"Islands" as written by Oliver David Sim, Romy Anna Madley Croft, James Thomas Smith and Baria Qureshi....
I don't have to leave anymore
What I have is right here
Spend my nights and days before
Searching the world for what's right here

Underneath and unexplored
Islands and cities I have looked
Here I saw
Something I couldn't over look

I am yours now
So now I don't ever have to leave
I've been found out
So now I'll never explore

See what I've done
That bridge is on fire
Going back to where I've been
I'm froze by desire
No need to leave

Where would I be
IF this were to go under
It's a risk I'd take
I'm froze by desire
As if a choice I'd make

And I am yours now
So now I don't ever have to leave
I've been found out
So now I'll never explore

So now I'll never explore


Lyrics submitted by Joshoewaa

"Islands" as written by James Thomas Smith Baria Qureshi

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Islands song meanings
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47 Comments

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  • +11
    General CommentI think this song is about finding 'the one' to early in life.

    Your happy to have your true love, and everything is great, but then you realize that your done.. no more looking or new experiences with other lovers. And eventually that could lead to self-sabotage "see What i've done, the bridge is on fire" its to much smooth sailing to fast, meeting the right one to early in life.. its something a lot of people can probably relate too, i love it, it is beautifully written, and the video is miraculous! But its sad and true how this can turn out in a broken hearts and confusion.
    saveloveon December 12, 2011   Link
  • +8
    My InterpretationWow. It sounds like there's a lot of over analyzing being done here. I personally never had it happen to me, but it sounds like the song is simply about falling in love with a friend that has been there all along. Every verse talks about looking for love all over the place while it was right in front of them the whole time.

    I really like this part:
    "See what I've done
    That bridge is on fire
    Going back to where I've been"

    It sounds as if he crossed the bridge to his long-time friend/new lover and then set the bridge on fire so he could never go away.
    Wheezeron November 04, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think many people have it right, really. But there's too much everyones leaving out.

    "Islands and cities I have looked
    Here I saw
    Something I couldn't over look"

    She was out searching for her love, while she was she had an empiphany of sorts, that he was where she wanted him to be all along.

    "I've been found out
    So now I'll never explore"

    She was with someone, she was exploring and who's to say she didn't actually find someone there? She's been found out by the other man that her love wasn't in his heart, but in the heart of another.

    "Where would I be
    If this were to go under
    That's a risk I'd take"

    She gave up the other man and now she's wondering. Because she has nothing left but him and that love. The video really gives a different perspective. Everyone's together but by the end only she's standing there in a reign of fire. It really lends itself to the story. Because it doesn't sound happy. It's bittersweet and it aches longingly in your chest. Just my interpreation because I get too deep like that :D
    deltadecapitatedon May 28, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI completely disagree with the people saying it's happy. I think it is actually really sad.

    I think she loves someone that's been in front of her all along and she wasn't going to do anything about it but she was "found out." Now that they know, she has to give up dreams to "explore" because she is "frozen by desire." She has stayed with the person she loves and now she can't do the things she wants to do because she'll lose them if she does. She recognises that the person is who she needs and that they're too good to give up and she doesn't "ever have to leave" but she still longs to "explore".
    hollybridget24on June 08, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song talks about finding someone and feeling ambivalent. Once the search is over then there isn't really any reason to go "explore". I think that's part of the fun of it all --the excitement of the chase. To not have to do that anymore when all this time you've been used to chasing this someone is quite a change. It's a double edged sword in a way; you find your love and the long journey is over, but then you've got this person in your life and you're kind of clueless as to go about doing things. Kind of like building up all this excitement to buy something you really want, and then when you finally buy it, it's not enough or it's not as satisfying as it was initially in the beginning when you wanted it so bad.
    noirarcanumon April 27, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI don't know if I'm right about this but I think this song is about the progress of a relationship and love. At the beginning of the song this person has found love and believes that this other person is the one for her and her search for love is over so she no longer needs to explore. At the very end of the song I get the feeling that the relationship has ended. I think the repeat of the final line is her mocking her previous thoughts that her search for love was over and that she found the right person. I also feel as though she can no longer bear to start exploring again because of her experience with love. She took a risk and sacrificed things for love only for her to realize her partner wasn't the one for her. She is understandably upset and now she never wants to go through that again (so now i'll never explore).
    My interpretation of this song seems to fit in with the video as well. I also don't want to believe that this song is just about some chick who's bored of the guy she is with and wants to sleep around. I think this song is better than that.
    Pescadoon September 30, 2010   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning'Islands' turned me on to the xx... more specifically the magically-weird music video. One view and I was hooked. The video was compelling but the song...

    I like it. And it's good.

    Like any good song, it can mean a lot of things depending on who you are at the moment. But I think--I *think* a lot of people are hitting the nail...erm not on the head necessarily but getting there.

    A lot of people have said happiness. Just as many have said sadness. klopas mentioned that it's about a person who's "rocked their [the speaker's] world," in a positive way. vaqued suggested the speaker is never going to live life "outside that moment" now that his/her affections have been recognized by their object. noirarcanum mentions ambivalence, pGFP nervousness. it was interesting to see beccabanksxx's breakdown of getting talked into love followed by calamitycalls's explaining the pitfalls of believing in one's own delusion.

    ...but it's a bit bemusing when the song gets typecast as being about blissful security or transformed into a story about either wanting to be promiscuous or having some traumatic falling-out with a soulmate. 'islands' can be a lot of things but it's always itself.

    if i just really sit down with the song and listen to what it's saying, i'm getting different layers. like the music video, the song seems quite simple, sparse, but what makes it haunting is that it surprises you with tonnes of meaning that you didn't expect and is just awesome. 'cause this stuff you can relate to in a visceral way, but it's enough just to examine it. oliver said that when he writes, he does it sometimes just when he's really ready to sleep, and when he wakes up and looks at his work, he sees it with a detachment.

    looking at 'Islands,' with detachment, I feel as though it's just one page of someone's diary, about one who, as darkflower put really well, realized they've found a wonderful answer to just playing the field but has seen that their way of seeing things had been far from correct. and that just means a "return to old habits." the beginning is just very fresh, almost naive, but then things build, and by the end the riff from the beginning's become perfunctory, it's thawed a little. just a little. and i just gotta listen again.

    if there's any song that could define slipping away out of love, this would be it.
    Tsuppion November 19, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSounds to me like She was having an affair with a married man and got busted?

    "I am yours now
    So now I don't ever have to leave
    I've been found out
    So now I'll never explore"

    I reckon the video also alludes to this.
    The girl on the left is the one who is having an affair with the guy in the centre couple.
    The girl from the centre couple finds out and leaves him.
    Then the guy from the centre couple eventually leaves the girl he was having an affair with.
    "As if a choice I'd make" (to leave his wife for her)

    Maybe, maybe not, either way it's a great song and a great sound.
    Snodlanderon March 18, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can't believe I'm the first comment to this song!
    it's pure beauty. <3

    the meaning is easy. She finally found what she was looking for and
    there's no need for her to look elsewhere. She has what she needs
    and she's happy. :)
    Music1Loveron August 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI was surprised to read that people thought she was happy. It always seemed rather forlorn to me, that she'll "never explore".

    In the line "what I have is right here", it seems purposeful that the word have is used instead of want, need, etc.

    I do love this song...
    allie143on December 09, 2009   Link

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