More about: Billie Eilish
Inspiring, empowering and always meaningful, Billie Eilish’s songwriting spins narratives that fit anyone regardless of who they are, where they’re from or what they’re going through in life.
While we wait for the upcoming album Happier Than Ever - and the next set of aspiring lyrics - from the teenage star, here are 11 of Billie’s most empowering lyrics from over the years
"How dare you" - 'Your Power'
Taken from her upcoming album Happier Than Ever, 'Your Power', is described by Eilish as an "an open letter to people who take advantage – mostly men." The delicate, acoustic offering which sees the singer at her most vulnerable as she muses about the relatable experience of someone abusing their power and holding it over a woman. Drawn from her personal experiences with an unbalanced power dynamic in a past relationship, Eilish addresses the person who took advantage of her, and challenges the notion, questioning every single person who has ever held their power over someone, daring them to do so again with hopes of inspiring change on this intimate, melancholy yet empowering track.
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“Wait a minute, let me finish" – '8'
Taken from her 2019 debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, the soft, lullaby stylings of '8' belie tremendous inner strength as Eilish sings about a boyfriend who looked at her "like I'm see-through." A song which bloomed from a slow, acoustic piece titled 'See Through', the track is about resignation on the surface – as Eilish resigns herself to the truth that the person she loves doesn’t love her back - but is about finding the power in acceptance and letting go as she reaches a decision not to pursue a relationship that is not worth her time.
“I do what I want when I'm wanting to" - 'bad guy'
A sarcastic offering that pokes fun at the pride that people, herself included, take in presenting themselves as rebels and rule-breakers, this bass-heavy bop sees Eilish taunting her abusive lover, telling him in no uncertain terms that she’s in control of their relationship. Born from the idea that you don’t need to tell people you’re “bad” to assert dominance, she reminds the tough guys that she does what she wants, when she wants; that she is the one with the power. Tinged with dark humour, this track endeavours to break down the concept of being “bad”, reminding us that we can see ourselves as worthy of love and respect without attaching negative connotations to the self-confidence.
“Once we've both said our goodbyes, let's just let it go, let me let you go" - 'when the party's over'
This delicate, moody offering from When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? delves into Eilish’s musings about a failing relationship. Drawing upon the relatable frustrations that crop up at the end of a relationship, this layered production takes the narrative that communication is key and flips it around. Hinged on wanting to be left alone when communication yields no positive results, Eilish imagines the track’s scenario as “yelling in anger over a telephone” and getting nowhere, thus reminding us that sometimes it’s okay to cut people off and let them go.
“Cause I, I'm in love. With my future. Can't wait to meet her” - 'my future'
Taken from Happier Than Ever, this positive, soulful track is an ode to self-care written and produced during lockdown. Countering the angst that she is well-known for, Eilish is hopeful in this offering as she looks to put her past behind her and look ahead in anticipation of a bright future. Perfectly suiting the time it was written in and based on the singer’s growing, hard-won sense of self-worth, the upbeat ballad explores being optimistic in the face of challenges, as Eilish re-examines her own relationship with solitude and re-assess the real power and independence that comes from being alone, and being happy with it.
“I'm gonna run this nothing town." - 'you should see me in a crown'
This trap-influenced production finds Eilish affirming her self-worth bolstered by recent successes. Inspired by a quote from Professor Moriarty – Sherlock Holmes’ arch-nemesis – in the third and final episode of the second series of the BBC television series Sherlock, which goes “In a world of locked rooms, the man with the key is king, And honey, you should see me in a crown,” Eilish sees herself for what she’s worth, taking pride in her abilities on the dark, beat-heavy offering which works as sassy proclamation of plans for world dominance setting an example of self-confidence and finding power in the knowledge that you’re capable of anything that you put your mind to.
“Now I’m free” - 'watch'
This pop ballad taken from Eilish’s 2017 debut EP Don’t Smile At Me, sees the young singer address her former lover, speaking about leaving behind a toxic relationship. In the impactful and intimate lyrics, she acknowledges the flaws in the relationship and accepts that they are not meant to be. Singing about not wanting to be in a relationship that doesn’t give her happiness, Eilish is content with the natural end that her time with her lover has come to, as she seeks out her own identity having achieved freedom and independence from the shackles of a painful companionship holding her back.
“You’ll never know until you try it.” – 'come out and play'
An acoustic ode to being fully and unapologetically yourself, 'come out and play', is a heartfelt lullaby offering that possesses a lot of depth within its reflections on self-confidence. Written for Apple’s 2018 Christmas campaign, the track plays out the story of a woman afraid to showcase her creativity in front of others, and is all the encouragement anyone who is scared to take a leap of faith needs as it pushes you to be yourself, try new things and bloom as a person regardless of what the world might think or say. It urges us to think of nerves as the launching pad for your dreams rather than the weights holding you down.
“You want me to be yours, well then you gotta be mine." - 'my boy'
This jazz-tinged pop production is a heartbreak anthem that flips how people should view relationships. Inspired by the boys who broke Eilish's heart, the track feels like a simple reflection of break-ups but locks away a hidden strength by freeing women of the sole responsibility to be someone’s in a relationship. Pushing aside the notion that relationships have to mean sacrifices on part of one person – usually the women - Eilish stresses that relationships are a two-way street, reminding us that we should give only as much as we get in our relationships; that our heart can belong to someone but their hearts need to be ours just as much in return.
“But I know some day I'll make it out of here/Even if it takes all night or a hundred years” - 'Lovely' with Khalid
This haunting single from Eilish’s debut album featuring Khalid offers angst in spades as the singers reflect on their mental health. With a title that Eilish has previously described as “sarcastic", the track is vulnerable and painful, bringing in the teen artist’s penchant for dark humour. But even amidst this darkness, she offers a glimmer of hope as she croons about making it out into the light someday. Depressing as it may be in the moment, Eilish provides the much-needed reminder that all bad times have an end and that no matter what pain you’re going through in the moment, it will pass – maybe not now, but soon.
“You think that you're the man/ I think, therefore, I am” - 'Therefore I Am'
A moody, dark-pop track that presents Eilish as someone who "couldn't care less" what people think of her, this offering sees her express disdain towards the constant media coverage and comments on her preference to wear baggy clothes. Inspired by the philosophy of Rene Descartes and his foundation of "I think therefore I am," Eilish makes it clear she doesn’t care about what people have to say about her. She doesn’t hold back in her jabs at those that everything to say about her despite knowing nothing about her, inspiring others to do the same when faced with unsolicited commentary or advice.
More about: Billie Eilish