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What Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl’ Song Lyrics Really Mean


If you’ve ever lied awake at night thinking about that one embarrassing thing you said several years ago, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl” is for you. The fifth song off the singer’s new album Guts is cheeky and steeped in self-loathing and paranoia. Who can’t relate?

On her sophomore album, Rodrigo expands upon the angst and growing pains from Sour and turns them up to high volume. “Ballad” is a prime example, where she sings about FOMO, hating her clothes, laughing at the wrong time, Googling how to flirt, and falling for the wrong guys. “Everythin’ I do is tragic / Every guy I like is gay / The morning after I panic / Oh God, what did I say?” she says in the second verse. The struggle is real, and so is the anxiety. Rodrigo wraps up these feelings with grungy guitars, bratty vocals, dark humor, and a very understandable exhaustion.

Rodrigo told Zane Lowe in an Apple Music 1 interview about the themes she wrote about in Guts as a whole: “In hindsight, I think that a lot of this album is about the confusion that comes with becoming a young adult and figuring out your place in this world and figuring out who you want to be and who you want to hang out with and all of that stuff. I think that that’s probably an experience that everyone has had in their life before, is just that rising from that disillusionment.”

 

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That doesn’t just apply to young adults—grown adults will deeply feel it too.

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Read the full lyrics below, courtesy of Genius.

[Verse 1]
Cat got my tongue
And I don’t think I get along with anyone
Blood running cold
I’m on the outside of the greatest inside joke
And I hate all my clothes
Feels like my skin doesn’t fit right over my bones
So I guess I should go
The party’s done, and I’m no fun, I know, I know
I know, I know

[Chorus]
I broke a glass, I tripped and fell
I told secrets I shouldn’t tell
I stumbled over all my words
I made it weird, I made it worse
Each time I step outside
It’s social suicide
It’s social suicide
Wanna curl up and die
It’s social suicide

[Post-Chorus]
Ah-ah, ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, ah-ah

[Verse 2]
I laughed at the wrong time, sat with the wrong guy (Uh-huh)
Sеarchin’ “how to start a conversation?” on a website (How to flirt?)
I talkеd to this hot guy, swore I was his type
Guess that he was makin’ out with boys, like the whole night (Oh)
Everythin’ I do is tragic (Oh)
Every guy I like is gay (Oh)
The morning after I panic (Oh)
Oh God, what did I say? (Oh, oh, oh)

[Chorus]
I broke a glass, I tripped and fell
I told secrets I shouldn’t tell
I stumbled over all my words
I made it weird, I made it worse
Each time I step outside
It’s social suicide
It’s social suicide
Wanna curl up and die
It’s social suicide
Yeah, when I’m alone, I’m fine
But don’t let me out at night
It’s social suicide
It’s social suicide

[Post-Chorus]
Ah-ah, ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, ah-ah
Ah-ah, ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, ah-ah

[Chorus]
I broke a glass, tripped and fell
Told secrets I shouldn’t tell
Stumbled over all my words
Made it weird, then made it worse
Each day that I’m alive
It’s social suicide
It’s social suicide
Wanna curl up and die
It’s social suicide
It’s social suicide
Don’t let me out at night
I’m shocked I’m still alive
It’s social suicide

[Post-Chorus]
Ah-ah, ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, ah-ah

[Outro]
Thought your mom was your wife (Ah)
Called you the wrong name twice (Ah)
Can’t think of a third line (Ah)
La-la-la-la-la-la (Ah)
La-la-la-la-la-la (Ah)
La-la-la-la-la-la (Ah)
La-la-la-la-la-la, ugh

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Headshot of Erica Gonzales

Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now. 



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