The Meaning Behind The Song: Halloween by Noah Kahan
As a music technician, I have had the privilege of dissecting songs, analyzing their lyrics, and understanding the emotions behind them. Today, I want to share with you the meaning behind the hauntingly beautiful song, “Halloween” by Noah Kahan.
I first heard this song on a cold winter evening while sitting in front of a crackling fire. The soft strumming of the guitar and Noah Kahan’s soulful voice immediately captivated me. Little did I know, I was about to embark on an emotional journey through the haunting lyrics and stunning melodies of “Halloween.”
The song starts with Noah Kahan sailing away to a place that fills him with fear and uncertainty. The dawn hasn’t arrived, and the sun hasn’t risen, setting the stage for a dark and introspective atmosphere. He drinks his days with the coastal longshoremen, who have their own burdens and responsibilities. The imagery of money to make and children back home adds depth to the narrative, highlighting the sacrifices one makes in pursuit of their dreams.
Noah Kahan reveals that he heard that someone he cares about is working in New Orleans. This person is trapped in their own way, just like Noah is trapped in his own self-destructive habits. He drowns his sorrows in alcohol and smokes to numb the pain. The lyrics “Your hands are all over my scent” suggests that he can’t escape the memories and lingering presence of this person, as if they have left an indelible mark on his soul.
There is a complex dynamic between the two individuals, as they worry for each other but ultimately accept that they won’t change. Noah Kahan collects dreams in empty pockets, symbolizing hope for a better future. He yearns for a time when those dreams will become a reality.
In the chorus, the wreckage of the person he once resided in is left behind. The bridges have been burned, and the remnants of the home he once set on fire return to the earth. It is a metaphorical representation of letting go and moving on from past mistakes and broken relationships.
Noah Kahan then reveals his intention to leave the town and change his address. He believes that if this person truly wants to be with him, they will follow. The line “It’s not Halloween, but the ghost you’re dressed up as sure knows how to haunt” alludes to the lingering presence of the person in his life. They have become a ghost, haunting him with memories and emotions that he can’t escape.
In the second verse, the song takes on a more introspective tone. It becomes an ode to the hole Noah Kahan found himself stuck in and a song for the grave he dug. The imagery of a murder of crows in the low light off Boston symbolizes darkness and despair. He sees the person’s face in every crow, further emphasizing their constant presence in his thoughts.
Noah Kahan loses himself in the tiniest objects, seeing his life play out on a screen. He hears their voice in a foreign language, highlighting the disconnect between them. If only he had the ability to bridge the gap and truly communicate with them.
As the song progresses, the chorus repeats, emphasizing the sense of letting go and moving on. Noah Kahan decides to set sail once again, leaving behind the fear and weariness he and the other person shared. He admits to only telling the truth when he is sure that he is lying, suggesting that he may have used lies as a coping mechanism in the past.
“Halloween” is a deeply personal song that explores themes of longing, regret, and the bittersweet nature of letting go. Noah Kahan’s evocative lyrics and soulful vocals create an intimate connection with the listener, making it a truly unforgettable musical experience.
In conclusion, “Halloween” by Noah Kahan is a poignant and introspective song that delves into the complexities of relationships and the struggles of moving on. Its haunting melodies and heartfelt lyrics perfectly capture the emotions and experiences that many of us can relate to. So, the next time you listen to this song, take a moment to immerse yourself in its poetic beauty and reflect on the meaning behind the music.