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Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye - Lyrics Meaning

""Last Goodbye" was the late Jeff Buckley's biggest commercial single, reaching #19 on Billboard's Modern Rock charts in early 1995. The song comes from the album "Grace," which was Buckley's only studio album, as he drowned to death on June of 1997 while recording the follow-up. The song was featured on the soundtrack of the film "He's Just Not That Into You," as well as the Tom Cruise movie "Vanilla Sky." Actress/singer Scarlett Johannson also covered the song in 2009.

The song is a favorite among Jeff Buckley fans due to Buckley's emotional vocals, a wicked slide guitar intro, and its haunting darkly romantic bass line. Many people interpret the lyrics in different ways. Buckley is singing of a romance that, while beautiful, has seemingly run its course. He hates to see the love between the two come to an end and ponders why the two of them can't overcome this wall and carry on. He wonders if it's because he truly didn't know her at all.

And, so, it has come to this. Their last touch, their last embrace. Buckley pleads for his lover to kiss him with passion and conviction rather than consolation or to simply appease him. One can easily get the impression that this may be one of the reasons their relationship has stalled. Perhaps his lover has settled and the passion has died as a result? She is apparently showing no signs of being emotionally upset by the thought of their journey ending.

You get the sense that Buckley is begging for his lover to fight for this love they've shared. He says that he grows angry thinking that, in time, she will cry when she realizes what's been lost. This particular verse has also been interpreted by some as he's breaking her heart sooner rather than later.

He apparently grows angrier going into the next verse of "Did you say, no this can't happen to me, And did you rush to the phone to call, Saying maybe you didn't know him at all?" You get the sense that this may have been the reaction he wanted by catching her off guard with the breakup, however, he instead got nothing.

"Last Goodbye" is the breakup song of many people, which is one of the reasons everyone has their own twist or play on the lyrical meaning. The most poignant lyric comes at the very beginning of the song when Buckley sings, "You gave me more to live for, more than you'll ever know." This lyric seems to resonate with many people when ending a relationship that they never thought would end.

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Jan 30, 2023 @ 6:06 am
They started off in wonder of each other. Became complacent on both ends. She starts an affair. He tries to accept it but can't understand how if the tables where turned? Would she run for the phone if I didn't come home? Would she turn everything upside down to understand how it got to this. Would she care enough to even bother? It loops through stages of loss, denial, blame and a modicum of acceptance. Just how I've always heard it. The beauty of his music is how it grows with you. The tragedy is how little we have been allowed to experience.

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