Is “Bad Guy” Good Poetry?

18 year old artist, Billie Eilish sings a variety of music that ranges from electro pop to goth pop. In her album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Eilish’s songs encompass a dark undertone that highlight dark features in the world that are not often discussed. One song featured in this album is “Bad Guy“, which exemplifies a strong piece of poetry. The theme of this song is that in the world people pretend to be something they are not. For example, bad guys, don’t go around saying that they are bad, instead, they show how they are bad through their actions. This causes the listener to reflect on their actions and evaluate how they portray themselves vs who they actually are.

White shirt now red, my bloody nose
Sleepin', you're on your tippy toes
Creepin' around like no one knows

The song begins with the lines “white shirt now red, my bloody nose / Sleepin’ you’re on your tippy toes”, which give imagery to scene being portrayed. By starting off the song with blood being spilled, Eilish sets a dark undertone and dramatizes the lyrics. Even more, when the person is described as being on their “tippy toes” Eilish invokes a creepiness/nervousness to the song. This relates to the theme because in life, posers creep around and hope that nobody sees who they truly are.

There is also a meter in the lines above. The lines in the verse are each 8 syllables, which add rhythm to the the song and help with its flow. Many poems have meter and this is why the song can also be considered a poem.

Finally, the phrase, “chest always so puffed” drills the theme into the listener’s head with another image. A lot of men like to appear broad and fit because that is how society depicts how men “should” be. In this case, Eilish identifies the facade and pokes a hole in it. She knows that people often desire to come across in a way that will will ensure that they are accepted into society, and through her eccentric music she defies these standards.

6 thoughts on “Is “Bad Guy” Good Poetry?

  1. MIIKA F.

    I think it’s so interesting how you found so many ways this song challenges gender stereotypes. I definitely think Billie did a good job exposing those with this long. I really liked how in depth you went in your analysis of each verse you used!

    Like

  2. Kianna G.

    Wow, I’ve never really thought much about the meaning behind this song. You did a great job considering her lyrics. I can see how the song is about posers. People do tend to create a false identity of themselves and also fit certain standards.

    Like

  3. Molly H

    I really liked your post, especially when you discussed the theme. I think that this theme can be found in everyday life. Either when people changes themselves to be accepted by society, or when people have a distorted perception of themselves. You did a great job analyzing the lyrics of this song.

    Like

  4. Isabel K

    I think Eilish is, in general, a much more poetic musician than she receives credit for. I think “Bad Guy” is a great example of her talents with multidimensional language. Personally, I feel like “Ocean Eyes” is one of her strongest songs in terms of displaying her poetic talent.

    Like

  5. EVELYN D

    This is a really great song choice. I never thought of the song Bad Guy this deep before. The explanation of the into with the bloody shirt and the tip toes really sets up the meaning of the song, and makes it poetry.

    Like

  6. Abby S.

    I’ve heard this song so much, but I’ve never thought about the topics you talked about in your post. I liked how you talked about how through the song, people evaluate how they show themselves and who they actually are. I feel like that is really important.

    Like

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