Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” Lyrics Meaning
The beginning of this track insinuates that Billie is a physically-abusive relationship. However, she is not alarmed. Rather she is just going along for the ride because ultimately she knows that she is in control. In fact whereas he partner likes to play tough, in the end Billie is actually the “bad guy”, not him.
Indeed when this guy ‘takes control’ of Billie it is not due to him actually having authority but rather her ‘playing the role’ of an “animal” – most likely is an allusion to a docile girlfriend. She also states that she enjoys it when he gets angry. Ultimately the guy she is addressing portrays a personality type brimming with machismo, as in he feels a perpetual need to be “tough” and “rough”. But Eilish asserts that she is actually worse than him and outlines the ways this is so.
For instance, she has the power to make both his mother and girlfriend upset. In fact it seems that his girlfriend is already afraid of Billie, and Eilish speculates this is so because she has been able to take her man. Moreover Billie states that, if so desired, she could ‘seduce his dad’. In fact Eilish is so bad that she says if her mother were to actually hear this song she would feel “pity” for the men in her life.
So at the end of the day the titular “bad guy” of this song is not the semi-tough, controlling and possibly even abusive guy that Billie is dating. Rather it is Eilish herself, who knows she has the wherewithal to cause a lot of misery in his life if she wanted to.
“Bad Guy” performed phenomenally well on music charts across the globe. It rose to number 1 on the esteemed Billboard Hot 100 in Billie’s home of America. It also reached number one in numerous other countries, including Norway, Canada, Greece and Finland. On the UK Singles Chart, it made it to position number 2.
Simply put, “Bad Guy” was one of the most commercially successful songs of 2019!
“Bad Guy” won Billie Eilish a Grammy in 2020 in the “Song of the Year” category. In winning that prestigious award, it beat the likes of Taylor Swift’s “Lover” and Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved“.
As if winning “Song of the Year” wasn’t enough, on the same Grammy Awards Night, “Bad Guy” also picked up another coveted Grammy Award in the form of “Record of the Year”.
In achieving this phenomenal feat, “Bad Guy” beat 7 other international hits, including the following:
- Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings”
- Khalid’s “Talk”
- Bon Iver’s “Hey, Ma”
- Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road”
- Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts“
Did Billie Eilish write “Bad Guy”?
Yes, she did. “Bad Guy” was written by both Billie and her brother and regular collaborator “Finneas O’Connell.
When did Billie Eilish release “Bad Guy?”
Billie released this song through Darkroom and Interscope Records on the 29tht of March, 2019. The song was the 5th single Billie released from her maiden album (“When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”).