"Bravado" as written by Joel Little and Ella Yelich-o'connor....
All my life
I've been fighting a war
I can't talk to you or your friends
It's not only you
My heart jumps around when I'm alluded to
This will not do

'Cause I was raised up
To be admired to be noticed
But when you're withdrawn it's the closest thing
To assault when all eyes are on you
This will not do

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

I'm faking glory
Lick my lips toss my hair
And send a smile over
And the stories brand new
But I can take it from here
I'll find my own bravado

It's a switch flipped
It's a pill tipped back, it's a moon eclipsed, whoa
And I can tell you that when the lights come on I'll be ready for this

It's in your blood stream
A collision of atoms that happens before your eyes
It's a marathon run or a mountain you scale without thinking of size

I was frightened of every little thing
That I thought was out to get me down
To trip me up and laugh at me

But I learnt not to want
The quiet of the room with no one around to find me out
I want the applause the approval the things that make me go

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

It's a switch flipped
It's a pill tipped back, it's a moon eclipsed, whoa
And I can tell you that when the lights come on I'll be ready for this

It's in your blood stream
A collision of atoms that happens before your eyes
It's a marathon run or a mountain you scale without thinking of size

I was frightened of every little thing
That I thought was out to get me down
To trip me up and laugh at me

But I learnt not to want
The quiet of the room with no one around to find me out
I want the applause the approval the things that make me go

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh


Lyrics submitted by turnthatshitoff, edited by carley99, allonsy723, hokealogenous, malachi constant, Forsche, vermonster, catarinaisabel, motohip

"Bravado" as written by Joel Little Ella Marija La Yelich O'connor

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, SONGS MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Bravado song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +12
    General CommentI think she is writing about the four years she spent being groomed by the record label from when she was 12 until now. She was signed for her unique voice at 12, but when she wasn't connecting personally with songs they wanted her to sing, they suggested she write.

    "All my life
    I’ve been fighting a war
    I can’t talk to you or your friends
    It’s not only you
    My heart jumps around when I’m eluded to
    This will not do"

    In this verse, she's talking about how she is fighting for what she wants regarding music, her passion, but that now her friends look at her differently. She said in an interview that her friends had no idea she was recording an EP and album on the weekends sometimes. They had no idea she had been signed since 12. She explained that in her country, they don't really have a concept of fame because it's so small. It has to be difficult to come out and admit you are being internationally recognized for your music to your friends, and she explains why in the next verse.

    "'Cause I was raised up to be admired,
    To be noticed
    But when you’re withdrawn
    It’s the closest thing
    To a someone who lies around you
    This will not do"

    She was raised to be noticed and admired for her talents, but she isn't naturally a performer or outgoing.

    The rest of the song, it's clear that she is making the decision to grab her dream by the horns. She wants the "the applause the approval the things that make [her] go oh." And "when the lights turn on" she is ready.

    "It’s a switch flipped
    It’s a pill tipped back
    It’s a moon eclipsed"

    She is talking about what happens when she steps on stage. She explained to her friends that Lorde is a different person from Ella. Lorde is her stage name, a character she believes in when she is performing. She flips the switch, or takes a pill, and Ella is eclipsed by Lorde.
    habberdashon September 27, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretationi know the comment above found the meaning to the song but to me personally and maybe others can relate to this song in a different way. Here are my thoughts:

    ''All my life
    I’ve been fighting a war
    I can’t talk to you or your friends
    It’s not only you
    My heart jumps around when I’m eluded to
    This will not do''

    (In this part i see it as if she is telling of a guy she likes she feels like she's been struggling with an issue of their relationship for a long time, almost a lifetime. The following part tells of what this issue is, apparently this guy she is dating is keeping their relationship a secret, she can't even talk to his friends because it might mean their relationship will be discovered. The next part she goes on to explain that it isn't just him it's the situation, anytime she is mentioned by him or his friends her heart jumps because she thinks maybe he'll finally reveal it and they won't need to hide it anymore, but this happens several times and she is finally realizing that the situation, this relationship won't do.

    '' 'Cause I was raised up to be admired,
    To be noticed
    But when you’re withdrawn
    It’s the closest thing
    To assault when our lives are on you
    This will not do''

    (Here she gives her reasons why she is done, she was raised to know she was valued and admired not hidden, she feels as if when he is distant around his friends with her it is literally a personal assault on her when instead her heart, their relationship is dependent on him and his hiding the relationship. she again states that for these reasons the relationship won't do, she is done.''

    ''I’m thinking glory,
    Lick my lips, toss my hair
    And send a smile over
    And the story’s brand new
    I can take it from here,
    I’ll find my own bravado''

    (in this part she is stating to him that when she makes herself pretty and flirts with him that he completely changes the story and pays her attention. This is the only time she gets his glory or attention, but she tells him she can't take it, she can't and won't do that, so she'll find her bravery by standing up for herself and realizing she deserves better, by ending the relationship.

    ''It’s a switch flipped
    It’s a pill tipped back
    It’s a moon eclipsed
    And I can tell you that, when the lights come on I’ll be ready for this
    It’s in your bloodstream
    A collision of atoms that happens before your eyes
    It’s a marathon run or a mountain you scale without thinking of size
    I was fighting off every little thing that I thought was out to get me down
    To trip me up and laugh at me
    But I look not to hold
    The quiet of the room with no one around to find me out
    I want the applause the approval the things that make me go oh''

    (this beginning part talks about how this realization feels, the switch is the realization that she deserves better, the pill part speaks about how this realization it's a sort of cure to her, the moon eclipsed is stating again this situation makes her feel eclipsed and hidden by him, she can't be herself in this situation. This following part she is telling him that when she finally is out of this shadow of a relationship he created she will be ready to finally be herself, she'll get what she truly deserves)

    (The last half of this is in my idea how she is explaining to him that the situation and how she wants to be collide, this line could also be her trying to explain to him his feelings aren't real, rather they're attributed to his hormones. She tells him he took this relationship, which is a big deal with little consideration for what it really means.she finally states that all along she was fighting how he was hiding her, every little thing he did to keep her hidden his occasional ridicule of her to keep up appearances. in the end she learned not to hold on to a relationship that means she has to be a shadow or to be kept a secret. the final part i her saying she wants a relationship where she'll get the things she deserves, the things that make her happy.
    nick100403on October 19, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song could also be about Depression and finding strength...

    "All my life
    I’ve been fighting a war
    I can’t talk to you or your friends
    It’s not only you
    My heart jumps around when I’m eluded to
    This will not do"

    Depression is a war you fight every day and one of the hardest things is admitting it to your family and friends because of the negative stigma and they might not believe you. The heart jumping is how it feels when you try to work up the courage to ask for help, but you can't. In the long run, it won't do you any good to keep it a secret.

    "'Cause I was raised up to be admired,
    To be noticed
    But when you’re withdrawn
    It’s the closest thing
    To a someone who lies around you
    This will not do"

    When you are raised to shine in your family's eyes because they want to show you off and they want you happy and healthy you end up putting up a front and pretending to be who they want to see, but you're only lying to them and the people around you.

    "I’m thinking glory,
    Lick my lips, toss my hair
    And send a smile over
    And the story’s brand new
    I can take it from here,
    I’ll find my own bravado"

    Depression doesn't always keep you down and withdrawn. Sometimes, like Bipolar, you can have moments of clarity and confidence and you are ready to take on the world and find your own story, or bravado.

    "It’s a switch flipped
    It’s a pill tipped back
    It’s a moon eclipsed
    And I can tell you that, when the lights come on I’ll be ready for this"

    This is just some metaphors as to what it feels like when you rise above depression. Whether it's flipping a switch and pretending to be someone else, or took drugs to help, or a rare short moment, like an eclipse, where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    "It’s in your bloodstream
    A collision of atoms that happens before your eyes
    It’s a marathon run or a mountain you scale without thinking of size"

    This is also talking about how it feels to rise above depression. It feels like an adrenaline rush. This rare, unusual feeling of confidence that you didn't have before now makes you think you can conquer the world.

    "I was fighting off every little thing that I thought was out to get me down
    To trip me up and laugh at me
    But I learnt not to want
    The quiet of the room with no one around to find me out
    I want the applause the approval the things that make me go oh"

    This part explains how it feels putting up a fake front when in public. Constantly fighting off the voices in your head that people are looking at you negatively. The more you work on fighting off those voices you end up realizing you don't want to be alone anymore in a quiet room where no one will notice you. You want friends and approval, although hard to believe you deserve them. You want something to stimulate your brain and make you go "oh" in amusement.
    BHappyLook4wardon November 11, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSong is about getting really high with LDR in Skype. White teeth teens is about contemplating suicide, and getting high in Skype with LDR, then A World Alone is about LDR and Taylor Hawkins' drumming (It's pop, so I told him to do it one-handed): "People are talking, people are talking"--"Well, tell them to shut up then, dammit!"; it's actually fairly insulting.

    "Back in the day as empires made haste
    To colonize, to claim, to control and contain.
    We sat patiently in the future, helpless.

    Switch!"
    LDR's voice uses too much bass for her to sing vibrato, so I made her sing "Bravado".
    It's in your bloodstream, a collision of atoms that happens before your eyes"
    Was a lot of fun writing these, (although I'm a bit excited with it being easter right now)--it's technically a bunch of alternative metal ballads that I took the guitar out of, or hid the guitar and played deconstructed riffs/base scales/just volume swell, to the point of pitch being affected and falling into a known pattern.
    I'm the kind of person who is not really very close to anyone; I grew up on an MMO, but I very quickly considered a small group of acquaintances non-ideal... LDR got drafted into disney (:/) & everyone else detested people to a degree where they couldn't function socially--the result, socially, is that people started picking on the friends I do have, subconsciously--"OH MY GOD if he'd said ______ I would've fucking... Wait what?" Basically I was in a position where 99.5% of Americans would've failed and created something disastrous, so when I was 12-14 I was one of the most recognizable figures in the world (hint: moot is my babysitter, my last name is Angle)
    Create relationships where you can be happy to see people from home. Almost everyone is trustworthy, become well-spoken.
    Happy Lent >.>
    BBDGSMPAon April 20, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJust a correction:

    "But when you’re withdrawn
    It’s the closest thing
    To a someone who lies around you"

    should be

    "But when you're withdrawn
    It's the closest thing
    To assault when all eyes are on you"
    malachi constanton December 12, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI strongly believe that this song is about shyness/anxiety and how she copes with it, being on stage and all.

    I personally know how this feels, especially a few years ago when my shyness and isolation was at it's worst.
    "All my life
    I've been fighting a war.."
    It literally feels like you're fighting a war every time you have to step outside and put on that mask of confidence.
    "...I can't talk
    to you or your friends.
    It's not only you.."
    It's not just this person she possibly likes that she can't talk to, it's every one around her.
    "My heart jumps around when I'm alluded to.."
    I remember, when I was painfully shy if I even heard my name from someone my anxiety would kick in.
    "This will not do."
    After a while, it becomes impossible to live this way. You can't avoid everyone forever and it just simply will not do, to not talk to anyone, or to be incredibly anxious while doing so.
    "Cause I was raised up
    to be admired
    to be noticed..."
    Everyone, regardless of if you're a singer, or famous, etc, has been told since a young age that must be well liked, and that shyness is looked down upon. You can't be shy, you must be admired, and you must be noticed. Only, when you're shy, being noticed is the last thing you want.
    "But when you're WITHDRAWN
    it's the closest thing
    to ASSAULT when all eyes are on you
    this will not do"
    Having anxiety will make you feel like you're going to die when you have to get up in front of people, when everyone's looking at you. You're so afraid of their judgement and harsh words it's hard to do anything but want to cry.
    Wanderer72125on December 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentto me, this song is about living with depression or anxiety, and the feeling when she goes onstage. how she can't talk to anyone, how she's withdrawn, she's fighting everything off, feels like she has to put up an act for people. But going onto stage, everything else goes away. "its a switch flipped. its a pill tipped back, its a moon eclipsed," " It’s in your bloodstream, a collision of atoms that happens before your eyes it’s a marathon run or a mountain you scale without thinking of size" means that going onto stage is like a high. "when the lights come on, ill be ready for this" is about stepping onto stage, the lights coming on and feeling different.
    Cailinmon January 12, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI love this song so much because for me it embodies the essence of what it feels like when you just truly get "it". That groundbreaking feeling of the light bulb going on above your head and knowing you have grown. a life changing leap of wisdom gained thru realization and self-discovery.
    Carinion June 28, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I first heard this song I didn't pay much attention to it until the second time I was in my car driving by myself and I had the time to analyze it and it helped me open my eyes my thoughts.... In my opinion this song talks about being shy and needing the strenghth to stand up in front of a group of people and believe in yourself when .....she says I'll find my own bravado .... That she'll fight everything she thought was out to get her down and to trip me up and laugh at me is about standing up and get out of your shell and forget what people say or think.... flip the switch be brave .... This is what this song tells me everytime I hear it
    Mmmsuachon December 10, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI very much think this song is about overcoming social anxiety, or at least that's how I resonate with it because I related to so many of the lyrics.

    "All my life
    I’ve been fighting a war
    I can’t talk to you or your friends
    It’s not only you
    My heart jumps around when I’m eluded to
    This will not do"

    The "war" she's describing is the internal conflict she's had with herself, trying to be social and talking to people but ultimately having her own psyche bring her down. And as she's talking in the second person to whoever "you" is (probably someone who asks her while she's so shy), she explains that it's not only him or her she's reclusive towards, but the whole world. The last stanza however, clarifies the fact that's she's done with (or going to fight, meaning you can't simply get rid of anxiety) being this way.

    "'Cause I was raised up to be admired,
    To be noticed
    But when you’re withdrawn
    It’s the closest thing
    To assault when all eyes are on you
    This will not do"

    Here she restates the fact that it's actually mentally painful to receive unwanted attention for someone with social anxiety. And now she mentions the fact that she knows she is a unique and beautiful person that deserves attention, but when she does receive it, her mindset prevents her from flourishing and instead backs away from it. And here, she uses anaphora in "This will not do" to again, restate that the way she is living with herself is intolerable.

    "I'm faking glory
    Lick my lips, toss my hair
    And send a smile over
    And the story's brand new
    But I can take it from here
    I'll find my own bravado"

    Now this is a shift in tone, essentially a switch in persona. There might've been a time skip here, but she's now presenting herself with much more confidence, performing more provocative movements such as licking her lips, tossing her hair, sending a smile over, showing that she's not afraid to put herself out there. This is her "brand new" story: a person with self-esteem. And to top it off, she says she can handle this herself, she'll find her "own bravado", maturely saying she can do this journey to achieve self-worth on her own.

    "It's a switch flipped
    It's a pill tipped back
    It's a moon eclipsed, oh whoa
    And I can tell you that when the lights come on I'll be ready for this
    It's in your blood stream
    A collision of atoms that happens before your eyes
    It's a marathon run
    Or a mountain you scale without thinking of size"

    And now we've gotten to the "new" Lorde, or Lorde 2.0. She feels amazing and completely at ease with the rush, exuberance and adrenaline the stage (and the attention) gives her. That when she goes on stage now, no longer is she reclusive or withdrawn, but strong and powerful feeling like she can scale any mountain or run any marathon. This is what she's wanted since the beginning.

    "I was frightened of every little thing that I thought was out to get me down
    To trip me up and laugh at me but
    I've learned not to want the quiet of the room with no-one around to find me out
    I want the applause, the approval, the things that make me go
    Oh"

    And now we have the denouement, the moral of the story and finally, a kickass explanation. She explains her anxiety stemmed from people she thought would make fun of her for putting herself out there, but she's learned over time that you can't live this way, being afraid of every movement you make and its possible criticism. And now, she wants the "applause, the approval" and the things that make her go "oh", or what I'm interpreting to be exhaling in pleasure, like a kind of high/rush? Those final two lines really sum up the meaning of the song: she found her own bravado, because living life in the background is not the road she wanted to take.
    byefeliciaon January 05, 2015   Link

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