At my singing club, we’re doing Good Grief by Bastille, but what do those lyrics mean?
My friend and I came to the conclusion that it is in fact about a loved one dying. The first line “watching through my fingers” could represent being at a funeral or looking and their dead body and crying into your hands or just not wanting to look at all. “Shut my eyes and count to ten” is a technique used to manage anger so it could be suggesting the singer is angry at the death of their loved one. “burning bright right till the end” I’m not quite sure about but it could represent the candles at a funeral or that the loved one is going to be a star “burning bright” or simply that the loved one is being cremated. “Now you’ll be missing from the photographs” is pretty self-explanatory- they won’t be in any more photos.
“In my thoughts, you’re far away
And you are whistling the melody, whistling the melody, Crystallising clear as day,
Oh, I can picture you so easily, picture you so easily ” could be representing the singer imagining the loved one still being alive or in heaven “whistling a melody”. I’m not quite sure what “crystalising clear as day” refers to but it could reference the dead body or how the image of the loved one will stay like that forever – not growing older-.
( (The chorus is obvious so I’ll just skip over that. ) )
The second verse quotes “Caught off guard by your favourite song,I’ll be dancing at a funeral, dancing at a funeral”. I think that this means that the singer is at the funeral and hears the loved ones favourite song and thus is “caught off guard”. “Sleeping in the clothes you love, It’s such a shame we had to see them burn, shame we had to see them burn” means that they are buried (“sleeping”) in the “clothes you love”. “Such a shame we had to see them burn” could represent the loved one being cremated or the singer burning all of their clothes.
“You might have to excuse me, I’ve lost control of all my senses, And you might have to excuse me, I’ve lost control of all my words” refers to being so upset they’ve “lost control of all of [their] senses”.
After researching this, I found out that frontman Dan Smith wrote the song “about loss”
Listen to Good Grief: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOrbfQpdLKo