Halsey’s “1121” Lyrics Meaning

The title of this song is actually a date which would more commonly be notated as 11/21, i.e. the 21st of November. That was the day, more specifically on 21 November 2020, in which Halsey discovered that she was to become a mother.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Halsey's 1121 at Lyrics.org.

But that noted, it doesn’t appear, at least based on a surface analysis, that the song really has anything to do with motherhood. Instead, the more logical explanation would be that the vocalist is addressing her significant other.

The Addressee

But again, that is how the piece would be most generally understood, considering that Halsey references her heart being broken and what have you. However, if one decides to take it there, perhaps it can also be reasonably argued, to some extent, that she may be addressing the unborn child. 

And in that case, well, the waters of this song run too deep for even us to safely tread upon. However, take the bridge for instance, in which the singer is calling upon the addressee to “please don’t leave” her and also asserts “don’t leave me in the shape you left me”. 

The music experts have concluded that these lines are connected to Halsey’s past experiences with miscarriages. So if she is speaking to the fetus, she would then be begging it not to die, if you will. 

And again, other parts of the song would take on a lot more powerful meaning than your usual pop fare if we were to proceed under such a presumption. Indeed knowing that this piece was inspired by Halsey learning that she’s pregnant imbues the lyrics a range of extremely-personal applications, at least theoretically.

But at the end of the day what is definitively ascertainable is that the vocalist is in a strained relationship with the addressee. She doesn’t want him to leave, but at the same time she doesn’t want to lose herself in the name of loving him.

Lyrics to "1121"
Halsey talks about "1121"

Facts about “1121”

Four musicians contributed to the writing of “1121” –

  • Halsey
  • John Cunningham
  • Atticus Ross
  • Trent Reznor

And the latter two names on the list also acted as the producers of the track.

This song was released as part of “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power”, Halsey’s second studio album under Capitol Records, on 27 August 2021. Her previous studio album, Manic, was also put out by Capitol (and was her third overall). That project was a notable success, making it onto the top 10 of both the Billboard 200 and UK Albums Chart, in addition to achieving RIAA-platinum certification.

Did Halsey release “1121” as a Single?

As of the release date of the album, the answer is NO. Actually on the official release date of the album, only the song “I am Not a Woman, I’m a God” was released as a single. It was subsequently followed by another single titled “You Asked for This”.

The following are other notable songs from the project:


To note, Halsey did successfully give birth to the child referenced by this song’s title on 14 July 2021.  And the dad would be one Alev Aydin, who is a screenwriter by profession.

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