“Halley’s Comet” by Billie Eilish

A comet, as you may already know, is an astronomical object partially composed of rock that soars throughout the solar system. And according to Billie Eilish, it is that soaring aspect that serves as part of the featured analogy, i.e. the vocalist feeling weightlessly in love. But of course the most notable feature of the actual Halley’s Comet is that it only passes by the Earth periodically, i.e. once every 75 years. 

Second Verse

And in fact the object is only mentioned once explicitly in the lyrics, in the second verse. And Billie uses it to point to that particular characteristic, i.e. the fact that it rarely “comes around”. 

How that relates to the story at hand is by comparing the comet to herself, apparently using said characteristic as an analogy pointing to the notion that she just as very rarely falls in love.

Indeed this is sort of the idea we are introduced to from the onset, that the narrator is someone who is reluctant to give her heart to another. But in this particular case, it’s like she can’t fight the feeling. And by the time the second verse concludes, she is able to admit that she has “fall(en) in love” with the addressee.  That is to say that he is the only one who can make her break her vow of romantic celibacy, so to speak.

Third Verse

The onset of the third verse seems to suggest that the vocalist and addressee live in two different time zones. Afterwards follows a somewhat confusing metaphor, but what it boils down to is the singer missing her sweetheart.  However she is alarmed that in the process of failing in love she has in fact become emotionally vulnerable, which may be the fate she was trying to avoid in the first place.

Fourth Verse

That said, the fourth verse reveals that this isn’t the first time she’s been in love.  “But right now in this moment”, with this particular addressee, she is “feel(ing) more and more” like he may actually be the one.

What “Halley’s Comet” is all about

So the song ultimately concludes with the narrator suffering, if you will, from sleeplessness. This is the direct result of her being in love. And the insinuation is that the reason she isn’t able to sleep is partially due to her being nervous now that she has been smitten which, as alluded to earlier, was a fate she wanted to avoid.

So most simply explained this is one of those songs where, as a premise, the narrator has decided to live the single life. That is not to say that she is a playa but rather someone who is apparently not keen on being privy to the types of vulnerabilities which are part and parcel of being in love. But now, against said ideology, she has fallen nonetheless. 

So, as intended by Eilish, “Halley’s Comet” serves as a “sweet, little romantic song”. But underneath it all is evidently this sentiment of concern or restlessness due to what has emotionally transpired in the narrator’s life.

Lyrics to Billie Eilish's "Halley's Comet"
Billie Eilish explains "Halley's Comet"

Facts about “Halley’s Comet”

The song was produced by Finneas, the singer’s older brother, as well as being co-written by him. And the other co-writer would be Billie Eilish herself.

This track was issued on 30 July 2021, i.e. the same date as Eilish’s second full-length “Happier Than Ever”, upon which it is featured. And to note, it is the 8th song on the undertaking’s 12-track playlist.

The two labels behind this track are Darkroom Records and Interscope Records.

As noted earlier, “Halley’s Comet” passes by the Earth roughly once every 75 years. It is considered to be a major astronomical event since, unlike most comets which traverse near our planet, not only does it do so regularly but is visible even without a telescope or any type of additional equipment. 

The last time “Halley’s Comet” made an appearance was back in 1986. Therefore, it is slated to do so again in 2061.

Halley's Comet

1 Response

  1. Crazy Wolf Woman says:

    I just love this young artists talent and that includes her brother. The duo are powerful and interesting. I also love her brothers solo work…

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