Noah Kahan – “Strawberry Wine” 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.

“Strawberry Wine” delves into the bittersweet nature of love and memory, wrapped in nostalgia and the pain of letting go. This song captures the essence of a haunting and beautiful love, marked by moments that linger long after they’ve passed. It’s about the struggle of holding onto the past and the realization that some memories, like the taste of strawberry wine, are both sweet and heartbreaking. Kahan reflects on a relationship that has deeply impacted him, exploring the complexity of emotions tied to love and loss.

Why did he write this song? It’s a way to process and articulate the mix of feelings that come from deep connections and the inevitable changes or endings they face.

Let’s see how “Strawberry Wine” weaves a story of love, nostalgia, and heartache. Keep reading for a deep dive into the lyrics that will make you see the song in a new light.


“Strawberry Wine” Lyrics Meaning

Kahan starts with an intimate scene, suggesting a conversation that’s more about shared silence than words. The imagery of a burning cigarette sets a reflective mood, hinting at the transient nature of moments and memories. Kahan mentions a curse, possibly alluding to the inherent doom in some relationships, where love is so intense it feels predestined to end in pain.

“If I could lose you, I would,” is about the paradox of wanting to forget someone to escape the pain but being unable to because the love is too deep. Burying bones in plywood symbolizes the attempt to hide and bury these painful memories and feelings, yet knowing they’re never truly gone.

The mention of “strawberry wine” and a dirt road evokes a sense of nostalgia, a longing for simpler times filled with innocent love and carefree days. These memories, although beautiful, are tinged with sadness for they are part of a past that cannot be revisited. Kahan captures the essence of reminiscence, acknowledging that while these moments are cherished, they also bring pain because they are reminders of what has been lost.

The lines “No thing defines a man like love that makes him soft / And sentimental like a stranger in the park” delve deeper into the vulnerability that love exposes in a person. It’s about how love softens us and makes us more open and sensitive to our emotions, which is both a strength and a susceptibility.

The imagery of being empty space and a formless shape fitting together yet being separated by love’s little runway is a metaphor for compatibility and the challenges of maintaining a relationship. It suggests that even when two people fit perfectly together, the path of love is fraught with obstacles that can prevent them from staying together.

The Story Behind “Strawberry Wine”

The lyrics suggest a journey through the highs and lows of a relationship that has left an indelible mark on his heart and soul. It’s not just about a specific individual but about the universal experience of love, loss, and the haunting beauty of memories.

Kahan was looking back at a past relationship with both fondness and regret. The song serves as a cathartic expression of his feelings, a way to process and give voice to the complex emotions associated with letting go of someone you still hold dear.

This backdrop of personal experience adds depth to the song, making it relatable to anyone who has experienced the bittersweet taste of love that’s gone but not forgotten. The specific references to moments shared, like the taste of strawberry wine, signify the small, intimate details that become significant in the memory of a lost love.

Kahan’s approach to songwriting here is both poetic and poignant, using vivid imagery and metaphors to convey the layers of feeling involved in reminiscing about a past love. It’s about the struggle to move forward, the wish to forget to ease the pain, and the realization that some memories, no matter how painful, are too precious to let go.