Melanie Martinez’s “The Contortionist” Lyrics Meaning

A “contortionist” is a type of circus performer, if you will, who is able to twist their body in ways that most of us wouldn’t dare. And whereas, to some extent, the pre-chorus of the song can be taken as if Melanie is likening herself to such an individual in a sexual context, more to the point is the title alluding to the Martinez, in her own words, “being over backwards for someone who doesn’t accept you as you are”.

“Bending over backwards” is a metaphor pointing to when you go out of your way or go the extra mile to please someone. In this case, the person behaving in such a manner would be the vocalist, and whom she is dedicated to in that regard is the addressee. 

And actually, the lyrics don’t read as if she’s so compliant by choice. Instead, it’s as if this person she loves is treating her in such a way that she is sacrificing her self-esteem and mental health to appease them.

Or more accurately, Melanie has been doing so up until now, as the thesis sentiment revolves around the vocalist having grown tired of subjecting herself to such abuse. And she even proceeds to mock the addressee in that regard, that now this person will not be able to use her as they had before. 

So maybe the moral of the story is that said individual should have realized the torment he or she was putting the narrator through before the situation reached where it is now, whereas their very relationship may be in jeopardy.

“I’m done, I’m done
Done doing backbends
I break and I snap, It’s no fun, no fun
Pushed myself into a box, while you held out a gun
I’m done, ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha
I’m done, I’m done, ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha”


“The Contortionist” is the ninth track on the playlist of Melanie Martinez’s third studio album, a project titled “Portals”, which Atlantic Records made public on 31 March 2023.

The song was written by Martinez and CJ Baran, the latter of whom serves as the executive producer of Portals.

And the teasing of the song, according to Melanie’s Fandom wiki, dates back to mid-February, 2023.

15 Responses

  1. Melanie Martinez Fan says:

    I could honestly relate to this song for my crush. They don’t like me but I go out of my way for them ????

    • Anonymous says:

      Completely agree. I’d say I’m going through the same thing.

    • nymph says:

      I feel the same. My crush is so toxic and rude but I do so much to impress them and they don’t care and I go out of my way just to get pushed back down. I don’t think I’ll ever give up

      • Jade says:

        I just went through this. When I was crushing on my ‘crush’ (ex-crush now), I used to do anything to try and get their attention. I literally changed the way I looked and acted around them all so they could like me. I did this so much that I began to lose my true self in the process…

  2. Anonymous says:

    me rn I’ll literally give my friend the best whether it be money- games- and my own time but I never see the same effort or a simple thank you

  3. Anonymous says:

    I kinda thought it was abt that and kidnapping bc she says “pushed myself into a box while you held out a gun” I thought it meant she was getting in a box in the back of a car bc she didn’t want to get shot (or they)

  4. Anonymous says:

    this was helpful

  5. Nutella♡ says:

    Honestly I think it’s about rape

  6. Anonymous says:

    i love how melanie makes it so you can put yourself into her music

  7. Carmen says:

    You know, I kinda regret ever having a crush on a toxic dude.

  8. Villiana Meadows says:

    I love the sound effects and distorted laugh. I thought she was saying” i’m dying” but she is saying “i’m done” and that to me makes it so much more impactful. Meliane is a saint and I love them so much. Thanks for the new album MM.

    • SMF says:

      You’re actually not alone in thinking that. The first time I heard it, I also assumed she was saying “I’m dying”.

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