“3am” is the 8th track on Halsey’s 2020 album ‘Manic.’ The song takes on the aftermath to its preceding track “I HATE EVERYBODY’ on the album. Halsey tries to call someone-anyone in this late night or early morning hour to find some love. Let us go further into the meaning behind this song.
Halsey released her third studio album ‘Manic‘ on January 17, 2020. The album was preceded by its singles such as “Clementine,” “Graveyard,” “You Should Be Sad,” “Without Me,” and “Finally // beautiful stranger.” The album also features SUGA of the KPOP boyband BTS.
“Nothing good happens after 2 AM” is a popular quote in the popular culture, and in the folklore, 3 AM is known as the devil’s hour.
The lyrics to the song dangerously gets closer to the theme of depression after a night of extreme socializing. The state of mind can be a fickle thing. You cannot let it wander on its own. You have to take control of your consciousness, or else it will take control of you. Halsey wrote down the inspiration behind this song on Twitter; “After a night out where I came home and was ringing everyone in my contacts cause I was dying to talk to literally ANYONE so I wouldn’t have to sit with my own thoughts. I realized ‘hmm this is…bad.’ and wrote a song about it!”
Listen to “3am” by Halsey
Halsey gets to her apartment at “3am” after a night of partying and socializing at the club. Her misplaced credit cards are just one worry. She has a strong urge to speak to somebody because her apartment is a ghost town. Even worse, her head is a ghost town.
Halsey also knows that her insecurities stem from a mental state of alcohol inhibition. It was fun at the club, but now it’s playing games in her head. What if she is destined to be lonely? What is she only has the audience at her concerts to scream “I love you!”
Her head is a mess at this ungodly hour and there is no one around her to anchor her mind.
Halsey tries calling her friends on her cellphone. It is 3 am and most people are sound asleep. Every person she dials is either too sleepy to talk or dismisses her call. This heightens her feeling of being all by herself.
Halsey speaks about her dating life thus far. It has not been an easy journey. Every time she gets close to somebody, they take off. She thinks that her ex-lovers feel at a loss in her presence.
Despite everything, Halsey is self-aware. She knows that there is no external force that could influence her. She is aware that only she can influence or affect herself. And this is not something one can control easily. The worse of her enemies is only herself. So taking hold of yourself and your mind is the only way out of this trough for Halsey.
The outro of the song is a voice recording by John Mayer praising Halsey on her success with her single “Without Me.” The breakup anthem became #1 on Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified 6x Platinum by 2020. This clip serves as an important step in realizing self-worth before anyone else. John Mayer recognized how big the song was going to get when Halsey did not believe it. “It’s @JohnMayer! Haha. He predicted the success of without me before I had faith in myself #Manicthealbum,” Tweeted Halsey soon after releasing the album.
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Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.