On this blessed day, Beyoncé and Netflix gave us all the sustenance we’d ever need to last us until her next iconic performance. (Let’s pray that’s coming sooner than we think and doesn’t involve Ed Sheeran in a T-Shirt.) First, she gave us the Coachella Homecoming documentary she teased last week, then she dropped a surprise live album of the entire show, and now everyone is wondering what that bonus track ‘Before I Let Go’ is all about.
Let’s Talk About the Album
Since the internet is completely exhausted because everyone stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to watch Bey’s documentary, Beyoncé’s live album couldn’t have come at a better time. Basically, Queen Bey took her entire Coachella performance and added it to your favourite streaming services because she’s a saint like that. It has hits like ‘Formation,’ three whole uninterrupted minutes of her drumline doing the damn thing and performing ‘Ego,’ and a bonus track called ‘Before I Let Go.’
And Yes, There’s a Reason ‘Before I Let Go’ Sounds Familiar
Now, if you’ve never been forced to listen to your parents ask you, ‘What you know about this song?’ know this is one of those types of bops. Originally written and performed by Maze and Frankie Beverly in ’81, this song basically always makes it on the playlist of every family reunion and cookout. So when Beyoncé included it on her album, everyone’s ears perked up more than they already were.
Here’s What the Lyrics Mean
Since it was released nearly forty years ago, the groovy song has become a go-to to inspire everyone to hit the dance floor, but it was originally described as ‘an ode to a love lost.’ Frankie once said the song was written about a woman he was dating and another who he had just broken up with. He explained:
‘It was one of the girls [from] Alton McClain and Destiny, she passed away. She died in a car accident. Her name was Dee (n.e. Delores Marie ‘D’Marie’ Warren). I had to kind let her go because I was already with some other girl and it was very, very, very, very unique [situation] that you have to leave somebody, and you feel so different. It was [about] somebody who was really having trouble letting go of something. That inspired that song.’
And Here’s Why Beyoncé’s Singing It
Of course, the original meaning of the song isn’t really related to Beyoncé’s love life or her relationship with Jay-Z, but there are some lyrics that could resonate with her. For instance, ‘We’ve hurted each other/ Boy, it’s a shame’ could be referring to that whole cheating drama she talked about in that little body of work called Lemonade.
She also sings, ‘You know I thank God sun rises and shines on you/ You know there’s nothin’, nothin’, nothin’ I would not do,’ which feels like she’s clearly talking about how much she loves Jay.
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Though it’s likely she just feels connected to the song and wanted to include something that’s been engrained in Black America for so many years—as she did when she performed the Black national anthem ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ at the festival. Plus, the song has such a triumphant tone that it was only natural she’d end the album on that note.
Wait, Are There More Beyoncé ‘Before I Let Go’ Covers!?
According to Variety, this isn’t the first time Beyoncé’s covered this song, BTW. Back when she was with Destiny’s Child, they all recorded a song called ‘Before I Let You Go,’ but it was never officially released to the public. Womp, womp. Sadly, we may never get to hear what Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams have to contribute to this song specifically, but Bey’s solo cover is plenty to be excited about. Now go add it to every single one of your playlists!
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com
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