Lyrical Analysis: “Abducted” by Cults

The lyrics are found here.  Here is the official music video:

The music video for this song features a woman being abducted by a man, and then the man driving down a very long and winding road — constantly looking out the window the entire time.  The whole while, the woman is tied and trapped in the trunk of the car.  At the end of the video, he gets out the car, lets her out of the trunk, and allows himself to be tied up by her and eventually locked in the trunk.

The lyrics to this song focus upon a relationship where the woman is completely infatuated with the man upon first sight.  She realizes that this man is the best man she has ever been in a relationship with (“I knew right then no one was above him”).  The first three lines seem to infer to “I knew right then” as the moment/day/night she first met this man, but in the last line, “I knew right then that he would be breaking my heart“, she seems to be speaking from a later point in the relationship where she realizes that he is not in love with her like she is to him.

Unfortunately, she wants to stay with him regardless, because even though the love is not mutual, to her, he represents the closest thing to love she has ever felt (“He tore me apart because I really loved him“).  I love the next lines, “He took my heart(/it all) away and left me to bleed out, bleed out“, as it infers how she put her entire self transparently into the relationship, giving her heart to him, and the love was not returned in the manner she thought the situation would have indicated.

Then the song shifts to his perspective, this time again, the man does not seem to be speaking from the moment which they first met (“I knew right then that I’d never love her”).  He cannot control how in love someone is with him, he simply is not in love with her (“the reasons”) — and this likely became apparent when it was revealed to him how much she actually loved him.  He wishes her the best, realizing that the whole experience likely will cause her to never give herself that way to anyone ever again (“I hope the dream hasn’t left her scarred”).

This is where the video really comes full circle.  The vulnerability and emotion shown by the woman in the video really contrasts how stern and detached the male kidnapper comes across as.  That is, until the end, where the very thing the male voice in the song alludes to comes true — she becomes the cold and detached kidnapper, and now she will likely “kidnap” another’s heart in the same manner she was.  The cycle perpetuates, and we now can empathize with the male kidnapper, for it’s implied he was turned cold after opening himself to another, but then being rejected.  This song captures the emotion of the entire situation, and the video acts as a perfect visual allegory for the male and female characters within the song’s lyrics.

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6 thoughts on “Lyrical Analysis: “Abducted” by Cults

  1. Pingback: musicavid. « VANDIELAND

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  3. Hey this is my analysis:

    The man abducts the woman and keeps her in the back of his car, his mind. He realizes that keeping her there is no good for her well being. He tries to pretend that he doesn’t care about her pain, but eventually must let her go.

    She then puts him in the back of her car, her mind. She learns how to move along in her life with him behind her, even though he is always with her, simply hidden.

    However, she has difficulty moving on completely and out of sentiment chooses to remain captive, even though he has let her go. She remains vulnerable to other travelers, so vulnerable that even just a person traveling down the same road could end her life.

    I like that most of what has happened is in the past, and the video is showing her looking back at the past. The director leaves her still bound by her memories with only chalk to make marks. However, she is still alive. The end shows where the director currently saw her – laying alone, in contemplation, trying to remember and make sense of the cruel experience. However, she is free and while unbinding herself will take her own effort, her future is now under her own control. The audience can see this, but can she?

    • I like the notion of ‘the audience can see this’, because a lot of times in life I think our peers can see things that we just never really notice.

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