The question “What if it happened to you on a different day?” is the central theme of Billie Eilish’s new song “The 30th”, which explores the aftermath of a car accident that her friend survived.
The song reflects on the fragility of life and the randomness of fate, as well as the gratitude and fear that come with such a close call. In this article, we will analyze the lyrics and meaning of the song, the story behind it, and the impact it has had on fans and critics.
Billie Eilish’s “The 30th”: Lyrics and Meaning
Themes of Mortality and Life
The song begins with Billie describing how her friend looks the same as before the accident but has no memory of it. She recalls how she woke up in the ambulance and pieced together what happened on the drive. She tells her friend that she looked pretty even then and that they were both scared. The chorus repeats this sentiment, emphasizing the emotional bond between them.
The second verse shifts to Billie’s perspective, as she reveals that she was on the same highway as her friend when the accident happened, but did not realize it until later. She expresses her guilt and regret for not stopping to help, and how she found out the truth that night.
Billie’s hypothetical queries about possible outcomes in the bridge are the song’s most compelling. She wonders what might have happened if her buddy was on a different day, route, with other people, or weather. She wonders whether any of these variables may have saved her buddy. Finally, she thanks her companion for being alive.
Imagery of Bridges and Neighborhoods
The song uses vivid imagery to convey the contrast between life and death, and the randomness of fate. The bridge, for example, is a symbol of both connection and separation, as well as a potential site of danger. Billie imagines what if her friend had been on a bridge where there was no rail to prevent her from falling, or where there was more traffic or less visibility. She also mentions the Angeles Crest, a mountainous road in California that is known for its scenic views and its high risk of accidents.
The song also depicts a residential street where kids play and families dwell. Billie wonders what would have happened if her companion was on a street with innocent spectators or more support or less solitude. She compares the local street with the isolated spot where her buddy was located, emphasizing that she was fortunate to be found and saved.
Interpretation of the Song’s Title
The song’s title, “The 30th”, has a dual meaning. On one hand, it refers to the date of the accident, November 30th, which was a significant and traumatic event for Billie and her friend. On the other hand, it also refers to the date of the song’s creation, December 30th, which was the first time that Billie and her brother Finneas wrote a song since their last album, Happier Than Ever. The song was a way for them to process their emotions and express their feelings about the incident.
The Story Behind the Song
Inspiration from a Real-life Event
In an interview with Zane Lowe of Apple Music, Billie revealed that the song was inspired by a real-life event that happened to one of her friends, who was involved in a car accident on November 30th, 2022. She described the event as “the most indescribable thing to have to witness and experience”, and said that she was in shock and disbelief when she found out. She also said that she felt guilty for not being there for her friend and that she was grateful that her friend survived.
Personal Connection to the Lyrics
Billie also shared that the song was very personal and emotional for her and that she cried while writing and recording it. She said that she related to the lyrics on a deep level and that they reflected her own fears and anxieties about life and death. She said that she often thinks about the what-ifs of different situations, and how they could affect her and her loved ones. She also said that she wanted to convey the message that life is precious and unpredictable and that we should cherish every moment and every person.
Impact of the Song
Reactions from Fans
The song was released as a surprise on July 21, 2022, along with another track, “TV”. The fans were ecstatic and emotional about the new songs, especially “The 30th”, which they praised for its rawness and honesty. Many fans said that they cried while listening to the song, and that they felt a connection to Billie and her friend. Some fans also shared their own stories of surviving or witnessing car accidents, and how the song resonated with them. The song also sparked a discussion about the importance of road safety and awareness, and the need to support and comfort those who have been through such traumatic experiences.
Critical Acclaim and Chart Success
The song also did well on the charts and was praised by critics as one of Billie’s best and most mature songs. At first, the song was number one on the Genius Top Songs list. It also made it to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, the Spotify Global Top 50, and the Apple Music Top 100. People liked the song’s emotional delivery, the complexity and depth of its lyrics, and the way it was produced with an acoustic guitar. It was also linked to some of Billie’s other songs, like “Everything I Wanted” and “No Time To Die,” which also had themes about death and life. The song was also thought to be a possible nominee for the Grammys because it showed how Billie’s art had grown and changed.