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Sarah McLachlan - Possession - Lyrics Meaning

"Possession" is a 1993 single from Sarah McLachlan's "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy." The single was not a huge success on the charts but served as a catalyst for McLachlan's later popularity. "Possession" helped McLachlan break through in the United States for the very first time. Word of mouth about the song spread on the Internet and "Possession" gradually received increased airplay in the states from 1995 through 1997, two to four years following its Canadian release, as McLachlan's popularity in the U.S. increased with the Lilith Fair.

McLachlan wrote the song from the perspective of a male fan that was obsessed with her. The fan wrote McLachlan letters that both frightened and allured her. She feared for her safety but was concurrently intrigued by the fact that someone could say such things to a complete stranger.

In 1994, an Ontario fan named Uwe Vandrei sued McLachlan. Vandrei demanded songwriting credits and royalties, claiming that McLachlan used portions of his letters to her as lyrics for "Possession." Vandrei admitted that he was a stalker and there was speculation that his claims were frivolous and a desperate attempt to get closer to McLachlan. The trial was delayed multiple times out of concern for McLachlan's physical safety. Vandrei would go on to commit suicide before the lawsuit went to trial.

Despite the dark inspiration behind the lyrics, many fans have embraced "Possession" as a love song coming from the perspective of a female that truly wants to claim the object of her desire. Words written from the perspective of an obsessed male stalker can apparently be seen as passionate when sung from a woman to a male.

Meanings of other songs by Sarah McLachlan:
Sweet Surrender
I Will Remember You