Bellyache

Album: Don't Smile At Me (2017)
Charted: 79 103

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Billie Eilish has a bellyache because she feels a little guilty (just a little) about murdering her friends and stashing their bodies in the back of her car. It's not was most 15-year-olds would write about, but Eilish was no ordinary 15-year-old. Even then, she was writing unusual and often macabre lyrics that were sometimes personal, but often in the guise of a character, in this case a serial killer. Eilish made it clear she was just having some fun in this song and harbors no bloodlust.
  • Eilish wrote "Bellyache" with her brother-producer Finneas. It was released as a single in early 2017 ahead of her first EP, Don't Smile At Me. By this time, she already had a record deal with Interscope thanks to her 2015 song "Ocean Eyes," which went viral in 2015. The EP kept her snowball rolling downhill, and by the time she released her first album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, in 2019, she was more refined and well versed on how to handle the media.
  • Eilish made a video for this song that was directed by the Los Angeles team Miles and AJ. We see her on an empty road in the desert, wearing a yellow jumpsuit and pulling a wagon with two garbage bads as cargo. She seems a little unhinged, at one point pulling out a wad of cash and making it rain. At the end, when she encounters a cop, there's a standoff, which is how the video ends.
  • A few months after this song was released in 2017, it was remixed by Jeremy Lloyd of the duo Marian Hill, who had a breakout hit that year with "Down." Lloyd and Finneas are friends and have similar sensibilities when it comes to production. In a Songfacts interview, Lloyd explained how he put it together. "That was one of the easiest and most fun remixes I've done," he said. "I loved the bassline that came in on the chorus of the original, and I wanted the whole song to be like that.

    I took the bassline that they had in the chorus and I put it over the whole song with the vocal a cappella and then built my version over that. Sometimes I get a remix and I'm like, 'Hmm, how will I reimagine this?' and every now and then I know exactly what I want, and that was the case with this one."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Michael Franti

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.

Emmylou Harris

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Bill Withers

Bill WithersSongwriter Interviews

Soul music legend Bill Withers on how life experience and the company you keep leads to classic songs like "Lean On Me."

Sarah Brightman

Sarah BrightmanSongwriter Interviews

One of the most popular classical vocalists in the land is lining up a trip to space, which is the inspiration for many of her songs.

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of WayneSongwriter Interviews

The guy who brought us "Stacy's Mom" also wrote the Jane Lynch Emmy song and Stephen Colbert's Christmas songs.