The Genius of First Love, Late Spring

a song analysis of Mitski's 'First love, Late Spring' by Waad Abdelsalam



“So please, hurry, leave me, I can't breathe” is the start of the chorus for Mitski's "First Love, Late Spring". This line echoed in my head long after the song ended. Love on its own is so very beautiful. It's the overflowing joy I get when I hang out with my friends after a long time, it's the soft reassurance of my mother, the late-night calls with my best friend, it's my first kiss. That's not all of it though. Love is the scary lengths I'd go to make my loved ones happy, the dramatics of losing a dear friend, the loss of feelings. Mitski highlights my inner turmoil here perfectly with “One word from you and I would jump off of this ledge I'm on, baby”.


"First Love, Late Spring" is a juxtaposition of itself. The media's portrayal of first love is naive, innocent and so very pure. Late spring is the difficulties that we face after the high of falling in love wanes. It's the change in the winds as spring turns to summer, hot and unwelcoming.


Mitski feels like a late bloomer when it comes to love, an amateur. “Yet now, I find I've grown into a tall child”. Experiencing falling in love so “late” in her life has made it all the more intense; she doesn't quite know what to do with her feelings and these newfound raw emotions are scaring her. “Please don't say you love me, Mune ga hachikire-sōde” (My chest is about to burst). I think love is overwhelming. Loving someone is hard work – this isn’t a grand revelation by any means. It isn’t a difficult emotion to feel either; it comes easily when it’s right. Love is an act though that requires understanding. We all have different love languages, for that simple difference makes us human. One of my biggest struggles is accommodating everyone I love in that aspect. It doesn’t help that this affection I’m receiving is so suffocating to me. I don’t even feel any better when I push my loved ones away, which is why I often find myself wishing they’d stop saying they love me. “Tell me don’t so I can crawl back in”. Much like Mitski, I’m an amateur. A tall child if you will.


Like all emotions, love is fluid. That’s why I now believe that I don’t have to carry out grand gestures to proclaim my love. In the comforting words of my best friend “the belief that love is this all-encompassing feeling, an explosion of emotions, is so reductive because it makes it seem like this hardly attainable thing when it’s so common; acknowledging how subtle it is can validate so many people’s feelings and allow them to feel good about themselves”


Perhaps I’ll never get better at it. But I think I’m trying – at least on my good days. I feel like the least I can do to repay these generous affections is to act on my feelings. Even if my chest is about to burst 胸がはち切れそうで, I want to give back. It’s a scary world out there, but through these little emotions do we experience the most beautiful moments in life.