Boys Will Be Boys

Album: Future Nostalgia (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Most of the lyrics of Dua Lipa's disco pop Future Nostalgia album center on themes of romance, love and desire, but she ends the record with this chamber-pop slow cut that tackles sexual harassment head on. Lipa subverts the adage of "boys will be boys," which claims youthful exuberance or indiscretions should be tolerated, to detail just what it's like to be a girl in a patriarchal society. Speaking to Vogue Australia, the singer discussed how females constantly have to defend themselves from male entitlement.

    "So much of the human experience for women revolves around men; how they make us feel, whether that is good or bad... Girls have to go through so much.

    You cover up yourself to avoid confrontation from men, avoid sexual harassment, people throwing words or catcalling. We change our ways to fit somebody else's lifestyle. It's really sad."
  • Lipa starts of the song with a lyric born of real-life teenage experience.

    It's second nature to walk home before the sun goes down
    And put your keys between your knuckles when there's boys around


    Lipa told the BBC she really did carry her keys between her knuckles out of fear of the local boys on bikes. "I remember walking home, especially in the winter time, when I was getting off my bus and just trying to get to my flat, which was a three minute walk from the bus stop, and just being petrified of boys on bikes cat-calling around the estate," she recalled.

    The songstress added that she included that line to speak directly to her female fans, "so they feel seen and feel heard and know that we all go through the same things."
  • Speaking during an interview with the London Sunday Times, Lipa said she hoped the song would start a conversation and be an "eye opener" as these were real things she has gone through.

    She said: "Getting home from school, scared of boys, I put keys between my knuckles. We constantly change the way we are so we don't get harassed. Cover our bodies so boys don't say things."
  • Lipa wrote the song with Jason Evigan and Stephen "Koz" Kozmeniuk, the same pair she teamed with on "Physical." The singer explained to Apple Music it came from a conversation when she was recalling to them what it was like to get off the bus from school and walk home knowing there'd be adolescent boys around. She'd be so scared that they would catcall or chase her home. "For girls at school, there was always that fear of trying to get home before it got too dark." Lipa added.
  • Justin Tranter and Kennedi Lykken are also credited as co-writers. Dua Lipa previously co-wrote "Swan Song" with the pair for the Alita: Battle Angel movie.
  • Composer and producer Rupert Christie arranged the kids' choir that sings towards the end of "Boys Will Be Boys." His other credits include U2 and Green Day's version of The Skids' "The Saints Are Coming" and Cliff Richard's "Rise Up."

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