John Gibbons & LYRA – “Edge of Seventeen” 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.

“Edge of Seventeen” is an intriguing journey through the complexities of youth, change, and self-discovery. The song speaks about the transition from adolescence to adulthood, symbolized by the age of seventeen. It’s about the bittersweet realization that nothing remains constant except change itself.

The lyrics pshowcase a youthful innocence meeting the realities of growing up. The recurring image of the white-winged dove, with its haunting and melodious song, serves as a metaphor for the purity and freedom of youth, while also hinting at the inevitable loss of innocence. The song speaks directly to anyone who has ever stood on the brink of adulthood, feeling both excited and apprehensive about the future.

Curious about the deeper layers of “Edge of Seventeen”? Keep reading to discover the intricate tapestries woven into this timeless song.

“Edge of Seventeen” Lyrics Meaning

Starting with the iconic line: “Just like the white winged dove, Sings a song, sounds like she’s singing, Ooh, ooh, ooh.” This refrain sets the stage for the entire narrative, symbolizing the purity and simplicity of youth. The white-winged dove, an emblem of peace and innocence, mirrors the protagonist’s state of being at seventeen – a time of naivety and unblemished dreams.

With “And the days go by, like a strand in the wind, In the web that is my own, I begin again,” we’re reminded of the transient nature of life. It’s a poignant commentary on how time slips away, with each day representing a strand in the wind, fragile and fleeting. The phrase “I begin again” speaks to the constant process of reinvention and growth that marks the transition into adulthood.

In the lines, “He was no more than a baby then, Well he seemed broken-hearted, Something within him,” we’re introduced to a character who is, perhaps, a love interest or a symbol of the innocence that we all lose. This person seems to encapsulate the vulnerability and the abrupt awakening to the complexities of life.

With its repetition of the dove’s song, the chorus acts as a refrain that brings us back to the central theme of innocence and its inevitable loss. The melody is both comforting and melancholic, reflecting the dual nature of growing up.

Finally, “The clouds never expect it when it rains, But the sea changes colors, But the sea does not change,” beautifully encapsulates the essence of change. Just like the sea, which changes colors yet remains the same at its core, we, too, transform while retaining our essential selves.

The Story Behind “Edge of Seventeen”

Gibbons has spoken about the influence of his own life in his music. For him, the process of writing this song was a way to reconcile the changes he experienced as he transitioned from a teenager into an adult. This personal connection adds a layer of authenticity to the song, making it resonate with anyone who has ever faced the uncertainties of growing up.

LYRA, on her part, brought a sense of emotional depth and introspection to the song. Her contributions reflect a state of mind that is introspective and contemplative, qualities that are essential to the song’s theme. The combination of Gibbons’ and LYRA’s experiences and perspectives creates a rich tapestry of emotions and thoughts, making “Edge of Seventeen” a song that is not just heard, but felt.

The songwriting process was as much about exploring their own pasts as it was about creating something that would speak to others. In this sense, “Edge of Seventeen” is more than just a song; it’s a reflection on the human experience, encapsulating the joys, pains, and revelations that come with growing older and wiser.