A Fine Line of Meaning

When Harry Styles released his second studio album, most expected it to be the same type of music as his first. Slow, British rock, with a hint of pop. However, Fine Line was anything but expected. Even with how much more vibrant it was than the first album, it closed off with a 6 minute, melancholy finale, the namesake song for the album. While many of his other songs are pop-focused, “Fine Line” is a stand-alone piece of poetry. The song only has two main verses, but they are jampacked full of meaning. “Fine Line” takes a stab at analyzing the fine line between love and hate, or even more so, the fine line between entering a relationship and leaving one.

Put a price on emotion

I’m looking for something to buy

The song begins with a bold statement, making the listener wonder if there is a price on emotion, and how is it bought, even metaphorically. A reoccurring theme throughout the song, the speaker is struggling with finding the right way to go about love. This is almost a personification of a feeling, it could also be seen as a metaphor. Is love something that can be bought? And what is the cost?

My hand’s at risk, I fold

This is objectively the most meaningful line, or at least most poetic, in the whole song. To view its meaning as an allusion to gambling, like love being dealt like a hand of cards, it emphasizes the risks that come with love. To view this line as a metaphor of love, would be like saying that the second love is a risk, or a relationship is at risk for the speaker, they shut down and don’t know how to respond. This song uses lyrics as poetry to convey, or characterize, what the essence of love is and how easy it is broken.

2 thoughts on “A Fine Line of Meaning

  1. Sitota B.

    I just looked at all the lyrics. Do you think there is a reason as to why he says “we’ll be a fine line” so much. it shows up 12 times in one stanza but then abruptly changes to “we’ll be alright”. I feel like there is probably some meaning behind that. But, great song!!

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  2. AW

    This is such an amazing song!!! I’m so happy someone wrote about it. I’ve even heard that this is one of the most special songs to him on the album. I think he repeats the words “Well be a fine line” to emphasize how complicated the relationship he is in is. A fine line draws a border,I think in this case love or hate, which is not good for relationships. It should be a mix of everything not so black and white.

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