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Harry Styles’s “As It Was”: Lyrics, Meaning, and Inspiration

Image Source: Youtube user Harry Styles

Harry Styles’s highly anticipated album “Harry’s House” is set to release on May 20, but fans of the singer already got a taste of the album. Styles dropped “As It Was,” the first single from his upcoming album, on March 31, and the song is already a hit with fans, who praise its upbeat feel and deeply personal lyrics. “As It Was” currently holds the number-two spot on Youtube’s trending videos, and if you’re obsessed with Styles’s new song, let’s dive into the meaning behind the lyrics and music video.

Harry Styles’s “As It Was” Lyrics

In their entirety, the lyrics for “As It Was” read:

Come on, Harry, we wanna say goodnight to you

Holdin’ me back
Gravity’s holdin’ me back
I want you to hold out the palm of your hand
Why don’t we leave it at that?
Nothin’ to say
When everything gets in the way
Seems you cannot be replaced
And I’m the one who will stay, oh-oh-oh

In this world, it’s just us
You know it’s not the same as it was
In this world, it’s just us
You know it’s not the same as it was
As it was, as it was
You know it’s not the same

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?”
Ringin’ the bell
And nobody’s coming to help
Your daddy lives by himself
He just wants to know that you’re well, oh-oh-oh

In this world, it’s just us
You know it’s not the same as it was
In this world, it’s just us
You know it’s not the same as it was
As it was, as it was
You know it’s not the same

Go home, get ahead, light-speed internet
I don’t wanna talk about the way that it was
Leave America, two kids follow her
I don’t wanna talk about who’s doin’ it first

As it was
You know it’s not the same as it was
As it was, as it was

What Do Harry Styles’s “As It Was” Lyrics Mean?

Despite its upbeat tempo and light instrumentals, “As It Was” has some heavy, introspective lyrics. Styles’s Spotify bio describes “As It Was” as “a complex love song about losing one’s self, finding one’s self, and embracing change.” The singer alludes to feelings of isolation and self-loss with the lyrics “‘Harry, you’re no good alone / Why are you sitting at home on the floor? / What kind of pills are you on?’ / Ringin’ the bell / And nobody’s coming to help.”

Is Harry Styles’s “As It Was” About Olivia Wilde?

Many have speculated that the “As It Was” lyrics refer to his relationship with Olivia Wilde. Styles started dating Wilde back in January 2021, just three months after news broke that Wilde and her then-partner, Jason Sudeikis, were separating. The lyrics “Go home, get ahead, light-speed internet / I don’t wanna talk about the way that it was / Leave America, two kids follow her / I don’t wanna talk about who’s doin’ it first” hint at Wilde in two ways: the actress lives in America, and she shares two children with Sudeikis.

Fans of Styles took to Twitter to share their thoughts about the singer’s lyrics.

While Styles has not confirmed who “All It Was” is about, a source told In Touch that there is a “really good chance” that the singer wrote a song “about how he feels” about his girlfriend. “He likes to keep his personal life private,” the source said. “But then again, he is in love, so maybe he’ll surprise us with a song that’s all about his feelings for Olivia.”

What Does Harry Styles’s “As It Was” Music Video Mean?

One of the most poignant themes in the “As It Was” music video is the chase. Throughout the video, Styles is on a spinning circle with another woman, and while they are close to one another, they can never seem to catch up. At certain points, they get close enough to embrace, only to drift apart. The video shows Styles running at some points and walking at others. The spinning-circle metaphor can allude to a few things — his romantic relationship with Wilde, or his life moving too fast for him, or something else entirely.

A source previously told In Touch that Wilde “is giving this relationship all she can because she truly wants to make it work . . . however, it is not easy.” According to the source, Styles and Wilde have conflicting schedules, which makes it hard for the two to be together at times. “Olivia and Harry are both working on projects, and Harry has a million things going on. . . . It’s tough for Olivia, because in her heart, she wants to be with Harry all the time, but it’s just not possible.”

With this video, Styles could definitely be hinting at their busy schedules. The woman in the “As It Was” music video could also represent Styles himself and the struggle of trying to keep his life balanced.

Given “As It Was,” we can assume that the other songs in “Harry’s House” will also be personal, introspective journeys that gives listeners a glimpse into his life. Until “Harry’s House” drops on May 20, I’ll be listening to “As it Was” on repeat. Definitely not crying, though.




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