“Hello”: The Story Behind the Song

Teachers: The story below is at the beginning level. At the bottom of this page, you will also find the story in a Word document and in a pdf. Also at the bottom of the page is an audio recording of the story. More lesson plans ideas for this song are on the Lesson Plans page.

Students: First, watch the YouTube video below. Next, read the story. Finally, read the story again while you listen to it. (The audio recording is below the story.)

(You’re already here! So you don’t need to click on a link after you watch the video. The story is below.)

Hello, Adele

 When Adele was 18 years old, she fell in love with Alex. Alex was not her first boyfriend, but he was her first serious boyfriend.

Alex was a photographer who was ten years older than Adele. He showed her photos of beautiful places, and she got interested in traveling. He talked about books, and she began reading fiction. He read poems to her, and she began writing poetry. Adele says, “He put me on the road I’m traveling on.”

Adele and Alex were happy together for one year. Then they began to argue. Usually they didn’t argue over big things — they argued over small things — but they argued a lot. They were both unhappy, and they decided to break up.

Six months later, Adele heard that Alex was engaged to someone else. She was heartbroken. She knew that Alex wasn’t right for her, but she still loved him. She wrote songs about her feelings. One of those songs was “Someone Like You.”

During the next four years, Adele didn’t write any songs. She fell in love with someone else, had a baby boy, and bought a house. Then, when she turned 25, she began writing songs again.

One of Adele’s new songs was “Hello.” The song is about a woman who is trying to reconnect with an ex-boyfriend. Is it another song about Alex?

Adele says it isn’t. A song can mean different things to different people. For Adele, this song is about trying to reconnect with herself.

Adele says, “When I was 7, I wanted to be 8. When I was 8, I wanted to be 12. When I turned 12, I wanted to be 18. I always wanted to be older. I wanted to be shorter, too. I was 5’9”, but I wanted to be 5’7”. I always wanted to be someone else.”

Now Adele doesn’t want to be anyone else. She is happy with who she is–a mother and one of the most successful singers and songwriters in the world. In the song “Hello,” Adele is saying hello to Adele.

Hello, Adele.doc        Hello, Adele.pdf

Story: Copyright © 2015 Sandra Heyer. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for classroom use.

Voice-over by Morgan Gorman