The Real Meaning Behind ‘Rolling In The Deep’ By Adele

Some of the best love songs we have today are filled with an undeniable level of passion. Whether they are songs about settling down or breaking up, the artists behind them have the talents to convince us of their undying love (or hate). As for Adele, the love-hate relationships that are the subject of her lyrics are persuasive enough to make you feel the same about your own love life.

Before Adele released her sophomore album, 21, in January 2011, she was dealing with some serious drama in the love department, per Rolling Stone. Considering Adele’s relationship at the time was going south, it makes sense that the lead single, “Rolling In the Deep,” would be inspired by her former beau: photographer Alex Sturrock, according to The Mirror.

Within a day-and-a-bit, Adele had recorded the demo of the song — and thanks to the dude who broke her heart, “Rolling In the Deep” became one of Adele’s biggest songs worldwide, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Summing up the song’s origins, Adele said it was a response to “being told that my life was going to be boring and lonely and rubbish, and that I was a weak person if I didn’t stay in the relationship. I was very insulted, and wrote that as a sort of ‘f*** you,'” per The Independent. (Just take the lyrics: “See how I’ll leave with every piece of you / Don’t underestimate the things that I will do.”)

The truth behind Adele's 'Rolling In the Deep' inspiration

As detailed above, Adele drew inspiration for “Rolling In The Deep” from an ex-boyfriend fresh on her mind. As the story goes, when Adele went on her debut “An Evening with Adele” tour, she met a man 10 years her senior who would later become her boyfriend, per Fandom. The ex, who has been widely referred to as “Mr. 21” by Adele’s fans (and was outed as Alex Sturrock by The Mirror) is said to be the muse of 21.

Things were initially good between the two. “He made me an adult. He put me on the road that I’m traveling on,” Adele told Rolling Stone. “Most of my life was my career, but I had this little side project that was us. And it made me feel really normal again … because I was becoming … a bit f*****n’ crazy.” (This seems to be reflected in the pre-chorus of the track: “The scars of your love remind me of us /They keep me thinkin’ that we almost had it all.”)

However, according to the singer, their relationship eventually went downhill. “It just stopped being fun,” she continued. She says he was ” … not romantic. He never took me to Italy. I took him to Italy. I booked it all.” The relationship ended in 2011, and her Grammy-winning album 21 was certainly a cathartic way for the singer to say “f*** you” to the man she once loved.

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