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.

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. 

Moreover, 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 illustrates 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.

Lyrics for "505" by Arctic Monkeys

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?

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

505

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.

Success

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.

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