Meaning of “Revolution 0” by boygenius

With band member and singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers being a huge fan of Elliott Smith, it’s no wonder “Revolution 0” has many links to his life and career. Smith has also covered many of The Beatles’ tracks, as he was greatly influenced by them.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for boygenius's Revolution 0 at

With that said, the original name of this track (“Revolution 0”) was actually “Paul is Dead”, which was meant to address the controversial story around The Beatles’ Paul McCartney’s supposed death.

But this is where it gets interesting.

Aside from references of The Beatles’ and Smith’s works, one can also safely say the track includes references of the relationship between Bridgers and Irish actor, Paul Mescal. The pair started interacting via Twitter in May 2020, which blossomed into a relationship during the COVID-19 lockdown, leading to being engaged.

There have been many speculations that the pair called it quits somewhere in late 2022. In fact, Bridgers said in an interview with Rolling Stone that “Revolution 0” is about “falling in love online”.

With that said, let’s dive in deeper.

The first verse aims to show that Bridgers still care about this person, despite having broken up with them. She thinks of them as her “imaginary friend”, proving that they still live in her head rent-free. Even post break-up, what this person once told her still mattered as she is listening to their advice to make music. Furthermore, she’s willing to start a fight with any culprit who messes with her former partner.

The track develops to showcase her depression and heartache as she questions if her feelings are considered as ‘love’. Perhaps, this relationship died out as the partner felt there wasn’t love present between the two anymore. Either way, it definitely made the narrator question her actions and thoughts.

“I don’t wanna die, that’s a lie.
But I’m afraid to get sick.”

With the blues present, it can make anyone feel tired and hopeless. And at these times, death is the easiest way out instead of having to deal with being sick.

She ultimately feels that if her former partner is not around, then it’s not worth living. 

Release of “Revolution 0”

“Revolution 0”, which is the seventh track on boygenius’ first full length album titled “The Record”, was issued together with its album on the 31st of March 2023.


This piece was authored and produced by the members of boygenius who are as follows:

  • Julien Baker
  • Phoebe Bridgers
  • Lucy Dacus
Revolution 0

“The Record”

Released via Interscope Records, this Indie rock project was supported by a total of four singles. Three lead singles were released on January 18 of 2023.  They are:

A final single from “The Record” album dropped on March 1 of 2023. This song is titled “Not Strong Enough“.

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