Lorde – “The Man with the Axe” 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.

Lorde’s “The Man with the Axe” weaves a tale of love and nostalgia, wrapped in the complexities of growing up. The song reflects on a relationship that brings comfort amidst life’s changes. The lyrics paint a picture of a partner who remains a constant, reliable presence. Lorde reminisces about the little things, like dancing and shared memories, signifying deep affection and connection. The song is a tribute to a loved one who has been a source of strength and inspiration. Written during a time of personal growth, it’s a heartfelt homage to a significant other who has been a guiding light.

Curious to know more about Lorde’s enchanting lyrics in “The Man with the Axe”? There’s a depth of emotion and storytelling waiting to be uncovered. Let’s dive into the layers of this beautiful song.

“The Man with the Axe” Lyrics Meaning

“The Man with the Axe” starts with a simple yet profound line, “If I had to break it down, I’d say it’s the way you love to dance”. Here, Lorde encapsulates the song’s essence – a pure and unadulterated love, found in the simple joys of life. The reference to dancing, moving furniture, and a flick of the lights sets a scene of intimacy and domestic bliss, far removed from the world’s complexities.

Lorde then shifts to a more introspective tone, reflecting on her age and experiences. “But now I’m twenty-two, and it’s starting to feel like all I know how to do is put on a suit and take it away” speaks to the universal feeling of growing older and the doubts that come with it. The lyrics “fingernail worlds, like favorite seashells” evoke a sense of delicate, transient beauty, akin to fleeting moments that are cherished yet ephemeral.

The song takes a deeper dive into personal reflection with lines like “Dutifully falling apart for the princess of Norway”. This could be interpreted as Lorde’s experience with fame and the pressures of living up to expectations. The contrast between the public persona and the private self is poignantly illustrated in these lines.

In the heart of the song, Lorde sings about her partner, “the man with the axe”. This metaphor is striking – it suggests a person who is strong, grounded, and capable of clearing a path through life’s complexities. The axe could symbolize the ability to cut through the noise and distraction, focusing on what truly matters. The light in his eyes is a beacon of hope and guidance.

The Story Behind “The Man with the Axe”

“The Man with the Axe” was written during a significant period in Lorde’s life. At the time, she was grappling with the transition from adolescence to adulthood, a prevalent theme throughout the song. The lyrics reflect a journey of self-discovery, where Lorde confronts her fears, anxieties, and the pressures of fame.

This song is not just a love letter to her partner but also a reflection on her personal growth. The references to her age and the experiences she’s had indicate a deep introspection and an understanding of the transient nature of life. The song can be seen as a coming-of-age narrative, where Lorde acknowledges the challenges of growing up but finds solace and strength in her relationship.

The mention of “the princess of Norway” can be interpreted as a metaphor for the unrealistic expectations and ideals that come with fame. This line, coupled with the imagery of gowns and paintings, paints a picture of a life that is glamorous on the outside but fraught with inner turmoil and pressure.

In the end, “The Man with the Axe” is a beautifully crafted song that intertwines personal growth with the comfort and stability of a loving relationship. It showcases Lorde’s skill as a songwriter, capable of conveying deep emotions and complex themes through her music.