Olivia Rodrigo continues on her heartbreak theme with the brand new song “the grudge.” Heartbreak festered over years and years have turned into a grudge against the person who once was the love of her life. Feelings of betrayal and lack of closure have turned her heart cold now.
Olivia Rodrigo released her second studio album ‘GUTS’ on September 8, 2023. The release of the album was followed by two singles “vampire” and “bad idea right?” Talking to Apple Music, Olivia Rodrigo admitted that her debut album ‘SOUR’ was a lot more spontaneous than anything else. However, her follow-up project “has given me a lot of confidence as a songwriter.”
In “the grudge,” Olivia Rodrigo seems to be referencing to one specific incident from her life that has scarred her for a long time. She talks about a certain Friday in May–most likely on the 8th of May, 2020. Olivia has mentioned this date in her ‘Driving Home 2 U’ documentary as a date a boy broke up with her.
Listen to “the grudge” by Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo “the grudge” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
The song starts off with a narration of that one fateful Friday the 8th. She received a phone call from her favorite person in the world, only to have her world turned upside down. A breakup over a phone call was the last thing on her mind and a feeling of betrayal overtook her.
It must be a quite daunting feeling to have given everything they can to someone only for that person to take everything and move on. Sometimes, these scars cannot be healed. This is very apparent in the following line in the song;
And I hear your voice every time that I think I’m not enough
Even worse might be the lack of closure. A phone call is no way to break up with someone. It is quite inhumane, and insensitive, and leaves more room for doubts and insecurities. Olivia Rodrigo continues to create fantasies where this boy would apologize for what he did and how he did it. She continues to scream in his face in all of her dreams. He did not grant Olivia the courtesy of an apology when he ended things over a phone call.
And we both drew blood, but, man, those cuts were never equal
Olivia Rodrigo seemingly admits that she also threw some punches in his face at some points. But the cuts were never closer. He bought a knife to a fistfight. She is still trying to heal while he lives a new life without much consequences for what he did and how he did it.
Olivia Rodrigo knows that no amount of heartbreak anthems or fantasies of him apologizing are going to bring her the closure she needs now. The window for any sort of reconciliation has long gone. Now you just pick yourself up, dust yourself, and try to move on.
Hurt people, do hurt people. Olivia Rodrigo seems to be the victim so far. Will she be the one to return the favor to someone? Or will she break the cycle?
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Read the complete lyrics to the song on Genius.