“As It Was” is a single by Harry Styles’ from his self-titled album, “Harry’s House.” It has been featured in a couple of TV shows, such as Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and DRUCK.

The High Price of Fame

The lyrics and meaning behind the single are a metaphor for Styles’ feelings towards his past and current situation. “As It Was” is an amazing piece from the album “Harry’s House” and can be translated to mean, “Everything was perfect back then.” Due to this, the song is a reflection on how he used to be able to live carefree with people who adored and valued him and made him feel great. Towards the song’s end, Styles reflects on how everything transformed within months of becoming famous.

Harry Styles’ lyrics are straightforward to interpret. In the first verse, his lyrics describe how he used to feel about his “Old Ways of Living,” but now he is “tired and bored.” He suggests that it gets harder and harder to cope with the changes in his life, which can be taken from the fact that kids may grow up much faster than their parents due to their new independence. In the album “Harry’s House,” Styles also hints at how he thinks everything will eventually get easier, despite the hardships in the present. He says, “I’ve got my heart set on being somebody,” hinting at how he knows what will make him feel happy and fulfilled. However, he also says, “I don’t know how,” meaning that he doesn’t know how to achieve what he wants successfully.

The lyrics “Cannot see the point at all” suggest that Harry Styles has broken from his old ways of living, and anything is not making any sense to him anymore. It also says that he has never been more lifeless or uninspired in his whole life. ” I need friends, but I can’t get through the day without myself,” which suggests that he is trying to rely on others for a good time, but they only end up draining him instead. “I used to be able to live a carefree life” show how he could easily spend time with the people who loved him and enjoyed doing whatever he did. Despite this, he now believes it is harder than it used to be, supporting his mood and not enjoying himself anymore. The lyrics “I can’t believe this is happening” suggest that something has changed in Styles’ life, which he did not expect.

The Reference to Relationship With Olivia Wilde

His fans are also seeing some parts of the lyrics as a link or reference to his relationship with Olivia Wilde. Fans have made the assumption that towards the end, the song hints toward Olivia and her two kids. Reportedly, he started dating Wilde while shooting a film in which he was cast for a significant role, which Olivia directed. Olivia Wilde was much delighted to make him agree to partner with her on this project. 

Soon after being his film partner, Wilde moved ahead to agree to become his romantic partner The relationship went on for around two years, from January 2021 to November 2022, before he and Wilde parted ways due to his frequent and long tours that would last for months. 

Moreover, the cast and insiders have reported that Olivia Wilde and Styles started dating soon after they met on the sets but kept their relationship hidden for months. It was in January 2021 when their relationship surfaced. In January, they were attending a wedding when they got clicked together, sharing closeness as a couple. And if the cast of the film and the fans are to be believed, they agree upon the fact that they clicked and bonded almost instantly after meeting and did not wait long before they started dating each other. 

However, after the separation, they are seen avoiding each other at social events and Olivia Wilde has even moved on in her life

Things Just Aren’t the Same Anymore

In an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Harry Styles said without mentioning Wilde, “To me, it’s like everything that happened in the Pandemic, it’s never going to be the same as before. All of this happening in the world was so obvious that it’s just not you can’t go backward. Whether that is us as people or me in my personal life or any of that stuff, it’s like you learn. So much in those moments are forced to face life head-on, whether that is your least favorite aspects about the world, your least favorite parts about yourself, or all of those together. It’s like you just can’t then pretend that stuff doesn’t exist.”

Harry Styles uses guitar and beat in the single “As It Was” The beat is very fast-paced and upbeat throughout the whole song. We hear mechanical clanging music in the background, which creates an industrial feel to the music video and overall vibe. The lyrics are boisterous, loud, and dramatic to match the beat. We can hear he’s trying to express how he misses the past and wants it to return.

The first verse’s lyrics speak about how he used to feel about the situations and people around him at that moment, but now situations are different. He states that he is not the same and doesn’t want to return to those days anymore. His life was more carefree when he was younger, and everything was easy, so now he’s starting over again with a new phase of being famous.


Holdin’ me back
Gravity’s holdin’ me back
I want you to hold out the palm of your hand
Why don’t we leave it at that?
Nothin’ to say
When everything gets in the way
Seems you cannot be replaced
And I’m the one who will stay, oh

In this world, it’s just us
You know it’s not the same as it was
In this world, it’s just us
You know it’s not the same as it was
As it was, as it was
You know it’s not the same

Answer the phone
“Harry, you’re no good alone
Why are you sittin’ at home on the floor?
What kind of pills are you on?”
Ringin’ the bell
And nobody’s comin’ to help
Your daddy lives by himself
He just wants to know that you’re well, oh

In this world, it’s just us
You know it’s not the same as it was
In this world, it’s just us
You know it’s not the same as it was
As it was, as it was
You know it’s not the same

Go home, get ahead, light-speed internet
I don’t wanna talk about the way that it was
Leave America, two kids follow her
I don’t wanna talk about who’s doin’ it first

As it was
You know it’s not the same as it was
As it was, as it was

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Harry Edward Styles / Thomas Edward Percy Hull / Tyler Sam Johnson

As It Was lyrics © Benjamin Sem, Concord Music Publishing LLC, DistroKid, Universal Music Publishing Group

This article was first published July 29th 2022 and last updated June 15th 2023

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