The Devil Makes Three – “Goodbye Old Friend” 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.

“Goodbye Old Friend” is a deep reflection on a complicated relationship. At its core, it touches on battling one’s inner demons or past. The song captures the conflicting emotions of needing, fearing, hating, and missing someone or something from the past. The continuous mention of “Goodbye old friend” signals a desire to let go, but the line “We’ll dance again in my dreams” indicates the struggle to truly move on. The songwriter seems to be grappling with memories, past mistakes, or old habits, trying to bid them farewell but being continually haunted by them.

Want more? Ever felt like there’s a part of you that you’re battling with, or perhaps a past you’re trying to shake off? “Goodbye Old Friend” might just be the song that resonates with those feelings. Let’s uncover the deeper emotions packed in each lyric.


“Goodbye Old Friend” Lyrics Meaning

The lyrics kick off with, “I need you and I want you ’cause I know you from before“. This indicates a long-standing familiarity, likely not with another person, but an old habit, memory, or perhaps an internal demon. It’s like an old acquaintance you’re not particularly fond of but can’t ignore.

Moving on to, “I hate you and I fear you but I hold open the door”. This lyric showcases the internal conflict the songwriter feels. It’s a sentiment of wanting to keep a distance yet being unable to disconnect fully.

Then, “So we draw knives and lock eyes ’cause it does no good to run“. Here’s the climax of the confrontation. There’s an understanding that avoiding the problem isn’t the solution. It’s time to face it head-on.

The chorus, “Goodbye old friend, farewell it seems. We’ll dance again in my dreams“. is the heart of the song. It represents the wish to let go and move on, but acknowledges that it’s not a clean break. This ‘old friend’ will continue to haunt the songwriter’s dreams.

Lines like “I’ve retraced every scar” and “I chased you to embrace you like the sun chases the moon” illustrate the continuous cycle of remembering and then trying to forget. The pain is revisited, but its presence is also accepted.

The verse, “I trust you and despised you, shadowed your every move. Scorned you and warned you, befriended everyone you’ve used” provides further depth. It’s about a push-and-pull relationship – one where trust and disdain coexist.

The repetitive chorus reinforces the struggle of truly moving on. Whether it’s about battling inner demons or trying to move past old wounds, “Goodbye Old Friend” is a touching portrayal of a fight many of us know all too well.

The Story Behind “Goodbye Old Friend”

The hauntingly beautiful lyrics of “Goodbye Old Friend” mirror a period of internal conflict, reflection, and change. The writer might have been going through a transitional phase in life, where the need to let go of certain past burdens became imperative. Maybe it was a toxic habit, a haunting memory, or an internal demon cultivated over the years. These old ‘friends’ aren’t necessarily people, but fragments of one’s past that have left deep scars.

The repetitive nature of the song’s chorus indicates a cyclic pattern of emotions, pointing to a state of mind that’s trapped in a loop of remembrance and the desire for liberation. This could signify the songwriter’s recurring attempts and failures to move on.

Drawing from the verse, I’ve watched you and I’ve seen you and known that you were there it’s apparent that the writer was in a heightened state of awareness and introspection, constantly reflecting on the presence of this ‘old friend’. The acknowledgment and confrontation theme in the song suggests a readiness to face past demons, signaling a state of growth and maturity in the artist’s life.

In the grand scheme of things, “Goodbye Old Friend” could very well be the product of a cathartic process, where writing and singing about these feelings was a therapeutic way for the artist to process and hopefully transcend them.