Arctic Monkeys’ “505” Lyrics Meaning

The lyrics of “505” are known to be relatively challenging to decipher. So in an attempt to make sense of it all, we will do our best to take a linear approach to this analysis. Simply put, we’ll go down the piece segment by segment.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Arctic Monkeys's 505 at

Meaning of “505”

First of course comes the title, “505”. It has been put forth that this number actually represents a hotel room, which is possible. But a more reasonable explanation, considering that in the chorus the vocalist sorta implies that said locality is or can be quite far from where he’s situated, would be that it’s a more general locality, like an area code.

That said, the symbolism of the location is more important than where it is physically situated. In fact, it has been put forth that “505” isn’t an actual location at all but rather represents an idea. In other words, the said number has also been known to represent an individual being caught up in a love/hate relationship.

Simply put, a romance that is both beneficial and detrimental at the same time. And that is ultimately a fancy way of saying that the latter reality has taken precedence over the former. 

The Need to Reclaim the Magic!

It has also been said that the “505”, as representing a room number, is itself symbolic in a romantic context. That is to say that it characterizes an earlier point in a relationship where things between the couple are more ideal than they are in the present. 

Thus in proclaiming that he wants to ‘go back to 505’, the vocalist is expressing a desire to reclaim the magic from that previous era in the romance. 

Indeed the way the singer currently idealizes this relationship, once again as relayed by the chorus, is as one in which his sweetheart is wantonly awaiting his arrival. And that would be one of the reasons why he is willing to traverse a great distance, if need be, to be with her.

The Verses

And the verses that follow illustrate why, as it currently stands, this relationship is less than ideal. Therein, it becomes obvious that this is a tumultuous relationship. Moreover, it would appear that the vocalist, at least in his mind, is more of a victim in this situation than an actual fighter. 

For instance, he does allude to the notion of the addressee having had her ‘hands around his neck’ more than once. Now he may not be actually talking about physical assault. But either way, the implication would be that such incidents happen quite regularly between the two of them and that she does in fact tend to assault him in some manner.

That said, the singer is not in an emotional position to actually terminate this relationship. For instance, when the addressee starts crying he ‘completely crumbles’. So taken into consideration, what has been put forth earlier, what this reads like is the case of the vocalist being victim to a toxic lover. However, when she becomes emotional, he can’t help but to follow suit and forgive her. And on and on it goes.

At the End of the Day

And yes, as alluded to at the onset of this article, there is a lot more going on here. The lyrics feel like they may be based on the writer’s personal experiences. However, he relies primarily on metaphorical, i.e. open-to-interpretation, language to relay his specific tale. 

But conclusively, it would appear that he has allowed himself to fall deeply in love with the addressee “too soon”. Or at least that is his disposition in the present, now that he’s gotten to truly know her. For it would seem that she possesses the type of personality which, as opposed to being the hot, anxious lover he wants her to be, the addressee instead is quite contentious, while the vocalist himself really isn’t. 

But when he’s away from her for an extended period of time, being in love and all, he misses her nonetheless. However, when he does return to “505” to be with the sweetheart, it’s like the cycle of drama recommences once again.

“I’m going back to 505
If it’s a seven-hour flight or a forty-five drive
In my imagination, you’re waiting lying on your side
With your hands between your thighs”

The Song “505”

This particular piece is from the second of the aforementioned projects, 2007’s “Favouite Worst Nightmare”. The singles that were actually issued from that project were respectively:

  • “Brainstorm”
  • “Fluorescent Adolescent”
  • “Teddy Picker”

And in all, this album went triple-platinum in the UK. It is currently considered one of the band’s best performing projects.

And just to note, as far as singles go, the Arctic Monkeys’ most successful song so far has been 2013’s “Do I Wanna Know?“. We are basing that on both the critical and commercial reception it received.

“505” is the 12th and final track on the playlist of the standard edition of “Favourite Worst Nightmare”.

A live version of this song can be found on the band’s 2020 album “Live at the Royal Albert Hall”. It was actually recorded, in London, in 2018. This would imply that even though “505” was not released as a single, it is amongst the Arctic Monkeys’ fan favorites. 

In fact, the only other song in the group’s catalog that has garnered more listens than this one would be the aforementioned “Do I Wanna Know?”.

When was “505” released?

18th of April, 2007. The label behind its issuance is Domino Records.

A Great Climax

There are a ton of amazing songs with fantastic climaxes. However, “505” has without a shred of doubt one of the best build-ups and climaxes in rock music history. It’s climax is comparable to the climax of iconic songs such as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven“, Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” and Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees“.

The Crying Girl

At the 2022 Reading Festival, Arctic Monkeys delivered an incredible live performance of “505”. According to many AM fans, the said performance is arguably one of the best live renditions of the song. It is actually true that the performance was nothing short of brilliant. It was insane and so were the members of the crowd who couldn’t help but join Turner to sing every word of the song.

Towards the end of the performance, the camera focuses on the face of a young girl who is so overwhelmingly touched by both performance and song that she can’t help but cry with sheer emotion.

The young fan’s emotional reaction to the song has gone on to become one of the highlights of the performance this is because many fans find her reaction very relatable. The song is so beautiful it has the power to evoke tears.

Below is what a fan said about the crying fan:

The girl who cried during the performance of "505".
You can see the beautiful crying girl at 3:43. The song stirred powerful emotions within her, which resulted in those beautiful tears you see her shedding.

But who is the crying girl?

We were able to find out who this fan is via to a little research on YouTube. She goes by the name Shauna Aldridge and she was kind enough to voluntarily identify herself to her fellow fans. According to her, she had such a great time at the concert. Her only problem was that she wished she “looked a bit better” while crying.

Don’t worry Shauna. You looked great (:

The Artic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys aren’t from the North Pole. They are rather a group of musicians from Sheffield, England. At the time of this track’s release, the band was made up of the following musicians:

  • Alex Turner (frontman)
  • Jamie Cook (guitarist)
  • Matt Helders (drummer)
  • Nick O’Malley (bass player)

In between early-2006 and 2018, the Arctic Monkeys have released six studio albums. All 6 of them topped the UK Albums Chart. Furthermore, they also performed reasonably well on the Billboard 200.


As far as being commercially successful musicians go, the Arctic Monkeys may not be on par with their English contemporaries, Coldplay. But they are highly decorated nonetheless. For instance the aforenoted “Favourite Worst Nightmare” took home the British Album of the Year trophy, via the Brit Awards, in 2008. 

And in total they have actually won seven Brit Awards to date. Their debut album, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” (2006) also won an Ivor Novello Award. 

Additionally, Arctic Monkeys have been nominated for a few Grammy Awards throughout the years. Indeed one of the realities that has differentiated their success story from that of Coldplay’s is that whereas Arctic Monkeys have been well-received critically stateside, that reception hasn’t necessarily translated to earnings in the United States. 

As such, only a couple of their albums have thus far been certified in America. And out of the pair (including Whatever People Say I Am), 2013’s “AM”, which is perhaps their best-selling album overall, performed better by achieving RIAA platinum certification.


What Does “505” Mean to You?

What are your thoughts on “505”? Do you agree or disagree with the points made in our analysis above? Please share your thoughts with us. Thanks!

“505” is a Special Physical Location

“I strongly believe that “505” is a physical location that the singer is going to in order to relive the cherished memories he shared with his partner (whom he is unfortunately currently separated from). The number in question could be either the number of an apartment or a hotel room.

The line “if it’s a seven-hour flight or a forty-five-minute drive” is basically the distance he has to cover from his current destination to the place he longs to be. This also shows you how much he is willing to sacrifice just to be at that location so he can once again relive and enjoy those treasured moments again.

I’m very sure that he knows that when he gets to that physical location, he isn’t going to find his lover waiting there. That’s the reason the third line of the chorus he says in his “imagination” he can see her lying on her side with her hands between her thighs with a smile, waiting patiently for him. It is obvious that this is a posture he has seen his lover in at least once while she waited for him in room number 505.

Meeting his woman in the said room and spending heavenly moments with her were apparently the best days of his life. For this reason, he is willing to sacrifice anything just to take a trip back to that special place to relive those heavenly memories.”

– Andrew Taz

“505” takes me to a Place where Heaven was Mine

“This song always takes me back to a time when I wasn’t alone in this cold world. It reminds me of Thelma, my first real love. The memories are always so vivid to the point where I feel they are tangible.

Every word Alex Turner utters in this song reminds me of the cherished memories of her – our shared dreams, laughter and silence that was blissful and peaceful.

Our first kiss still warms my heart. Sadly our paths diverged, and distance came in between us to separate us. Despite our breakup being amicable, I felt extremely devasted there was nothing I could do to keep us together.

The memories of the relationship bring both sadness and gratitude to me. This amazing woman had taught me love, companionship, and a countless other things that I will always treasure. Her memories will always be a part of me.

I will always cherish my past chapter with Thelma. I also hope to pen new ones with another special person but until then I will always want to go back to ‘505’ – a time in my life when I journeyed through this life with a truly special person sent to me from heaven.”

– Jakub

25 Responses

  1. Ralph Paul Grant says:

    yeah great song

  2. cg says:

    awesome song i love it and it was made during my birth year

  3. Newborn says:

    The girl I love sent this to me so I’m tryna understand what it means.

  4. George says:

    Dude I live in the 505. Its about his relationship with drugs and coming back to them lying on his side with drawling no matter how long it takes he’s coming back to the 505.

  5. sydney says:

    i always have been interested by the idea about what this song it about. originally i thought it might have just been about how like the article says very early on about a hotel room, or a area code. but also i think like one of these comments say it’s more about the idea of a relationship that is both not i would say a hate/love situation with something or someone, but more the idea of having a beneficial yet toxic relationship with this something or someone.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love this song tremendously

  7. hehe says:

    I reckon it’s about an inconvenient relationship. I just sent this song to a guy I’ve fallen for and he said “sounds like me n you” :OOOOO

  8. Anonymous says:

    flight 505?

  9. Gabi says:

    If you look better 505 it’s the representation of SOS letters.

  10. amphet says:

    I love this song so much

  11. Clg says:

    I love this song but I hope I would never be in a relationship like this.

  12. Anonymous says:

    i love this song with all of my heart ahhh

  13. Anonymous says:

    Never thought I would put this track on loop forever. I’m going back to 403

  14. There is a Pattern says:

    5:05 minus 45 minutes is 4:20. 7 hours is 420 minutes. 505 means “a happy point in the relationship”. I see a pattern here…

  15. Heather says:

    I heard somewhere that Alex Turner wrote this song in just a matter of minutes while he was on a train on his way to visit his girlfriend who was actually lodging in a hotel room 505. That’s obviously where the song’s title came from. Beyond brilliant (:

  16. Jade says:

    I always thought 505 was the House on the Cover.

    Because if you’ve ever seen the tour of the house, it’s full of wacky and sexual humoured artwork.

    Sadly the house was demolished as it was on a Condemned Estate in the Garston District, Liverpool

  17. Presh says:

    All this song is about is a commitment (musician traveling) coming between two lover and him wanting to get to her (505 address or hotel # doesn’t matter…it’s just where she is) no matter how.

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