Milky Chance’s “Stolen Dance” is beautiful.

I was lying in bed one Saturday evening, sipping a steaming Herbal Essentials — Minty Sprig out of a South Quad paper dining hall cup and pondering all the homework I hadn’t gotten to, when it came on Spotify Radio. It had a distinct allure — light tapping, guitar chords with a gentle rhythmic emphasis that bred a peculiar intrigue. “I want you by my side, so that I never feel alone again.” It’s a sad song — I could hear it in the first line, the resigned heartbreak in each word. “We need to fetch back the time they have stolen from us.” His voice was rusty, like an old car that has been in the family for years. It had a comforting, crusty familiarity, and I knew his words were genuine. This authenticity made the content intensely poignant, and with each line I secretly hoped the lost love he sang of would return.

The song grew more wondrous the more I pondered it. I assumed he sang of heartbreak, but the storyline itself was left hazy and ambiguous. Maybe he sang of a woman who had left him. Maybe he sang of a love with whom he could no longer be. I wondered who she was, why she had left and who had taken her. It was an elegant, beautiful sort of enigma that sucked me in headfirst.

Curiosity got the better of me: I googled it. “Milky Chance Stolen Dance lyrics meaning” blinked on the screen as I searched for the story in the artist’s words. I clicked on a link to, and to my dismay, I was greeted with a morbid explanation: “The song concerns the narrator’s drug habit, his separation from taking them, and his desire to take them once more.” I was disillusioned the more I read. The intense romance wielded in the simplicity of “I want you” degraded into a blunt personification of substance. The singer’s “pain, caused by the absence of you” that had burned with fiery heartache turned into sickly withdrawal. I was taken in by this cynical analysis, watching as dreams of tragic lost love melted into the sinkhole of addiction.

“Stolen Dance” is a beautiful song. The light drums, rhythmic strums and genuine vocals still captivate me in ways most other pieces never have. But at the same time, some of the allure has faded. The drug interpretation isn’t the only one; many online sources actually disagree with this viewpoint on the song’s meaning, and sport their own thoughts. Regardless, these deep analyses and explications destroy a sense of mystery that had hitherto intrigued me. I want to wonder — to ponder the identity of “you” and the story the words trace out. There is something magical about the unknown and it’s enchanting.

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