Harry Styles’ “As It Was” Lyrics Meaning
To begin with, logically speaking, the addressee of “As It Was” would sound like a romantic interest of Harry’s. But that said, there have been multiple explanations offered concerning exactly who the addressee is.
First is that Styles might not be actually speaking to a romantic interest. Some analysts have opined that Styles might rather be singing about his relationship with the music industry.
The second theory is that this piece is at least in part based on a real-life romance Harry is involved in with an American actress named Olivia Wilde.
We actually find the second theory more plausible. The most blatant clue supporting that idea would actually be the nature of the bridge, where the addressee is presented as ‘leaving America with two kids’. Well on top of in fact being American and having a pair of children, Olivia, according to some reports, is indeed currently sweating Harry, whom himself resides across the pond.
And one does get the impression that this piece is personal in nature, as in being based on a real-life experience (a notion Harry himself more or less confirmed). For instance, the addressee’s “daddy” is mentioned in such a way that would suggest so.
Furthermore, going back to the conclusion of the previous paragraph, reading in between all of the direct references and poetic lingo, what it does seem like we’re dealing with here, most simply put, is a case of unrequited love.
As such songs usually go, the vocalist would be the victim. But in this case, it is rather the addressee who comes off as being the more committed party – or something like that. Or let’s say that, as many of us already know, love is not an emotion that can easily be put into words. So it’s clear that the vocalist loves the addressee and vice versa. But still, there is some unspecified factor getting in the way of the two of them actually settling down.
So the said factor would be why, as inferred by the title, the romance is not the same now “as it was” in its heyday. And unlike the addressee, the vocalist in particular seems to have made peace with that fact and for whatever it’s worth is ready to move on.
When did Harry Styles release “As It Was”?
This track serves as the lead single from “Harry’s House”, Harry Styles’ third solo LP, despite being the last song written for the project.
“As It Was” came out via Columbia Records on 1 April 2022, just a day prior to the writing of this post. Owing to that, it hasn’t charted or been certified yet. However, by the looks of things it is going to be very successful, as the video gained almost 3 million views on YouTube hours after it was released.
Harry is credited with writing this song alongside the track’s producers, Tyler Johnson and Kid Harpoon. The music video director is Tanu Muino, concurrently being one of the hottest names in the industry in that regard.
More Interesting Facts
It just so happened that the filming of the clip commenced at the same time Russia decided to invade the Ukraine, with Tanu herself being a Ukrainian. So Muino has stated that she and her countrymen who were involved in the making of the visual were quite emotional and as such “poured so much love into this video”.
The intro to this song is rendered by one Ruby Winston, who is five years old at the time. She is the daughter of British filmographer Ben Winston, who by the way directed Friends: The Reunion (2021). But more importantly to the matter at hand, he also produced the 2017 Harry Styles: Behind the Album documentary. Apparently he and Styles are close buds, as Harry is also Ruby’s godfather.
Recently, Olivia Wilde directed and co-starred in a movie entitled Don’t Worry Darling (2022) in which Harry, who has had a notable acting career as of late, takes on the role of “Jack”, the lead male character. It was during the filming of said flick that the two of them started dating early in 2021 and, as implied earlier, are still considered together as of the writing of this post.
On June 14th, 2022, “At It Was” went 2X Platinum in the United States with sales of 2 million units.
“As It Was” is without a shred of doubt one of the most successful singles of the year 2022. This tune was so successful that it topped the charts of over 30 nations around the world.
The song also scored Harry a top-10 hit in these countries: