"Isobel" as written by Rollo Armstrong and Dido Armstrong....
I thought it was funny when you missed the train
When I rang you at home they said you left yesterday
I thought it was strange when your car was found
By the tree in Ennis where we used to hang around

Dear Isobel
I hope you're well and what you've done is right
Oh it's been such hell
I wish you well I hope you're safe tonight

It's been a long day coming and long will it last
When it's last day leaving, and I'm helping it pass by loving you more

And who he would become, all the things he'd have done
Would he have loved you, and not let you down
And would he be stronger than his father
Don't punish yourself, leave it well alone

Dear Isobel
I hope you're well and what you've done is right
Oh it's been such hell
I wish you well I hope you're safe tonight

It's been a long day coming and long will it last
When it's last day leaving, and I'm helping it pass by loving you more

It's been a long day coming and long will it last
When it's last day leaving, and I'm helping it pass by loving, loving you more.


Lyrics submitted by Radioactive Man

"Isobel" as written by Rollo Armstrong Dido Armstrong

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Isobel song meanings
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38 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI think I remember hearing that it's about one of Dido's friends going to have an abortion...
    "Who he would become, all the things he'd have done,
    Would he have loved you and not let you down,
    And would he be stronger than his father,
    Don't punish yourself, leave it well alone"
    Farfalla27on July 19, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMy wife's take on this song combines the abortion and suicide theories. Isobel has the abortion and then feels so overwhelmed with guilt that she kills herself. In any case, it seems like the lyrics are ambiguous enough to embrace any of these ideas.
    JustBenon March 14, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMaybe the song is about suicide ANDabortion, like she was pregnant and she killed both herself and the baby?
    quachyon July 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti thought it was maybe she killed herself but lines like 'i hope you're safe tonight' and 'im helping it pass' maybe make me think its just that shes left but forever. But its does have that haunting feeling throughout. This is my fav on the album after much deliberation, have u noticed its so hard to choose one!
    eatmorefruitandnuton July 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think she killed herself and this is a very very sad one... but still such a bittersweet song....
    Sunnyon July 18, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel like this song is about Isobel's abortion and the guilt that she feels for it, and Dido is worried that she has killed herself out of guilt.

    "And who he would become by the things he'd have done
    Would he have loved you and not let you down
    And would he be stronger than his father
    Don't punish yourself, leave it well alone"
    diggerjocon October 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou know... I always thought that the way she phrased two of the lines was interesting.

    "By the tree in Ennis where we used to hang around"

    The word 'hang' has a kind of ominous meaning to me. Like, maybe there's a reason that specific word was chosen instead of something else. Maybe it has a double meaning & Isobel hung herself?
    Just my two cents.
    dragonsilkon January 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell I always believed it was about suicide, but now when I read the comments about the pregnancy and the abortion, I think that the song might be after all about a combination of both cases, I think Isobel had a boyfriend who left her once he knew she got pregnant and then she had to kill herself thinking that it was the only solution to liberate her from her misery, then the part where Dido sings " And who he would become by the things he'd have done ....." I think she is like mourning the unborn child, that innocently died, stating that he might have loved his mom more than his father and he might have been stronger to sick to her side and look after her, unlike his father.
    specon September 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think Dido's friend, Isobel committed suicide for some unknown reason. Maybe she did hang herself at the tree where they used to "hang" around. I think her boyfriend got her pregnant then left her or beat her up.

    ragknoton September 02, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou know, I have two ideas of what this song could mean. 1) Isobel has killed herself, because of what her man did to her. 2) She just left him.
    Personally, I think it's the first one (suicide), I don't exactly know why. Plz post your opinion.
    FeyTHon June 06, 2002   Link

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