John Mayer’s “Emoji of a Wave” Lyrics Meaning

John Mayer’s “Emoji of a Wave” is centered on the titular “wave”. What the singer is referring to exactly with that word is a matter of debate. However, it ultimately seems to be something tantamount to discontent in his romantic relationship.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for John Mayer's Emoji of a Wave at

Indeed it can even be argued that the romance he is currently in has more or less dissolved. But he is telling the addressee (his partner) that “it’s just a wave”. In other words, the “dissonance” they are currently experiencing, in his mind, is a passing event. So even though he is in a considerable amount of emotional pain due to the two of them having serious beef, he still decides to “hold on” until the “wave” is indeed “gone”. And the insinuation is that he is appealing to her to do the same. Or perhaps John Mayer himself said it best, when he stated that “Emoji of a Wave” is about “wanting to… resolve a situation but knowing there’s no resolution”.

And in terms of the “emoji” part of the title, there is no part of the song where that word is actually mentioned. Thus we believe Mayer included it in the name to make it sound cooler.

Lyrics of "Emoji of a Wave"

Song reminds John Mayer of Santa Barbara

John Mayer has stated that one of the affects listening to this song has is making him think of “Santa Barbara on a rainy, cold day”. And he described that as a “beautiful destination”.

Santa Barbara is a coastal city in California, with Mayer even describing this song as a “Beach Boys’ thing”. And accordingly, he was fortunate enough to get one of the founders of the Beach Boys, Al Jardine, in addition to his son Matt Jardine, to provide backup vocals for “Emoji of a Wave”.

Writing Credits for “Emoji of a Wave”

Meanwhile the song was written and produced by John Mayer himself.

When was “Emoji of a Wave” released?

“Emoji of a Wave” was issued by Capitol Records on 24 February 2017. It was an integral part of  Mayer’s renowned EP “The Search for Everything: Wave Two”.

1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t the correct explanation of the song. Yes, it can refer to waves of emotion; however, John Mayer introduced the song in a concert and said something like he and the ex would send ???? emojis to each other when it all was a bit much. Basically, it was their way of going through the separation pain together.

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