Photo courtesy of Halsey | Instagram

Behind The Lyrics: What Halsey’s “Alone” Really Means

Halsey struggles with loneliness on her new single. 

If you’re a true Halsey fan, you know she isn’t shy from sharing her life with the world. Everything from her experiences living with bipolar disorder to her relationship with rising rap star G-eazy, Halsey is ready and able to talk openly and truthfully about it all. Her new single “Alone” is no exception to this rule.

With a new remix featuring Big Sean and U.K. rapper Stefflon Don out now, Halsey tells the tale of a social butterfly who can’t seem to make any deep connections with people at a party. As do most songs on her album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, “Alone” takes a lot of inspiration from the classic tale “Romeo and Juliet” which allows us to dive even deeper into its lyrics and uncover the true meaning of it all. Take a look!

[Verse 1]

Said he tried to phone me, but I never have time
He said that I never listen, but I don’t even try
I got a new place in Cali, but I’m gone every night
So I fill it with strangers so they keep on the lights
She said she told you she knows me, but the face isn’t right
She asked if I recognized her and I told her I might

A common theme in many of Halsey’s songs (“Strangers,” “Now or Never,” and “Sorry”) is strained relationships. Most often the love in Halsey’s life is too busy for her but now, the roles have reversed. In “Alone”, she’s too busy presumably because of her newfound fame and that’s not the only issue that arises. She has many people claiming they know her, but Halsey alludes to the fact that it’s untrue, they’ve only just met. 

In a Twitter Q&A, Halsey confirmed she took inspiration from The Great Gatsby as well as Romeo and Juliet for this song. In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby is known by many people but no one even knows what he looks like. Halsey faces a similar experience as she learns to cope with fame. 

[Pre-Chorus]

See, everywhere I go
I got a million different people tryna kick it
But I’m still alone in my mind, yeah

Halsey continues to emphasize the fact that fame is nothing like it seems. Sure there’s many people that adore you and want to be around you wherever you go but in fact, this can be extremely isolating as Halsey has experienced firsthand. Famous people have struggles too!

 

[Chorus]

I know you’re dying to meet me
But I can just tell you this
Baby, as soon as you meet me
You’ll wish that you never did
(You’ll wish that you never did)

In the chorus, Halsey highlights the irony she finds in her life experiences. So many people want to meet her and be friends with her because of the way she is presented on the outside but if they had the time to learn about her intimately, they may not feel the same anymore. We agree to disagree Halsey but to each their own! 

[Original Verse 2]

I stayed a night out in Paris where they don’t know my name
And I got into some trouble with that drink in my veins
I got a problem with parties ’cause it’s loud in my brain
And I can never say sorry ’cause I won’t take the blame
I know I always go missing and you’re lying awake
But if you ask why I’m distant, oh, I’m running away

In the second verse, Halsey gives an account of how she learns to cope with the struggles in her life. She finds refuge in far away cities where the people don’t recognize her. She drinks to ease the pain from all the parties. And if anyone were to ask her why she does this or why she is so distant, she would rather runaway than be honest. Or as we know learn, write a song about it! 

[Remix Verse 2 Big Sean]

Unh, look
I’m a real rare individual
I’m in the physical and the metaphysical (yeah)
I know you need your alone time, that’s critical
But I need some of your time, is that hypocritical?
Damn, you know I relate to you more than fam
So I won’t sit around and let you sink in quicksand
Look, I know you got million dollar plans
And you tryna build a brand, live a life in high demand
Swerving big b’s, your bag got little G’s
Gucci down to the socks like Biggie and Little Ceas’
Let’s hit the Maldives and hide behind palm trees
Little red wine, weed, and a calm breeze
‘Cause baby, you been living life inside a bubble
When the last time you had somebody hug you?
Hold up, when the last time you had somebody love you?
Hold up, when the last time you love someone who love you?

With the arrival of Big Sean’s verse on the remixed version, we’re given a bit more perspective into this complicated relationship. Big Sean understands what Halsey is going through, he’s experienced it too. And he’s offering a shoulder for her to lean on… somebody to love. They’ve got the money and power so why not runaway? Hit the Maldives and hide behind palm trees. A deal we wouldn’t pass on, so you shouldn’t either Halsey! 

Sure, you can call Halsey a musician but she’s a storyteller at heart. We want to know: what surprised you the most about this song? Tell us in the comments or over on Twitter @umusic

 

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