I was annoyed when I found out that some people think Emeli Sande’s song “Next To Me” was about God (or more specifically Jesus) and not about an awesome male partner. Partly because I loved the catchy tune when I first heard it, and because it made me think of my awesome husband. Maybe too because we need more pop songs celebrating good long-lasting love … (though, I do love it when Carrie carves her name into his leather seats …) But also because of the assumption that God has to be referred to as “Him.” That if there’s a “him” being honored, it has to be God. That if you’re going to speak about God, you’re going to use male exclusive language.
Maybe the lyrics are a personality test, where a person’s interpretation of the lyrics tells you more about the listener than about the artist. The fact that when I heard and loved the song I did not think about a deity, rather I thought about my husband, tells you something about me (and maybe something about him).
In this brief video explanation, Sande says that it’s a “simple lyric” about “loyalty, about love, that unconditional love that will be there for you whenever you need it…”
I still love the tune, the lyrics, and am sharing it today because this weekend my husband and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary, and this summer is the 20th anniversary of our first date.
After two decades, you CAN still find him next to me.