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The Subject Of Harry Styles' "Matilda" Might Not Know It's About Them

The wait is over and Harry Styles’ third solo album ‘Harry’s House’ has finally arrived. Although the lead single off the new album is “As It Was”, there’s another song in particular that’s got fans talking. “Matilda”, an acoustic and heartfelt folk-tinged ballad, tells the story of a girl who is coming to terms with her past and looking ahead to a hopefully brighter future. But what do the lyrics to “Matilda” mean, and who is the song based on?

The Grammy and BRIT-award winning singer admitted to Zane Lowe in an Apple Music interview that when he played the song to a couple of friends “all of them cried.” And with lyrics like “Nothing about the way that you were treated ever seemed especially alarming ’til now,” it’s hardly a surprise.

Styles firmly told Zane Lowe that “Matilda” is “not my experience.” Although he said he’d written it about a friend, he didn’t reveal any further details about the subject. He added, “it’s not necessarily my place to make it about me”. When pressed further by Lowe, he said he hadn’t even played the song to the person he wrote it for.

Fans have speculated that the song could be about Harry’s ex-girlfriend Camille Rowe. In 2019’s Now Is Everything, Rowe played the part of a character called Matilda. It wouldn’t be the first time Styles has penned a record with Rowe in mind, as her voice features on “Cherry”, the fifth track on his second album ‘Fine Line’.

Although Styles told Lowe that “I think Matilda is relatively self-explanatory”, he also said he had used the Roald Dahl story of Matilda as a disguise for the real meaning of the song. It’s likely that he’ll never fully reveal the story to the song though, as the Dunkirk actor shared that “sometimes it’s just about listening... If nothing else that it just says like, ‘I was listening to you.’”

Take a look at the full “Matilda” lyrics below:

[Verse 1]

You were riding your bike to the sound of “it’s no big deal”

And you’re trying to lift off the ground on those old two wheels

Nothing about the way that you were treated ever seemed especially alarming ’til now

So you tie up your hair and you smile like it’s no big deal

[Chorus]

You can let it go

You can throw a party full of everyone you know

And not invite your family

Cause they never showed you love

You don’t have to be sorry for leaving and growing up

[Verse 2]

Matilda you talk of the pain like it’s all alright

But I know that you feel like a piece of you’s dead inside

You showed me a power that is strong enough to bring sun to the darkest days

It’s none of my business but it’s just been on my mind

[Chorus]

You can let it go

You can throw a party full of everyone you know

And not invite your family

Cause they never showed you love

You don’t have to be sorry for leaving and growing up

You can see the world

Following the seasons

Anywhere you go

You don’t need a reason

Cause they never showed you love

You don’t have to be sorry for doing it on your own

[Bridge]

You’re just in time

Make your tea and your toast

You framed all your posters and dyed your clothes

You don’t have to go

You don’t have to go home

Oh there’s a long way to go

I don’t believe that time will change your mind

In other words

I know they won’t hurt you anymore as long as you can let them go

[Chorus]

You can let it go

You can throw a party full of everyone you know

You can start a family who will always show you love

You don’t have to be sorry for doing it on your own

You can let it go

You can throw a party full of everyone you know

You can start a family who will always show you love

You don’t have to be sorry, no