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Thoughtful Song Meanings
In the first verse you see two people falling madly in love and doing all things relating too. The couple took risks and shared passionate kisses. And in his case Miley "fell under [his] spell". But looking deeper in the first line you see red flags arising even before the relationship is in full swing. "We clawed, we chained" sure one could see it as fighting for someone out of love and willing to go through any lengths to save a relationship, but these words are very harsh and could be an inference to the abuse that will occur later on.
Then in the second verse, you can assume he takes her for granted because she puts him so high up but he can never come down. His ego may make him feel untouchable.
Then you see the true abuse in the refrain. She "came in like a wrecking ball" which signifies her powerful love for him but all he ever did was "wreck me". He was bad for her, maybe with violent beatings or harsh words. Another line that gives insight is "don't you ever say I just walked away". This is almost a snap at the man as she is threatening him if he ever gives that excuse when their split comes up in conversation. Miley is saying that she gave it all she got, she didn't just "walk away" when things were at their worst.
In the bridge you hear Miley's last attempt to somewhat apologize or rather reflect on this crazy yet horrible love. She says she "never meant to start a war" and she wanted him to "let me in". She had pure intentions but he clearly did not honor them.
Just the imagery of a wrecking ball is condusive to an abusive relationship and beyond falling madly in love, the wrecking ball symbolizes the destructive powers that love can have on somebody if it is unhealthy or flat out dangerous.
Her opening line is setting a very depressing scene. It's candid, but very upsetting. You visualize a helpless person sobbing maybe in bed or at a table late at night. They are probably alone in an apartment or house and they are alone and left to deal with their emotions.
She also has lots of eerie imagery such as "ghost of a girl" or loneliness "following her to bed". She is being haunted by the overwhelming grief. Not only is she dragged down by these feelings, but they are also quite terrifying because she can not control them. She sees herself as just a fraction of what she once was and she does not have the power to stop what her emotions are turning her into. She feels incredibly weakened by her overbearing loneliness.
Also instead of having a partner or a friend to be beside her in times of need or helping her fall asleep, the loneliness will "hold me till I fall asleep". All of the activities that humans do with one another such as cuddle or dance is being done solo or even worse...with the loneliness.
The lonely in this song is a personified being. It is ruthless, demanding and constantly attaching itself to those who are vulnerable. Lonliness is such a strong emotion and Perri talks about how it strangles her to the point that she is barely able to survive. Her breathy tone of voice in this song prove that she is struggling and makes any listener really dig deep down and enter a time when despair feels like the only option.
has for All his grandchildren, however he had a special bond/connection with this grandchild that was taken tragically and it's only normal to express the special bond they had.
That child was him looking in the mirror!