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What does "Let Me Go" by NF mean?

What does "Let Me Go" by NF mean?

“Let Me Go” Lyrics Meaning

What happens when hope is more terrifying than pain? NF has never been dishonest about his journey and his latest album is no exception. He has been honest about the struggle of having a career based off of people relating to his struggle with depression and anxiety. “The Search” album is about finding hope to move past those struggles authentically, when it’s terrifying because the pain has started to feel like a part of him.

“You promise protection, I don’t feel protected” 

“Let Me Go” is largely pointed at the lies that tell him there’s no hope for recovery. Lies that claim they will protect him from being hurt by false hope, but instead rob him of happiness at every opportunity. These lyrics are about the journey to turning on those lies and finally saying “let me go.” 

As always, while this analysis will use “NF is dealing with...” or “NF thinks...” statements, these are only to explain what he is expressing in the lyrics. While NF is an artist who is largely autobiographical in his songs, it doesn’t mean that everything stated in his songs are or aren’t about him. NF is a phenomenal emotional storyteller, and while those stories are often true, unless he says so, we can’t be sure what elements are about his life. Either way, these lyrics are very raw and personal in nature and tell an intense and moving story. 

Verse 1 (pt. 1)

Talk to you with my hands tied

Walk towards you on a fine line

Everybody has a dark side

I feel embarrassed when they see mine

Rain falling from my dark skies

Clouds parting, but it's all lies

Shouldn't I see the sunshine now?

Wonder how I look in God's eyes

Am I a good person or a lost one?

Will this feel worth it when I'm all done?

Will I feel ashamed or like who I was?

Will the pain vanish or will more come?

Will I stay numb or regain love?

Maybe someday have a taste of freedom?

Will I take the poison out of my blood?

Or just leave it there inside of my lungs?

The lyrics cut right to the emotion, as NF confesses that he feels trapped with his “hands tied” under “dark skies.” He refuses to believe that the clouds (symbolic of depression or emotional weight) are parting because he’s been let down before, and if things were getting better “shouldn’t [he] see the sunshine now?” The questions of this dark place fill his mind and each of them, if answered, will tell him if he should hope or not. “Will the pain vanish or will more come? / Will I stay numb or regain love? … Will I take the poison out of my blood? / Or just leave it there inside of my lungs?” The question he’s ultimately asking is: will my future be better than this?

Verse 1 (pt. 2)

I (Know know, know)

I should let you go, hands are feeling cold

Just leave me alone (No, no, no)

I just want control, I feel so exposed

Liars in my home (No, no, no)

Please do not provoke, noose around my soul, I cut down a rope

They don't want me happy, they don't want me fixed

They don't want me better, they just want me broke

Talk but never listen, at least I admit it

Block out all my vision, watchin' me diminish

That's my favorite pastime, I know nothing different

Tell me something different, I don't see the difference

I just feel offended, I just feel defensive

Why don't you accept me? I just need acceptance

Time is of the essence, don't like how we spend it

You just want perfection, I need you to let me

It’s unclear if he is asking someone who is trying to help him to leave him alone as he leans toward hopelessness, or if he’s asking the voices in his head to be quiet as he pushes toward hope. Speaking of the “liars in [his] home” (the voices in his mind/lies), they try to break him and never want him to get better or to be happy. He watches himself “diminish” and he doesn’t know anything “different” but he longs to understand something beyond the self-hatred and depression he experiences every day. The “you” he asks for acceptance could be another person or group of people, but likely it’s the part of himself that is tying the “noose around [his] soul” that he is forced to cut down. 


Let me go, let me go, let me go, let me go

Let me go, let me go, let me go, let me go

Let me go, let me go, let me go, let me go

Let me go, let me go, let me go, let me go

The gentle, melancholy chorus is likely directed toward the part of himself that “just want[s] perfection.” In response, he asks the perfectionism, the cause of so much self-hatred and pain to let him go.

Verse 2 (pt. 1)

Why'd you say I don't belong here? (Huh?)

Fill a bucket full of my tears (Huh?)

Pour it out the water, all of my insecurities whenever I'm scared

I watch 'em grow and say I don't care

I pray to God to ask if hope's real

And if it is, then I was thinking maybe You could introduce us, we ain't met still

Yeah, my chest feels like a blade's in it

Who put it there? I think they did it

Out the cell now, where am I headed?

Am I Hell-bound? Will I find Heaven?

Will I feel better or just regret it?

If I let you go and find the seven letters

I've been looking for, it's like it's never endin'

Open all the doors and let the peace enter

As he is overcome by his insecurities, he asks God “if hope’s real” because if it is, he wants to know it. He thinks that the lies have put a “blade” in his chest, but even now that he’s escaped the cell they put him in(a reference to Perception. The cell represents being trapped by one’s view of the world and themselves.), and is changing his perception, he is wondering if it was safer inside than the unfamiliar place he is going to. He is afraid he is “Hell-bound” but hopes he will “find Heaven.” NF decides that he needs to let the “peace enter” and let go of the lies to find the hope he’s searching for.

Verse 2 (pt. 2)

I'm (So, so, so)

Pitiful at times, miserable inside

They want me to hide (No, no, no)

How can I survive? Change your state of mind

I should say goodbye (No, no, no)

They want me to beg, they want me to plead, they want me to die

They just want me dead, they just want me hurt

Don't want me to live, don't want me alive

Stop with the pretending, I don't feel respected

I just feel rejected, I don't like rejection

You promise protection, I don't feel protected

I just feel neglected, how can I respect it?

I'll teach them a lesson, I pick up the weapon

Aim in your direction, shoot at my reflection

Shatter my perception, hate it when I'm desperate

You just want perfection, I want you to let me (let me go)

The lies continue to tell him he won’t survive outside his former prison, to which he says he can “change [his] state of mind.” The lies persist, trying to drive him to suicide or to a place of seemingly inescapable pain. He tells the lies that they “promise protection” from what’s in the world but they only cause him more feelings of neglect and rejection. Desperate for hope, he destroys the lies, shattering the former perception of his life and continues on the search for hope.

Deeper Meaning of “Let Me Go” by NF

“Let Me Go” is a heartbreakingly beautiful and honest song. Personally, I can easily think of times where it’s been scary to let go of lies that I’ve believed or grief that has been with me for a long time. I think a lot of people can. That’s part of what makes this song so important to me. He doesn’t leave us there, afraid to step outside the cell and change our perception to a truthful one. He looks at his own lies and says “it’s time. I’m letting you go, and you need to let me go too.” By choosing to find hope even though it’s an unknown, he releases the lie that many of us believe, and instead steps out with the faith that we are more than the pain we experience, and that hope won’t change who he is, only where he is emotionally.

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