Maroon 5’s “Memories” Lyrics Meaning

On “Memories”, Adam Levine is addressing a close friend whom he obviously has been separated from for some time. And it is obvious that he sorely misses this individual. Moreover, the way the narrative plays out is not necessarily as if this person is dead, although it can be understood as such. 

Rather it is up to the listener to apply their own interpretation to the track as to why the person who is relaying these sentiments has been devoid of the company of a loved one for so long that now he is forced to rely on “memories” of the two of them being together.

First Verse

Adam and co. relay this message from two opposite though equally-effective perspectives. In the first verse the singer thinks back to a day when he “did not know pain” and “believed in forever”. He was happy and supremely optimistic. But in the present when someone even utters the name of the addressee, he sinks into a depression. This would imply that one of the reasons the aforementioned days were happier ones was because at the time the addressee was actually present.

Second Verse

In contrast, he begins the second verse by recounting an earlier era when he “felt so lost” and dealt with a harrowing level of negativity. It is arguably that this sentiment is actually a continuation of the one which concluded the first verse. And he closes this section by alluding to the idea that he has discovered newfound hope. And this hope is because of the prospect of once again reuniting with the addressee.

Pre-Chorus and Chorus

All of this brings us to the pre-chorus, which the singer approaches by acknowledging the inevitable pains which life sometimes brings our way.  However, he anticipates that ‘everything is going to be alright’, as in circumstances ultimately working out for the best.

Heart of “Memories”

Then the chorus itself brings us to the heart of the song. It is set in the scenario where the singer is enjoying some drinks while in the company of cherished friends, whom he expresses a heartfelt appreciation for. But the situation (i.e. intoxication and camaraderie) also causes “memories” to swirl up, in which he remembers loved ones who aren’t around. 

In that regard, what the entire song ultimately boils down to is once again his desire to reunite with the aforementioned individuals. These are individuals whom his relationship with – for whatever reason – now only consists of memories as opposed to actual contact. 

So perhaps the final thesis of this song is that despite missing the addressee, the singer is still in relatively-good cheer as he is confident that they will be reunited soon.

“Here’s to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you’re not
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
Of everything we’ve been through
Toast to the ones here today
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
‘Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
And the memories bring back, memories bring back you”

What Adam Levine said about “Memories”

According to Levine, this song is dedicated to everyone who has ever lost someone very dear to them. The song is about Maroon 5’s manager and personal friend of Levine, Jordan Feldstein. Jordan died in December of 2017.

Release Date of “Memories”

Maroon 5 released this single on the 20th of September, 2019. The release was done through 222 Records (which was co-founded by Adam Levine) and Interscope Records.

As of the time of the release of “Memories”, it wasn’t associated with any album. However, it later went on to serve as the first single from the band’s seventh studio album (which is titled “Jordi”).

First Single for 2019

“Memories” holds the distinction of being the first single Maroon 5 released in 2019. It was the first the song they released since their 2018 multi platinum Grammy nominated song with Cardi B titled “Girls Like You“.

Writing Credits for “Memories”

 “Memories” was written by Adam Levine and five other songwriters. These writers are listed below:

  • J. Hindlin
  • J. Bellion
  • V. Ford
  • M. Pollack
  • S. Johnson
  • J. Johnson

NOTE: The songwriter J. Bellion is none other than the noted American singer and rapper Jon Bellion who gained worldwide stardom with his 2016 hit “All Time Low”.

Levine is the only member of Maroon 5 to be officially credited as a co-writer of this track.

Who produced “Memories”?

Adam Levine handled its production along with the American Grammy Award-winning production/songwriting group called The Monsters and the Strangerz. It should be noted that some members of this group also co-wrote the track.

And by the way, this isn’t the first time Levine and Maroon 5 are working with this production/songwriting team. The band has worked with them several times in the past.

Song Structure

“Memories”, which begins with a chorus and ends with an outro, has the following structure:

  1. Chorus
  2. Verse 1
  3. Pre-Chorus
  4. Chorus
  5. Post-Chorus
  6. Verse 2
  7. Pre-Chorus
  8. Chorus
  9. Post-Chorus
  10. Outro

Does Maroon 5 feature Jon Bellion or any other artist on “Memories”?

Singer/rapper Jon Bellion is only one of the track’s writers. Neither him nor any other artist is officially featured on “Memories”.

24 Responses

  1. Zarlog says:

    Didn’t know NO pain – I knew nothing but pain.

    The author remember feeling immense grief over the loss but he is better now. Still, the name sends his heart to December- cold and he wishes he could contact that person. He won’t now but one day.

    This is a post-getting-over-break-up song

    • Disan Lule says:

      My daughter who is 12 years has sent me this song to listen to, after which k should resend it back to her. It has surprised me. Especially when put it in context.

      Thank you Chrstine Shalom Nalumu

  2. Kerrico IHHS Class of 1979 says:

    This song came out right before my classes 40th High School reunion. We like to think of it as our “Reunion” song and remembering out classmates that we “lost along the way”. We drank to the ones who where there and couldn’t attend for whatever reason. Love this song…

  3. Richard Blandy says:

    This song is like an anthem to the ones we lost due to 9/11 and Covid 19. Memories of those we lost and how their absence affects our daily life today.Every time I hear this song it reminds me of people who were close to me who I lost and the good memories of times I shared with them. Times I will never have again due to their loss.

  4. Moon says:

    I know how it feels when his friend is gone I had a friend who me and her loved this song but then I had to move away so I think of this song as a reminder of her .This Is Also a reminder of the people that I lost in my life

  5. C says:

    My girlfriend’s grampa died…

  6. Hatemyself and they think it's okay says:

    I lost my great-great grandma from alzhimer’s and covid on Jan.6 and i feel this.

  7. Jess says:

    This song brings me back to my love and best friend who died at 37 🙁 way to soon but never forgotten- Patrick B. Boals- my long lost love

  8. T-T says:

    I lost my uncle, my dog Frankie, and too many others to name (death), and many “BFFs” (separation through our point in life) and this song is such a relate song I love it so much and feel for every who has loved and lost, who has went from friend to foe in someone’s eyes, and to everyone who has felt the pain of losing someone.

  9. Sister of Marty says:

    Love this song…today I sang it with tears streaming down my face as I continue to grieve the loss of my dear brother who died from Covid-19 in January. He fought hard while on a ventilator. His lungs are just too sick. I’m thankful he is at peace in heaven. Finally we will memorialize him this Saturday “Marty’s Party”. Here to you dear Brother Marty!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this song…

  11. a razor glass to all that's good says:

    this song is so good because it is so relatable. We have all lost someone one way or another, from death to drifting apart to breaking up, and it always hits you deep

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing this song, which brings us memories of our beloved ones, some of whom are still with us, and some others are already in heaven. But what remains are the good memories together, to relieve our pain and face, always with hope, the coming future:)

  13. Anonymous says:

    This song has special meaning to me, since my Father passed away, Ihear this song so many times when I am thinking of him, or scratching lottery tickets, or just feeling overwhelmed. THANKS SO MUCH

  14. Anonymous says:

    This song “brings back memories” of my son, who I lost this year, especially now he has no pain. Thank you Adam and Maroon 5

  15. ChillyJase says:

    This song is very meaningful to me, it reminds me so much of my grandma and the memories we made through out the years. I miss my grandma dearly and I will always remember the memories we cherished!

  16. N singh says:

    I love this song n i hear it everyday…n it reminds me of my love with whom i shared very beautiful time…now it’s all are a memory, coz we are separated…n i still love him n will love him forever ?

  17. klaas vinkenborg ( monnickendam-netherlands) says:

    this beautifull song helps me to deal with the loss of my mother in 2018 and my dad in gives my food for thought of how precious live is and how fast it goes bye.and to cherish the ones we love while we still can.thank you adam.

  18. KH says:

    I lost my 54 year old girlfriend to breast cancer 6 months ago. We had been together for 11 years. She was a fighter and very stoic. Jordi came out last year. We both loved the album. But I had remove “ Memories” because it was too much for us to handle at that time. So many songs remind me of her and us. I could not listen to “Memories” after her passing the brilliant just recently. It still makes me cry.

  19. Adelekan Nkem says:

    I had lost my grandpa cause he had leg stroke we had been together for 6 years . He was really good and kind to everyone but when memories came I really love it makes me when listening to memories I remember what had happened about the past.

  20. Elizabeth Burns says:

    I lost my grandfather in 2017, and I miss him so much, he passed away because he had trouble breathing and, well he passed away when I was sleeping and when I woke up, my mom told me that my grandfather had passed away. And so when I first listened to this song it reminded me of him, and also when my mom told me that he had passed away I cried because I had loved him so much and when I had first listened to the version of “Memories” with lyrics it reminded me so much of the times I had spent with him. Also my mom’s pet cat (her name was Neptune) had ran away from home and I was looking for her and when I found out that she had ran away, I literally cried because I loved her so much. P.S also the reason why I put passed away is because he had died. I miss him so much, he was my only person that I loved dearly, but then had to die. Have you ever loved someone so much but then they either have to move away or passed away, I also had an great-great aunt who sadly passed away in 2012 (which was the month I was born in) right after I was born, and my mom went to her funeral which there was a type of fog that made me cry, which her name was (this is the name I call her) Aunt Mary. I miss her dearly so much.

    Elizabeth C. Burns

  21. Rolf says:

    My father traditionally gave the first toast at family gatherings – to the absent ones. As a child I thought that meant whichever family members didn’t make it to the meal. Later I realized it meant those that were not there because they were gone. He list his father as a kid so he was an absent one most of his life. This song reminds of my now departed parents and moves my greatly.

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