When Adele performed on Saturday Night Live, she got a big platform. I mean, she doesn't exactly need it, considering that her music draws huge audiences on its own, but when Adele performed on SNL on Nov. 21, she was singing for an audience of her own fans plus, SNL viewers who might not have sought out her music otherwise (if there are any people like that out in the world). So, did she use that opportunity to throw shade at anyone? There's speculation that "Hello," Adele's first SNL performance, is about the ex-boyfriend she sang about frequently on 21, who's identity hasn't been confirmed. But what about the subject of her second performance? Who is "When We Were Young" About?
According to Vanity Fair, Adele says that there could be a lot of people addressed in the lyrics. The magazine reported that the inspiration came from:
Seeing everyone that you've ever fallen out with, everyone that you've ever loved, everyone that you've never loved, and stuff like that. And where you can't find the time to be in each other lives and you're all thrown together at this party when you're like 50, and it doesn't matter and you have so much fun and you feel like you're 15 again.
Well, that doesn't narrow the field very much. "Everyone you've ever fallen out with," though, could be Alex Sturrock, the photographer ex who inspired much of the music on 21. And "everyone that you've ever loved" could reference Simon Konecki, her boyfriend since 2012 and father of her child. Or she could be talking about her family, which was the inspiration behind "Remedy."
Most likely, though, Adele's Vanity Fair quote could be taken at face value, and it's about running into a hypothetical person that takes you back to your younger days. As she says, it's just like a movie — emotional, moving, and possibly inspired by reality without being about any one, specific, true event.