Watch: Adele Tells the Story Behind the Lyrics to “Chasing Pavements,” “Easy on Me” and More

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Adele used her Elle cover story as a chance to spill a few secrets about the lyrics to some of her biggest hits.

Taking a look back at material ranging from her first album, 19, to her latest, 30, the singer began her “Life in Lyrics” segment by explaining how her “lyrics have probably changed a bit over time in terms of my vocabulary growing, considering that I started out when I was 19.”

She continued, “But, you know, they always tell about the same thing: me and seemingly, my failed relationships. Which is crazy ’cause I actually don’t feel like that, but yeah.”

The first song to go under the microscope was her 2021 hit, “Easy on Me.” The singer explained that most of the ballad was written in a shower that saw her reflecting on how lost she was when she left her marriage.

“A lot of my friends throughout that rainy period of my life kept saying to me that, ‘You have to go easy on yourself, don’t beat yourself up too much about your decisions,'” she explained. “It just really, really stuck with me that, like, I have to be kind to myself.”

Go easy on me, baby
I was still a child
Didn’t get the chance to
Feel the world around me

Next, she looked back to a hit from her debut album, “Chasing Pavements.” Her initial response was a critique of her use of filler words as a young artist. “I do remember that on 19, I always use the word ’cause.’ It’s so lazy. One time, I was in the studio with Sia, and I kept being, like, ’cause’ or ‘but’ and ‘and,’ and she was like, ‘We don’t do those words. We don’t do those words, we don’t use words like that. It’s just, like, lazy.’ But clearly, I’m lazy.”

Should I give up?
Or should I just keep chasing pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste?

Talking about “All I Ask” from her sophomore album, 25, she called the track “one of her favorite songs” and discussed working with Bruno Mars. “[Bruno] made me do about 50 million takes of that song. Normally, everyone’s like ‘that was great, that was fine, that’s all you gotta do!’ but he made me do so many.”

If this is my last night with you
Hold me like I’m more than just a friend
Give me a memory I can use
Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do

Watch Adele discuss these songs and more in Elle’s “Life in Lyrics” segment below. The cover story comes alongside news that Adele’s postponed Vegas residency has been rescheduled for November. The dates will run through 2023 at Caesar’s Palace. Find tickets, HERE.

Photo: Adele 30 Album Cover

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