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Behind the Meaning of “As It Was” by Harry Styles

May 30, 2023
as it was meaning

Harry Styles, the renowned English singer, songwriter, and actor, has captivated audiences with his unique sound and style since his early days as a member of the popular boy band, One Direction.

His solo career has taken him to new heights, and his music has garnered critical acclaim and a devoted fan base.

One such track that stands out for its profound meaning and thought-provoking lyrics is “As It Was.”

Released as part of his highly acclaimed second studio album, Fine Line, the song offers a captivating journey through self-reflection and the search for authenticity in a world filled with uncertainties.

This article will analyze the profound meaning behind Harry Styles’ “As It Was.”

It will delve into the song’s evocative lyrics, examining the emotions they convey and the underlying themes they explore.

By unraveling the layers of this introspective masterpiece, we hope to shed light on the universal human experience that Styles so eloquently captures.

Background of The Song

“As It Was” did very well on the charts.

It made history by spending 15 weeks on the Billboard Top 100.

Only three songs in history have done better: “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, and “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X.

The music video for the song also won two MTV awards for Best Pop Song and Best Cinematography.

It was hailed for its high-energy synth-pop sound, which differed from what Styles had done before.

Song Opening

The song starts with a recording of a little girl saying, “Come on, Harry, we wanna say goodnight to you.”

In an interview, Styles said it was from his goddaughter Ruby Winston’s message.

“At the song’s beginning, it’s my goddaughter,” Styles said.

“She had been calling me every night before bed, but I missed one, and she wanted me to know she was furious at me. Then I found it again in the studio and put it at the beginning of the song, and it just stayed there. It was great!”

Adding the message initially was a fluke, but it worked out well in the end.

The rest of the song is about many different things, such as the struggle between being alone and trying to reach out.

The Pandemic & Isolation

Styles wrote the song when there was a global lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many people, including celebs, felt lonely and isolated during that time.

It might be the biggest understatement of the century to say that the world isn’t the same “as it was” before the global outbreak.

But he also commented on how much his life as an actor and singer has changed since he was discovered.

In one interview, he said that the pandemic slowed down his life and made him reflect on himself as an artist, a friend, a partner, and a family member.

Since One Direction broke up in 2015, Styles has been making songs independently.

He has also started acting, appearing in movies like “Dunkirk,” “Eternals,” and “Don’t Worry, Darling.”

But he has also said in interviews that, even though he knows how the music industry works, he still thinks of himself as a young player who is still learning the ropes.

In the years leading up to “As It Was,” there have been a lot of significant changes in his life, so it’s not surprising that he feels a bit lonely and afraid of how fast things are moving.

This feeling is a recurring theme in the song.

Answer the phone
“Harry, you’re no good alone.
Why are you sitting at home on the floor?
What kind of pills are you on?”

These lines from the second verse describe how isolation made him feel about himself and how he thought he wasn’t at his best when alone.

Still, as many of us do, he avoided people who tried to contact him.

Childhood Trauma

Fans of the song have said that, despite having a fast beat, it makes them feel very nostalgic.

In one line, a father who lives alone and wants to get in touch with his child is mentioned.

The line could reference that Styles’ parents split up when he was only seven years old.

Styles Relationships With Taylor Swift & Olivia Wilde

Styles went public with his relationship with actor and director Olivia Wilde in January 2021.

He had met her on the set of the movie “Don’t Worry, Darling”.

The media paid a lot of attention to the relationship, especially when there were stories about when she and her fiance Jason Sudeikis broke up.

Styles and Wilde had been dating for a few weeks before they told people they were together.

In late 2020, she broke up with Sudeikis and started dating Styles three months later.

“As It Was” has a line that seems to be about Wilde: “Leave America, two kids follow her.”

She has two kids with Sudeikis.

Their names are Otis and Daisy. It is said that the kids get along well with Styles.

Styles and Wilde, who first met in Los Angeles, are said to have moved together in London.

They have talked publicly about how hard it is to be in a relationship with two bustling, high-profile figures whose schedules often clash and take them to different parts of the world.

With all of these things in mind, it seems clear that Styles’ song “As It Was” is about his experiences in a long-distance relationship.

Some fans think he wrote the song in tribute to his ex-girlfriend Swift, even though the references to his relationship with Wilde are clear.

Between 2012 and 2013, Swift and Styles dated for only a few months.

This was almost a decade before “As It Was” was recorded.

He has also dated many top celebrities in the ten years since they broke up, including Nicole Scherzinger, Kendall Jenner, and Camille Row.

So, why would he mention a short relationship from years ago?

Fans have pointed out that Styles and Swift like to write songs about things that have happened to them personally.

Both of them have written about their relationship in the past.

For example, she mentioned him in songs like “Style” and “All You Had to Do Was Stay.”

People say that his song “Two Ghosts” is about her.

What’s even more interesting is that the song is about two people who break up and seem to get back together.

It’s not as evident as in their old songs, but fans with keen eyes have noticed that Styles and Swift’s relationship followed a similar, rocky pattern.

Styles Explanation

In a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Styles talks about writing songs about ex-lovers, asking, “Is it okay if a song is about someone? Or will that bother them if people try to figure out what it says?”

We can only guess what “As It Was” means.

Styles has said that his music is often based on feelings and experience and can’t be pinned down to one person or meaning.

He has also said he prefers to avoid explaining his songs’ meaning.

Instead, he likes to think of them as poetry that can be interpreted differently.

We can make knowledgeable guesses about the meaning of “as it was,” but we might never know for sure.

Cool Facts About “As It Was” by Harry Styles

“As It Was” was the most-played song in the United States in a single day, with 8.3 million plays in the first 24 hours after it was released.

“As It Was” also broke the record for the most-streamed track by a male artist on Spotify worldwide in 24 hours, with 16,103,849 plays on its first day on the platform.

Styles sang this song at the Grammy Awards in 2023, where Harry’s House beat out Adele’s “30” and Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” to win Album of the Year.

Harry Styles showed his big heart by ensuring that most people working on his music video were Ukrainian.

As the war in Ukraine continues, many creative Ukrainians need ways to support their families and show the rest of the world that they are still alive.

Harry gave his team a chance to work on one of the year’s biggest songs, and he named Ukraine in the Vevo Music Video credits.

Tanu Muino directed the music video, and Molly Hawkins was responsible for the creative direction.

You may also like: Best Pop Songs of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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