The Regrettes – “Barely on My Mind” 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.

Ah, the paradox of trying to forget someone but not quite managing it. “Barely on My Mind” by The Regrettes portays this struggle. The song touches on feelings of betrayal, a sense of lingering attachment, and the relentless grip of past memories. The phrase “barely on my mind” is the songwriter’s way of sarcastically implying that the person is, in fact, always on their mind. This individual seems to have left a mark, both metaphorically with memories and physically with bite marks. The reason for the song? It’s a cathartic release from the chains of these haunting reminiscences.

Feeling trapped in your thoughts about someone? Keep reading; you might find some comfort in knowing you’re not alone in feeling this way.

“Barely on My Mind” Lyrics Meaning

The opening lines hint at an ominous change. The mention of a graveyard in Oakland alludes to a memory, perhaps shared, but also indicates a metaphorical death – possibly of the relationship or the way the singer felt about this person. The realization that things aren’t what they seem hits hard when the singer realizes the depth of deceit: “I thought you were joking.”

The chorus, with its repetitive “Barely on my mind”, is rife with irony. The contradiction of “All the fuckin’ time” reveals the constant battle between wanting to forget and being consumed by the thoughts of this person.

The middle verses provide vivid imagery, like teeth sinking in or a car crash, suggesting a relationship that was intense and perhaps toxic. The words “follow me around hold me ’til I drown” illustrate feelings of suffocation and inescapability.

Yet, there’s also a sense of empowerment in the lyrics. By acknowledging these feelings, the singer gains power over them, confronting the person who seems to be the cause of the pain. “I had a feelin’ you were a devil in a fancy suit” suggests initial intuition about the person’s true nature. By the end, there’s a hint of vengeance and resurgence: “But I’m comin’ back after you.”

The closing lines tie it all back together, reinforcing the idea that even if the person is “barely” on the singer’s mind, the emotional scars remain, evident in every metaphorical bite and memory.

The Story Behind “Barely on My Mind”

In this track, The Regrettes, led by Lydia Night, suggest feelings of betrayal, longing, and the challenge of moving forward. The grave in Oakland might be a literal place, or perhaps a symbolic representation of a memory or past relationship that was laid to rest.

Songs like these act as therapeutic outlets for songwriters. By articulating their emotions and stories, they not only process their feelings but also offer solace to listeners who might be undergoing similar experiences. The brilliance of “Barely on My Mind” lies in its universality. While rooted in a personal narrative, the emotions and experiences described are universally relatable.

Furthermore, The Regrettes have a way of transforming pain into power. This song might have originated from a place of vulnerability, but by its conclusion, there’s a distinct sense of reclaiming oneself and one’s narrative. It’s a testament to the band’s resilience and their ability to turn emotional wounds into melodies of strength.