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

"Retrograde" as written by James Blake Litherland

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Retrograde song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +5
    My Interpretation:I 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
  • +2
    General Comment:Suddenly 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
  • +2
    My Interpretation:kinda 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
  • +1
    General Comment:I 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 Comment:Is 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
  • 0
    General Comment:"Is this darkness or the dawn?"
    joeykidaon February 17, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation:No, 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
  • 0
    My Interpretation:Interesting 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
  • 0
    Song Meaning:He 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
  • 0
    General Comment:All i can say is it should have won Zane Lowe's Hottest Record of 2013 (came in 6th) A beautiful song that i could listen to every day without fail. So relaxing and it should be on EVERY picnic playlist as it is perfect for a lazy sunday afternoon
    Bendubzon January 30, 2014   Link

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