The Weeknd & Gesaffelstein – “I Was Never There” 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.

This piece is a journey through the pain of feeling invisible and the desperate search for something, anything, to fill the void. The Weeknd, known for his expressive lyrics, touches on themes of unfulfilled happiness, the ephemeral nature of mindless pleasures, and the haunting feeling of non-existence. The heart of the song lies in its raw portrayal of mental struggles. It’s a candid reflection on how personal demons can lead one to question their very existence and worth. The Weeknd isn’t just singing about a person; he’s singing about a state of mind, a moment in life where everything feels transient and inconsequential.

Ever felt lost, like you’re grasping at straws to feel something real? “I Was Never There” isn’t just a song; it’s a mirror to those moments. Keep reading, and you might just find a piece of yourself in these lyrics.

“I Was Never There” Lyrics Meaning

What makes a grown man wanna cry? What makes him wanna take his life?” These questions aren’t just rhetorical; they’re a window into the soul of someone at their breaking point. The Weeknd isn’t talking about a specific person but rather expressing a universal feeling of despair.

As the song progresses, it delves into themes of fleeting happiness and the pursuit of physical pleasures as a means to escape reality. The lyrics “His happiness is never real, and mindless sex is how he feels” reflect a deep-seated emptiness, a void that cannot be filled with transient joys.

The chorus, “When it’s time, it won’t matter,” echoes the nihilistic realization that, in the end, all the struggles and efforts might seem insignificant. This sense of futility is further emphasized with the lines “It was like I was never there. It was like he was gone in thin air.”

The latter part of the song shifts to a realization of toxic love. The Weeknd acknowledges that the love he thought would save him is actually harmful. “Ooh, and now I know what love is, And I know it ain’t you for sure” signifies a moment of clarity amid chaos. The lines “So, I’ll poison myself again, again, ‘Til I feel nothing” portray a vicious cycle of self-destruction in the quest for numbness.

The Story Behind “I Was Never There”

At the time of writing “I Was Never There,” was in a turbulent phase of his life. The song is a reflection of The Weeknd’s internal struggles, a manifestation of the emotional turmoil he was experiencing. It’s not just about a specific event or person but a culmination of various experiences and feelings that shaped his state of mind. In “I Was Never There,” he channels his feelings of emptiness, the sense of being lost in a world where nothing seems to have meaning. The lyrics reveal his battle with depression and the constant search for something to numb the pain.

The song’s haunting melody and repetitive choruses complement the lyrics, creating a sense of a continuous loop, much like the cycles of despair and numbness The Weeknd describes. It’s a musical embodiment of the feeling of being stuck in a moment, unable to move forward or backward.

“I Was Never There” is a piece of The Weeknd’s soul, laid bare for the world to see. It’s a testament to his artistic ability to transform his personal struggles into a universal message, resonating with anyone who has ever felt lost or invisible.