Meaning of “Lovely” by Billie Eilish & Khalid

First off, let it be known that the title of this track (“Lovely”) is in fact sarcastic. By all accounts neither one of the vocalists is actually feeling “lovely”, as any normal human being would define the word. But in terms of how the term is being applied throughout, it can be said that, once again mockingly, they are trying to make the best out of a depressing situation.

It could be understood that Billie Eilish, based on her narrative, is dealing with the aftermath of having her heart broken.  And she thought that by this juncture in time she would have already been able to put her ex behind her. However, to the contrary, it seems as if he is ‘never going away’. So now she has basically accepted the permanency of the situation.

It has also been put forth that the “you” she is addressing isn’t a person but rather a personification of depression itself. But either way the conclusion is the same – the singer is stuck with less-than-favorable thought processes, or perhaps we can say emotions, in her head and heart.

Meanwhile Khalid is seeking a remedy from his own mental demons, so to speak. But unfortunately, as with Eilish doing so appears to be borderline impossible. Or stated differently he is always thinking about something, with that something most likely being melancholic. Or stated alternatively yet again, he is afflicted by a malady which some people would refer to as overthinking.

Choruses of “Lovely”

Meanwhile the choruses feature the singers expressing their feelings in unison. In the pre-chorus, it is revealed that they both earnestly desire to best their aforementioned misery. And they are willing to dedicate any amount of time necessary to achieving this goal. Yet at the same time, at the moment the prospect of actually realizing said aspiration is not looking optimistic at all. Or perhaps the best way to explain what’s going down, albeit metaphorically, is that no one can hide from their own inner thoughts and feelings.

Then in the chorus is when the aforementioned sarcasm is manifest. The vocalists are more or less making fun of their sorrowful states. But of course such a sentiment is not meant to be taken literally. Rather it alludes to the whole gloomy feeling of this tune and what can be concluded as being its thesis sentiment. And that is neither one of the singers feel as if their sadness will be alleviated anytime in the foreseeable future.

So the way they perceive the situation is that being depressed is in fact the new norm, if you will, as far as their dispositions are concerned.

Summary

The lyrics of “Lovely” find both singers attempting to surmount the sadness and depression drowning them. Throughout the song, they sarcastically put forth that they have become accustomed to being depressed.

Lyrics of "Lovely"

How the song’s title was birthed

During an April 2018 interview with Zane Lowe on Apple’s Beats 1, Eilish explained how they came up with adjective “lovely” as the title of the track. According to the singer, she and her team found the song so depressing they began to think to themselves “oh how lovely”.

Here are the exact words Eilish said to Lowe regarding the song’s title:

Billie Eilish talks about the song "Lovely" with Zane Lowe

Facts about “Lovely”

Three songwriters/artists wrote “Lovely”. They are Billie Eilish, Khalid and Finneas O’Connell. The latter is also an actor and music producer. He is the older brother of Eilish. He is known for writing and producing Eilish’s songs, including hits such as “Hostage” and “When the Party’s Over”.

Finneas handled the song’s entire production all by himself.

On April 19, 2018, “Lovely” was premiered on Beats 1. It was released as the first single from the debut album of Eilish. The track can also be found on the soundtrack of the teen drama web TV series 13 Reasons Why.

“Lovely” consists of two verses, two pre-choruses, two choruses and an outro. All of these sections are sung simultaneously by both singers.

It is noteworthy that the title of this track is stylized/written in lowercase letters. Thus the song’s title is officially “lovely”.

This tune was officially Eilish’s second single of 2018. As for Khalid, it marked his second single for the year in question.

This song has been sampled multiple times by American rapper Juice WRLD. For example, he sampled it in the 2018 track “Karma”. “Karma” is actually a skit from his 2018 album “Goodbye & Good Riddance”.

Who played the violin on “Lovely”?

The beautiful violin you hear on the track was played by American musician and YouTube star Madison Leinster.

Was an official music video made for “Lovely”?

Yes. The clip, which stars both Eilish and Khalid, was released on April 26, 2018. We have put the clip below for your viewing pleasure:

By early 2021, this video had garnered over a billion views on YouTube. This makes it one of the platform’s most viewed videos!

Is this the first time Billie Eilish and Khalid are working together?

Yes. Working on the track was the first time that both Khalid and Eilish got the opportunity to collaborate. According to Eilish, the moment she heard Khalid’s work for the first time, she was instantly drawn to him. Her brother, Finneas, who produced the track, also had something good to say about Khalid. In an Instagram post, Finneas said Khalid was one of his favorite artists. He added that he felt lucky to call Khalid a friend.

On which episode of 13 Reasons Why, can the song “Lovely” be heard?

It appears on the episode titled “Bye”. “Bye” is the final episode of the season two of the show.

21 Responses

  1. Amber says:

    This was very helpful and made me cry because it means a lot in the lyrics

  2. Gene says:

    Very meaningful lyrics, very relatable

  3. Moewai and Manaia says:

    i like the song bc its pretty and i like the lyrics.
    i would like to meet you one day.❤

  4. Avalon Artemis says:

    I like the song bc I think that its really cool and your my fav singer, and that i really want to meet yoiu someday. i write songs and sing them to.

  5. Rose says:

    Woah! i never really thought the lyrics meant anything!
    i know that other song did! like “goodbye” and “i love you” and “8”.
    but, this is a very sad song if i think about it this way…
    before i heard u thought about ” oh how lovely” i already though “oh how lovely’
    i would go to your concert in the Netherlands… but because of the virus that’s not gonna happen i think! Well I’m crossing my fingers that the virus is going to be gone so fast as possible.

  6. Jaime A. says:

    This song always makes me cry, but in a good way. I can always relate to it, especially the “drowning in sadness and depression” part. I’ve been suffering with it for a long time, and this song really helps me.

  7. Daddy Biden says:

    It’s a very good song and it’s irony but deep lyrics makes it a really good song.

  8. Deb says:

    I watched the video of Lovely. I instantly related to the depression. But, it also indicates that It’s only for a while. Which gives hope to all.

  9. Joy of sadness says:

    I can’t help but listen to this song when I’m on the break of getting tears. I want to feel sadness to remember all the people I loved to feel the joy of sadness.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This hit home. I left a domestic violence situation, but he still has some control over, through my kids. So this put some much of how I feel going through my life struggles right now. I found myself in these lyrics

  11. Solah Adinasi(kpopcoffee) says:

    This means so much

  12. Conny says:

    Our daughter wanted this song on her funeral. She committed suicide.

  13. anonymous says:

    this song was the only thing that understood me. music helped me get trough so much without anyone knowing this song related to me

  14. Anonymous says:

    this song got me through some shii

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