Adele: “We Could Have it All”

Adele: “Rolling in the Deep” A vengeful, angry, love story.

Adele, a 15-time Grammy winner, released one of her all-time greatest songs, “Rolling in the Deep” in November 2010. Her success did not come without hardship; she had a destructive relationship that led her to making some of her classic heartbreak music. Adele is known for her immense range and melancholic music. When she released “Rolling in the Deep,” she really switched things up. It was a song filled with anger for her toxic ex-lover Slinky Sunbeam instead of her typical “I want you back.”

“I guess it’s sort of my musical equivalent of saying things in the heat of the moment, and word-vomiting. It was my reaction to being told that my life is going to be boring, and lonely, and rubbish, and that I was a weak person if I didn’t stay in a relationship. So yeah, I was very insulted, and wrote [“Rolling in the Deep”] as a sort of ‘f___ you’”

— Adele

Adele’s album 21. The album that has her single “Rolling in the Deep”.

Song Title Meaning

“Rolling in the Deep” actually points to the idea that at one point in time this guy had Adele’s “heart inside his hand.” The titular phrase itself is derived from the slang term “roll deep” which, at least in British society (according to Adele), means to have somebody’s back no matter what.”

The setting when Adele is singing the first verse. In the VEVO Youtube video that has 1.7 billion views.

First Verse

There’s a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch, and it’s bringing me out the dark
Finally, I can see you crystal clear
Go ahead and sell me out, and I’ll lay your shit bare
See how I’ll leave with every piece of you
Don’t underestimate the things that I will do
There’s a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch, and it’s bringing me out the dark

“There’s a fire starting in my heart” Adele is in a place of firing rage, with anger stemming from her heart.

“Reaching a fever pitch, and it’s bringing me out the dark” The fire she has burns to create light in her life. This is what brings Adele out of the darkness,

“Finally, I can see you crystal clear” Adele is finally able to see who her man really is. She is seeing through his lies.

“Go ahead and sell me out, and i’ll lay your shit bare” Adele is threatening her ex lover that if he tries to hurt her after their relationship that she can get revenge on him in ways he can’t.

“don’t underestimate the things that I will do” Adele is almost trying to leave a warning for her former lover. She wants to get revenge for the lies he had put her through.

Pre-Chorus

The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinkin’ that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can’t help feeling

“The scars of your love remind me of us” Sometimes when you have an injury that is so awful you can put yourself back in the time and place when it happened. When Adele says this lyric she is referring more to an emotional injury. Adele is using the word “scar” as a metaphor for the memories she had been through.

“They keep me thinkin’ that we almost had it all” This lyric for Adele is almost like a step back in time. She is talking about a time where she was really happy with how their relationship was going, “they almost had it all.”

“The scars of your love, they leave me breathless” Adele is claiming she has memories of the relationship, good or bad, and she will never forget how they made her feel.

“I can’t help feeling” Adele is reflecting on the fact that their relationship could have been so beautiful. They could have had a picture perfect Disney movie life. Instead, all of those possibilities were ruined when she was left for a Burberry model.

Her song has been building up until this point. Her lyrics are so powerful, they have been threatening, yet beautiful. You can feel the tension as it starts out with a single guitar complimenting her haunting vocals and builds to this point with a thump of a bass drum almost in rhythm like a heartbeat. All of this leads to the crescendo of the chorus.

This is the part of the song where Adele shows off her impressive range. “We could’ve had it all” is the first high note lyric she nails. (VEVO)

Chorus

We could’ve had it all (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hand (You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

“We could’ve had it all” Referring again to the fact that they could have had a beautiful relationship. “(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)” Adele is threatening her ex that she could at any moment spill the beans about the way she was treated and mess up Slinky’s life. Chances are she's already made him look like a fool and he wishes he never met her.

“Rolling in the deep” Again referring to the fact that they could have “rolled deep” or had each others’ back.

“You had my heart inside of your hand” This lyric has a much deeper meaning. Adele’s ex was someone she could trust, love, and give her all to. He had her “heart inside of your hand.”

“And you played it to the beatThe ex was let into Adele’s private life and Adele was unable to see through what he really wanted. “Beat” could relate to a heartbeat, her heartbeat. Slinky was telling everything Adele’s heart wanted to hear.

Plates being thrown at a movie projector representing the lies Adele would hear. (VEVO)

Verse 2

Baby, I have no story to be told
But I’ve heard one on you, now I’m gonna make your head burn
Think of me in the depths of your despair
Make a home down there, as mine sure won’t be shared

“Baby, I have no story to be told” This could be Adele explaining how truthful and loyal she was in their relationship. She was not a story teller. She told it straight.

“But I’ve heard one on you, now I’m gonna make your head burn” Adele is referencing how she has heard one too many of her ex-lover’s stories. She is gonna make his head burn by telling the world about the lies she was fed.

“Think of me in the depths of your despair” Adele reveals that she wants her ex lover to regret what he has done. She wants him to wish he still had her.

“Make a home down there, as mine sure won’t be shared” This lyric is expressing how Adele wants her ex to go to “hell”. She believes he belongs there.

“Rolling in the Creep”

When researching this project, there were a lot of details that just straight up surprised me. For one I found it really interesting that it was really hard to find even the name of Adele’s ex lover Slinky Sunbeam. It was like a mystery.

The man himself, Slinky Sunbeam.

When I first found out about Slinky, I thought it had to be a joke because his name was absolutely absurd. He also looked nothing like a guy in the league of the goddess Adele. Finding out that this was the mystery man was not only surprising because of his name but also because Slinky Sunbeam sounds and looks so innocent and harmless.

The secret mistress Morwenna Lytton Cobbold.

“Slinky isn’t the kind of guy you can tie down,” Adele’s friend says. “It was always going to end in tears, and those tears were always going to be Adele’s” (Richard Price). I find it completely crazy that Slinky would cheat on Adele. Morwenna Lytton Cobbold was in fact a Burberry model and honestly I just do not see it. Maybe it was a blessing for Adele. She did create a song that would alone as a single, before the album, bring in well over 20 million dollars. Her album 21 that has “Rolling in the Deep” sold over 31 million copies. Although Adele did go through a lot of struggle, I know she is the one having the last laugh.

Adele winning!