Shawn Mendes – “Stitches” 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.

Shawn Mendes’ “Stitches” is a gut-wrenching ballad that explores the physical and emotional pain that follows a brutal breakup. Here, Mendes gives us a vivid metaphor: love as a wound that can cut deep, requiring stitches to heal. The song captures the struggle to move on and the desperate need for something or someone to “breathe me back to life.” Basically, it’s about the excruciating experience of wanting to get over someone but finding that even taking a breath is hard without them.

Curious why Shawn Mendes’ “Stitches” gives you all the feels? Trust us, there’s more to the story than heartache. Stick around; we’re threading the needle on this one.

“Stitches” Lyrics Meaning

The song kicks off with, “I thought that I’d been hurt before, But no one’s ever left me quite this sore.” From the get-go, we understand that Mendes is navigating uncharted waters of pain. We’ve all been there, right? That moment when you realize this pain is like nothing you’ve ever felt.

Then comes the line, “Your words cut deeper than a knife.” Words, in many ways, are sharper than any blade. They can linger, deep in your psyche, causing ongoing internal bleeding of sorts. But Mendes doesn’t wallow in self-pity. He takes an optimistic approach by saying, “But I know that I’ll make it out alive,” hinting at resilience and hope for recovery.

The chorus is the real tearjerker. “You watch me bleed until I can’t breathe, Shaking, falling onto my knees.” Mendes isn’t just talking about physical bleeding; this is emotional agony that’s manifesting in physical symptoms.

The line, “Just like a moth drawn to a flame, Oh, you lured me in, I couldn’t sense the pain,” adds another layer. Love, often, is this inexplicable pull we feel, sometimes against better judgment. Yet, the song also holds a self-reflective note: “Now I’m gonna reap what I sow, I’m left seeing red on my own.” This signals some form of acceptance, even if it’s just a hint.

What really stands out is the line, “Needle and the thread, gotta get you outta my head.” The symbolism here is rich. Just like stitches help in physical healing, Mendes is hinting that mental healing also requires effort—a process of threading moments and thoughts to form a narrative that can help him move on.

The Story Behind “Stitches”

The heart-tugging anthem “Stitches” wasn’t just a commercial breakthrough for Shawn Mendes but also an emotional one. Released in 2015 as part of his debut album, “Handwritten,” the song co-written by Mendes, Teddy Geiger, and Daniel Parker, quickly rose to prominence.

At this juncture in his life, Mendes was a fresh face in the industry—still a teenager, finding his place both emotionally and musically. He managed to encapsulate a universally relatable experience. Everyone, at some point, has felt the sting of love turned sour, and that’s the raw nerve this song touches. It’s a candid portrayal of someone who’s young and still learning the ropes of love and loss.

It’s worth mentioning that Mendes has often been open about his own struggles with anxiety and emotional vulnerability. While the song isn’t necessarily autobiographical, it does seem to resonate with his own battles. His capacity to express these complex feelings so candidly perhaps reflects not just his skill as a songwriter but also his state of mind at that point.

So why does “Stitches” leave such a lasting impression? Maybe it’s because the song manages to articulate something so personal, yet so universally human: the need for emotional repair when love leaves us in pieces. It’s this duality—of the specific and the universal—that makes “Stitches” a compelling narrative of heartache and healing, told in a language we can all understand.