Harry Styles’ “Lights Up” Lyrics Meaning
“Lights Up” is a 2019 song recorded and performed by English singer Harry Styles of the noted boy band One Direction. “Lights Up” is widely considered one of the trickiest Harry Styles songs to interpret simply because of how ambiguous the lyrics are. Honestly, the lyrics are so cleverly ambiguous that deciphering them isn’t the easiest thing to do. But that being said, we shall try to decode their meaning here (as usual).
In the first verse, Harry talks about never going back down or coming around to a certain place. Interestingly enough, some fans have translated that ambiguous statement to be about Harry talking about his gender identity. What makes fans even more convinced that this is exactly what Harry is talking about is because the song was officially released on October 11th, 2019 (which is the same date as the LGBTQ’s National Coming Out Day).
Many a Harry Styles fan believes that their hero is finally embracing who he truly is. But the million dollar question is this: Is Harry really doing that? We are not 100% sure that is what he means by that.
And why are we not totally sure about that? We are skeptical because it could also mean that he is talking about finally having the courage and appetite to embrace his career as a solo artist (having left One Direction).
Harry begins the song’s chorus by singing about how “all the lights” are unable to put out the darkness dwelling in his heart. He goes on to talk about how people now know who he is because the lights are finally up. This is where the song’s title (“Lights Up”) comes from. In simple terms, the lights are now up and shining brightly upon him, thereby making who he truly is apparent to all. But then he appears a little bit confused about who he truly is. And why? Because he ends the chorus with a very important question. He asks himself if he knows who he truly is. The lights might have come up, lit him up and made people know who he is. But the big question he has for himself is – does he really know who he is?
In the track’s bridge, he encourages himself multiple times to shine and “step into the light”. By this he is insinuating that he has been hiding from the light. But what does he really mean by the term “light”? Is it another word for the spotlight? Or is it just a metaphor for coming out? Like was said above, many fans think it is the latter.
That being said, Harry (who has now apparently made his way “into the light”) vows never to go back from where he came. He basically won’t step out of “the light” because in “the light”, he has found the comfort he has been looking for all this while. Again many fans interpret that as Harry insinuating he is never going back to girls because he has now accepted that he is gay. But some also think he is talking about never going back to One Direction.
The second verse of the song finds Harry reiterating his vow never to move out (obviously from the light). He then ends the song with the chorus. And again, he wraps up the whole song by asking the very important question: “Do you know who you are?”
But here comes the twist! It is possible that all this while, whereas it may appear that Harry is asking himself the aforementioned question, this might just not be the case! He might actually be posing this question to you (the listener). As for him, the lights are up and now he knows who God made him to be. But what about you doing the listening? Do you really know who you are?
Is “Lights Up” really about Harry Styles coming out as Gay?
Many fans think so. However, it should be noted that there’s no concrete evidence that this is what he is saying in the song. But what is definitely apparent is that Harry is trying to tell the world something really important. And we are tempted to believe it has a lot to do with his gender identity. And why do we have this suspicion? The fact that Harry released this song on Friday, 11 October (which once again is the “National Coming Out Day” of 2019) is way too much to ignore! When you put the pieces of the puzzle together, you end up with the picture Harry Styles is cleverly painting!
Writing Credits for “Lights Up”
Harry Styles co-wrote “Lights Up” with songwriters Tyler Johnson and Kid Harpoon. In addition to being a co-writer, Johnson also takes sole credit for producing the track.
Like was said multiple times above, “Lights Up” was released and made available for purchase on Friday the 11th, 2019. The release date coincided with the LGBT community’s annual “National Coming Out Day” (which is also known as NCOD).
The song is officially the first single from Harry’s sophomore studio album. As of the release date of the song, its album’s title is unknown.