"End Of The Affair" as written by and Benjamin John Howard....
The end of the affair
The weight of the world
The kindness gone to bed
The way of your laughter
Alive in the halls
Did he hear, did he hear
The fumbled words you said

Living without her
Living at all
Seems to slow me down
Living forever
Hell, I don't know
Do I care, do I care
The thunder's rumbled sound

Now I watch her
Running 'round in love again
Now I talk about you
When I'm with our mutual friends

The end of the affair
The weight of the world
The kindness gone to bed
It's free of your laughter
Alive after all
Did he hear, did he hear
The fumbled words he said

Living without her
Living at all
Seems to slow me down
Living forever
Hell, I don't know
Do I care, do I care
The thunder's rumbled sound

Now I watch her
Running 'round in love again
Now I talk about you
When I'm with our mutual friends

Now I watch her
Running 'round in love again
Now I talk about you
When I'm with our mutual friends

This is it
This is just it
Go to him
What the hell, love?
What the hell?

This is it
This is just it
Go to him
What the hell, love?
What the hell?

This is it
What the hell, love?
What the hell?


Lyrics submitted by Abbie96, edited by M4TTY, darrenleesl

"End of the Affair" as written by Benjamin John Howard

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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End Of The Affair song meanings
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  • +4
    My InterpretationIn spite of the title being End Of The Affair, I think this song isn't about a love affair which I think most people associate with but instead an affair (like an issue) about love. Specifically, it's about the stages of moving on after a breakup.

    "The end of the after"
    I think it relates to the period where, after a breakup, there are those moments where you still talk to your former lover and there's always the thought of a rekindling but in this case, it has ended.

    "The weight of a war
    The kindness gone to bed"
    This is the point where all the arguments and talking (the war) together with the kindness that they had for each other has disappeared (gone to bed). From my experience, this is the moment where you just realize that you just can't. There's no way to keep talking without affection after a breakup.

    "The weight of your laughter
    Alive in the hall
    Did he hear, did he hear the fumbled words you said"
    I believe this is a bit after the breakup and you start hearing that she's starting to move on. She's starting to be happy and someone else is around her and you start to wonder if he's taken your place (fumbled words being how when people are in love and they tend to be shy when around their 'crush').

    "Living without her
    Living at all
    Seems to slow me down
    Living forever
    Hell I don't know
    Do I care do I care the thunder's rumbled sound"
    This is that point after a breakup, where every moment seems so bleak without her. It's hard because you still think about her so much and care but not having her living by you just seems to make life seem not worth living anymore. And when friends (thunder's rumbled sound, with thunder being the sounds/voices) come to help, you just listen to their advice but you know it's just passing through one end and out the next because you're still deeply in love with her.

    "And now I watch her
    Running 'round in love again
    Now I talk about you
    When I'm with our mutual friends"
    This is at that point where you and her are supposed to have moved on. You've heard (and probably saw) that she's with another person and talking about her when you're around mutual friends is difficult because you have to pretend that you don't love her anymore when you probably still do.

    "This is it
    This is just it
    Go to him
    What the hell, love?
    What the hell?"
    This is the frustrating part when one has moved on and one hasn't. In this, you just can't contain yourself anymore (not that you have been in control). You vent your frustration and anger after learning that she's with someone else. And then you start questioning everything. Questioning love. Questioning life. Questioning it all. (What the hell).

    In all, I think yeah, this is a song about the post-breakup cycle. The part where you just can't talk to each other and after a while you think you're okay. But the moment you see her with another lover, all the memories come flooding back and you just become angry and frustrated and all the things people hate. And the worst thing is, you have to pretend you're okay when you're amongst mutual friends. You have to let her have her happiness and you'd rather yourself be hurt than to hurt her again.
    darrenleeslon October 31, 2014   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationAnother magnificent masterpiece of Ben Howard that leaves a lasting impression on me. It’s just another Howard song that I just can’t stop listening to. The song in all its aspects is so fragile; the structure, but most of all, the content.

    The content brims over with complexity. It took me a while before I was getting some insight in what he was telling. This is what I made of it:

    In my opinion, the story contains 4 principal roles: ‘he’, ‘you’, ‘her’ and ‘I’. The I-person obviously plays a central role. It all revolves around him. With “End of the Affair” as title of the song, you know the story is about the I-person who had an affair with a mistress. I think the hardest part is to figure who plays which role.

    I believe when the I-person mentions ‘her’, he’s talking about his wife. I believe the events of this song have already took place. The affair has been brought into the open. His wife discovered about his adultery. She left him. (“Living without her”) Furthermore, his wife has moved on now, she’s found someone new in her life (“And now I watch her / Running ‘round in love again”), while he feels like he’s still stuck in his life, like there’s nothing left for him. No love, no life.

    When the I-person mentions ‘you’, he’s talking about his mistress. The ‘he’ refers to the spouse of his former mistress. I’m talking about ‘former mistress’, because also with her, it’s the end of the affair. Not only did his wife knows about his adultery, but his mistress didn’t choose him over her spouse. So, the I-person is left alone, his wife left him, his mistress left him. He can’t live without them. He still talks nostalgically about his affair and mistress when he’s with the right company (“Now I talk about you / When I’m with our mutual friends), but the fact is that he’s all alone. There’s no one left.

    For me, that story makes sense in this song. The first sentence is “the end of the after”, but Ben Howard makes it – and I think, on purpose – sound like “the end of the affair” or even “the end of the after”. It’s literally a very ambiguous sentence. But overall, they all tell the same story: it’s over. There’s nothing left anymore. It’s time to move on. The war is over. And there was bloodshed, but it was all his blood. He has lost everything: “This is desert”, a huge emptiness in his life with an endless view. He doesn’t see a way out anymore, he’s almost at wit’s end. (“Living without her / Living at all / Seems to slow me down / Living forever / Hell, I don’t know / Do I care, do I care the thunder’s rumbled sound?”) He’s bagging one of them to come back as a last resource, I think (“And what of him / What the hell, love”). That is when he’s getting angry and frustrated and the music – the sound as well as the rhythm – then changes completely.
    dGEon October 23, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIn my point of view it's about a married woman that the narrator had relationship with and came to and end:

    "Did he hear, did he hear?"
    Refers to the husband of the woman.

    "Now I watch her
    Running 'round in love again
    Now I talk about you
    When I'm with our mutual friends"
    Here "You" and "Her" are the same person, a delicate and playful change of direction.

    "This is it
    This is just it
    Go to him
    What the hell, love?
    What the hell?"
    Anger and frustration of this unbelievable end. "Him" may refers to her new lover or old husband.
    seyedanon May 02, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSo this song is Ben Howard's reflection on the book The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. When listened to in light of Graham Greene's story the song fits perfectly. However, due to the fact that if I listed all the references in Ben Howard's song ("did he hear, did he hear the fumbled words you said" for example) I would spoil the hell out of the entire book, I'm not going to explain anything. You'll just have to take a look at the book for yourself if you wanna see the meaning and inspiration behind Ben Howard's amazing song.
    noahsimmson October 20, 2016   Link

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