Shakey Graves’ song “Tomorrow” weaves a narrative that delves into the complexities of life, relationships, and the inexorable passage of time. While not explicitly spelling out its message through its lyrics, the song offers a thoughtful exploration of themes that resonate with many listeners.
The opening lines, “Well, I’m tired of losing, I used to win every night of the week,” set the stage for introspection. Here, the artist appears to be reminiscing about a time when life felt victorious and carefree. This sentiment serves as a reminder that youth and its accompanying recklessness often make life seem simpler and more exhilarating.
“Back when sex and amphetamines were the staples of our childhood physique” introduces the idea of youthful indulgence and rebellion. It highlights how in our younger years, we often embrace vices and fleeting pleasures without contemplating their consequences.
The lyrics take a more introspective turn when the artist reflects on a past relationship: “You used to tell me we’d turn into something, Oh, you said life was much better than this.” Here, the theme of nostalgia emerges, suggesting that the artist yearns for a time when dreams were bigger, and life held more promise.
“But the closest I’ve come to perfection is when you turned around to steal a kiss” evokes a sense of fleeting moments of happiness and connection. It underscores the idea that perfection is often found in the simple, unexpected gestures of love and intimacy.
The refrain, “But you never trusted tomorrow, Yeah, baby, is that anyway to live your life?” offers a crucial insight. It questions the wisdom of living in fear of the future and not fully embracing the present. It’s a reminder that constant worry about what’s to come can rob us of the joys of today.
The lines, “Well, you lovin’ this heart and this six-string, girl, oh, But they’ve been outta tune, Yeah, for some time,” evoke the idea of personal disarray and neglect. The heart and the “six-string” (possibly a reference to music and creative pursuits) have been neglected, symbolizing a sense of disconnection from one’s true self.
As the song continues, the artist explores the complexities of love and desire. The lines, “Oh, I love so many women, Oh, there’s so many women, love, driving me wild,” touch on the allure of attraction and how it can distract from more profound connections.
The repeated refrain, “But luckily you, oh, you never smile,” hints at a troubled relationship where perhaps one party remains emotionally distant or guarded. It suggests that the absence of a smile may, in some cases, be preferable to the complexities of emotional vulnerability.
The final verse, “Yeah, but you showed me that I couldn’t be farther, Oh, from the truth of the problem at hand, Oh, I could never say, ‘Baby, tomorrow, Oh, I’ll be right there, I’ma be your man,'” offers a glimmer of hope and commitment. It implies a willingness to confront the challenges of today and be there for someone despite past uncertainties.
In “Tomorrow” by Shakey Graves, the artist crafts a narrative that invites listeners to reflect on the ebbs and flows of life, the allure of the past, and the importance of embracing the present. While not explicitly didactic, the song’s subtle exploration of these themes provides listeners with ample room for personal interpretation and introspection, making it a song that continues to resonate with many.