Harry Styles’ song “Cherry” is > the Red Fruit

Along with the many other things to love about February, it is also National Cherry Month. Now, I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t care for cherries. They are one of the only things that are too sweet for my taste buds, and that’s saying a lot because I have a major sweet tooth. One thing I like a lot more than cherries, is Harry Styles’ song “Cherry”. In fact, I think it is my favorite within his last album, which says a lot. To share the full experience of Styles’ song I am going to break it down by the title and verses.

 

Now, there are some theories about why the title of his song is called “Cherry”. Styles does not explicitly say the word “cherry” in the song, which led to many questions. Here are some theories regarding the juicy red title:

 

1. Fruity theme

Some speculate that perhaps the theme of fruits is one he enjoys playing off of. His rock’n roll banger “Kiwi” and his sweet summer hit “Watermelon Sugar” continue this theme. I personally think it’s a little deeper than that though.

 

2. C+ Harry = Cherry (sort of)

The second theory, which is perhaps a little more outside the box, includes the woman the song is allegedly written about. It is assumed that Styles wrote it about his previous lover, Camille Rowe. Now, bear with me. If you combine the first letter of her name with Styles’ first name, you get something that sounds a lot like “cherry”. Although it is one of the more obscure theories, it does make one think more about the meaning of the song in connection to the title. It seems the hidden meaning might be deeper than the red fruit of February. 

 

3. Double meaning within the word “Chéri”

This next theory, like the last, also surrounds his French ex. The word “Chéri” in French is pronounced similarly to the English word “cherry”, which translates to “darling” or “honey”. This also perfectly connects to the chorus, “Don't you call him baby / We're not talking lately”. Tackling the title creates even further meaning for the song, no matter which theory you identify with most.

 

Now that we have covered the questions surrounding the title of Styles’ song, we can dig into the lyrics.

 

Chorus:

Don't you call him baby 

We're not talking lately 

Don't you call him what you used to call me

 

Styles places the chorus at the beginning of the song which is unique and adds importance to the words. He seems to create a conflicting tone as one recognizes playful and nostalgic pieces within the song. It can be assumed that the back and forth tone also mimics the relationship Styles is reflecting on. The line, “Don't you call him what you used to call me” also holds a sense of bitterness as he watches his lover move on. Styles yearns for the love they once had and can’t seem to get it back. The guitar slowly jumps back and forth in an upbeat manner which adds positivity to the otherwise sorrowful mood. Styles uses this form of conflict in several of his songs, few are hardly just sad, or just happy but somewhere perfectly in between. He plays off of the back and forth as seen in the conflicting feelings of happiness found in the music, and the nostalgia buried in the lyrics. By doing this he somehow creates a genius mixture of both realms. For me, this style (haha get it, Styles) allows me to focus on whatever aspect I need at the moment. Sad vibes? Dive into the lyrics and his brooding vocals. Happy? Bop to the guitar and let his soothing voice take you away.

 

Verse One:

I, I confess I can tell that you are at your best

I'm selfish so I'm hating it

I noticed that there's a piece of you in how I dress

Take it as a compliment

 

Styles' brutally honest lyrics are perhaps the saddest part of the song as he outrightly states, “I, I confess I can tell that you are at your best / I'm selfish so I'm hating it”, which is a line I think we can all relate to. Seeing that person happy without you can create some inner turmoil, especially if you feel stuck where they left you. Styles then shifts and reflects on how pieces of her are buried within who he has become as he sings, “I noticed that there's a piece of you in how I dress”. After a rather vulnerable line he then straightens up a bit and sweetly admits that she should “Take it as a compliment”. 

 

Verse Two:

I, I just miss

I just miss your accent and your friends

Did you know I still talk to them?

(Bridge)

Does he take you walking ‘round his parents' gallery?

 

Styles’ is careful to adjust his voice for the lyrics in this verse. He seems to soften his tone and rely on his deep, melancholic voice to carry the tone within the words. Behind his voice the music swells to direct listeners' attention to the bridge, “Does he take you walking ‘round his parents’ gallery?” which plays on Styles’ previously admitted selfishness. He bitterly seems to point at the fact that the one thing her new lover offers her, that he couldn’t, is an art gallery. 

 

Outro:

Coucou, tu dors?

Oh, j'suis désolée

Bah non

Nan, c'est pas marrant

Ouais, t'es à la plage et maintenant...

Parfait, allez

 

For those of us that can’t speak French, it roughly translates to:

Hey! Are you asleep?

Oh, I’m sorry…

Well no… 

Nope it’s not important

Yup we went to the beach, and now weー

Perfect, Let’s go!

 

First of all, I’d like to say how much I love this part. Styles includes a recording of Rowe that is supposedly from when they were together, and I think he uses it perfectly in the context of the song. There is also about a forty second break between the ending chorus and the beginning of the outro. To fill this space, Styles belts at the top of his lungs, which seems to represent his frustration and overall pain. Gradually, his yearning becomes louder and louder as he fills it with more emotion. The tone then softens leading up to Rowe’s recording and a gentle guitar riff is played. During her recording there is a dream-like echo surrounding her voice which almost mimics the fact that she is a piece of the past. Day by day she fades from his mind and he reflects this same feeling in the music. 

 

Although my infatuation for Harry Styles began when I was just ten years old, it continues to this day. I blame it on the poster of him I kept in my pillowcase for roughly two years (shh don’t tell). Despite my personal bias, I think it was written in the stars for February to be National cherry month. He released a song with the title of “Cherry”, and his birthday also happens to be in February. Told you, written in the stars.