Adele: Set Fire to the Rain Meaning
Song Released: 2011
Set Fire to the Rain Lyrics
I let it fall, my heart,
And as it fell, you rose to claim it,
It was dark and I was over,
Until you kissed my lips and you saved me,
My hands, they were strong, but my knees were far too weak,
To stand in your...
anonymous Apr 4th, 2011 4:09pm report
In the beginning, it seems as if she has just ended a relationship. She is torn from that relationship and is in pieces (i.e. "I let it fall, my heart" and "It was dark and I was over").
She comments at how this new relationship helped her pull herself together (i.e. "And as it fell, you rose to claim it" [...] "Until you kissed my lips and you saved me"). She emphasizes how much influence this new relationship had on her and maybe how she didn't recognize her weaknesses in the new relationship (i.e. "My hands, they were strong, but my knees were far too weak / To stand in your arms without falling to your feet").
The rest of the song is exploring this second partner and how she ended the second relationship.
It is evident that this partner is two-sided, deceitful and manipulative (i.e. "But there's a side to you that I never knew, never knew / All the things you'd say, they were never true, never true / And the games you'd play, you would always win, always win").
Adele uses a very deep metaphor to describe how she ends the relationship (i.e. "But I set fire to the rain / Watched it pour as I touched your face / Well, it burned while I cried / 'Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name). The metaphor is obviously open to many interpretations, but I think there are some basic things that she is trying to say. By "setting fire to the rain", I believe Adele is saying that had the courage to confront a situation that was draining her. I think she goes on to say that she was left hurt and deeply moved ("it burned while I cried") by the situation because all she could focus on was still her partner (" 'Cause I heard it screaming out your name").
She continues to explain the relationship by saying, "When laying with you I could stay there / Close my eyes, feel you here forever / You and me together, nothing is better". So emphasizing how much faith she had in this partner.
And again highlighting that by confronting the situation, she knew there would be no going back (i.e. "And I threw us into the flames / Well I felt something die"). Setting fire to something changes it forever and she recognizes that since she confronted the situation, she has to walk away from it because it is fundamentally changed (i.e. "'Cause I knew that that was the last time, the last time).
It is clear that she misses her partner and is left in pieces yet again (i.e. "Sometimes I wake up by the door / And heard you calling, must be waiting for you / Even now when we're already over / I can't help myself from looking for you"). But again she repeats the chorus to finalize her decision to be brave enough to face something, to confront it and to walk away from it.
I think the song is absolutely beautiful, with deep metaphorical meaning. And while this is my interpretation, I know that each person will find their own meaning.
anonymous May 22nd, 2011 5:44am report
Setting fire to the rain, for me is about doing the impossible. I believe that when she was leaving this manipulative person, she was still in love with him and therefore breaking it off was as powerful and as hard as setting fire to the rain.
The fire continued to burn and destroy the relationship while she cried and mourned the loss. The main theme of the song, as I see it, is the powerful conflict of leaving a person that is bad for you while you still love them.
In the end of the song she admits that it is over but she is still longing for the man she left.
anonymous Apr 14th, 2011 4:44am report
Ok, this is how I see this song...
She was down, broken but this person walked into her life at the right time to pick her back up again. She used all her strength to hold this person and fall deeply in love with them but saved no strengh back to protect her from getting hurt. All she saw were the good things this person could do, blinded by love...
Then she realised that this wasnt the perfect person and that they were not as deep into the relationship as she was and they did not have as strong feelings.
I see the setting fire to the rain to be a mixture of feelings of how angry and upset she feels. The fire being her anger and the rain being the tears she is crying. She doesnt know whether to feel empty or full of rage. She can clearly see though, that this is the end of the relationship and that it will never work no matter how much of herself she tries to throw at it. I believe that she feels it will be easier to get over if she is angry rather than upset, let it burn...let it burn.
anonymous Apr 17th, 20:32 report
I guess I see it as a song about her falling for someone. She probably shouldn't have fallen for him but she did. For whatever reasons she just couldn't help herself. She realized after some time that he wasn't the person she thought. She felt a little foolish for having fell for him like all the other women did. However the love she felt for him was real to her and she was upset to have to let go of him. She cried real tears for him and just realized she couldn't do it anymore. When she says she set fire to the rain it means she stopped crying and let go of her love for him. Letting go helped her to move forward. SHES MOVING FORWARD WITHOUT HIM. He can't play with her feelings anymore because she's done. Done!
anonymous Apr 12th, 4:48pm report
The way I see it, she fell in love but he played her so she is now trying to find herself.
anonymous May 20th, 2013 5:30am report
This is my interpertation again her producer who married someone else while she didn't even know it and she found out when adele was doing her second album
anonymous May 13th, 2013 5:28am report
Her ex boyfriend dumped her and married someone else and now she's finding herself right now
anonymous May 8th, 2013 5:13am report
Nobody ever thought about Gaslighting while listening to this ?
anonymous Feb 11th, 2013 2:13am report
It was rather stupid to set fire to the rain (-yes, it is possible with enough energy) as it would make hydrogen peroxide which would kill us all!!!
anonymous Jan 20th, 2013 1:52pm report
I think that the song is about a relationship in which she knows (mind) the relationship wrong and destroying her but when she sees him (heart) she cannot resist going back to him for the moment only knowing that in the morning he will hurt her again by leaving. I wonder if it is not so much about a new relationship as it is with the same guy. He ignores her with no real commitment, but then he comes around and she is too unstable or unhealthy to say NO. When he is not there, she longs for him even though he hurts her over and over. Her mind says the relationship is over, but her passion gives in when he shows up or contacts her. Her is a jerk and she is not strong enough to not give in.....wonder if this could be a dream?
anonymous Sep 2nd, 2012 9:51pm report
She was grateful to have him "love" her. She was rebounding, from her last relationship and he bacame a tower of strength for her - ostensibly saving her, (albeit temporarily), from her terrible sadness. At first, she was unable to see him for who he truly was - likely a liar and cheater. Their relationship was one-sided. He loved himself more than than he loved her and he had taken control her feelings. She began to lose herself in favor of loving him. The rain is the terrible sadness he caused her. The "setting fire..." is her leaving and her way of taking control of her own life and reclaiming her feelings, realizing it is a poor situation for both of them even though she loves to be with him. Burning is the fire taking away (drying up) the rain - her torment. She is very sad to have to let him go, as she has deep, deep feelings for him in spite of his lack of good character. However, she knows if she does not leave, she cannot become her own person and will always be "rained on" by him. She wants a REAL relationship and real love.
anonymous Jun 21st, 2012 6:15am report
This Song Means That........
anonymous Jun 12th, 2012 6:36pm report
A woman realizes her relationship with the first man needs to end. Her heart is broken by this man but continuously thinks about being back with him despite his dual-sided nature. The woman realizing the situation is hopeless, sets fire to that sadness by bringing in a new love. The sadness from the past relationship continues to envelop her during her new relationship. She acts passionately in her new relationship to hopefully overcome the pain from her past. It is difficult to let it go because the first man keeps coming back to interact with her. She lets him win temporarily, but then the sadness overwhelms again. So repeatedly she runs back to the new lover and pushes past the pain (rain) with passion (fire).
anonymous Jun 12th, 2012 6:25am report
This song is obviously talking about illuminati. The devil mostly. "there's a side to you that I never knew, never knew" the devil has many sides. "all the things you said they were never true, never true" the devil is a chronic liar using bribes and fortunes. "all the games you played you would always win, always win" the devil is a cheater. He will cheat at everything. And rain is the devil "rain man" is the devil.
anonymous May 29th, 2012 5:29am report
I think she is literally burning the photographs of them together, while her teardrops are falling on the pictures. Hence, she is setting fire to the rain -- and burning away the memories of this person
anonymous May 27th, 2012 5:21am report
Thanks for making the corrections I suggested! Some are very important to interpretations of the meaning of the song. That's the most important thing but it would also be appropriate to omit the commas at the end of all the phrases as suggested previously. WONDERFUL SONG!!
anonymous Apr 25th, 2012 4:23pm report
This song is about how [Adele] was in a relationship with somebody, but they broke her heart. Then, she finds somebody new, and she loves him. In the end, though, she breaks up with her second boyfriend because their relationship didn't work out. The chorus, "I set fire to the rain…" is all about how she is heartbroken but stays strong.
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