“Hanging On” by Ellie Goulding (ft. Tinie Tempah)
Perhaps one may argue that “Hanging On” is a masterfully written song considering that the metaphors in the verses, including to some degree Tinie Tempah’s rap, can be a bit confusing to understand.
However, the point of the song still comes across clearly, primarily as a result of the chorus. That is where it is made most evident that the scenario we’re actually dealing with here is a tumultuous relationship.
And within such a context, the concept of “hanging on” usually alludes to an individual staying committed to a romance despite truly wanting to bounce. And with that in mind, we have a better idea of what Ellie Goulding is speaking to in her verses. However, as presented, it isn’t so much a case of her wanting to leave her sweetheart per se as it is she being extremely frustrated by his lack of appreciation for her.
Meanwhile Tinie is more like he just can’t understand his significant other. It’s almost as if the closer they become physically, the further apart they grow psychologically. Perhaps such is to be expected considering that what is primarily keeping him committed would seemingly be her physical attractiveness.
But apparently she wasn’t as deep into him as vice versa, as the passage concludes with him proclaiming that “she broke (his) heart”.
So conclusively, maybe the simplest way to describe this song is as it being about romantic relationships that have run their course. That is to say that the vocalists remaining with their partners seem to be proving more challenging than it is actually worth.
Facts about “Hanging On”
“Hanging On” is a song that originally came out via a singer known as Active Child in 2011. It was he and a fellow American musician, Ariel Rechtshaid, who wrote it.
However, the featured artist, Tinie Tempah, is also credited as one of the co-writers on Ellie Goulding’s version. That would mean that he wrote the featured rap himself.
Ellie Goulding’s version came out on 12 July 2012, courtesy of Polydor Records. It was featured on the songstress’s sophomore album “Halcyon“. And to note it wasn’t issued as a single but rather a free download a couple of months prior to the album itself. However, it still went on to appear on the lower spectrum of the UK Singles Chart, in addition to being featured on a couple of movies and television shows.
Moreover a remix of the tune appeared on PlayStation’s critically acclaimed God of War: Ascension (2013), a videogame that actually went on to win an AIAS award for its sound design.
Halcyon, which topped the UK Albums Chart and reached 9th place on the Billboard 200, has been the most-successful out of the four studio full-lengths that Goulding has put out thus far.
Goulding, a singer from England, has consistently managed to drop hits throughout the 2010s, with her discography dating back to 2009. That is to say that she has become one of the most recognizable musicians from the UK during said decade.
Meanwhile the lesser-known Tinie Tempah is also a Briton, though specializing in rap and tracing his parentage back to Nigeria. He was actually quite successful during the early part of the 2010s. For instance, he won four MOBO Awards between 2010 and 2013, as well as a couple of Brit Awards (Best Breakthrough Act and Best Single) in 2011.
The last full-length he dropped leading up to this post would be 2017’s “Youth”, which peaked at number nine on the UK Albums Chart. But he hasn’t had a solid hit since 2016’s “Girls Like”, a collaboration with Swedish songstress Zara Larsson. A
And to note he and Goulding did drop a song prior to this one, in 2011, entitled “Wonderman”. That particular outing was released as a proper single and managed to reach number three on the UK R&B Chart.