Billie Eilish’s “Therefore I Am” Lyrics Meaning
The title and chorus is of “Therefore I Am” is derived from a famous philosophical statement (which is featured in full in the chorus) dating back to a well-known 17th century philosopher named Descartes. And due to the relatedly strong-philosophical of “I think, therefore I am”, some analysts may have jumped off the deep end in trying to ascertain a profound meaning behind the lyrics of this song.
But Eilish herself has said that “this song is very, very up for interpretation”. She went on to elaborate that the recording of this tune was an exercise in her “just f**king around… just joking” and that “the song feels to (her) just kinda like careless and not really trying”.
Is “Therefore I Am” a meaningless song?
Based on those statements, the insinuation is that this tune doesn’t really have any type of ultra-deep or personal meaning.
What many listeners have based their understanding of this track on are the images which constitute its music video. Said clip features the singer carelessly splurging on food. Indeed the setting finds Billie Eilish in an empty mall, and instead of grabbing more valuable items, what she does instead is pig out. And being that overindulgence on food is seen as a taboo in America, particularly amongst women, this has led some to interpret the song as being a tirade against body shamers. In other words, Billie is blatantly letting her body shamers know that she has no regard for their critiques of her. And she does so by openly engaging in an activity which they perceive as being wrong.
This notion holds validity since Eilish has in fact had issues with body shamers before. And when you combine the video with the don’t-give-AF attitude displayed in the lyrics, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that she is indeed attacking her haters.
“Therefore I Am” gets even more Interesting!
But if one were to really study the wording of “Therefore I Am”, it seems pretty obvious that she is addressing one individual whom the singer refers to as “the man”. Arguably he is the personification of a group of people. But honestly, the lyrics don’t read as such per se. Rather it would seem that the addressee is not only a singular, particular person but also someone akin to a celebrity or a person who has clout. And part of his claim to fame is due to this person claiming an association with Billie Eilish. He is actually using her name to increase his own popularity.
So what the singer is telling him is that she does not appreciate what he is doing. In fact she’s not even his “friend or anything”. Indeed as detailed in the bridge, the addressee is someone who she is not actually associated with. So no, it does not appear that Billie is singing about haters. Rather the addressee(s) is more like, excuse the expression, a celebrity d**krider. He is someone who is pretending to the media that he’s cool with the mega-popular singer even though he’s not.
And how does the centuries-old philosophical title relates to this narrative? Hmmm… based on the fact that Billie is basically freestyling, maybe it doesn’t in any sort of direct way. But it can also be interpreted that she is relaying that statement from the perspective of “the man” himself. And within the context of the entire chorus, it would then allude his overinflated sense of self-importance.
Facts about “Therefore I Am”
This track came out as a standalone single on the 12th of November, 2020. And its labels are Darkroom Records and Interscope Records.
Billie first began teasing this track, via Instagram, on the date of 14 September 2020. And just to note, the singer is also slated to perform this song at the 2020 edition of the American Music Awards, which will be held on 22 November.
Billie co-wrote “Therefore I Am” alongside her elder brother and regular collaborator, Finneas. He also produced the track. And the singer directed the music video to the tune herself.
Said visual was filmed inside Glendale Galleria. This is a shopping mall that is located in California and one that Billie has been familiar with since her youth.
Outside of Eilish, the mall was basically empty during the filming of the clip. And for the most part, it features her enjoying some of America’s favorite mall foods such as Hot Dog on a Stick, Wetzel’s Pretzels and Chipotle. Other snacks which she partakes of include potato chips, French fries, lemonade and a donut. And the clip concludes with the singer being chased out of the mall by a security guard.
Billie Eilish described the video, as well as the song itself, as “just kinda like careless and not really trying”. Indeed said video was actually recorded on an iPhone, and as Billie elaborated she and her collaborators “didn’t even mean to do it”.
Is Billie Eilish promoting gluttony in the music video of “Therefore I Am”?
Some people may perceive the singer as overeating in the music video. However, it would appear that she is basically having fun rather than making an attempt to promote gluttony. Indeed even though Billie does steal a considerable amount of food, she only takes a few bites during the clip itself. But what does seem quite apparent, all visuals considered, is that she is sending a message to body shamers, i.e. people who may think she’s too fat. And in that regard, she is definitely letting them know that their criticisms are not going to prevent her from enjoying the diet she prefers.