst again – Melancholy grief at the end of the world.

Second Verse

For this is the end – The phrase ‘this is the end’ has been repeated to emphasise the importance of it.
I’ve drowned and dreamt this moment – It has been clear for a long time that the end of the world is nigh. All those annoying soothsayers!
So overdue I owe them – The singer knows that the event has been long coming or she needs to pay the soothsayer.
Swept away, I’m stolen – The singer has been literally swept away by the impact of the event.

Chorus

Let the sky fall – The event entails something falling from the sky.
When it crumbles – This can be viewed metaphorically, as in the singer’s world is crumbling, or literally, as in the singer’s world is crumbling.
We will stand tall – The singer is encouring others to face the event…
Face it all together – … together.

The chorus is repeated with the extra lines ‘At Skyfall/That Skyfall’ but these add little meaning.

Skyfall is where we start – This indicates that the event, though a harbinger of destruction, will also herald a new beginning.
A thousand miles and poles apart – The impact will be felt from the North Pole to the South Pole.
Where worlds collide and days are dark – This indicates the darkening of the sky and the collision of two planetary objects.
You may have my number, you can take my name – See next line.
But you’ll never have my heart – The singer mocks the incoming object. It can take his/her identity, but it can not have her love!

Chorus x 2 with the extra line ‘At skyfall’

[2x:]
(Let the sky fall – Nothing to add.
When it crumbles – The impacting object will likely crumble at impact.
We will stand tall) – The singer is encouraging people to face the oncoming destruction with bravery!

Where you go I go
What you see I see
I know I’d never be me
Without the security
Of your loving arms
Keeping me from harm
Put your hand in my hand
And we’ll stand

(This entire verse suggests some sort of lover who gives the singer comfort, and strengthens the singer in their dire time of need. More on this later.)

The last few verses are basically a repeat of the above, so nothing important.

But what do the verses mean!

As much as you may think that Skyfall is nonsensical, like many other songs (or perhaps it makes sense along with the movie; I don’t know, I haven’t seen it), all the evidence is in the contrary.

Hear me out OK? I believe… my theory is that Skyfall is about the meteor apocalypse that killed the dinosaurs.

No wait… think about it. This is the end. Feel the earth move and then. Where worlds collide and days are dark. What else could it plausibly be? Adele is quite literally singing about a skyfall. To point out the science, days are dark is obviously referring to the ash that surrounded the earth for a while after the meteor hit. What else, apart from possibly Gangnam Style, could have an influence ‘poles apart’?

But why on earth would Adele be singing about the dinosaur apocalypse. What reasoning is there behind this? Which leads onto my next point quite nicely. You’ll have to bear with me – I’m going to backtrack a little to when you or your nephew or niece or son or daughter or even grandchild was a small baby. Like I said – bear with me. Now think back as to what your first memory of television is. What were you watching? For many of you, you will see a big purple blob. Zoom in, and you will see that this purple blob is actually a very smiley dinosaur, complete with an absurdly high voice. In case you don’t know, this dinosaur’s name is Barney.*

If you don’t know him, it doesn’t matter; just think of him as a big, purple dinosaur made cute and cuddly for children under the age of three.

Now the show never really touches on Barney’s origins, which leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For instance, how did he get here? Dinosaurs are extinct, right? We all know that he has found a useful place in society, teaching children moral values and the alphabet through song and dance, but surely there is more to him than this? I believe that behind this façade lies a dinosaur troubled and disturbed by his past. You see, the only way he could have gotten here is if he had survived the dinosaur apocalypse. We know he escaped with a few other dinosaurs, who also appear on the show, but what must he have left behind?

This is going to sound crazy, but I think Barney was the inspiration for Skyfall. It is probable that he lost a lover in the meteor shower, and Skyfall is actually a song of mourning. The verse that starts ‘Skyfall is where we start’ is probably Barney’s ode to humanity; for although the meteors brought an end to the era of the dinosaurs, it was also the harbinger of a new age.

But how did these original lyrics come into the hands of Adele? Perhaps in her quest for inspiration, she came across this big purple blob from her childhood, wrote a song about him, and immortalised him forever in a Bond song. As the show was cancelled in 2009, Barney is effectively dead. But he lives on in our hearts… and reruns. R.I.P. Barney.

***

*I’m pretty sure Barney is originally American, but we have videos of him; I watched those.

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