Meaning of “Burning” by Lewis Capaldi

Lewis Capaldi’s “Burning” takes a clever lyrical approach to a well-worn topic in the music industry, which is being in love with a toxic, or in this case what may even be deemed as a self-destructive partner.

Conclusively, Lewis has decided that it would be best for them to go their separate ways. And he relays that sentiment basically by saying that he isn’t so smitten with the addressee to allow himself to ‘burn’ alongside her. 

That is to say that he perceives, due primarily to her character or what have you, that their relationship will not be able to last, and he’d rather get out now than later. Or more specifically, it’s as if the vocalist foresees some type of personal threat or danger if he continues to stay with her.

So ultimately, the specifics of this piece can be interpreted in different ways, as to why Capaldi has deemed the addressee unfavorable. But the conclusion would be the same, that he’s not willing to go down with her.

“Now it’s only the beat of my heart
That reminds me not to stare at the sparks
Can’t set fire to my soul just to keep ya
Keep ya
Keep ya from burning alone
‘Cause, the longer you convince me to stay
Our salvation’s slipping further away
Can’t set fire to my soul just to keep ya
Keep ya
Keep ya from burning alone”

The Long and Short of “Burning”

Lewis seemingly recognizes that his beloved is on a path of self-destruction. Owing to this, he opts to part ways rather than accompany her on this downward spiral.

But is Lewis taking the right decision?

To a certain degree, yes, he is. Breaking up with someone you love and care about is never the easiest thing on earth, especially when they’re going through a very challenging time. However, we should remember that we can’t force someone to change or seek help for themselves.

We can advise and encourage them to change from wrong path that they are traveling on. However, we can never force them to change. They have to make the decision to change themselves. So if you have genuinely tried and tried to help them and still things aren’t improving and if things have gotten to the point where your partner’s negative or self-destructive habits are negatively affecting your own well-being, then it may be the right time to consider ending the relationship.


Writing Credits and Release Date

“Burning” was written by three people, including Capaldi. The other two writers are:

  • Nick Atkinson
  • Edd Holloway

“Burning” is one of the tracks on “Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent”, which is the title of Capaldi’s second studio album. The album was formally released on May 19th, 2023.

Prior to its release, three singles were released from the project, The first was “Forget Me“, which came out in September of 2022. Then in December, 2022, “Pointless” was released as the album’s second single. In April, 2023, “Wish You the Best” came out as the album’s third single.

2 Responses

  1. Madison says:

    This song by Lewis expresses feelings of pain, heartbreak, and the struggle of being in a relationship that may not be healthy or fulfilling. And that’s exactly where I find myself right now. “Burning” conveys a sense of being caught in a cycle of love and hurt. I feel foolish for ignoring all the red flags prior to getting married. I guess I’ve lived in denial throughout the four years I’ve been in this abusive marriage. At a point I had the desire to let go of the expectations and illusions that had been built up in the relationship but I couldn’t. However, somehow I found the strength and eventually let go of everything just as he wanted. There was no point pretending that everything was going to be alright. Nobody should endure any form of abuse in a relationship. Lewis was right when he said “Can’t set fire to my soul just to keep ya,” I guess no one should.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Have you imagined the sheer emotional turmoil that artists like Lewis go through when crafting lyrics for songs like “Burning?” It’s like descending into the depths of hell, reliving those heartbreaks and pouring them out onto paper. But let me tell you, when we, the listeners, experience those heartbreaks through their music, it’s like they’re bringing a piece of heaven straight to our ears. I must confess, I’m a die-hard metalhead, drawn to the raw power and intensity of heavy music. But when I stumbled upon “Burning,” something extraordinary happened. It captured me, swept me off my feet, and defied my expectations. All I could mutter was a resounding “wow.” And let me tell you, when a metalhead like me falls head over heels for a song that lies outside the realm of metal, it’s a testament to just how exceptional that song truly is. This song, these lyrics, they transcend boundaries. The chap’s done a great job!

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