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Billie Eilish Explained The Real Story Behind Fan-Favorite Song "Blue"

It’s more than just a rework of “True Blue.”

Between the rumored Jesse Rutherford and Devon Lee Carlson references, there’s a lot of lore on Billie Eilish’s third album, Hit Me Hard And Soft. One song with an extensive, though less scandelous, backstory is “Blue,” the album’s melancholic closing track that most fans already know is a rework of previously unreleased and leaked song, “True Blue.” Now, Eilish has opened up about the complicated story behind the making of the track, which she says involved a mash-up of, not just one, but two songs, and was only inspired after “True Blue” had leaked online.

Speaking to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Eilish explained that she was in the middle of “doing laundry” in 2022 when she saw on TikTok that “True Blue” had been leaked. For some background, Eilish originally wrote the song way back in 2016, around the time “Ocean Eyes” came out, with the intention of putting it on her debut album. But she never ended up releasing it, because it had “aged out of [the music] we wanted to be making,” she said.

Naturally, seeing that it had nonetheless made its way online bothered her — even though she eventually came around. “It’s an unfinished thing that I never wanted to come out,” she told Lowe of “True Blue.” “I had my initial, ‘Ugh they f*cking stole my shit again.’ But then I was like, whatever, it’s kinda cool.”

It turned out the leak was ultimately for the best, as it inspired Eilish to revisit “True Blue” for the first time in years — “I went on YouTube and searched ‘billie eilish true blue,’” she said — and rework it for the new album. Per the singer, she and Finneas decided to mash the song up with a different discarded track from the Happier Than Ever era called, “Born Blue:” “We took both of these old songs [...] and resurrected them” to create “Blue.”

Since the record’s release, “Blue” has gotten a lot of attention from fans for not only its backstory but also the Easter Eggs hidden in its lyrics. Lyrically, the track includes references to the others song on the album — which Eilish confirmed to Lowe was intentional.

On the song’s second verse, the lyric “I thought we were the same/ birds of a feather” references “Birds Of A Feather;” “désolée, mon amour” references “L’amour De Ma Vie;” “I’m trying my best” references “The Greatest;” “Don’t now what’s in store/ open up the door” references “Chihiro,” alongside other clues.

It’s not the first time Eilish has employed this tactic; she’s also done it on previous releases like “goodbye” and “NDA,” perhaps signaling that these clues could be a new signature? Either way, Taylor Swift would surely be proud.