10 of Olivia Rodrigo’s Masterful Lyrics Because Her Success Shouldn’t be Overshadowed

Before Olivia Rodrigo took the world by storm when she released “drivers license” back in January, there was “All I Want”—the song she penned for High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Now, the 18-year-old just dropped another bomb song—“deja vu”—on April 1. Alongside the song, Rodrigo revealed her first album *O*R will drop May 21.

Rodrigo’s star is shining extremely bright, and people need to recognize her record-breaking success. She’s gotten praise from her favorite singer, Taylor Swift, and many other celebrities. Saturday Night Live performed a skit based on“drivers license.” There are probably so many other moments I’m not even aware of, but if these few instances don’t display how amazing Rodrigo is, I’m not sure what will.

Despite all her accomplishments, people are analyzing her song lyrics to figure out how they fit into her life. For example, Rodrigo’s song “drivers license” may be a heart-wrenching breakup with many rumors surrounding its inspiration, but none of that should matter considering how many records the song has broken. Fans and news outlets are already trying to pick apart “deja vu” for the hidden meaning.

Rodrigo's songs may have some connections to real-life events, but don’t all songs? Don’t all kinds of writing or creative endeavors have inspirations? When I write an article, I’ve been motivated or have emotions about something. Currently, I’m annoyed by how many people are looking at Rodrigo based on her supposed ex-boyfriend. Olivia Rodrigo deserves more than being examined to fit a supposed ex-boyfriend.  

So, I’ve decided to break down 10 of my favorite lyrics from “All I Want,” “drivers license” and “deja vu” in no particular order. Also, all the lyrics are perfect, and they fit together perfectly. I just pulled out the lyrics that punched me in the face when I first heard them.

  1. 1. “All I want is a good guy / Are my expectations far too high?”

    No, sweetie. Your expectations aren’t “too high.” I ask myself the same question, but no one should settle for anything less than a partner who treats them like they’re royalty.

  2. 2. “And he’s perfect on paper, but he’s lying to my face / Does he think that I’m the kinda girl who needs to be saved?”

    This is another beautiful line. A person may check off every box you think they should, but they still may not be perfect. That’s something people have to come to terms with, but that doesn’t mean they should be lying to you. This line made me think of all the imaginary qualities everyone probably has for a significant other.

    Also, I love how Rodrigo realizes that she doesn’t need a man to “save her.” I think that people need to be at a place in their life where they don’t need someone to fix all their problems.

  3. 3. “And I miss the days when I was young and naïve / I thought the perfect guy would come and find me / Now happy ever after it don't come so easily.”

    At some point, people probably dream about the perfect partner riding in on a white horse or putting the glass slipper on their feet. As an avid lover of fictional characters, this line hit me where it hurts because no one is as perfect as a male character written by a woman. Rodrigo acknowledges how people need to work for their “happy ever after” because we’re not young anymore. Relationships take work, and that’s a part of growing up.

  4. 4. “All I want is love that lasts / Is all I want too much to ask? Is it something wrong with me?”

    These thoughts probably keep people up at night—at least, they keep me up sometimes. It’s hard to realize that there isn’t anything wrong with who you are. Eventually, the right person will come along.

  5. 5. “Yeah, today I drove through the suburbs / and pictured I was driving home to you.”

    I love the image of adulthood these lyrics paint. Suburbia reminds me of the old dream of a big wedding and the white picket fence. It’s interesting because it shatters the dream of the perfect marriage. Nothing is quite how it appears.

  6. 6. “I guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me / ‘cause you said forever now I drive alone past your street.”

    Although I would be extremely embarrassed, if someone wrote me a song, I’d probably melt into a puddle of tears. If the relationship ended, of course it would be heartbreaking. Any promise of forever is something that people expect to remain intact. The solitary image of being alone in the car pinches my heart.

  7. 7. “I still hear your voice / in the traffic / we’re laughing / over all the noise.”

    This whole bridge is incredible, but there’s something special about the idea of being in a car during rush hour laughing with your significant other. Even though traffic is one of the most irritating things on the planet, if you’re with the right person, it can make everything better.

  8. 8. “That was our place, I found it first / I made the jokes you tell to her when she’s with you / Do you get deja vu when she’s with you?”

    If I had a secret spot that I took someone to and they took someone else there, I’d be pissed too. Plus, my jokes usually suck, so I doubt anyone would be laughing at them. Rodrigo brings up the interesting idea that nothing in a relationship can truly be unique. It’s probably impossible not to do something you’ve done with someone else, but where do you draw that line?

  9. 9. “I bet that she knows Billy Joel / ‘cause you played her Uptown Girl / you’re singing it together … Play her piano but she doesn’t know / that I was the one who taught you Billy Joel.”

    I had to include Billy Joel as a Long Island girl at heart. Yes, I also had to use all mentions of him in the lyrics. The fact that she chose “Uptown Girl” adds another layer to the song. “Uptown Girl’ is about a guy who’s from the wrong side of the tracks and falls for the rich girl. It’s the classic opposites attract story.

  10. 10. “And trading jackets / laughing ‘bout how small it looks on you.”

    I had to listen to this line again because I didn’t think I heard it right. The cliché is that the smaller person steals their significant other’s jacket so that it will be really big on them. I love how the image flips and the other person is wearing the tiny jacket. It’s something different.

There are so many other amazing lyrics from Olivia Rodrigo, and I’m sure her album will be even better (and the special song she wrote for season two of HSMTMTS). Until then, we’ll just have to keep listening to the masterpieces she’s already given us.  

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some songs to scream-sing at the top of my lungs.