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Lyrics To Röyksopp’s Song “Tell Him” And The Meaning Behind The Song In The Artists’ Own Words

Lyrics To Röyksopp's Song "Tell Him" And The Meaning Behind The Song In The Artists' Own Words

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Röyksopp’s latest Profound Mysteries III album was just released, and the critics are already hailing it with countless positive reviews. 

So much goes into releasing such an artistic endeavor as this that we often forget to take time for the deeper meaning and stories that connect the album, the songs, and the artists. This goes as much for the fans and listeners as it does for the artists.  

So to flip the script and celebrate the release of their new album, we invited Röyksopp to break down the full lyrics of one of their hits and provide a bit more context and meaning to the lyrics of “Tell Him.”


Stream Profound Mysteries III Below 

Berge and Brundtland describe Profound Mysteries as as the most significant undertaking of Röyksopp’s career. It encapsulates the unique sound they’ve spent decades honing and expands on. It’s a bold look to the future and an homage to the artists, genres, and musical movements that first inspired them. 

It’s a project they’ve spent their whole lives making (the oldest ideas date back to the early days of Röyksopp, literally using MIDI data first composed by the band when they were teenagers in the 1990s), and it’s brand new. 

‘PROFOUND MYSTERIES – II’ – OUT NOW

Full Lyrics To Röyksopp’s Song “Tell Him”

So you heard
What has happened?
I’m ok,
it doesn’t matter…

‘cause I am strong;
I have always been too tough.
I’ll be fine,
It was just a waste of time…

Tell him it’s alright, I’m doing good
And there’s no need to worry
Tell him I’ve moved on
And barely think of him at all

Tell him that he’s wrong
‘cause I just never had those kinds of feelings
Even though you say I’m broken,
I’m not hurt at all…

…oh my god
I forgot to throw his photos
‘Cause what’s the point
To be pondering the past,
when I know, there is nothing there at all…

… well, If you see him
Tell him I moved on,
I’m doing great and he should disregard me
Tell him he should find someone he really, truly loves…

Tell him they can laugh at all the times
I made a joke by saying
«baby, I will love you always, ’til the end of time…»

Lyrics Analysis For Röyksopp’s Song “Tell Him”

We pressed Röyksopp on the matter, asking them to dive deeper into the meaning and ideas behind the lyrics. What they came back with was truly inspiring and it makes me think I may never hear these lyrics in the same way again after knowing what place they came from.

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“With «Profound Mysteries», one (of many) things we wanted to achieve, was to pay homage to those genres that has forged us as musicians. Consequently, the album became a somewhat eclectic and esoteric endeavor, exploring the musical DNA of Röyksopp.And being born in the seventies, I felt compelled to explore some mid-70s folksy-singer-songwriter pop, which is how «Tell him» came to life.

I wanted to create a track, washed in that warm 70s saturation and color, blended with «typical» instrumentation of that period. And equally important, an emphasis on melody and lyrics. Now, on the surface, the track is about heartbreak. However – and pardon the high level of pretentiousness, I wanted to convey a correlation between the lead vocal melody, sentiment and semantics, which is what I associate with the greatest songs of that time period. A tall order, indeed.” – Röyksopp


So you heard
what has happened?
I’m ok,
It doesn’t matter…

These two lines function as a setup, where the lead, «I», downplays the importance of the recent event, which we later will learn is a breakup. We are also led to believe that she is somewhat indifferent to/already over, said breakup.

Tell him that he’s wrong
‘cause I just never had those kinds of feelings
Even though you say I’m broken,
I’m not hurt at all…

The chorus is when we learn that the lead might still have feelings for «him». I wanted to convey a sense of denial, which I believe is common post-break-up. 

There is no anger or resentment, which again suggests that there are still lingering feelings and hope. Again, I wanted the words to feel conversational and natural, following the flow of the melody and intonation – which is brilliantly communicated through Susanne’s wonderful performance.

…oh my god
I forgot to throw his photos
‘Cause what’s the point
to be pondering the past,
When I know there is nothing there at all…

This verse is about trying to get to terms with the relationship ending. Although she has accepted it, she is still unwilling to let the thoughts of it go. I’ve tried to slip in some meta-meaning into the sentence, «‘Cause what’s the point to be pondering the past when I know there is nothing there at all…» She pondered the futility of pondering. I was hoping to communicate her sense of desperation and helplessness.

Tell him I moved on,
I’m doing great and he should disregard me
Tell him he should find someone he really, truly loves…

I wanted her to be more than just someone scorned. I needed her to display warmth and empathy to not just come across as needy and sad. I wanted her to show true love and no hatred toward him; her love for him is so potent that she wishes him well, regardless of her own loss.

Tell him they can laugh at all the times
I made a joke by saying
«baby, I will love you always, ’til the end of time…»

– This is the «coup de grace», the moment of realization. She puts on her bravest face in an attempt to mask the hurt. I wrote that line cause I wanted to show her level of desperation and denial. Saying it was «…a joke» is a way for her to escape her affection for him, in a somewhat vain attempt at hiding her true feelings.

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