Dermot Kennedy – “Innocence and Sadness” Lyrics Meaning

Photo of author
Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

This song spins a tale of longing, love, and the razor-thin edge between innocence and sorrow. It’s about the weight of time, treasuring moments, and being present for loved ones. The lyrics touch on the pain of loss and the hunger for connection. The song seems to revolve around a central figure, possibly a loved one, and the singer’s deep commitment toward them. Kennedy crafted this piece as a reminder to cherish every fleeting moment and as a tribute to the profound connections that shape our lives.

Hungry for a deeper dive into the song? Stick around and let’s break it down, line by line.


“Innocence and Sadness” Lyrics Meaning

Starting with the opening lines, “Never felt alone ’til the late night,” the theme of loneliness is immediately evident. It’s a retrospective recognition of companionship, only truly valuing someone’s presence once they’re gone.

Working on the karma, but it takes time” suggests the effort in balancing past wrongs and the struggle of growth. The balance between “Innocence and sadness” underlines the thin boundary separating pure emotions and the complexities of sorrow.

The importance of living in the moment is stressed by, “Better savour every moment as it flies by.” Time is fleeting, and life’s impermanence requires us to make the most of each second. Kennedy’s raw emotion is palpable in, “Baby, I would bleed in your name.” It shows the lengths he’d go for love and the depths of his commitment.

Lines like “I’ll sing into the cold dark night ’til you listen” echo a need to be heard and recognized, possibly by someone he’s lost or is drifting away from. The phrase, “Some people spend their life heads down, souls hidden” laments the tragedy of living without truly connecting or showing one’s true self.

The bridge, detailing smiles and moving heaven and earth, conveys intense dedication. The pain of this bond is illustrated with, “Nobody told me at the start how heaven can hurt.” Even heavenly experiences have their moments of pain.

The chorus emphasizes treasuring moments. The repetition of “Every minute, boy, better live it, boy” serves as a mantra, urging the importance of living fully, while “Return me safely, turn me homeward at the right time” hints at a desire for guidance and a safe haven.

The Story Behind “Innocence and Sadness”

Behind every great song is a tapestry of experiences, emotions, and the state of mind of its creator. “Innocence and Sadness” is no exception, and delving into Dermot Kennedy’s background can shed light on the depth and weight of this track.

Around the time “Innocence and Sadness” was penned, Kennedy had been deeply reflective about his own journey and growth. A recurring theme in his work is the transformative power of love and human connection, and how these bonds shape our paths.

Kennedy, during interviews, often mentioned the inevitable intersection of joy and sorrow in life. It’s this very intersection that’s beautifully articulated in this song. During its creation, he transitioned from a relatively unknown artist to a recognized name, experiencing the pressures of fame while trying to remain authentic. This transition mirrors the song’s line about savoring every moment and the idea that every minute should be lived to its fullest.

The line, “Darling, don’t spend another second wondering what you’re worth,” can also reflect his insecurities during his rise to fame. The pressures of the music industry, coupled with maintaining personal relationships, might’ve led Kennedy to question his worth and place in the world.

Kennedy’s past struggles, experiences in relationships, and challenges in his career have deeply influenced this song. His understanding of the complexities of human emotions is why “Innocence and Sadness” resonates with many. It’s not just about love and longing, but also about the inner struggles one faces, and the solace one finds in connections. The song is a product of Kennedy’s journey and the myriad emotions he felt along the way, making it both deeply personal and universally relatable.