David Gray’s “Babylon” Lyrics Meaning

Babylon, as many readers already know, was the name of an ancient prominent city. This song is not about that place nor any locality for that matter. Rather it is based on a tumultuous romantic relationship the singer is in.

The reason that many people are familiar with the city of Babylon in the first place is due to its heavy usage in the Bible. Indeed according to the Good Book, it was a place where the Israelites, the main characters of the Old Testament, were exiled for almost 100 years. And it has been suggested that such is actually the idea the title of this song is intended to allude to. For almost the entirety of the track, the singer is separated from the woman he loves. That is to say that she has left him, as in he being exiled from his lover. And the overall implication is that this scenario is the result of him not treating her well.

And coming to the realization that he lost his significant other as a result to his own ‘foolishness’ is tearing him apart. But he does not accept such a fate passively. Instead he’s “running wild”, as in being overtaken by emotion. And he seems to be frantically trying to win her back. And after three long verses, the story does end on a positive note. For just as he is about to give up, his sweetheart unexpectedly shows up at his doorstep. And the insinuated is that they live happily ever after henceforth, with him now appreciating her more due to realizing the errors of his ways.

Lyrics of "Babylon"

Release Date of “Babylon”

“Babylon” was first released, by East West Records and IHT Records, on 12 November 1998. It was featured on David Gray’s album “White Ladder” and was actually issued as a single twice from that project.

The US version of “White Ladder” also featured a remix of “Babylon”, which is entitled “Babylon II”.

Chart Performance

“Babylon” charted in almost 10 countries. This included scoring a number five on the UK Singles Chart and number one amongst Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs. Moreover the song has been certified Gold in the United Kingdom. 

Indeed for some 20 years now after its release, “Babylon” still serves as the most-successful song of David Gray’s catalog.

Did David Gray write “Babylon”?

Yes. David Gray wrote “Babylon”, and he also co-produced. He produced the song along with record producers C. McClune and L. Polson.

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