Beyonce’s “Sandcastles” Lyrics Are So Emotional

by Lia Beck
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you somehow still haven't seen Beyoncé's Lemonade, please, god, go watch it now. It is a masterpiece. I assume, though, if you watched Beyoncé's unbelievable Grammys performance, then that's all the convincing you need to either watch for the first time or watch again (I know I'll be doing just that). After performing "Love Drought," Beyoncé sang "Sandcastles," a song all about a relationship being very firmly on the downswing side of things. But you would know that if you watched Lemonade. (Watch it!)

For those of you who are newer to Bey's Lemonade lyrics or are just looking for some more explanation (or just want to read even more about this amazing album — I feel ya), the record is thought to be all about Beyoncé and Jay Z's relationship, although the pair never confirmed this, especially since the visual album features personal video of the couple, their families, and their daughter, Blue Ivy. The album ends on a positive note — and obviously Jay and Bey are still together and have two new babies on the way, if it is about them — but much of it is about the harder parts of a relationship, including the very emotional "Sandcastles."

"Sandcastles" is actually fairly straightforward in its metaphor: much like an actual sandcastle, a relationship can wash away, even if it has seemed sturdy all along. Beyoncé sings:

We built sandcastles that washed away
I made you cry when I walked away
And although I promised that I couldn't stay, baby
Every promise don't work out that way

Not only are the lyrics saying that someone in the relationship did something wrong, they're saying that even though that person did something that would make the other partner leave, that partner isn't sticking to their promise to end the relationship, either. Basically, sometimes, when you're far into a relationship, things that once were deal breakers no longer are.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Beyoncé also sings:

And your heart is broken 'cause I walked away
Show me your scars and I won't walk away

The person whose perspective the song is from is saying that even though their partner's actions make them want to leave, they're willing to stay and work things out as long as they can understand their partner and see what lead to their decision or their vulnerability.

Yes, "Sandcastles" uses a fairly simple metaphor, but its message is so widely understood that it doesn't need to go more in depth. Listeners can take whatever they need to from it. It's powerful enough — especially with Beyoncé passionate vocals behind it.