"Retrograde" as written by and James Blake Litherland....
You're on your own, in a world you've grown
Few more years to go,
Don't let the hurdle fall
So be the girl you loved,
Be the girl you loved

I'll wait, so show me why you're strong
Ignore everybody else,
We're alone now
I'll wait, so show me why you're strong
Ignore everybody else,
We're alone now

Suddenly I'm hip
Is this darkness of the dawn
And your friends are gone
When you friends won't come
So show me where you fit
So show me where you fit

I'll wait, so show me why you're strong
Ignore everybody else,
We're alone now
We're alone now
We're alone now
I'll wait

Suddenly I'm hip
Is this darkness of the dawn
And your friends are gone
When you friends won't come
So show me where you fit
So show me where you fit


Lyrics submitted by KVKUNKEL, edited by DR34, Takkak, joelio13, Maur, cr8tivejnx, bupples, samuel dexterga, bernlin2000, aneroid, AnnaBegins, A_Comedian, Bendubz, Alisonn, GoingInside, GhostHound, SomeBoys

"Retrograde" as written by James Blake Litherland

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Retrograde song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +8
    My InterpretationI think it says:

    "Suddenly I'm hit
    Is this darkness before the dawn?"

    It would make sense this way - on the other hand I'm trying hard to figure out the overall meaning of the song. Who is he talking to? What is he trying to say? How do the words tie in with the title Retrograde?

    Retrograde means to go back in position or time. To regress, retreat, go backward... iT COULD BE that he's waiting for her to go back, come back, to the girl he knew before, the way she used to be. For her to find her place again, where she felt like she fit in. And he'll be there for her, no matter what she puts him through ("suddendly I'm hit"), thinking it's just one more thing before she goes back to what he knew her to be ("is this the darkness before the dawn?).
    stardust13on July 05, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General CommentSuddenly I'm hit!*

    My heart breaks and reforms again at "Ignore everybody else/We're alone now." I like that is sounds as if he is simultaneously provoking and supporting the subject.

    So sexy it hurts. Everywhere.
    Mauron April 12, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretationkinda sounds like his partner had a breakdown or some kind of loss. He is challenging her, provoking her to pull herself back together and come back to him.
    the line "Show me how you're strong" telling her it's there pull it together. You alone can do this. No friends.
    Be the girl you love, you have this imagine, reach out and grab it.
    jeneva1000on October 20, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationHe is talking to someone special (love interest)

    "You're on your own, in a world you've grown"

    to me it doesn't mean she been alone all her life, she lived with the world in a world, she has had many people around her helping her.

    "Few more years to go,
    Don't let the hurdle fall
    So be the girl you loved,
    Be the girl you loved"

    he knows things will get better
    He's known her for a long time she is strong and beat many obstacles in her life (with the help of people around her), but now shes getting weak shes alone for once,

    "I'll wait, so show me why you're strong
    Ignore everybody else,
    We're alone now
    I'll wait, so show me why you're strong
    Ignore everybody else,
    We're alone now"

    He wants to have a relationship but she isn't ready, she going through so much and she doesn't want to lose him, he is willing to help her in her lonely times.
    he knows she's strong deep down, the people who once helped her betray and discourage her.

    "We're alone now
    We're alone now
    We're alone now
    I'll wait"

    He's constantly telling her everything will be ok, he wants her to get better when she doesn't think she will.
    james10813on October 02, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI hear "the starkness of the dawn" the second time "darkness overgrown" comes around, but I could be wrong.

    Either way, fucking perfect.
    alxckon February 08, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIs it suddenly I'm hip or suddenly I'm hit? I saw the lyrics somewhere else and it was hit.
    AnnaBeginson March 08, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationNo, it clearly says "Darkness of the dawn" but I think he's talking of the darkness that comes before the dawn.
    stardust13on July 05, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationInteresting song.
    In my opinion it is about loss, and pain, and trying to cope.
    The lyrics depict a conversation, possibly between two lovers, or two close people.
    But I like another idea better: I think that James is talking to himself. That this is some kind of a pep talk, he is in a bad place and he is trying to make himself feel better.

    ==============================================

    "Suddenly I'm hip" - this may be too obvious, but could refer to his overnight success last year (upon releasing his EP).
    It may not have been an easy experience. A lot of changes, a lot of expectations, a lot to deal with. The name of the album may also hint to that - "Overgrown". As if the young musician has been through a lot in a short time.

    Either way, this event that starts the 'story' of the song is abrupt, sharp, almost impossible to prepar to. And it hits hard. When the dust settles, things are not good. "Darkness". Emptyness. "Your friends are gone...". Nevertheless, he still hangs on to hope - "Is this the darkness of the dawn?..." he asks. He seeks reassurance that this is just the beginning (=dawn) and not the end. That it's going to get better.


    Comes the answer - the voice in his head telling him to hang in there -
    "Few more years to go, don't let the hurdle fall."
    Yes, this IS just the beginning. Have faith. But it's not going to be easy, so use what you have. "Be the girl you loved." She is someone you think highly of, so learn from her (her strength? Her patience? We'll never know...). She can be your inspiration in this journey.

    Just remember, James, when you go back out there, "You're on your own". You can't expect help from others, "Your friends won't come." You should not trust others, "Ignore everybody else." This is no longer your place. You need to get up and find a new place for yourself. "Show me where you fit."

    It will take time. But it's okay, "I'll wait". You have it in you. Now prove to me, to yourself, that you can move on. "Show me why you're strong."

    "We're alone now", he repeats to himself, like a mantra, until it will sink in.

    ==============================================

    The name of the song - "Retrograde" - could also support this interpretation.
    "Retrograde" - move backword, retreat, go back to an earlier condition.
    As if (very freely -) he needs to pull out of the race, to retreat to a safe place, so he can to gather his strength, so he can go back to being who he was before all this.

    Another definition (just discovered this now when I looked it up, and I love it :) ):
    "Retrograde motion" - to move opposite to something else (as in a satellite orbiting its planet opposite to the planet's rotation direction.)
    (Again, very freely -) you don't have to keep walking the same path as most of the others do. Even if that means that you'll be alone from now on, be true to yourself, be strong, ignore everybody else. Show me where YOU fit.
    tomjion December 15, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningHe actually said he wrote the song after a call with his girlfriend. He was pisses after they finished that call, so assuming it had to do with an argument with her. Also it's 'I'm hit' not hip hahaa. And the song is really obvious and self explanatory like he said in interviews!
    Title-on January 26, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationWhen I first heard this song I was like: oh god that's mean
    I was thinking he sings about a really old woman who's in elderhouse with a friend from there who actually dies ... :/ Made me feel even more depressive.
    -----
    Explanation:

    You're on your own, in a world you've grown
    Few more years to go,
    ** you grew old in the world, "few more years to go" ... till you're dead

    Don't let the hurdle fall
    So be the girl you loved,
    ** hang on, enjoy the rest of the live and be the girl - a child, remember your memories from childhood when you had fun

    I'll wait, so show me why you're strong
    Ignore everybody else,
    ** ignore all those mean youngsters who have NO idea what you experienced
    We're alone now
    I'll wait, so show me why you're strong
    ** I'm with you (maybe a guy in elderly house) show me what you learned in your life. You're strong. death will come, be strong ?

    We're alone now
    ** all our friends are already dead

    Suddenly I'm hip
    Is this darkness of the dawn
    ** I've calmed, my hour is coming, am dying

    And your friends are gone
    When you friends won't come
    ** now even I (the last friend you had) died and the friends won't ever come again ...
    ---------------
    I think after what I've read here, I'm so glad that it wasn't about the story I imagined... Makes me feel better for James that he doesn't have such cruel songs :D Maybe I'd understand it differently if English was actually my mother language :D
    randomerizeron July 11, 2014   Link

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