Harry Styles is a British singer-songwriter known for his unique style of music. One of his most popular compositions, “As It Was”, has remained in the hearts of many fans thanks to its retro sound and interesting lyrics.
History of writing Harry Styles – As It Was
The song was released along with his second studio album, Fine Line. The herding of the entire album took place in December 2019, and the song was written by the singer himself, as well as by Tyler Johnson and Kid Harpoon. The composition was produced by the same people.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Harry Styles revealed that “As It Was” was one of the first songs he wrote for Fine Line. Initially, he wanted to call it “Sports”, but later the singer decided that it was better to leave the name “As It Was”, as in this way he hints to listeners about his thoughts. Despite the fact that the song was written all in a few hours, and the recording took place in one take, this did not prevent her from climbing into the top in listening.
The singer also shared that they used the instrumental Mellotron to create the atmospheric and nostalgic sound of the song. This is one of the first types of synthesizer that can be heard in songs from the 80s. Most often, this instrument appeared in psychedelic music, in which it is necessary to add a cheerful mood. But Harry Styles used sad lyrics and with the help of a melotron was able to immerse listeners in a dreamy, nostalgic state. This is exactly what the singer was striving for.
Meaning of Harry Styles – As It Was
“As It Was” is a song that motivates listeners to look at their own past, perhaps even through regret. All the lyrics are based on reflections on past relationships, on the emotions that the singer experienced when he was in love. Stiles shows listeners that he wants to relive those memories, but also shares that some of them he would rather forget.
However, this is not the only interpretation of the song. Some fans of the singer speculate that the meaning of the lyrics lies in the childhood trauma that was inflicted on the singer when he was still a child. His parents divorced when Harry Styles was very young and he has not seen his father since. The following lines are mentioned in the second verse of the song:
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 help / Your dad lives alone / He just wants to know you’re okay”
Also at the beginning, the voice of a small child is heard, he says: “Come on, Harry, we wanna say goodnight to you!” “Harry, we want to wish you good night.
This may suggest that the singer plunges into a very distant past and recalls the love for his father, as well as how he is missed. Then comes the next couplet:
«Holding me back, /Gravity’s holding me back, /I want you to hold out the palm of your hand, /Why don’t we leave it at that?/Nothing to say/When everything gets in the way,
Seems you cannot be replaced, /And I’m the one who will stay” – “Holding me down / Gravity holding me back / I want you to hold out your hand / Why don’t we stop there? / Nothing to say / When things get in the way
Seems like you can’t be replaced / And I’m the one who stays.
In an interview with Apple Music, Styles notes that the song looks at the metamorphosis that took place during the pandemic. This is indicated by the lines “Gravity holds me back”. At this time, the singer retired from his musical career and devoted himself to his family, he became a friend, son and brother. He also mentions that the post-pandemic world will not be the same.
During the chorus, he also goes on to say that the present will no longer be like the past. On how his world has changed: “in this world, it’s just us,/ You know it’s not the same as it was.” “In this world, it’s all about us, you know, it’s not like it used to be.” In the third verse, the following lines are revealed to the listeners:
“Go home, get ahead, / light-speed internet / I don’t want talk / about the way that was / Leave America, two kids follow her / I don’t want talk / about who’s doin’s doin’s first” – Go home , forward, / Internet at the speed of light / I don’t want to talk about how it was / Leave America, two children are following her / I don’t want to talk / about who will do it first.
These lines from the third verse are supposedly talking about Harry Styles’ past when he was in a relationship with Olivia Wilde. They lived in America and Olivia had two children.
What remains clear by the end of “As It Was” is how intimate Styles is in writing his music, revealing to listeners real reflections wrapped in 80s pop music. Whether he’s talking about being alone in isolation, his relationship, or more likely a combination of both, he’s definitely been able to express his maturity in “As It Was.”