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Phoebe Bridgers - Sidelines

[Verse 1]
I'm not afraid of anything at all
Not dying in a fire, not being broke again
I'm not afraid of living on a fault line
'Cause nothing ever shakes me, nothing makes me cry
Not a plane going down
In the ocean, I'm drowning

[Chorus]
Watch the world from the sidelines
Had nothing to prove
Till you came into my life
Gave me something to lose
Now I know what it feels like
To wanna go outside
Like the shape of my outline
[Verse 2]
I'm not afraid of going back to school
I gave it up the first time, but I'll try again
I'm not afraid of getting older
Used to fetishize myself, now I'm talking to my house plants
Not of being alone (mmm)
In a room full of people

[Chorus]
Watching the world from the sidelines
Had nothing to prove
Till you came into my life
Gave me something to lose
Now I know what it feels like
To wanna go outside
Like the shape of my outline

[Outro]
And I used to think
You could hear the ocean in a seashell
What a childish thingYou might also like

Phoebe Bridgers’ “Sidelines” is based on the vocalist being someone who, by her admission, was previously living a fearless life. Usually, when the likes of musicians put forth such an assertion, it is meant to point to the idea of being unafraid to pursue one’s dreams. But what Phoebe is more specifically putting forth is that fears that commonly exist amongst men – such as that of natural disasters, accidents, aging, loneliness, and lack of accomplishment – do not shake her. She was “watch(ing) the world from the sidelines”, i.e. reveling in a state of non-goal-oriented, anonymous bliss, if you will. But then, something happened that took away that sense of carefreeness. And that something was falling in love with the addressee. So now, it’s like for the first time ever, the vocalist actually has “something to lose”. So even though it can be taken that she was content beforehand, now Phoebe is celebrating being smitten. And that is because being in such a state, even if it does inherently carry emotional risks, makes life more edifying overall. “Sidelines“ was released in April 2022 and included in the show “Conversations with Friends” (adapted from Sally Rooney’s book of the same name). Phoebe Bridgers is a fan of the author and at the time of release declared it would be her only new music of 2022. An early version of this song was released on Soundcloud by Ruby Henley and Marshall Vore with a different second verse sung by Ruby.

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