Grouplove – “Tongue Tied” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Brendan Briggs

Brendan is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer. In 2022, he released his first album "Dive" under the name "Arctotherium".

“Tongue Tied” is a party song about getting together for a good time and the romantic mix-ups that happen in those environments. The lyrics are essentially the narrator’s remembrance of a previous party encounter with an unnamed girl, and they outline his desire to relive that time. In addition, this song manages to touch on the confusing, disorienting feeling attraction can cause.

According to Chris Zucconi, this song was initially conceived while he was taking a break from writing a sad song for a movie. In my opinion, the song’s light-heartedness reflects his desire for a mental escape. Once the initial idea was sketched out, the rest of the song came very quickly in the studio (where the other band members added their contributions).

In this article, we’ll perform an analysis of these feel-good lyrics to determine their intended meaning. We’ll also take a look at the story behind the song and the human themes that make it accessible to anyone. Without further ado, let’s get started!

“Tongue Tied” Lyrics Meaning

The lyrics begin by revealing the narrator’s desire. The first line is speaking in a figurative and literal way. When he says, “Take me to your best friend’s house,” he means that he’d literally like to return there and that he wants to mentally relive the last time he was there.

He then remembers/forecasts driving on a “roundabout,” which is also probably literal and figurative. On one hand, he physically drives on a roundabout, and on the other, it relates to the circular nature of his feelings for the girl he’s talking to. He feels confused and conflicted about the whole thing.

The last line of the verse (“I loved you then and I love you now”) makes it clear how the narrator feels about the song’s recipient. It also cements the idea that he’s talking about the past and the present simultaneously. This is part of the reason why the song’s music video is a series of events played backward.

In the chorus, we get a straightforward but important message. The narrator says, “Don’t take me tongue tied” and, “Don’t wave no goodbye” to get at the heart of what he wants. Even though he met the song’s recipient at a chaotic party, and even though he may have been unclear or under the influence, he wants to stay connected.

Verse two takes us back to the party scene. The only difference is that this verse describes “making out,” which makes sense now that the song’s theme has been revealed. Again, the narrator promises that his love for this unnamed woman is still alive, despite the unruly circumstances they met under.

The last section of new lyrics is the bridge, which is sung by a different voice. This is important, as it indicates a shift in perspective. So far, the song has been about narrator 1’s desire to stay connected and relive the moments he recently experienced with narrator 2. In the bridge, narrator 2 essentially accepts his request and proposes that the two meet again in a similar fashion.

This is why the bridge talks about staying up “all night” and having a “pillow fight.” It’s basically matching the energy of narrator 1 and returning it twofold. Narrator 2 wants the same thing as narrator 1: “My eyes on your eyes, like Peter Pan up in the sky.”

It should be noted that all of these themes and sequences are expressed in the song’s music video. In it, we see a man bump into a woman at a party. The two kiss at one point, but the man gets lost in the shuffle, becomes “tongue-tied,” and ends up fleeing the scene. These events are played backward, because the man is thinking retroactively.

In summary, “Tongue Tied” is essentially one big question: “Can we do that again?” The bridge is the answer, and the music is the living version of the lyrics’ sentiments. All of us have probably found ourselves at a loss for words in romance before, and sometimes you just have to come out and say what you’re thinking. This theme, along with the catchy tune, must be a reason for the track’s success.

The Story Behind “Tongue Tied”

According to Christian Zucconi, “Tongue Tied” came pretty naturally to Grouplove. The story behind this song really does relate to its theme, as it was written for the purpose of taking a break from something dreary.

In one interview, Zucconi expressed that he sketched the initial idea for “Tongue Tied” while taking a break from another project. This project was being written for a movie score, and Zucconi called it “really depressing.”

So, in his free time, Zucconi began “playing around with chords” and ended up writing the melody to Grouplove’s top hit. Once this had been accomplished, he played the draft for the other band members and began taking contributions. Soon enough, the song was finished and ready, adding it to the long list of hits that seem to have suddenly come from somewhere magical.

“Tongue Tied” reached a position of #42 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been praised by millions of fans. On the other hand, critics generally had negative things to say about the song. This is an example of the scholarly and popular opinions disagreeing, so it’s up to you to decide who you agree with. All in all, though, the song can only be considered a success.

The next time you play this upbeat song, let these pieces of background information make it special for you!