“Everything I Wanted” is a song written by Billie Eilish and her brother FINNEAS. I chose this song for song of the week because I feel there are a few different ways to look at the meaning and I want to go deep into that. According to Eilish and her brother, the song is mostly about their unbreakable bond but the lyrics make me think there is a lot more to it then that.
Let’s start with the title and how it interacts with the other lyrics in the song. In the first verse the lyrics state ” I had a dream / I got everything I wanted / Not what you’d think / And if I’m being honest / It might’ve been a nightmare / To anyone who might care / Thought I could fly / So I stepped off the golden / Nobody cried / Nobody even noticed.” The main plot line in the song is this dream Eilish has about killing herself and nobody caring. She did in fact have this dream in real life and it’s what inspired the song. Moreover, The words everything I wanted could be thought of in two ways. First, The thing she wanted could be fame and maybe it’s not what she thought it would be. I would like to point out that wanted is in past tense so she no longer wants what she is talking about. Maybe she feels like nobody truly cares about her now that she is a celebrity. All in all, The nightmare could be about her fear of people only liking her for her fame and not for who she is. The other more morbid way to look at it is that suicide is what she always wanted. There is not much more to say on that perspective but the wording leaves the song open to both interpretations.
She continues with the full length chorus after this. ” But when I wake up, I see / You with me / And you say, ‘As long as I’m here, no one can hurt you’ / Don’t wanna lie here, but you can learn to / If I could change the way that you see yourself / You wouldn’t wonder why you here / ‘They don’t deserve you.'” In this part of the song we hear about Eilish and her brother’s unbreakable bond and love for one another. They are very close and write all of their songs together. In the song, Eilish wakes up from a nightmare and her brother comforts her. Furthermore, She has talked in the past about her struggles with depression and how her brother helped her through those tough times. It seems like they are always there for eachother.
She also touches on her struggle with self-worth and reaches out to fans, giving them the message her brother gave to her. That message being that I think you are worth it! The line about lying here is referring to the part of the song where she wakes up in the night and now can’t fall back asleep because she was in a nightmare. She doesn’t want to lie there but she can learn to. Basically, All of her problems can be fixed and may not be as big and scary as they seem.
In the beginning of the second verse she backs away from the brotherly love and refocuses on dealing with depression and fame. “I tried to scream / But my head was underwater / They called me weak / Like I’m not just somebody’s daughter.” The first two lines refers to her sleep paralysis and how terrible it feels. For those who don’t know exactly what it is; Sleep paralysis is a state of being that occurs right before or after sleep. While your body is unable to move, your mind is conscience. Sometimes, there are hallucinations involved that trigger the state of being to be a fear filled experiences.
The last line written above is very powerful. When people are talking to others is can be easy to take missteps and be hurtful or do so deliberately. Eilish points out that if we think of people we love and how we want them to be treated, maybe we will treat others better as well. Everybody is somebody’s daughter, sister, dad, whatever. She is saying that she feels like she’s treated more like this idea of a person instead of an actual human with feelings. This could be referring back to the fame idea mentioned earlier and it not being all fun and games like it appears.
The second verse ends with this. “And it feels like yesterday was a year ago / But I don’t wanna let anybody know / ‘Cause everybody wants something from me now / And I don’t wanna let ’em down.” You can see the song is slowly combining both ways of looking at it. Days feeling like years is a sure fire sign of depression and that weight of everyone wanting something is one of those undesired side effects of stardom.
She ends the song with two deep questions for herself and for her audience. “If I knew it all then, would I do it again? / Would I do it again? / If they knew what they said would go straight to my head / What would they say instead?.” She is urging her fans along with herself to think of all the people who love you and believe in you when your depressed. She is kind of saying; if you thought about them would you still do it? In simple terms, If she was thinking of FINNEAS in her dream would she have still jumped? Also, She is telling her fans to think about what they say before they say it because words cut deep for a lot of people. She is wondering what would happen if people thought about what they said and if that were to occur what would they say? Which way do you see the song? Is it about fame, depression, her bond with her brother or all of the above? This is my perspective but tell me what you think!