Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

Learn English with Sign of the Times by Harry Styles. Fill in the blanks in the lyrics as you listen to the song. “Sign of the Times” is a slow-paced pop-rock track about avoiding emotion and reality during times of grief and hardship. The song draws inspiration from ‘70s rock songs from artists like David Bowie and Queen.

Lyrics

Sing-Along

Now try to sing along with the piano cover of Harry Styles’ Sign of the Times. Remember to press the Record button below so you can listen to your recording when you’ve finished.

Song Meaning

Meaning 1

Styles recently said in an interview that the lyrics are spoken from the perspective of a mother who has just given birth and told her baby will be fine, but she only has five minutes to live to due to complications from the pregnancy.
Very sad lyrics :(

Meaning 2

This is such a heartbreakingly beautiful piece. I think just like any song, the meaning behind its words really speaks differently to different individuals. However, I shall give my own take.

To me, ‘Sign of the Times’ alternates between a narrator speaking to themself and then to another. It’s primarily about coming to accept the end of something or someone you love. Learning to move on from it, and realizing that It is What it is despite how difficult it is to continue on.

“Just stop your crying
It’s a sign of the times.”

I believe this repeats as words the narrator tells him/herself, as well as words the narrator speaks to another. It’s the frustration of trying to move on even though you can’t. It’s telling yourself, “Suck it up and move on, this is how it has to be and you can’t change it,” but still feeling grief.

“You can’t bribe the door on your way to the sky
You look pretty good down here
But you ain’t really good.”

Fairly straightforward. You can’t keep putting off the inevitable; things may look fine, but they really aren’t.

“We never learn, we’ve been here before
Why are we always stuck and running from
The bullets, the bullets?”

We’ve overcome things before, we can push through it. Why are we so afraid of it, and why do we keep trying to escape it?

“Just stop your crying
Have the time of your life
Breaking through the atmosphere
Things look pretty good from here.”

Here the narrator is trying to remind themselves to look at the good things in life. If you instead focused on living your life, you’d realize things aren’t as bad as they appear.

“Remember, everything will be alright
We can meet again somewhere
Somewhere far away from here.”

This may be the end for now, but maybe someday, somehow, somewhere, we can find each other again, and be happy together.

“We don’t talk enough
We should open up
Before it’s all too much.”

Once again, pretty straightforward forward I’d say. Too many words left unsaid.

Some might think this song primarily is about a romantic relationship, but I don’t believe this is necessarily the case. I see it as more of just an end to any kind of love.
Personally, I think of my mother, who is very sickly. It’s taken us both many years to realize there are certain things we cannot change. We need to live our lives and be happy before it’s too late.

This is a long one, I apologize. Just my thoughts.

Meaning 3

I know this is a little morbid but I think this song is about death or something ending. I think in the song he’s saying to the person dying stop crying we can me again somewhere (heaven) and not to worry about dying just enjoy what time you have left. I think this song could also go away for any other situations in life too where things are going bad and he’s singing that you should focus on what is happening now and enjoy it even though you may cry, overcome it, just have the time of your life.

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