Meaning of “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

Shawn Mendes’s “Stitches” is a deep dive into the pain of heartbreak and the scars it leaves behind. The song beautifully captures the raw emotion of a breakup, emphasizing how love can wound just as intensely as physical harm. The lyrics suggest a past relationship that was once all-consuming but ended up causing immense pain. Mendes uses vivid imagery to convey his feelings, comparing heartbreak to physical wounds that require stitches to heal. Although the relationship is over, the lingering effects are still felt, and the emotional healing is still a work in progress. While Mendes might be referencing a particular personal experience, the song resonates universally with anyone who’s felt the deep sting of lost love.

If you’ve ever felt the searing pain of a lost relationship, this analysis is for you. Dive deeper below!

“Stitches” Lyrics Meaning

Starting with the line “I thought that I’d been hurt before, But no one’s ever left me quite this sore,” Mendes sets the tone, highlighting that this particular heartbreak was like no other. It wasn’t just another sad goodbye; it was something that deeply wounded him.

The chorus, “You watch me bleed until I can’t breathe,” is particularly poignant. It paints a vivid picture of suffocation and extreme vulnerability. Mendes feels exposed and devastated, emphasizing the debilitating impact of heartbreak. This is further emphasized by the lines, “Shaking, falling onto my knees,” showing the physical manifestation of emotional turmoil.

The metaphor of needing stitches is powerful. Just like a deep physical wound that requires stitches to heal and prevent further bleeding, emotional wounds, especially from intense breakups, need time and care to mend. The lines, “And now that I’m without your kisses, I’ll be needing stitches,” reiterate this need for healing after losing a significant relationship.

The bridge, “Just like a moth drawn to a flame, Oh, you lured me in, I couldn’t sense the pain,” provides insight into the initial stages of the relationship. Like a moth to a flame, he was irresistibly drawn to this love, unaware of the impending pain.

The repetitive mention of the “Needle and the thread,” underlines the idea of mending a broken heart, reinforcing the main theme of the song – healing from emotional pain.

Why Was “Stitches” Written?

“Stitches” feels deeply personal, suggesting that Mendes might be drawing from real-life experiences. Artists often use their work to process feelings, and this song seems like Mendes’s way of navigating through a particularly tough breakup.

During the time Mendes wrote this song, he was a young artist, experiencing the ups and downs of early adulthood. These formative years are often marked by intense relationships and equally intense breakups. “Stitches” might be Mendes’s reflection on one such relationship – where love was deep, passionate, and ultimately, heart-wrenching.

The song, with its raw emotion and vivid imagery, serves as a reminder that heartbreak is universal, but so is the healing process. Through “Stitches,” Mendes offers solace to others, suggesting that while the pain is real, with time and self-care, healing is possible.