Late Goodbye – Poets of the Fall Song Meaning

The second part of the cult computer game about detective Max Payne was released under the name “Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne”. She was remembered for her amazing gameplay, vibrant animation and various innovative solutions from developers. Music fans also liked the cool soundtrack, the title theme of which was the composition “Late Goodbye” by the Finnish band Poets of the Fall, written specifically for the game.

Vocalist Marco Saaresto composed it based on a poem by his friend who worked at Remedy Entertainment. The author explained the essence of “Late Goodbye” as follows:

This song is about how you get into a dark situation and have to make a difficult decision in order to be able to move on. And although I wrote the words, taking as a basis the poem of Sam Lake, the screenwriter of the game [Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne]they went through the same millstones that all the other songs from the “Signs of Life” album…

Marco also repeatedly told the story of “Late Goodbye” getting into “Max Payne 2”.

Here are excerpts from two interviews:

She ended up in a game with Sam Lake and myself… Sam Lake is the scriptwriter for the game. Once we were driving home, either I threw him home, or something else. And we were talking about how cool it would be if one of our songs appeared in one of their projects. But then there was not even a conversation about which particular project of theirs, when and what kind of song it should be. But Sam introduced it to the Remedy people, and they liked the idea.

So three weeks later Sam called me and asked if I could write a couple of songs and see what we can do. I presented a couple to choose from and they chose “Late Goodbye”. And then it was sent around the world to different publishers and others who could influence the project. Some bigwigs listened to our guitar singing demo and said it was a good song to include in the game. The rest is history, and the song ended up in the game.

The Remedy guys had heard our music before and asked us to compose a song for the game. We gladly complied with the request. Sam Lake sent me a poem he wrote some time ago and said that I could use whatever images the poem conjured up in my head as I wrote the lyrics. It was great because he really inspired me. That night I sat on the kitchen floor with a guitar and wrote a song.

The game was released in 2003. The song plays as the closing theme. In addition, it is listened to and hummed by various characters.

In June 2004, “Late Goodbye” was released as the first single from the band’s debut album “Signs of Life”. She climbed to number fourteen on the Finnish Singles Chart.

The music video for “Late Goodbye” was directed by Tuomas Harju.

Interesting Facts

  • The poem that formed the basis of the song, Sam Lake wrote, having seen a vivid and memorable dream.

Lyrics of Late Goodbye“Late Goodbye” lyricsIn our headlights, staring, bleak, beer cans, deer’s eyes
On the asphalt underneath, our crushed plans and my lies
Lonely street signs, power lines, they keep on flashing, flashing by
Down on the pavement our broken plans and my lies
Lonely street signs, wires – everything flies past Chorus:
And we keep driving into the night
It’s a late goodbye, such a late goodbye
And we keep driving into the night
It’s a late goodbye
And we’re all going somewhere in the night
This is the last goodbye, the last goodbye
And we’re all going somewhere in the night
This is the last goodbye Your breath hot upon my cheek, and we crossed, that line
You made me strong when I was feeling weak, and we crossed that one time
Screaming stop signs, staring wild eyes, keep on flashing, flashing by
We made me strong when I was weak and we crossed her once
Screaming stop signs, wild eyes wide open – everything flies by The devil grins from ear to ear when he sees the hand he’s dealt us
Points at your flaming hair, and then we’re playing hide and seek
I can’t breathe easy here, less our trail’s gone cold behind us
Till’ in the john mirror you stare at yourself grown old and weak
Points to your shining hair and then we play hide and seek
I will breathe a sigh of relief only when our traces disappear,
When you see in the bathroom mirror how old and weak you are

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