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Meaning of ‘Dawns’ by ‘Zach Bryan’ feat. Maggie Rogers

Released: 2023

Features: Maggie Rogers

At the heart of “Dawns” by Zach Bryan, featuring Maggie Rogers, lies a raw and heartfelt confession of love, loss, and the ceaseless search for redemption in the face of personal mistakes. Through compelling storytelling, Bryan and Rogers navigate the complexities of relationships and self-discovery, using the motif of dawns as a symbol for new beginnings and the precious moments lost to heartache.

The song opens with a longing to skip the painful process of healing, wishing to wake up when the hard times are over because too many dawns—or new beginnings—have been wasted on a love that’s ended. The singer confesses to numbing their pain with substances because love, like a drug, has left them feeling victimized and lost, pondering over the question, “So what do I do?” This sets the stage for a narrative steeped in the struggle to move past a failed relationship, where every dawn feels wasted rather than welcomed.

The chorus brings a shift in perspective with the acknowledgment that “All is fair in love and war”, questioning the point of their conflicts and signaling the end of the singer’s tolerance. The imagery of standing on a front porch asking for their mornings back, along with their records and clothes, portrays a moment of reclaiming self after being consumed by a relationship. It’s a powerful declaration of moving on, underpinned by the realization that life is as transient as the “passing dawn”, highlighting the urgency to not waste any more time on what cannot be changed.

Lyrical reflections on loss—specifically losing a loved one to a heart attack—introduce a deeper layer of grief and the yearning for a “small victory”, which can be interpreted as a moment of peace or a sign that overcoming this overwhelming sadness is possible. This connection between the personal grief of loss and the universal desire for healing underscores the song’s emotive depth.

Both Bryan and Rogers share verses that mirror each other, detailing the individual journeys they embark on towards healing and self-reflection. These verses explore the realization that life’s fleeting nature encourages forgiveness and growth beyond the confines of their past relationships. They express a longing to return to simpler times and the things they miss, whether it’s the comfort of a mother’s presence or the freedom of carefree nights out. The repeated plea to “Give me my dawns back” encapsulates the desire to reclaim life’s lost moments and make peace with the past.

In its essence, “Dawns” captures the poignant truth of how deeply love and loss can transform us. It’s a raw, emotional journey through the highs and lows of human connection, reminding us that while everything we lose might find its way back, the true victory lies in finding the strength to face each new dawn with hope.

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