The End Of The Affair

Album: Song for Our Daughter (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Here, Laura Marling sings of a relationship that quietly dies away.

    Threw my head into his chest
    I think we did our best
    But now we must make good on words to God


    Marling has to bear the "end of the affair" alone.

    I love you, goodbye
    Now let me live
    My life


    Marling explained to Far Out mgazine: "The idea of a private mourning of love is so tragic to me, something so huge that can't be shared."
  • The song was inspired by Graham Greene's 1951 novel of the same title about a wartime love affair during the blitz. It tells the story of impotent civil servant's wife Sarah Miles ending her relationship with novelist Maurice Bendrix after a bomb hits his flat. The breakup is unexpected and Bendrix is wracked with jealousy. He later learns she thought he was dead after the bombing and made a promise to God not to see lover again if He allowed him to live.
  • Marling told Mojo magazine Greene's novel "was a recent read, a tragic love story full of very modern complexity, where there's this obsessive projection onto a female."

    She added that it ties in with another Song for Our Daughter track, "Alexandra," where the woman is nothing more than an object of desire in a relationship. That he can't have her completely makes the female more alluring.
  • Marling wrote the song with the California-based songwriter and session musician Blake Mills, who produced her previous album, Semper Femina, and has also worked with Alabama Shakes and John Legend.
  • Graham Greene (1904 –1991) is regarded as one of the leading English novelists of the 20th century. A Catholic convert from 1926, through his 25 novels he explored people's motives for committing themselves to a cause, faith, or ideal, often through a Catholic perspective. Other songs inspired by his works include:

    "Brighton Rock" by Queen.

    "Leper's Song' by Barclay James Harvest.

    And maybe "The Heart Of The Matter" by Don Henley.

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