Singer Billie Eilish on the red carpet
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What Does Billie Eilish's New Single 'Xanny' Mean, Anyway?


Feb. 15 2021, Updated 3:33 p.m. ET

Teen musical sensation Billie Eilish just made her directorial debut with the music video for her new song "Xanny," and it's taking the internet by storm. The fuzzy ballad is an intriguing cut from her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and it happens to be her latest single.

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But given its name and somewhat confusing lyrics, it might not make sense to everyone. Here's what Billie Eilish's "Xanny" really means, as far as we can tell, including commentary from the pop star herself for good measure.

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So, what does Billie Eilish's "Xanny" mean?

The newest single from Billie's debut album is a little less straightforward than the other tunes you may have heard from her. Essentially, it's about Billie saying no to drugs in a roundabout way. The word "Xanny" refers to a Xanax, which is a popular drug when it comes to recreation, and happens to be widely used by all kinds of clientele, including young people around Billie's age.

In "Xanny," Billie is singing about how she doesn't need a Xanax, and doesn't want one to "feel better," now or ever.

"I'm in their secondhand smoke / Still just drinking canned Coke / I don't need a Xanny to feel better," the chorus proudly proclaims, as the bass swells up over Billie's voice. It's all about how lonely it can be when everyone's doing drugs around you, but you've chosen not to do so, because you're not a part of that world and don't want to be.

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"If you're just sitting in a room and you listen to this song, the chorus kind of, like, throws itself at you. Like 'I'm in their secondhand smoke,'" Billie told MTV about the song. "I just wanted it to sound the way that it feels to breathe in recycled breath. Recycled, poisonous breath, I may add. I just wanted it to feel miserable."

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Billie's video for "Xanny" is equally enigmatic, as it opens with her sitting on a cream-colored bench clad in a matching sweater and leggings. Everything looks pretty normal at first blush, but then you see it around 35 seconds in, when someone appears to put out their cigarette on her cheek. 

While figuring out exactly what Billie meant by this video that may make viewers squeamish is harder than analyzing the lyrics, it's easy to see Billie feels like she's being abused or hurt by others.

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The video continues with Billie having more cigarettes put out on her face, further reinforcing the fact that she feels like she's alone in a sea of smokers and "xanny" users, and it's causing her physical and emotional pain. Judging by her twisted-up face, it's clear that she's suffering alone and wants all of it to come to a stop, but that's easier said than done if everyone is doing the same thing. 

In the end, Billie has crafted a relatable tune about the power of peer pressure when it comes to drugs and smoking, and she's made it abundantly clear that she doesn't wish to be a part of it. 

It truly comes to live with her visceral music video, and you know Billie – she's going to make whatever point she wants to make, no matter how in your face it is. 

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