Cults “Gilded Lily” Lyrics Meaning




In the world of music, lyrics are often a reflection of deeper thoughts and messages from the artist. The song ‘Gilded Lily’ by Cults is a prime example, addressing themes of change and coming to terms with life’s ups and downs.

The song has a conversation between the narrator and life, discussing the struggles of moving forward and the internal battles one faces. Symbols in the lyrics represent different viewpoints and the yearning to improve. The song also speaks on the topic of loss and new starts, suggesting that while loss can hurt, it also opens doors to new experiences.

‘Gilded Lily’ invites people to accept life’s shifts and see the beauty in places we might not expect. This article will go into the meanings behind the lyrics, offering various perspectives and insights that Cults share through their impactful music.

‘Life is full of surprises, and sometimes the most challenging moments lead to the greatest transformations,’ as the song suggests.

Theme of Transience

The theme of transience in Cults’ song ‘Gilded Lily’ explores the fleeting nature of life. The lyrics reflect the narrator’s realization that life is impermanent and constantly changing. The song suggests that acceptance of this transience leads to clarity and a deeper understanding of the world.

The dialogue between the narrator and life itself highlights the struggle to navigate through conflicting perspectives and find the way forward. Symbolism is used throughout the song to convey this theme, such as the double vision representing conflicting perspectives and the graveyard image symbolizing death and suffering.

The song also touches on the concept of loss and new beginnings, emphasizing that while loss may bring pain, it is also a natural part of life’s journey. Embracing life’s changes is also portrayed as essential, as seen in the bridge where the narrator asks life to stretch its arms and turn off all alarms, symbolizing a desire for peace and acceptance.

Dialogue Between Narrator and Life

The song ‘Gilded Lily’ by Cults explores a profound dialogue between the narrator and the essence of life itself. This conversation delves into the complexities of accepting life’s transience and finding meaning in the face of loss. The table below captures the emotional journey depicted in the lyrics:

Narrator’s Perspective Life’s Perspective Outcome
Struggles with conflicting perspectives Reminds about acceptance and perseverance Clarity
Unable to see the way forward Provides unexpected insights Understanding
Feels trapped in darkness Offers hope and new beginnings Moving forward

Through this dialogue, the song highlights the importance of embracing life’s changes, accepting the inevitability of loss, and finding solace in the inherent beauty of the human experience. It serves as a reminder to seek understanding and growth in the face of life’s uncertainties.

Symbolism and Interpretation

Continuing the exploration of Cults’ ‘Gilded Lily,’ the symbolism and interpretation within the lyrics shed light on the deeper meanings conveyed throughout the song.

The double vision described in the song symbolizes the conflicting perspectives of life, illustrating the narrator’s struggle to see the way forward.

The conversation between the narrator and life is often interpreted as a broader dialogue between a person and their experiences.

The graveyard image represents death and suffering, while the transition from night to day signifies a shift from suffering to understanding.

The title ‘Gilded Lily’ refers to the desire to improve on what is already perfect, highlighting the human tendency to strive for perfection.

Loss and New Beginnings

Exploring the theme of loss and new beginnings in Cults’ ‘Gilded Lily,’ the lyrics delve into the transformative nature of endings and the potential for new beginnings. Loss is depicted as the end of something, but it is also seen as the beginning of something new. The song acknowledges that life never truly leaves, but instead changes forms.

While loss can be painful, it is an inevitable part of the natural course of life. In verse two, the extreme version of loss is represented by death, but the narrator is beginning to understand and move past the darkness. The song emphasizes the importance of embracing life’s changes and seeing them as opportunities for growth and renewal.

Embracing Life’s Changes

As the song delves into the transformative nature of endings, ‘Gilded Lily’ also highlights the importance of embracing life’s changes. Life is a constant journey of evolution and growth, and to fully experience its beauty, one must be open to the ever-changing nature of existence.

In order to embrace life’s changes, consider the following:

  • Like a river flowing through a meandering path, life takes unexpected turns and twists.
  • Embracing change means letting go of the past and embracing the present moment.
  • Just as the seasons change, so do our circumstances and relationships.
  • Life’s changes can be challenging, but they also present opportunities for growth and self-discovery.
  • Embracing life’s changes requires a mindset of adaptability and resilience.

The Meaning of Double Vision

The meaning of double vision in the song ‘Gilded Lily’ by Cults is a reflection of the conflicting perspectives and understanding of life’s transience. The double vision described represents the narrator’s struggle to see the way forward due to these conflicting perspectives. It symbolizes the duality of life and the different ways in which people perceive and interpret their experiences.

The song explores the acceptance of life’s transience, which includes embracing suffering, pain, joy, and change. Through this acceptance, the narrator gains clarity and begins to understand that loss is not the end, but rather a new beginning.

The conversation in the song can be seen as a dialogue between the narrator and life itself, with life reminding the narrator about the importance of acceptance and perseverance.

The Graveyard Image and Its Significance

The graveyard image in ‘Gilded Lily’ by Cults serves as a poignant reminder of the inevitability of death and the enduring presence of suffering in life. This image evokes a vivid picture in the audience’s mind, creating a sense of introspection and contemplation.

  • The graveyard, with its rows of tombstones, represents the final resting place of the deceased, a somber reminder of mortality.
  • The withered flowers and overgrown grass symbolize the passage of time and the decay that accompanies it.
  • The tombstones, weathered and worn, bear witness to the countless lives that have come before and the stories that have been lost to time.
  • The presence of the graveyard amidst the surrounding world signifies the inescapable nature of death and suffering, which are an integral part of the human experience.
  • The graveyard image serves as a reminder to cherish the present, as life is fragile and fleeting.

In ‘Gilded Lily’, the graveyard image serves as a powerful metaphor for the fragility of life and the importance of embracing both the joys and sorrows it brings.

Night Turning Into Day: Understanding the Transition

During the transition from night to day in Cults’ song ‘Gilded Lily,’ the narrator experiences a profound understanding of the cyclical nature of suffering and enlightenment. The lyrics depict the narrator’s realization that life is a continuous cycle of darkness and light, pain and joy.

As the night turns into day, the narrator begins to see the beauty and meaning behind life’s struggles and hardships. This transition represents a shift in the narrator’s perspective, from a state of despair and confusion to one of acceptance and clarity.

The lyrics suggest that suffering and enlightenment are intertwined, and that it is through embracing both the darkness and the light that true understanding can be achieved. The song encourages listeners to embrace the ever-changing nature of life and find solace in the knowledge that even in the darkest of times, the dawn will eventually break.


In conclusion, Cults’ song ‘Gilded Lily’ delves into the complexities of acceptance and the transient nature of life. Through its thought-provoking lyrics, the band encourages listeners to embrace change and find beauty in unexpected places.

Symbolism, dialogue, and themes of loss and new beginnings further deepen the meaning of the song. Cults’ profound insights serve as a reminder to appreciate the fleeting moments of life and persevere through its inevitable changes.

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