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.


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.


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.

“Isn’t it lovely, all alone?
Heart made of glass, my mind of stone
Tear me to pieces, skin to bone
Hello, welcome home”

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
By early 2023, this video had garnered over 1.7 billion views on YouTube. This makes it one of the platform’s most viewed videos!

Meaning of “Lovely”: By Another Hand

During  a lengthy explanation she provided for this song, Billie Eilish first stated that “the lyrics don’t mean sh*t” but later went on to clarify that they are open to listener interpretation. And it is important to point that out from the get-go, because it can be argued that the different passages aren’t congruent, and there are also what can be deemed open-ended statements made throughout.

As the original story goes, Billie Eilish is an actual friend of Khalid, to the point that he can even come over to her house and chill with the fam, i.e. she and Finneas. During one of such chillin’ sessions, the trio proceeded to write “Lovely”, with Finneas using the months that followed to produce the track. 

So that would, depending on one’s perspective, mean these lyrics may leave something to be desired in terms of comprehensiveness, because there wasn’t much time dedicated to developing them.

For example, the first verse gives the impression that we may be dealing with a song about a troubled romance, whereas the vocalist comes off as someone who wants to get away from the addressee but instead has found herself stuck. 

But the pre-chorus that follows then sorta implies that said addressee may be along the lines of a personification of depression or feeling trap, i.e. some type of internal feeling that the vocalist feels s/he must escape. 

“Oh, I hope some day I’ll make it out of here
Even if it takes all night or a hundred years
Need a place to hide, but I can’t find one near
Wanna feel alive, outside I can’t fight my fear”

But then, the chorus itself once again gives the impression that this is an interpersonal situation, whereas the singer may be the victim of a toxic lover.  The second verse then goes on to basically buttress the sentiment behind the first version and pre-chorus, i.e. the vocalist’s unignorable preoccupation with escaping this situation.

The Sarcasm of “Lovely”

So as Eilish has also noted in her own words, the title of the song, within the context of the chorus, is meant to be sarcastic. So too would be the expression “hello, welcome home”, i.e. the final line of the chorus, since what’s being implied throughout is that the vocalist would rather be anyplace but home. Or at least that’s our ultimate interpretation of “Lovely”.

Perhaps Billie, Khalid and Finneas didn’t specifically set out to create a song of this nature. But Eilish is an artist who has made a name for herself by focusing on darker topics than traditional teenage-girl industry fare. 

And relatedly, the consistent storyline permeating throughout this piece apparently revolves around the vocalist being in some type of disturbing situation that she can’t get out of. 

Billie/ Khalid comes off as the type of character who for example may be married and trying to figure out a method to get away from his or her spouse but can’t perceive any way since their lives are so intertwined. 

Or it can be more generally argued that the vocalist represents someone who has a really-strong desire to leave home but being devoid of “a place to hide” cannot readily do so.

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:

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.

Billie Eilish and Khalid

Got something to say about “Lovely”? We’re all ears!

“The first time I actually paid attention to ‘Lovely’ was when I saw Billie’s mesmerizing performance at Lollapalooza in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Since then the song has become a source of comfort and relief for me during times of distress. It would be a dream come true to see her perform it at any festival.”

– Karl

“‘Lovely’ has been a crucial source of comfort and relief for me. It’s one of the songs that helped me battle depression. The line – ‘But I know some day I’ll make it out of here’ kept echoing in my head, and it gave me the strength to keep going. Looking back, I realize that I did make it through, and the song will always hold a special place in my heart. It literally saved my life during one of the most depressing chapters of my existence in Stockholm.”

– Anders

Heart of Glass

“My husband made me fall in love with this song years ago. Long before it was officially released, he used to describe me as someone with a ‘heart made of glass, my mind of stone’, which happens to be a line in the song. He explained that while I possess great mental strength, I also have a gentle and caring heart.”

– Mariam May

My Battle with Addiction

“I have no shame in admitting to the world that I used to struggle with addiction. In addition to the therapy sessions I had with my doctors, I can confidently say that this track played a significant role in my journey to recovery. The lyrics, ‘Oh, I hope some day I’ll make it out of here’ and ‘Even if it takes all night or a hundred years’ got me feeling I was going to get out of my addiction and I eventually did.”

Martini Lopez

Don’t Sell Your Soul

“From a spiritual perspective, ‘Lovely’ delves into the theme of selling one’s soul and the inner turmoil that arises from this decision. The song suggests that in order to overcome these struggles, one should strive to do good and engage in positive actions. Even though the journey may be challenging and overwhelming, determination and perseverance can lead to a victory.”

– Joe Stewart


46 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.

    • SMF says:

      We are beyond sorry for your loss.

    • yeet says:

      oh s*it im so sorry that sucks

    • Sky says:

      This song reminds me of getting assaulted and harassed and I just cant get it out of my head and I hate it replaying in my head and it feels like sometimes in class I will have a mental breakdown but I cant because I have to hold my tears in and I hate it but at home I can have space and have my breakdowns

      • Rita says:

        “Lovely” is my second favourite song on the soundtrack of Season 2 of Brian Yorkey’s “13 Reasons Why” TV series. Selena Gomez’s “Back to You” is my number one song from that movie.

  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

  15. Shadow says:

    The first time i heard this song, it was beautiful. I’m going through the same depression.

  16. TreyC says:

    I really like the song it hits right where its supposed to I’ve been struggling and when I heard it, it had a meaning in my mind and I had to see if it was the same meaning to the vocalists

  17. Andy P. says:

    I didn’t even need to know the meaning behind the song, the whole lyrics and arrangements, the sounds, the clip, everything in it, is the sole description of being me.

    I’ve just became accustomed with my misery that I’ve started to love being miserable.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful song, with such an important theme and meaning. So many people feel the same

  19. UGH STFU says:

    I thinking everyone in their life cried for this song because it’s a beautiful song but sad also a lot people was quarantine and spent depressed in their bed watching tv probably!

  20. Steph says:

    Sometimes we can relate to this song because when the covid happened everyone was quarantine for a month or more but everyone was depressed that they couldn’t see their family or friend and that was f–king bullsh-t (my opinion). Probably a lot of people killed themselves because they probably heard a lot of people dying they wanted to see how it felt (I think so please don’t think I think this at all) Thank you and Goodnight!

  21. Shawn S says:

    My interpretation was they are expressing how this generation is being raised drugged up from doctors and physiatrists. IDK

  22. Anonymous says:

    I was so in love with this guy who had just gone through a really hard breakup and we both had such an amazing connection. It felt as if it was perfect. I knew that he needed time and I knew that we rushed into our “relationship”. He sung me this song and I’ve never been able to forget it.

  23. kalule julius says:

    The song is so warning
    U might think that you found a way (dealing with devil) then will regret soon
    Thanks to production management
    U really turned it reality
    So depressing situation yet make you feel creative. So “lovely”.

  24. Sky says:

    This song reminds me of me getting ab*sed and sexually assluted and harrased and it feels like I cant stop rembering it

  25. Luna says:

    I have the same vocal range as Billie
    Avocado girl??????

  26. LelANderson says:

    The video accurately pictorialized deep depression resulting from the loss of the joy of being loved so deeply…that there was no created place for that level of love to go higher or more intense…the tickle one feels being in-love evaporates…the sudden void of emotions leaves the human mind seemingly powerless to use introspection to reach back to the state of accepting or giving love being to pointless to move to a better state of mind.

  27. Aidan says:

    This song is the #1 song of Billie Eilish has made. EVER at least to me. Recommended

  28. Loresa says:

    Beautiful song nice broooo well done very catchy dj drop that beat mannn

  29. Lili says:

    I’m not depressed but this song is relatable. The Violin tune is beautiful the artistry behind the video is outstanding the lyrics and the production, everything about this is are markable piece of work!

  30. Angel says:

    It’s not about depression , it’s about what the world is engulfing us in, it’s about what we are slaves to. To them it’s probably the chains they were wearing that wasn’t allowing them escape from death(the water that surrounded). They both didn’t want to let go of the chains and at the same time not die, so they are probably anticipating help from someone on the outside. They want a win win but it’s not possible. The chains(material things ) are heavy you either let go of a large portion of them to survive or loose them when dying .

  31. Ahmed says:

    Billie Eilish and Khalid actually met each other on social media. According to Billie, she had been a fan of Khalid long before they met. She said she first saw him on Twitter and thought that he was so cool and that his voice was brilliant and crazy. Khalid DMed her and asked if they could work on a song together. The pair eventually met in person at a music industry event, and their creative chemistry led to their collaboration on “Lovely”.

  32. Robert says:

    While modern music is not typically my go-to choice, I must admit that I am absolutely obsessed with “Lovely.” In fact, it was through this song that I discovered Khalid and his song “American Teen,” my new favourite song.

  33. Jake says:

    “Lovely” is a good song but it’s not my thing. It feels like I am being punished whenever I listen to it. The song reminds me of my current situation. I have a great passion for soccer, which is not a bad thing in itself. However, the problem is, over the years I have developed an addiction to betting on soccer matches. This harmful habit has started to affect my finances and is even causing tensions at home. I have a strong desire to stop but I can’t and I get defencive whenever help is offered

  34. Anonymous says:

    i listened to this song on repeat after I was raped, it soothed my soul

  35. Bleka vital says:

    This song has such a perfect meaning to it. To bad I didn’t hear it when it was released. It’s so deep especially now that i’m going through a lot in my life because my mom always mistreated me yelled at me and even saying hurtful words. Listening to this song makes me have courage to fight and get a life of my own. Love it!!

  36. Bleka vital says:

    This song has such a vibration that every time I listen to it makes me cry. Thinking of everything I’ve been through with my family who dislike me, my mother who is always yelling and saying hurtful words. This song is my stress reliever.

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