SONG MEANING: Adele’s “Remedy” is a heartfelt ballad about her three-year-old song, Angelo, but the song’s promise to “be your remedy” also applies to her other loved ones. The song is a tender promise to be there for those she cares about.
If you love this post and want to help me, please tweet me! Thanks!
I think “Remedy” is one of the sweetest songs from Adele’s new album. The song rolls smoothly, and the piano is a beautiful addition to her voice. “Remedy” is the first song that I’ve explained from Adele that’s not about a romantic relationship. Sometimes an artist who’s too focused on romantic love can be one dimensional and forget the depths of other kinds of love. But like Andrew McMahon’s “Cecilia and the Satellite,” Adele diversifies her topics and her types of love by extending her characteristic soulful, deep love to her young son Angelo.
I’ve added “Remedy” and several other recent hits to my Spotify playlist “Clifford Stumme’s Pop Prerogative.” Feel free to follow the playlist! (If the song’s not yet there, I’m waiting for it to release on Spotify. Thanks for your patience!)
The Line-by-Line Story of “Remedy” by Adele
The title “Remedy” is either a noun or a verb respectively meaning “a cure” or “to cure.” In this song, Adele wants to be the cure for the difficulties that another human being is experiencing.
In the First Verse, she sings, “I remember all of the things that I though I wanted to be / So desperate to find a way out of my world and finally breath.” This first verse is a reflection on herself and how her desire to become something changed when her “heart . . . came to life.” Something happened that caused her to stop wanting something more–she found purpose despite the fact that such a thing is “not meant to be.” “Every story has it’s scars,” she explains, but despite these scars she’s found purpose and a place to fit in.
This place is at the side of her loved ones, particularly her three-year-old Angelo. In the Chorus she explains that she’ll always be there for him: “When the pain cuts you deep / When the night keeps you from sleeping . . .” Adele is prepared for any situation and tells Angelo to “look and you will see / That I will be your remedy.” She’ll help him and save him from those situations. She continues to say that she’ll do the same “[w]hen the world seems so cruel / And your heart makes you feel like a fool.” Whether he feels pain from without or within, she will be there for him.
Verse Two of “Remedy” continues Adele’s declarations of how much she is dedicated to supporting Angelo and her other loved ones; she sings, “No river is too wide or too deep for me to swim to you / Come whenever I’ll be the shelter that won’t let the rain come through.”
She goes on to say, “Your love, it is my truth / And I will always love you / Love you.” This is an interesting declaration because it also tells us how important it is to Adele to be loved by the target of her affection. If people search for truth in facts, Adele treats the love of her son and friends like a similar target that she wants to find and treasure. Truth is something we base our lives on, and this love of those around her is Adele’s foundation.
Adele’s “Remedy” is herself; her son Angelo inspired this love in her, and he seems to have inspired her to pass the love in that song on to those around her. The song is a beautiful, rolling, passionate declaration of this love, and I’m sure Angelo will one day appreciate it as much as and more than I (and possibly you) do.
One Quick Thought (that Is Not an Accusation of Adele)
“Your love, it is my truth” is a part of this song that really makes me think. I’m not sure how Adele would answer my questions about it, but I’d only hope that by it she doesn’t mean that her love for her son would die if he didn’t love her back.
In The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis explains need-love: “Need-love says of a woman ‘I cannot live without her.'” It’s a naive kind of love that burns with passion and heat; it derives that strength from itself and from reciprocation from the other party. In that book and others, Lewis describes gift-love as being one that gives freely to and suffers freely for others. A mother’s love is typically gift-love but can be mutated to a form of need-love that values the relationship with the child over the child itself. She has to be with her child and wants her child to love her at any cost.
I’m certainly not accusing Adele of being selfish, but the phrase “[y]our love, it is my truth” is something that I’ll probably never say because it has these connotations in my own mind. What do you think?
With God’s help, there is hope, and I’m glad Adele could remind me of and model the type of love that God gives–pure gift-love. I think it’s interesting that the love Adele describes here (apart from the one line mentioned above) sounds an awful lot like God’s love for us–He truly is the inspiration for all good human love and our “remedy.”
Sorry for the tangent and thanks for reading!
Clifford Stumme has his master’s in English literature and is a blogger and a college instructor/desk-watcher at Liberty University. He likes juggling and reading/writing, and he is married to the wonderful and beautiful Wife April. He thinks pop music is awesome. Seriously awesome.