Adele, one of the most prominent singers in today's music industry, recently struck the world with her third highly acclaimed album, 25(previous albums include 19 and 21, in which all names reflect her age at the time the album was published). Adele sparks inspiration from life experiences, such as individual passions, struggles, and heartbreaks. The album, 25, features Adele clashing with the sorrow and despair she experiences through different situations in her life.
"River Lea," is a popular song on the album that conveys Adele's attempts to deal with her past. Adele primarily uses personification to present her ideals. For example, at the beginning of the song, Adele sings, "When I was a child I grew up by the River Lea / There was something in the water, now that something's in me." This lyric provides for a literal meaning, as there is an actual River Lea in London, England, and the 'something in the water' hints that the water in the river is polluted. However, when Adele states 'now that something's in me,' she indicates that not only was the river polluted, but also the influence from her foolish youth is imposed in her. She further exclaims, "But it's in my roots, it's in my veins," suggesting that she cannot help acting a certain way (such as hurting her lover). Additionally, when Adele repeatedly sings 'it,' she refers to the literal blood inside her body and how it has been engraved to her painful past. Adele then sings, "So, I blame it on the River Lea." She concludes that her poisoned past has caused her to fail emotionally in her relationships and how she cannot forget her past.
Furthermore, Adele uses more personification to display how she cannot dismiss her past. Adele sings, "I stained every heart that I used to heal the pain," to represent the hopelessness she feels when she cannot succeed in a relationship. Adele tries to fix her relationships, but ends up doing more harm than good. She keeps making mistakes, but does not know how to fix them because her experience has been based upon a pile of defeat. She additionally states, "Consider this my apology, I know it's years in advance, / But I'd rather say it now in case I never get the chance." Adele knows that she is prone to hurt her significant other, so she tries to repair how she might handle a situation before she does make a mistake. Adele also sings, "No I can't go back, but the reeds are growing out of my fingertips / I can't go back to the river." The reeds Adele refers to are the marsh plants in the River Lea, which also signify her growing frustrations and her growing need to not create another blunder. Adele further expresses her anger of how 'she can't go back to the river,' implying how she cannot repeat the past yet again.
The song, "River Lea," provides the metaphor of Adele's difficult past. The song serves to interpret Adele's deep emotions and inner thoughts she has about herself. Furthermore, Adele struggles to escape from her relationship failures but cannot because her foolish romantic ways are still engraved in her mind. Adele seems to challenge the mistakes she has made, but also feels powerless to do such change. The rather negative influence from the experiences she's had give listeners input about Adele's endeavors in her love life.