Today I found out that Ben’s long term girlfriend had committed suicide. He had not confirmed it and I don’t think he will but I read it in an article saying that’s where the motivation behind his songs are coming from. That was the dark situation he was talking about in his interviews. I know that some people don’t believe this but if you think about it, his songs are always about dealing with loss and always mentions a girl. He never wrote about the girl cheating or finding another lover. The obvious song for this is Follaton Wood. Read the lyrics and see how he describes it literally. I mean it would be too detailed to be a metaphor.
"Still don’t you forget, that rope you tied on your neck don’t free you darling"
His music always has some kind of darkness to it but there’s also a sense of holding on and staying strong. It really breaks my heart to know about this. It’s like now I know where all the emotions are coming from. A really dark place. Listening to his songs again all makes sense now. And it makes me sad knowing what he had to go through. He has an old song called Wouldn’t be a lie.
"Maybe I could have changed your mind;
Maybe you could thought about someone else,
Rather than yourself, oh anybody but yourself.
I tried so hard, to help you understand;
To put some hope into your hands
And all the time, you cried and said to me
"Why can’t everything be right?"
Each time I have to put up a fight
And the world keeps on winning,
Oh yeah the world keeps on winning
Never thought that you, that you wouldn’t be here;
Never thought that I would see these tears fall
And all these lonely times I’m feeling without you,
Knowing I don’t have you through it all
No it wouldn’t be a lie if I said I was missing you tonight”
Probably one of the saddest lyrics I’ve heard from Ben. The girl probably has insecurities and philosophies that he had to fight to change her mind but still she committed suicide by tying a rope around her neck.
"Cause I’ll always remember you the same, oh eyes like wildflowers with your demons of change" - Keep your head up
"Everything just goes away my friend, Every Kingdom must one day come to an end" - Everything
"Gracious goes the ghost of you, I will never forget all the plans and the silhouettes you drew. Darling I’ll grow weary happy still with just the memory of your face" - Gracious
"Darling you’re with me always around me. Darling I feel you forever and always" - Only Love
"Keiko I see you alive in my dreams, the outsider amongst us, the plague in between" - Keiko
Not sure if her name was Keiko but I guess it’s an alternative. There is a song called To The City where he tries to move on with a new girl. "How can I give more? When all of me won’t hold on" I think it’s about how he tries to move on and the girl helps him and gives him love but he cannot give more because it’s hard to forget about the past. Another song about moving on is The Fire “I don’t know where you came from. Honey, God’s been smiling down. I don’t know where the rain’s gone but it’s been a while, it’s been a while now”
With the songs like Only Love and Old Pine, it seems like he really cherishes her memory and still loves her and holds on to the good times they had. Ben probably does not want this to be revealed as much but It’s also good to know the meaning behind his music. All the more value it would have to people. There are more songs that tell about the story and his feelings. It’s funny how music can reveal someone’s whole life story. Though I’m not saying my interpretations are exactly what it means, it’s still pretty cool to find the connection with his songs that they are all related and puzzle out to be one big painting of someone’s life.
I really admire Ben for being brave in expressing all this. Man! How would you feel if the person you love commits suicide? It must hurt a lot. I mean imagine the guilt he must have felt. See how suicide does not hurt the one who does it, but it’s the people around them. You end your life easy when the people around you will have to suffer dealing with it for the rest of their lives. I was pretty inspired about all this. I hope I gave some sort of insight about Ben Howard’s situation so that we all could learn and understand more.
Keep your head up Keep your heart strong