Billie Eilish analyzed her songs and reflected on her career while putting her knowledge to the test during Variety‘s “Know Their Lyrics” presented by Lifetime.
Quizzing the singer on some of her most iconic lyrics the first cut was from her 2021 track “Getting Older.” Reading from a card (without musical context clues) the singer repeated, “Things I once enjoyed just keep me employed now / Things I’m longing for someday I’ll be bored of.” She immediately recognized the opening number to her sophomore album “Happier Than Ever” and commented, “good choice.”
“I think about this line a lot in my life,” Eilish said. “This line bums me out so bad. Anytime I’m excited about something or really feeling any kind of excitement, I always think about this line. It’s in my head, ‘Things you’re longing for, you’ll be bored of.’ And not necessary bored of, everything we long for and crave and are excited for one day [we will be] bored of or used to or it will be over… But it’s also what’s so fun about life is that we change and we keep changing, and then we keep getting excited about the next thing … We should embrace that, but it’s also a huge bummer.”
Eilish was then presented with the lyrics, “When did it end? All the enjoyment” from the song she co-wrote for the blockbuster film “Barbie” titled, “What Was I Made For?” To the singer, that lyric wraps up the entire sentiment behind the songm, “it’s a question that everyone has, or can, ask themselves.”
“I’ve spent my life loving girls and being really worried that they hate me, for some reason, and wanting to impress them.” Thus, for Eilish, seeing how many women resonated with the lyrics was the most rewarding part of creating the song: “I felt like one with the girls.”
Next, Eilish recounted her experiences working on “Lo Vas a Olvidar” with Rosalía and “Everything I Wanted” with her brother Finneas O’Connell. When presented with lyrics from “Bad Guy,” she reflected on the 2019 Grammys where she took home six awards, scoring both song and record of the year for “Bad Guy.” “I think very fondly of that night,” she said.
Eilish delved into her “Survivor” obsession when presented with the lyrics “I put on ‘Survivor’ just to watch somebody suffer / Maybe I should get some sleep” from “TV.” “I kinda wanna go on it,” she admitted. “I think that the physical stuff, I’d be great at. But you have to do math and shit, and I would not be good at.”
To close out the knowledge test, Eilish was given the lyrics, “I’ve never fallen from quite this high” from her debut single “Ocean Eyes.” She recalled sitting in a Starbucks when she got a call from her brother that “Ocean Eyes” hit 1,000 plays. “Nothing like this is ever gonna happen again, and this is my moment, and I’m gonna just take it in, and I’m so grateful for this, it’s so cool,” she remembered thinking. “Then, the next week it was on the radio, and then, here we are.”
“If it weren’t for that song, I don’t think I would be sitting here at all,” Eilish said. Watch the full breakdown above.