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"To Die For" Sam Smith

by Brianna Bush - Editor-in-Chief
Wed, Mar 4th 2020 02:00 pm

Death anxiety is one of the first things that came to mind with Sam Smith’s new single “To Die For.” Like many of Smith’s songs the lyrical composition paired with a great instrumental make up for a song that can tug at the heart strings of many listeners.

The intro to the song threw me off at first. It consisted of what can be assumed as an automatic voice message, or even a simple recording. What threw me was the emotionless tone of the voices in the intro of the song — “It is if everyone dies alone. Does that scare you?” “I don’t want to be alone.”

The soft instrumentals, including piano and a synthetic drum set the tone for the song. Listeners can infer their lyrics are about a falling out or a relationship going sour.

The chorus, “couples holding hands on a runway / they’re all posing in a picture frame whilst my world’s crashing down / solo shadow on a sidewalk / just want somebody to die for / sunshine living on a perfect day whilst my world’s crashing down / I just want somebody to die for,” can be taken as a call for help. When Smith asks for “somebody to die for,” I can only assume they are looking for someone with whom they can live the rest of their life.

The music video shows Smith, just their head, in a window display watching as couples of all genders, races and assumed orientations pass by happily. Each couple finds refuge near the store that Smith is in, each scene is a different happy couple, the ‘picture perfect couple.’ It isn’t until the very last verse that Smith is freed from the store front, quite literally “crashing” through the glass casing — the assailant carrying Smith’s head away as the music fades out with the same emotionless voices echoing.

This song is unique, and I can honestly listen to it on a loop, with Smith’s soothing vocals and the overarching theme — death and love — of the song is both frightening and appealing. Though it can be repetitive, there is a certain appeal to it. There are only two verses, if you don’t count the toneless voices interjecting in between the last two choruses. 

The first verse, Smith calls out “I look for you / every day / every night / I close my eyes / from the fear / from the light / as I wander down the avenue so confused / guess I’ll try and force a smile,” I assume that Smith is trying to find their place in a harsh world. 

Smith is very outspoken about their misgendering in the public eye, and they fear that it will never end. I believe that this song is not only alluding to love and death, but also to things like this never ending — misgendering. “As I wander down the avenue so confused,” can refer to Smith first questioning their orientation and gender. The response, “guess I’ll try and force a smile,” brought this feeling that Smith doesn’t believe he will find someone “To Die For.”

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