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Set Fire to the Rain

Set Fire to the Rain: The Meaning Behind Adele’s Hit Song

Set Fire to the Rain: The Meaning Behind Adele's Hit Song

“Set Fire to the Rain” is a song recorded by English singer-songwriter Adele for her second studio album, 21 (2011). The song was written by Adele and Fraser T. Smith while the production was handled by the latter. It became Adele’s third consecutive US number-one single from 21 and reached the top ten in most of other foreign markets.

But what is the song really about? What does it mean to set fire to the rain? And why did Adele choose this metaphor to express her emotions?

In this article, we will explore the lyrics and the backstory of “Set Fire to the Rain” and try to understand the message that Adele wanted to convey with this powerful ballad.

The Lyrics

The lyrics of “Set Fire to the Rain” tell the story of a relationship that started with passion and ended with pain. Adele describes how she fell in love with a man who seemed perfect at first, but who turned out to be dishonest and manipulative. He made her believe that he loved her, but he was actually playing games with her and cheating on her. He broke her heart and left her feeling betrayed and hopeless.

The chorus of the song is where Adele uses the imagery of setting fire to the rain to express her frustration and anger. She says that she set fire to the rain, meaning that she tried to do something impossible and contradictory. She tried to make sense of his lies, she tried to change him, she tried to save their relationship, but it was all in vain. She watched it pour as she touched his face, meaning that she witnessed their love fading away as she held him close. She heard him screaming out her name, meaning that he pretended to care for her and begged for her forgiveness, but it was too late. She felt burned by his deception and hurt by his rejection.

The Backstory

The Lyrics

In an interview with Billboard magazine in 2011, Adele revealed that “Set Fire to the Rain” was inspired by a real-life experience that she had with an ex-boyfriend. She said: “It’s about my ex who made me feel like I was in love with him when I wasn’t. He was so convincing. He never did anything bad; he just lied about everything.”

She also explained that the title of the song came from a random phrase that she said during a phone conversation with her friend. She said: “I was on a date with this guy who took me for dinner at his friend’s house. It was raining when we got there, so we had to stay inside. It was really boring and awkward. I wanted to leave, but I didn’t want to be rude. So I called my friend and said, ‘I’m setting fire to the rain right now.’ She laughed and said, ‘What does that even mean?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, but it sounds cool.'”

Adele later used that phrase as a metaphor for her failed relationship and wrote the song with Fraser T. Smith, who also produced it. She said: “We wanted it to be very dark and very grand. We wanted it to sound like a thunderstorm.”

The Conclusion

The Backstory

“Set Fire to the Rain” is a song that showcases Adele’s vocal prowess and emotional depth. It is a song that resonates with many people who have gone through similar situations of heartbreak and betrayal. It is a song that reminds us that sometimes love can be destructive and painful, but also that we can overcome it and move on.

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