Devil on my Shoulder - Lyrics & meaning

Devil on my Shoulder - Lyrics

Think i’ve had enough

I must find my way

i’ve fallen off the edge to find that i’ve gone blind

you’re leading me astray

you haunt me like a ghost

and that scares me the most


There you are the devil on my shoulder

smiling as the flames are growing colder

how can I believe in what I have?

for a little confidence I’ll grab

but when my hand goes out don’t take it

for I’m trying to make it

on my own

I feel it in my bones

 any minute now

this train of thought will leave the station

my impatience,

will come out to play

you’ve turned out to be, the only face I see

- ooooooooown

running through the empty hallways i can tell that i am not alone

you spin a web in every room and try to break the backbone that i’ve grown

will I make my own path or wander where i’m thrown

I reckon I’ve developed a bit as a writer since the very first few tunes I yelled out, and I guess ‘Devil on my Shoulder’ is one I’m proud of - also one that’s super personal. Putting so much of yourself into something and then releasing it to the world is petrifying! But the response to the song has been overwhelmingly lovely, so when some asked about the meaning of the lyrics, I decided I’d explain them as best I could 

The whole song centres around the idea of being your own worst enemy! A little while back I wasn’t feeling myself at all; felt really down for a few weeks on end, and couldn’t twig why. I flicked a switch &shut myself off from most people, which numbed it for a bit, but most importantly allowed me to really figure out what was up with me! After buckets of thought, I realized it was simply me holding myself back - I was my own obstacle in being happy again.

The first two verses of the song just sum up where my ginger head was at during that confused stage - though I didn’t know what was wrong, I was totally fed up with feeling that way. Once I had everything figured out, and the song idea cemented in my head, I went back &re-wrote some lyrics addressing, well.. myself! “you haunt me like a ghost” and “you’ve turned out to be, the only face I see”.

The chorus sort of sums up everything in a bitesize chunk really - I’ve always found it an interesting image; an angel on one shoulder, a devil on the other, influencing your decisions. At the time though, I felt nothing but negativity pulse through me, so I guess I focused solely on the devil. Lines like “smiling as the flames are growing colder” seemed to just sort of emphasize how menacing the presence was. The last few lines - about grabbing for confidence - were simply a cry for help. 

I guess the most intense lyrics are to be found in the bridge! At this point I just zoomed right in on how I felt at the very height of it all - I guess I felt as if I was being chased, watched from every angle. I noticed my confidence being chipped away - “.. try to break the backbone that I’ve grown”. I suppose the final bridge line really drags home the desperation that hit me like a brick - “will I make my own path, or wander where I’m thrown?”.

- that’s about it really! All seems a bit grim, but unusually enough I was happy when writing the song - at that stage I had identified the problem; it was me holding myself back. Feel a little vulnerable splashing all of this out there, but so many seemed curious, so it seemed like the thing to do 

We all get so much chucked at us as we go about our silly little lives - everyone deals with emotions in different ways; I guess I channel mine into songs! Music is FREE THERAPY

Orla x

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