No Tears Left to Cry

Album: Sweetener (2018)
Charted: 2 3
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Written by Ariana Grande with Max Martin, ILYA, and Savan Kotecha, this power ballad was the first track to be released by the singer since the the terrorist attack that killed 22 concertgoers outside one of her gigs in Manchester, England. Though Grande doesn't directly reference the Manchester attack, she alludes to the tragic event by singing about moving on from pain.

    Right now I'm in a state of mind
    I wanna be in like all the time
    Ain't got no tears left to cry
    So I'm pickin' it up, I'm pickin' up
    I'm lovin', I'm livin', I'm pickin' it up

    After been brought down so low she'd run out of tears, Ariana is determined not to let the incident break her and is ready to embrace life again.
  • The futuristic-looking Dave Meyers-directed video alludes to the Manchester Arena attack at the very end when a worker bee - which is the symbol of the city of Manchester - flies towards the camera.

    Dave Meyers explained in a behind the scenes film what he wanted to accomplish in the gravity-defying clip. "The concept we wanted to explore was the disorientation that you go through in life and the quest we all go through to kind of find the ground again," he said.

    "We sort of flirt with the ambiguity of whether you need to find the ground or whether the ground's just what you make of it," Meyers added.
  • Grande debuted the song live on April 20, 2018 at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, during Kygo's set.
  • This won for Best Pop Video at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • The track's origins lay in Grande telling Savan Kotecha that she wanted a song like Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" that starts off slow like a ballad and turns into something different. Kotecha recalled to Billboard how the songstress sat down with him, Ilya and Max Martin and spoke about all the pressure she'd been through. They decided to try to figure out a way for Grande to say how she was feeling in a song.

    When Grande told them, "I want it to be positive and talk about positivity and love. I don't have any tears left to cry," the other three songwriters immediately knew that was the way they could express in a song the weight she was carrying.
  • This was NME's Best Song of 2018. They wrote: "Following a 12 month period marred by impossible-to-comprehend personal tragedy, this defiant return was the year's best pop song, proof of music's oft-touted healing properties and of the empowerment of dusting yourself off and starting again."
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