What is the deeper meaning of Harry Styles’ new single – As it Was?


Noor Kanaan

The meaning of a song can vary depending on who its’ listener is. Most of the time, artists have multiple meanings behind one song and like to keep it up to the listeners to interpret it as they’d like. This falls true for Harry Styles, as sometimes he allows his fans to have their own interpretations of what his songs really mean. 

On Friday, April 1st, As It Was by Harry Styles was released at 7 pm and fans instantly tried to analyze what it was about. After listening to it countless times and thinking over the lyrics, it is easy to say that the song is about his and his sister’s childhood as children of divorce. The second half of the first verse says, “Nothin’ to say, when everything gets in the way. Seems you cannot be replaced, and I am the one who will stay.” The person who cannot be replaced is inferred to be his father, making him the one who will stay behind with his mother. The chorus of the song repeats, “In this world, it’s just us. You know it’s not the same as it was.” This can refer to Harry and his sister, Gemma, after their parents’ divorce. He’s saying in this world, it’s just them and it will never be the same due to this event. 

Verse two gets more into the childhood divorce theory while shining light on his current adult life. “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? Ringing the bell, and nobody’s coming to help. Your daddy lives by himself, just wants to know that you’re well.”  The first three lines can show similarities to his current life, mainly focusing on how he lives on his own without his family and so does his father. “Answer the phone, Harry you’re no good alone” could be a metaphor for his dad trying to call and him not picking up. As stated in the beginning, everyone can have their own interpretations of the song, however, this is just my take on it. 

Going to the bridge, listeners have various ideas of what these lines really mean. “Go home, get ahead. Light-speed internet, I don’t want to talk about the way that it was. Leave America, 2 kids follow her, I don’t want to talk about who’s doing it first.” Not wanting to talk about the way things were can refer to the years spent before the divorce and how it used to be. When he says, “Leave America, 2 kids follow her,” it stood out that the two children could possibly be Harry and Gemma. Those are just a handful of connections and evidence to support the theory that the song is about Harry’s childhood, mainly focusing on him and his sisters’ experience through the divorce. 

Everything in the song, including the music video, can be analyzed and theorized. There is so much more that can support the theory that it is about his childhood as well as small other ideas, but these are the main ones. Throughout Harry’s career, both solo and in One Direction, songs may have one concrete meaning, though Styles likes to allow fans to interpret them the way they’d like. This is one of the interpretations not just by me but by many people in the fandom.