Her’s – “What Once Was” Lyrics Meaning

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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.

“What Once Was” captures the essence of longing and nostalgia. At its core, it’s about the struggle of coming to terms with change and the desire to hold onto the past. The songwriter seems to reflect on a relationship that once was, filled with memories and moments that are no longer present. There’s a sense of regret, of wishing to have recognized the value of those moments while they were still happening. It’s as if the songwriter is speaking to both a past love and themselves, acknowledging the painful truth that what once was, is no more. This song is a mirror to anyone who has ever lost something or someone important and yearns for the past.

Ever felt like you’re holding onto a memory, wishing you could turn back time? “What Once Was” by Her’s is that feeling turned into a song. It’s a journey through memories, emotions, and the hard truths of moving on. Keep reading for a dive into the heart of this hauntingly beautiful track.


“What Once Was” Lyrics Meaning

“I guess I knew this would happen to you” – the song begins with an admission of foresight, a sense of inevitability about the change to come. It’s almost as if the songwriter saw the end of the relationship coming, yet chose to ignore it, clinging to hope. This line sets the tone for the entire song: a mix of regret and acceptance.

As we move through the lyrics, “Inside I did, but I refuse to know the truth,” it’s clear that there’s a battle between what the heart knows and what the mind refuses to accept. This internal conflict is at the heart of the song – the struggle to acknowledge that something precious has been lost.

The chorus, “Baby, I’ve been there before,” connects to a universal experience of loss and longing. It’s a reminder that we all go through moments where we long for what once was, holding onto memories of better times. The repetition of this line throughout the song emphasizes the cyclical nature of these feelings.

The lines “What’s your favorite color? What makes you so tough?” bring a sense of intimacy to the song. These questions are symbolic of the deep connections we form with others – the small details that become significant in retrospect. It’s a poignant reminder of the closeness that was once shared and is now missed.

In “Please don’t let go when you’ve had enough,” there’s a plea for endurance, a wish that both parties could have held on a little longer. This line speaks to the heartache of realizing that sometimes, no matter how much we want something, it may not be enough to keep it.

Finally, the repetition of “Waiting for what once was” is a powerful conclusion, encapsulating the song’s theme of yearning for the past and the pain of moving on from a cherished chapter in life.

The Story Behind “What Once Was”

The tone and lyrics suggest a sense of maturity and growth gained through hardship. It’s as if the songwriter has come to a point in their life where they are able to look back on past experiences with a clearer perspective. This maturity is evident in the way they express their emotions – there’s a balance between acknowledging their pain and accepting the reality of the situation.

The song’s introspective nature indicates that it was written during a period of introspection and self-discovery. The songwriter was likely processing a significant change or loss in their life, whether it be the end of a relationship, the passage of time, or the evolution of their own identity.

In summary, “What Once Was” appears to be born out of a deeply personal experience. It’s a reflection of the songwriter’s journey through change, loss, and the eventual acceptance of the past. The song resonates with anyone who has experienced similar emotions, making it a universal anthem for nostalgia and the bittersweet nature of memories.