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Copy of a Copy of a Copy Lyrical Analysis

It’s not an easy topic and it can be triggering for those who don’t share the same opinion as mine, but let’s appreciate the way Louis approaches to a very tough topic with his delicate point of view.

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written by: persephoneflouwers art by: lebesyej

The name of the song repeats the same word thrice, almost as if it wants to confirm it has at least three layers, and beyond.

It’s not an easy topic and it can be triggering for those who don’t share the same opinion as mine, but let’s appreciate the way Louis approaches to a very tough topic with his delicate point of view.  

«It’s an old curse»

Curse is the key word for interpretation. It gives you the idea of something negative, something no one can ask for, something unwanted.

It’s recurrent in Louis’ writing. In Only the brave he sings “it’s a tall tale”. Not only does this concept appear in his first album, but matched ESNY lyrics when Harry  writes “there’s no antidote for this curse”.

What could this curse possibly be? If you don’t say, I’ll say it: the curse is closet they have been living in for years.

As Louis says it happens all the time to so many people.

«Dreamers diving head first»

This line acknowledges the naivety of a “dreamer”. A young, innocent person acts impulsively because of the excitement and faith and just dreams without thinking of the consequences.

I reckon he’s talking about his younger self and how shiny and satisfying the dreams of that young were.

Until he is faced with hard walls.

«Broken beaks and dead birds can’t get through the glass»

This is very figurative. I imagine incredibly fragile birds getting tired of screaming inside a ‘cage’ and breaking their beaks to break the glass.

This is obviously a metaphor. Louis is describing people left out, hitting windows hitting glass until they hurt themselves, but they can’t reach what they see and they are ignored. It’s a very powerful image.

«there’s no use crying over spilled blood»

Basically, he is saying “it is what it is”. He uses the word ‘blood’ because it’s more crude. It would be usually “spilled milk”, but in this case he’s referring to how hard the previous birds are hitting on the hard glass and actually bleeding. Why? I think it’s figuratively a representation of the people who live and lived the same situation before and are now trying to break the glass.

«Caring only kills love, a kiss won’t bring it back»

Louis is saying this is not a fairytale. This is real world and world is hard and sometimes love is not enough to break a spell, because things are harder and bigger.

«I know the first blow hits you cold»

This line opens the tons of parallels with Sign of the times. Harry says “why are we always running from the bullets?” Well, because if you don’t run the blow hits you cold.

So you MUST run, you must go on if you don’t want to lose everything.

«Young man, hush your crying and dry your tears away»

Again parallels with SOTT “just stop your crying”.

It’s interesting how Louis addresses a “young man”, probably in reference of his younger self again.

The “hush” is very soft, comforting. He gets why the young man is crying

He gets it and he is not mad. There’s no shame in crying.

«Nothing is original, nothing’s left to say»

This is a little bit harsher. It reminds me of this Oscar Wilde quote. Like just be yourself, cause everything else is already there. You don’t want to be a copy of someone else.

And it also starts the reference to Fight Club opening scene.

«You won’t be the first or be the last to bleed»

You’re not alone. It happens all the time. It’s another way to say ‘this is not your fault if you’re in this’. It reinforces this concept a couple of lines later.

«Every broken heart as far as your eye can see»

As far as your eyes can see… I think of this as a suggestion to look deeper in things, not to stop on the surface.

Every broken heart is not a romantic expression to me. You can break a heart in so many ways like in the same way You break your beaks.

Let me just say that “broken beaks” could be a metaphor for “i can’t speak/sing” something like that.

«I can hear you, howlin’ ‘til your lungs hurt»

Someone is screaming to get attention from the inside, unsuccessfully. People can hear you only if they are inside of this cage/closet thing with you, I guess.


«So let this be your comfort You’re not the only one»

Literally “A trouble shared is a trouble halved”.

As I see it, Louis says “not only you’re not alone in this, but I’m with you”.

«In a strange way, all in this together. Been this way forever, you’re not the only one»

Been this way forever… like in ‘I’ve been’ or like in ‘It’s been’? Either way, I think this line can relate to sexuality in general by saying “I was born this way” 🏳️‍🌈

Not gonna lie, the first time I listened to copy of a copy of a copy I thought about Hegel. This is my bias: I always go to read into stuff from a philosophical/mythological point of view. Anyway I thought about Hegel because that man was OBSESSED with number three and triads, you know?

1. Copy of

 2. a copy

 3. of a copy

Next connection was (very naturally) Plato. If you know the basics about Plato philosophy, you will know it revolves around the duality of the ideal world and reality and, to simplify, how the reality is a copy of the ideal world. The world of “ideas”, the so called hyperuranium, is the authentic one. The reality is just a reproduction. Ideas are the essence of existence and they exist independently from the real world. They are what human thoughts are made of and indispensable for the thinking process. They are universal, eternal. That being said, I archived this information in my brain and that was it.

This “copy of a copy of Ideas” comes from Plato and to me, it’s a confirmation of my previous suspicions. This concept is obviously well known in the artistic fields from Latin literature to nowadays fashion and figurative arts, theatres, cinemas, music. Aemulatio, inspiration, reference, replica… you name it.

So I went back to my books and opened the Fedro by Plato.

The name ‘idea’ can be misunderstood. It’s not like we use it today. It’s more like nucleus, the matrix, the system of organisation of reality.

Plato divides ideas in two categories: ideas of values (ethics, beauty, aesthetics, justice) and ideas of mathematics (geometry for example).

Mathematics. Matrix. The only thing I’ve been thinking after this was 369.

Now, I think we established somehow 369 reminds us of this coacoac concept and it has something to do with mathematics. WBK cause this fandom can be smart. I googled “369 matrix” anyway. And this is what captured my eyes (it was the first Google result). I’ll leave the link here if you want to read about it.

Plato again. Platonic solids shape the world. “The entire reality is organised on geometry”.

Now, 369 is apparently the Key matrix of Tesla (tesla code) too? It’s like the key of the universe or something? And it is connected to the fibonacci sequence and the golden ration (there were posts and explanations about this too somewhere here and on twitter) Whatever this means… the only thing I understood from all the reading I did was: The pattern 3-6-9 repeats itself indefinitely. Constantly. cause you know… everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.



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