Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed” Lyrics Meaning
In the United States and several other English-speaking countries around the globe, the term “Godspeed” is a very popular noun. It is used when one is wishing well to someone about to embark on a journey. Simply put, you use this noun to wish someone a prosperous journey. And that is exactly how this term is used in this Frank Ocean song.
So accordingly, the song’s lyrics find Ocean wishing the addressee well as they part company. Despite Frank not making it abundantly clear who the addressee is to him, it seems as though he/she is an ex lover of his. And as they go their separate ways, he acknowledges that they would definitely meet hurdles along the way. However, the love they share would help them surmount these hurdles. He concludes by wishing the addressee good fortune and a happy life and promising to always be there for them.
Is Addressee Frank Ocean himself?
It should be noted that a school of thought reads the lyrics differently. According to this group, Frank is indeed bidding an addressee farewell and wishing them well. However, the addressee is none other than Frank himself. According to this school of thought, Frank is wishing himself good fortune as he transitions or rather journeys from one phase of his life into another. And said transition is actually his journey from boyhood to manhood.
Frank Ocean talks about meaning of “Godspeed”
Frank himself confirmed that he is in fact the addressee of the song. According to him, the song is about “a re-imagined part” of his boyhood years. And simply put he is basically wishing himself all the best as he transitions from his boyhood years into adulthood.
He revealed this in his ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ magazine. This magazine was released alongside his album “Blonde” (2016). And FYI, this is the album on which “Godspeed” appears.
Was this a single from “Blonde”?
No. Actually Frank’s “Blonde” had the support of only one official single (“Nikes”). And it also features Frank’s popular tune “Self Control“.
Who sings the background vocals on “Godspeed”?
The vocals in question were handled by a gospel singer named Kim Burell.
Burell began her life and music career in Houston, Texas. As the daughter of a pastor, she began singing with the Youth Mass Choir organized by the late gospel singer James Edward Cleveland.
Burrell has released and been featured in a number of albums and singles that have earned her 5 awards. These range from the Stellar Awards, Dove Awards, and the Gospel Music Excellence Award as well as great spots on the Billboard charts and Grammy Nominations.
In 2016 and 2017, she made headlines for preaching sermons that were considered homophobic. Her scheduled appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres show was canceled, and her radio show was also canceled by Texas Southern University due to her comments.
Ocean penned “Godspeed” alongside Grammy winning producer and songwriter Malay. The pair worked together on at least five other songs on “Blonde”.