Adele’s 30 Album Decoded: All Her Powerful Lyrics on Divorce, Love and Moving On

After a six-year wait, Adele's new album, 30, is officially here—and it's packed with all the feelings you'd expect from the ballad queen. Get ready to embrace your emotions with these lyrics.

By Samantha Schnurr Nov 19, 2021 2:23 PMTags
Watch: Necessary Realness: Adele Rings in Sad Girl Winter

Hello, the moment has come: Adele's 30 is officially here. 

Almost six years—to the day—after she dropped her megabit, 25, Adele's highly anticipated new album has officially arrived on our Spotify queues—and as you may have expected, you should have a box of tissues nearby. 

Featuring 12 songs, as well as two bonus tracks and a rendition of "Easy on Me" with Chris Stapleton, there's plenty of music for fans to sink their teeth into during this weekend, during the upcoming holidays, on the radio and for years to come. While it's her first album since her marriage to and subsequent split from ex Simon Konecki, don't call it a divorce album. 

"I think I'm divorcing myself on it," she told Oprah Winfrey during her CBS One Night Only special. In fact, half of the song titles include the words "I," "Me" or "My."

The album is also sweetly dedicated to her 9-year-old son, Angelo, but don't be mistaken: "The whole album's not about him," she told Oprah. "It's about me."

"I just wanted him to hear me talking madly, deeply about who I am and how I feel," Adele further explained during her special. "I don't know if I'd ever be able to have that conversation with him in real life, so therefore, he can go and listen to it."

Adele Through the Years

And now, so can we. E! News unpacked every detail from Adele's 30—the most heart-wrenching lyrics, the real-life connections and the lessons learned. From sorrow to self-discovery, there were few emotions that the star didn't cover. As she told Oprah, "I have to dig deep and tell my stories." Consider this your official cheat sheet: 

Simon Emmett

Strangers by Nature

With the opening lyric "I'll be taking flowers to the cemetery of my heart / For all of my lovers in the present and in the dark / Every anniversary I'll pay respects and say I'm sorry / For they never stood chances if they could," Adele apologizes to and comes to terms with her past romances. As she explained to Oprah, she had zero expectations in her relationships. She also anticipated they would hurt at some point because of her absent father, so she wouldn't make an effort either. 

"You know in the old movies when someone's having a flashback or a memory to something else, and it's almost like they'll shoot a river or a pond and the water goes all ripply?" she told Rolling Stone of this song. "It reminds me of that."

By ending the song with "Alright then, I'm ready," Adele signals to listeners that she's ready to talk about everything and kicks off the rest of the album. 

Easy on Me

In the chorus, "Go easy on me, baby / I was still a child / Didn't get the chance to feel the world around me / I had no time to choose what I chose to do / So go easy on me," Adele is seemingly talking to her son, her "baby," and asking for understanding while reflecting on the fact that she rose to superstardom and became a mother at a young age. This was the first song Adele wrote for the album, which she penned in early 2019. She filed for divorce that September. "You could initiate something and be like, 'Well hang on a minute. No, go easy on me,'" she said during an interview on BBC Radio 1 Breakfast With Greg James. "It'd just be like, 'Bear with me while I try and find my feet in a situation.'"

My Little Love

In this soulful serenade for her son, Adele tries to explain her breakup to her baby boy and acknowledge his point of view with lines like, "My little love / Tell me, do you feel the way my past aches? / When you lay on me, can you hear the way my heart breaks? / I wanted you to have everything I never had / I'm so sorry if what I've done makes you feel sad." 

The star includes emotional voice memos talking to him and herself. "I love your dad 'cause he gave you to me," she tells him in one. "You're half me and you're half daddy."             

She previously told Oprah that she had been obsessed with the idea of a nuclear family her entire life because she didn't come from one. "I just from a very young age just promised myself that when I had kids that we'd  stay together. We would be that united family," Adele said. "I was just so disappointed for my son. I was so disappointed for myself. I thought I was going to be the one that stopped doing those bloody patterns all the time."

Cry Your Heart Out

In the depths of her post-split life, Adele is dealing with, as the title suggests, crying her heart out alone and coping with what she's chosen. "When I wake up, I'm afraid of the idea of facin' the day / I would rather stay home on my own, drink it all away," she sings. "Please stop callin' me, it's exhausting, there's really nothin' left to say / I created this storm, it's only fair I have to sit in its rain."

As the chorus reminds her, "Cry your heart out, it'll clean your face/ When you're in doubt, go at your own pace."

She previously told Oprah that, after her divorce, she initially "probably kept the alcohol industry alive, but once I realized I had a lot of work to do on myself, I stopped drinking."

Oh My God

With its up-tempo pulsing beat, this song puts the listener in Adele's shoes as she dips her toes back into the dating pool while still trying to prioritize herself. "I'm a fool, but they all think I'm blind / I'd rather be a fool than leave myself behind," she sings. "I don't have to explain myself to you / I am a grown woman and I do what I want to do."

Can I Get It

According to Rolling Stone, this song stems from Adele's desire for a real relationship as opposed to the sea of casual sex in Los Angeles. The lyrics "Pave me a path to follow / And I'll tread any dangerous road / I will beg and I'll steal, I will borrow / If I can make it, if I can make your heart my home / Throw me to the water / I don't care how deep or shallow / Because my heart can pound like thunder / And your love, and your love can set me free" paint the picture of a woman determined to find love at any cost. 

Cliff Lipson/CBS

I Drink Wine

She told Rolling Stone of this track, "I took everything so personally at that period of time in my life, so the lyric 'I hope I learn to get over myself' is like [me saying] 'Once I've done that, then maybe I can let you love me.'" The lyric she's referring to? "So I hope I learn to get over myself / Stop tryin' to be somebody else / So we can love each other for free / Everybody wants somethin', you just want me."

All Night Parking

In the midst of her heartbreak and self-discovery, Adele also sings about dating again. With this song, she reflects on the universal feelings of falling for someone with the lyrics, "When I'm out at a party / I'm just excited to get home / And dream about you / All night long." The line "It's so hard to digest, usually I'm best alone / But every time that you text I want to get on the next flight home" seemingly reflects the long-distance romance she was in after her split from Simon. But, as she told Rolling Stone, "[It] was a great learning curve and nice to feel loved, but it was never going to work."

Woman Like Me

Adele doesn't mince words for the lover she's singing to in this song, telling him, "Complacency is the worst trait to have, are you crazy? / You ain't never had, ain't never had a woman like me / It is so sad a man likе you could be so lazy / Consistency is the gift to givе for free and it is key / To ever keep, to ever keep a woman like me."

Hold On

Adele told Oprah that after her split from Simon, "I spent a lot of time on my own really sitting in my feelings and not keeping myself busy." She alludes to the reality of that coping with the lines, "Sometimes loneliness is the only rest we get (Just hold on, just hold on) / And the emptiness actually lets us forget (Just hold on, just hold on) / Sometimes forgiveness is easiest in secret."

To Be Loved

On the other side of her divorce, Adele is reflecting on the decisions she's made in her quest for love and is making it known that she tried—and will keep trying. As she sings, "To be loved and love at the highest count/Means to lose all the things I can't live without / Let it be known, known, known / That I will choose, I will lose / It's a sacrifice but I can't live a lie / Let it be known / Let it be known that I tried, that I tried / Let it be known that I tried." The 15-time Grammy winner is now in a relationship with sports agent Rich Paul.

Love Is a Game

As the album's grand finale, Adele is seeing love in a clearer light and calls herself out for the role she has played in the game that comes with it. Instead, it's self-love that has her belting out with the triumphant outro, "I can love, I can love again / I love me now, like I loved him / I'm a fool for that / You know I, you know I'm gonna do it / Oh-oh-oh-oh / I'd do it all again like I did then."