When The Party's Over

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2018)
Charted: 21 29
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • You know those frustrating phone calls when someone is mad at you and is shouting, but you can't hear what they're saying because of the din in the background? This delicate, moody track is about one of those scenarios:

    Don't you know too much already?
    I'll only hurt you if you let me
    Call me friend, but keep me closer
    And I'll call you when the party's over


    Eilish is musing on the frustrations of the end of a relationship when her lover is trying to communicate something to her, but she just doesn't want to hear his voice at this juncture. She told Coup de Main: "I feel like everybody's had that struggle with someone – somebody on the phone yelling for some reason, and you're just like, 'You know what? F---ing leave me alone.'"
  • Eilish first performed "When The Party's Over" live during her January 30, 2018 gig at The Tuning Fork in Auckland, New Zealand. The teenage singer then hooked up with her brother and frequent collaborator, Finneas O'Connell, for the angelic hum-laced production. He admitted it was a difficult track to record, but "hundreds and hundreds of vocal layers later," the siblings were happy with the final result.
  • The video shows black tears flowing down Eilish's cheek, staining her outfit and later the floor. Eilish told NME that her inspiration for the clip came from a fan's drawing of her with black eyes leaking.

    “I remember standing there, looking at this drawing of me, and my eyes were black and there was black ink dripping from my eyes, and I just stared at it and I feel like I got star-struck by this image, this drawing of me," she said.
  • The gloopy black substance used in the video was Xanthan gum mixed with charcoal water. To achieve the required thickness Eilish had to take about four swallows.
  • Eilish and Finneas performed this at the Grammy Awards in 2020. They were big winners, taking Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Bad Guy," and winning Album of the Year for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  • Disguised in a sun costume, LeAnn Rimes sang an a cappella version of this before she was revealed as the season 4 winner of The Masked Singer in 2020. Rimes spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the performance. "It's such a beautiful song," she said. "And for me, I loved having a different take on it, obviously, with the intimacy of it being just so bare - and I was so specific about that. I really, really wanted to do as much of that as possible with the a cappella. It's such an interesting TV moment because usually a cappella is not the way to go, you usually want to do this big dramatic thing, which it ended up that way [at the end of the song], but I really fought for that. I really wanted the intimacy of that, because I know how powerful that can be. When I saw it, I thought it turned out exactly like I wanted it to. People connected to it so deeply, and it was a powerful moment. So thank you for saying that. You're not the first and I'm taking it all to heart for sure."

Comments: 1

  • Evy from TexasBillie had me at “see me in a crown” & upon mentioning Sherlock Holmes. From there I was hooked with who she is as an artist, her inspiration behind the lyrics, her powerful and mesmerizing vocals, the tone that's set behind all her music, & beautiful collaboration with her brother. For those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder. I agree that Almost everyone has had that particular moment where you don’t give a f***, for now just say goodbye and let it go.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-Nighters

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.

Frankie Valli

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.

Brandi Carlile

Brandi CarlileSongwriter Interviews

As a 5-year-old, Brandi was writing lyrics to instrumental versions lullabies. She still puts her heart into her songs, including the one Elton John sings on.

Mike Campbell

Mike CampbellSongwriter Interviews

Mike is lead guitarist with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and co-writer of classic songs like "Boys Of Summer," "Refugee" and "The Heart Of The Matter."

Elton John

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New Words

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New WordsSong Writing

Do you remember the first time you heard "email" in a song? How about "hater" or "Facebook"? Here are the songs where they first showed up.