Thoughtful messages weaved into Billie Eilish’s songs tell a story

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Thoughtful messages weaved into Billie Eilish’s songs tell a story

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Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell is someone I love with all of my 127 hearts. I have an intense obsession with her: I’m her biggest fan, as big as a fan can get. I’ve never really been more enamored by a celebrity or just a person in general. Her ethereal voice and beautiful creativity and stunning style and profound/ genuine/playful personality and dreamy face all melt me. I could go on and on forever and ever. But I didn’t intend this to be a love letter. I’ll get to that eventually. I want to analyze and review some of her songs, including her newest single: “Everything I Wanted.”

 

Idontwannabeyouanymore

 

I’ll start with one of my favorites from her debut album. This song showcases her always angelic vocals.This song is about self-hate and insecurity, both things I struggle with as well. The music video is of her looking in the mirror singing this song to herself; a manifestation of what she says to herself all the time. Billie tells herself “idontwannabeyouanymore”, sparked by the turmoil she experiences from dealing with all of the things she doesn’t like about herself. “I just wish you could feel what you say” hints to all the things we try to convince ourselves of in order to feel happy with who we are, but many times we don’t truly believe it. “If ‘I love you’ was a promise,

Would you break it, if you’re honest?” refers to how frequently “i love you” is said and how fleeting the feeling of love can be. It’s difficult to maintain self-love or any kind of love, for that matter. “Hands getting cold, losing feeling is getting old” represents how self-hate/despair conditions you to numbness until you’re used to it. “Was I made from a broken mold?”, similar to asking “why am I like this?” and I’m sure many understand this feeling.

 

Bellyache

 

How many artists can boast that they’ve written a song from the perspective of a serial killer? Well, Billie Eilish can. This song is quite literally about murder. Hence the “in the back of my car, lay their bodies”. But the underlying theme pertains to doing things you soon/eventually regret. “Where’s my mind? Maybe it’s in the gutter”. We do bad things for no reason sometimes. “Thought that I’d feel better, but now I got a bellyache”. Many times we do things we think are going to be cathartic in the best way possible and then feel extremely guilty and think “what did I just do and why?”. The music video ends with the police showing up. 

 

Xanny

 

In an interview with The Guardian, Billie revealed why she wrote this song: “I have never done drugs, I’ve never got high, I’ve never smoked anything in my life. … It’s just not interesting to me. I have other [things] to do. I know people around you doing that [stuff] makes you want to, but you don’t have to. I don’t want my friends to die any more”. This is a beautifully written song about the effects of drugs and addiction that she’s witnessed first hand. How she’s the only sober one at parties, how drugs have ruined her loved ones lives, how she chooses to abstain, and a reference to the deaths by overdose in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. “I don’t need a xanny [xanax] to feel better”. Every line of the lyrics has somewhat ambiguous and powerful meaning. You’ll have to check it out for yourself. There aren’t many popular songs out there about the negative effects of drug use from a teenager’s perspective; it’s special. That’s my favorite word to describe her. Swoon.

 

Bury a Friend

 

Another song from an unexpected perspective. This song is from the eyes of the monster under Billie’s bed. “Bury a Friend” serves as a huge inspiration/central song of “When we all fall asleep where do we go?”, her second and latest album. This is the only song on the album that has the album title in it as a lyric. According to Billie, she thinks of herself as the monster, her own worst enemy. The song can be interpreted in numerous ways. A lot of it could be representation of her dark side as a separate entity, haunting her. “Bury a friend” is the most equivocal song on the album in my opinion; just like the album title/concept as a whole. It’s all up to interpretation. It plays with the mystery and wonder of the unknown.

 

Ilomilo

 

“Ilomilo”, pronounced “ee-low-mee-low”, reminds me of those shockingly profound kids picture books. For example, this book called “The Invisible String” by Patrice Karst that my English teacher showed us; shoutout to Mrs. Thomas. You should read it! Basically Billie Eilish took a little kiddos game as inspiration and wrote a mature, mellow, sweet song about it; always with a deeper meaning. She said “I used to play ilomilo a lot. I loved ilomilo, that was like my favourite game in the world. It’s this game where it’s these two little creatures – one is named ilo and the other’s named milo. It’s this sort of anti-gravity world where there’s all these little blocks and they start apart from each other. The idea is you just get to each other and when they get to each other they just hug, there’s no prize. So the whole idea of the game is just losing the person you love and then finding them again” (PopBuzz). She said it. The song has an adorable, bouncy melody and again showcases her lovely creativity. She took the details of the game and weaved them into the lyrics in such a smart manner. The song is light and dark; it brushed upon losing someone you love as well: “The friends I’ve had to bury, they keep me up at night”. It’s scary to love someone when you know you can lose them–physically and/or abstractly–and that’s exactly what this song covers as well. “Said I couldn’t love someone, ’cause I might break,

if you’re gonna die, not by mistake”. In sum, “Ilomilo” acknowledges the fear of loving/losing someone–in a lighthearted way.

 

Everything I Wanted

 

Here’s the song that sparked my inspiration to write about Billie’s thoughtful lyrics. Her latest single, “Everything I Wanted”, speaks about multiple things. It’s the soft, melancholic tune that Billie does so well, along with the harmonious crescendos that life you up. The song starts by explaining a nightmare she had about jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge as an attempt to commit suicide. In her dream, no one cared about or noticed what she was doing. In an interview, she said that in her dream it meant nothing to anyone that she ended her life. She also stated that the song is mainly a tribute to her brother. Because as the song progresses, she wakes up from her dream to find her brother next to her. She goes on to sing about their undying support and love for each other throughout everything in their lives. The next verse talks about the negative aspects of fame; the weight she carries. The comments that “go straight to [her] head”, the expectations placed on her, the endless criticisms. Living a public life is difficult. A simple mistake blows up on the internet. She manages to fit three topics into one song. She sings about what’s on her mind. The song also touches on self esteem and how social media comments have a negative impact on her psyche. “If I could change the way that you see yourself, you wouldn’t wonder why you hear, ‘They don’t deserve you’”. Living in the public eye–constantly among judgement–is an extremely hard way to live life and can be an intense blow to one’s self-worth. Especially for a 17 year old; imagine that. Like most of her other songs, this song leaves me feeling emotional; mixed and pure. I love her.