The meaning of the song «Ophelia» by The Lumineers

The meaning of the song «Ophelia» by The Lumineers songs

Songs are quite different, as are the bands that wrote them. Love stories, tragic events, or a hilarious story about one’s adventures – all this can be expressed through music. Songs are a great way to express your emotions, feelings, and experiences. A well-written song can resonate in the hearts of the listeners and allow them to feel the same emotions as the author of this song.

The group’s path to fame and universal recognition can be both easy and fast, and very hard and long. Glory is a rather complicated concept, and everyone interprets it to their own taste and color. Just about the acquisition of quick fame, its consequences, and the influence of fame itself on the group, the song of the band “The lumineers” tells.

How the group was created.

The lumineers were formed in 2005 in Denver, USA. The band’s original lineup consisted of Wesley Schultz (founder, guitar, vocals), Jeremy Freitz (drums). In 2010, Neyla Pekarek (Cello, Vocals) joined the men’s group, and in 2012 Ben Wahamaki (Bass) and Steel Ulvang (Piano) joined the group. Since the day it was founded, the band has written many great songs, one of which was “Ohpelia”.


Ophelia is a loose metaphor for people in love with fame. Glory, according to the meaning of the song, may seem like an endless banquet to a person burdened with it. However, in reality, this person will be just brilliant, bright and new for people only up to a certain point in time, and then his fame and recognition disappear. Now he is not so popular, and all that remains for him is to live out the rest of his life without the same attention and reverent attitude towards his personality. It’s about caring so much about the people around you and not caring so much about other people’s evaluative opinions.

“Ophelia” is about an encounter with fame, and the character Ophelia represents fame. When the band released their latest album, “Ho Hey” became incredibly popular and the band was thrown into the spotlight. “Ho Hey” peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and The Lumineers were invited to music festivals as they went from local indie band to international phenomenon. The clash with fame was very difficult and difficult for the group. The group was simply not ready for such a quick and general recognition from the world community.

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As with songs like Courtney Barnett’s “Pedestrian at Best” (an energetic dream of newfound fame), The Lumineers’ song is a similar, though more disguised, reflection on what it means to be famous.

In the first verse, Schultz sings “Ah, ah, when I was younger / I, I should’ve know better”. He may have wanted to be famous, but now he knows how difficult and thankless being in the spotlight can be. He continues: “And I can’t feel no remorse/ And you can’t feel nothing back. He made it, his senses numb, but he’s still glad that the pressure of fame has eased. The person he’s talking to, Ophelia, is also insensitive, which could mean that fame really doesn’t fight back emotionally: she’s cold and aloof, and it’s important to keep a good relationship with her, otherwise she’ll bring a lot of problems.

Schultz continues the verse by singing “I, I got a new girlfriend here / Feels like he’s on top”. It seems to be a reference to when he was first in a relationship with Ophelia. It was euphoria, and he was at his best: she was gorgeous, and the fame was exciting. And subsequently he met a new girlfriend after Ophelia and left. In this case, these lines are written after he realized that fame is not at all what he imagined.

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By the way, the action of the song takes place during his relationship with Ophelia, because the last line of the verse is: “And you can’t see past my blindness.” He doesn’t understand how things really work, how complicated “girl” Ophelia can be, and that she still needs to learn.

In the chorus, The Lumineers sing “Oh, Ophelia/ You’ve been on my mind, girl, since the flood” and “Heaven help the fool who falls in love”. The chorus seems to be written after fame and after relationship with Ophelia respectively. “The flood” is a reference to the band’s rise to fame, and while the band pity “Fool who falls in love” for a fool who falls in love in the case of the song Fools in Love, they thought about the meaning of the words, which led to the song being written.

In the second verse, the band sings “I, I got a little paycheck / You got big plans and you gotta move”. They’ve made some money from their time in the spotlight, but Ophelia (or fame) doesn’t stay with one person for long and has to “move on.” Ophelia is a wanderer and only loves one person for a short time, leaving that person to keep thinking about her after she’s gone. When she leaves, The lumineers “Feel nothing at all” feel nothing, realizing that Ophelia “Can’t feel nothing small” cannot feel anything small – she is only attracted to big sights and cannot enjoy the simple everyday life.

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The bridge is short but important. The music is simplified and Schultz sings “Honey, I love you / That’s all she wrote”. Slava left the group leaving nothing but a simple “I love you”, which, if preceded by discord and bad attitude, may mean nothing at all. “Fame is fleeting and cannot be trusted,” the band seems to say.

And that’s the moral of this whole song: fame may “love you hard” for a moment, but it will move on, and you might be better off if you never got into that relationship with “Ophelia.” Therefore, when interpreting the meaning of the song, it is very important to remain neutral, even when gaining great popularity, since this popularity, if treated incorrectly, can play a very bad joke on a person / group.

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