1

Is there anybody out there waiting for me on my way?
If that somebody is you, then baby, I just wanna say
Tonight, nothing will bring us down
Tonight, we're at the lost and found

[ Ellie Goulding, "Delirium", from the song Lost and Found ]

The noun lost and found is :

A repository in a public place, as in a school or theater, where found items are kept for reclaiming by their owners.

[ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language ]

The ODO provided an example which made me smile considering the song:

Sarah smiled expecting ratty old jeans and a tee shirt from the lost and found, but was once again surprised.

[ Oxford Dictionaries Online ]


  1. Is there any reference I'm missing here to understand the idea behind two people being together at the lost and found?

  2. What is the difference with just plain being together? Is this an expression about:

    • them both looking for something and finding it;
    • the idea that for all intents and purposes they're lost for everyone else because they're busy together tonight;
    • a reminder that someone can still make a surprising discovery in life;
    • love in a public place/space;
    • no specific reference, so all of the above?
  • I think the phrase means that they've both found the thing that they had lost and were looking for, in this case love. But I couldn't say for sure. – ssav Jan 13 '16 at 10:46
1

Link to lyrics.

Links to YouTube video (audio only)

Frankly, it's anybody's guess. Having said that, it appears that from Stanzas 1 and 2 a boy and a girl have had a romp or good time in the countryside under the moon. They probably had sex.

Then, Stanza 3:

Guess I need to run, take me to the bus
But don't let me go, no, don't let me on
Gotta hold me tight, won't put up a fight
Of course I'll stay, I'll stay the night

This mentions the girl asking the boy to bring her to the bus (station?) because she "needs to run," which means she needs to leave. But then she asks the boy not to let her on the bus. Therefore they spend more time together, doing who knows what, at the bus station, specifically at the lost and found, which can be an isolated place after daylight hours (in the US at least). Whatever the case, the rather seedy location of a bus station lost and found has become a place to remember for the boy and girl. Plus the phrase rhymes with the preceding line.

As far as your suggestions regarding the meaning of spending time at the lost and found, yes, any and all of them are possible. Plus the ideas of losing oneself and finding oneself in the love of another and all kinds of other saccharine silly Ellie stuff. Maybe she lost her virginity there and found herself or her true love.

You would have to ask the song writer and or performer and maybe she couldn't even tell you.

And don't wait for the video of this song because music videos rarely match the meaning of the lyrics as song.

But to me it includes celebrating a night together, and that happened to be at the lost and found, and so that will now always be remembered. When they get married and then separated, poor Ellie will always have the lost and found.

So yeah, this question will probably be closed for being opinion based. And that is what "silly love songs" do: allow listeners to make of them what they will, and read into them their own love stories.

  • Thank you! I can't see the close votes at 400 rep but I do hope you're wrong about that! So it's really just context and not some sort of set expression... It thought I was missing something very obvious here, or BrE specific. Thanks for setting the record straight about that and explaining (an isolated place after daylight hours/U.S. +context)! – user16335 Jan 13 '16 at 4:38
  • Bus travel in the USA (which is usually not considered the best way to travel) may be different from how it is in the UK, and who knows which one she may be caterwauling about (if you haven't guessed, I can't stand Ellie Goulding). Bus stations in the USA in my experience are disgusting places where you could easily pick up HIV (given the clientele) and lost and founds tend to be at the back somewhere, where I wouldn't dare to go. – GoDucks Jan 13 '16 at 5:01
  • But in the UK it may be different. One hopes so. As we say: YMMV your mileage may vary. Like I said, the song will conjure up different images for different listeners. – GoDucks Jan 13 '16 at 5:03
  • HIV you could pick up anywhere in the world from anyone. I do hear you though. I'm little concerned with travel and such but will heed your advice and try not to lose anything if I travel by bus especially. Just being opportunistic with language as I ended up listening to her songs and was curious about what that meant in context etc. I'll admit to generally liking women voices, as well as pop/punk/electronic and such. Cheers! – user16335 Jan 13 '16 at 5:36
  • Bus travel is a bit different in the UK. Our bus stations aren't usually particularly remote (they're usually in the centre of towns), and vary wildly in condition. I've visited the Lost and Found at one, and it wasn't anywhere you wouldn't want to go. +1 to this answer though, as "Frankly, it's anybody's guess." is as accurate an answer as anyone can give. – ssav Jan 13 '16 at 10:42

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