“The 30th” by Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish’s “The 30th” features a narrative in which none of the main points are directly stated. But Eilish has given a terse background of the real-incident upon which it is based. Also, the lyrics themselves are very understandable, though putting it all together requires some connecting of the dots on the part of the listener.

And perhaps the simplest way of relaying all that’s going down is by listing the main points in a linear fashion, even though they aren’t presented as such in the lyrics. 

Lyrics of “The 30th”

The story starts with Billie and a loved one being on the same road, perhaps also headed to the same location, but not traveling together, with said loved one being ahead of her. To note, Eilish identifies this road as “the 5”, which may be a reference to Interstate 5, a major route that passes through her home state of California.

So while traveling “on the 5” that day, she realizes that the road is unusually congested for the “early” time of day upon which she is on it. And getting some ways down, she sees that the cause of the jam is an accident, which of course on a major road isn’t anything uncommon. So it wasn’t until “late that night” that Eilish pieced together that it was actually that selfsame loved one who had been in that accident, i.e. being the person whom the ambulances were pulled over to attend to.

The Aftermath of the Accident

Fresh after the accident, when Billie was in the hospital with this person, the latter remembered the incident. But now, presumably a month later, he or she has forgotten. And the implication is that said individual, who is also the addressee of the lyrics, has suffered brain damage. This buttresses the notion that the accident he or she was in was a life-threatening one.

And further along those lines, Billie notices that now the addressee ‘stares into space’ just similar to how they used to do before all of this happened. But this reads like an observation she is making in an attempt to cleave to the past, in a manner of speaking. 

Or put more comprehensively, said loved one could have died on that day. And even though he or she didn’t, the seriousness of the incident is manifested in the addressee, as inferred, being permanently damaged thereafter.

Song’s Title, “The 30th”

That fateful day, by the way, was on the 30th  of November, presumably of 2021. And that is why this song is named “the 30th”. 

The way Billie has explained the situation is as if she took the personal trauma she experienced on that day and the month immediately following it and transformed then that emotion into this song. Billie never revealed who the addressee actually is. But it is such that, obviously, the 30 November will go on in history as one of the most-traumatic days of her calendar.

Lyrics to Billie Eilish's "The 30th"
Billie Eilish talks about "The 30th"

When was “The 30th” released?

This track is from a Billie Eilish project called “Guitar Songs”. The project is defined as an EP but is more akin to what the Asian music industry may call a mini album. That is to say that its playlist only consists of two songs, “The 30th” and “TV“, both of which Interscope Records and Darkroom Records surprise released on 21 July 2022.

Billie released four projects prior to this one, dating back to 2017’s “Don’t Smile at Me”, which was her debut album overall. That proved to be quite a successful outing, as it for instance has achieved RIAA platinum certification. 

But of course what Eilish is best known for is her debut full-length, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do we Go?”, which was one of the biggest hits of 2019. 

Credits

Throughout her massively successful career, Billie has been backed by another musician, her brother Finneas. The two of them also served as the writers and producers of “The 30th” (i.e. Billie singing, and Finneas playing all of the instruments therein).

Something Noteworthy:

For the record, Billie Eilish is 20 years old as of the release of “The 30th”. 

Her most recent album to date was 2021’s “Happier Than Ever”, an LP that was a major critical success but didn’t fare as well commercially. The songstress did point out that this song (“The 30th” was the first song she and Finneas composed after “Happier Than Ever”, as she insisted that he promptly assist her with it.

The 30th

9 Responses

  1. Paul New says:

    Love Billie and Finneas and their mom Maggie. Love their music but really love the families work to make this a better world..When I was in Seal and Huntington Beach visiting family saw them 3 times at the Forum in the town I went to College. Inglewood and Loyola U when I went there but now Loyola Marymount. The girls can go there now lol

  2. lee visser says:

    i feel so bad for her that she needed to go trough all of this pain, i listened to this song like a few second ago and it gave me goosebumps. im so sorry billie <333333

  3. Anonymous says:

    My birthday, ugh

  4. Anonymous says:

    Legit thought this was abt suicide

  5. Janis says:

    Absolutely a bone chilling song! I send prayers to whomever this song is about!

  6. emeline on yt :) says:

    i just feel so bad for her.
    she’s gone through hell can back.
    she doesn’t deserve this.
    and it’s so close to my bday! 🙁
    i’ll be sending prayers for her and her family. 🙁

  7. Wren says:

    As a music nerd, the dynamics of this song are incredible. the buildup in the bridge ending with the quiet “alive”…chills.

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