I love how this song can mean so many things. Originally I had felt that it was between two people who grew into adults knowing each other. The weight of the world presses down upon them both. Not only current strains perhaps but also things from their past like hopes and defining moments (both good and bad.) Because of the experiences they may have shared, one lets the other know that they feel that burden too and its safe to share with them without judgement or anything else they may fear from someone else.
But then there is this that I thought of. There are people who you will never forget that have changed your life, events that have shaped you and careless thoughts that you have had in a certain moment that will never leave you. You alone are the only soul to have seen all of these things. Can the difference between who you are because of these things and who others see you as be two separate people? This song could be about the person shaped by their history and the outer person speaking with one another. “Scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far.” Scars are a change that lasts forever, the past never being far is this person looking back at those moments of change. “You grew up way too fast and now there’s nothing to believe, And reruns all become our history.” This person looks at those moments of change over and over and over in their head, never living much farther than those events.
So who do you trust with this “real” you behind the person people see? “And now we’re grown up orphans that never knew their names, Don’t belong to no one that’s a shame. You could hide beside me maybe for a while, And I won’t tell no one your name.” This person’s past effected them differently than any teacher or parent could, being involved with those events made them like a tree growing in its own direction with no guidance, or at least no influence big enough to change the outcome. That inner person can hide behind that mask others see and pretend that this hidden person doesn’t exist, freeing their scars and baggage at least for a time. This person can take comfort in the fact that the skeletons in their closet aren’t out on display to the world.
“Did you lose yourself somewhere out there, did you get to be a star?” The inner person asks the other how their lives are going, if those dreams that were given up on still live. “Don’t it make you sad to know that life is more that who we are?” The outer person sympathizes with the other that they know its sad that they can’t really show the real self because they feel vulnerable and must use a facade for the world. “I think about you all the time, But I don’t need the same.” This outer person, the one that everyone sees, tells themselves, the “real” person, that those things that have made them have not been forgotten and that person thinks about the differences between the two of them all the time, the outer person won’t make them both into something that they are not.
“It’s lonely where you are come back down, And I won’t tell em your name.” Living in the past, recycling thoughts, memories and conversations in your head can be depressing and lonely. But because they are usually secrets to all but one person, these things of the past are safe from outside judgement by other people. The inner person, no one knows even exists and doesn’t even have a name to tell to others, unnamed because it shares the name of the outer person protecting it.
Such a beautiful song.