“Heart Upon My Sleeve” by Avicii & Imagine Dragons

“Heart Upon My Sleeve” is a song that was originally released, in a rougher form, by Avicii back in 2013.  Dan Reynolds, lead singer of the Imagine Dragons, had also been involved in the project since back in the day, but it was the aftermath of Avicii’s suicide in April of 2018 which prompted him to really sit down and complete the song. So in that regard, certain lyrics are loosely based on Reynolds reeling from Avicii’s passing.

This is important to note because on the surface a person may think this song is romantically-based.  Indeed when it was originally conceptualized it may have been so. The central theme of the track has the singer wearing his “heart upon (his) sleeve”, which is an expression meaning that his emotionally raw, as in his feelings are on full display. More specifically, he is humbled and “feel(s) broken”. This is because he has lost a loved one.

The nature of this loss and the relationship he has with this person is not specified. Thus the song has a general applicability in that it can point to any type of relationship where an individual is in an emotionally-devastated state due to not having a particular person around. And in that regard, parts of the song Reynolds added since the departure of Avicii allude specifically to the pain he was going through due to losing someone who was obviously a friend. For instance, in the bridge the singer states that he will have to deal with the anguish of this loss “forever”. This is definitely the type of sentiment a person may feel upon having a loved one pass away.

But stripped down to its most-basic form, this is just a song about a person who is, once again, distraught over not being able to enjoy the company of someone he holds dear.

Heart Upon My Sleeve lyrics

Facts about “Heart Upon My Sleeve”

Dan Reynolds had been involved with the creation of “Heart Upon My Sleeve” since 2013 when Avicii’s people reached out to him regarding a collaboration. And as aforementioned, an earlier version of this song was released which, in their eyes, was incomplete. And apparently it remained that way for some time until the passing of Avicii, when Reynolds finally figured out where the song “needed to go”, which included memorializing its late producer.

Other parties who helped Dan Reynolds and Avicii write this song are Daniel Platzman, Ben McKee and Wayne Sermon.

Meanwhile “Heart Upon My Sleeve” was produced exclusively by Avicii.

“Heart Upon My Sleeve” was released on 6 June 2019 along with the rest of Avicii’s first posthumous album, entitled Tim.

Was this song released as a single from Tim?

No. Tim produced three singles, namely:

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