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My name's Clifford Stumme, and I explain the deeper meanings of popular songs. Let's have a conversation about what you think about the songs and go deeper together. Feel free to email me at clifford@popsongprofessor.com with questions or ideas!

What does "Sweet Creature" by Harry Styles mean?

What does "Sweet Creature" by Harry Styles mean?

"Sweet Creature" Lyrics Meaning

Harry Styles just released the next single from his upcoming album Harry Styles, and if any song from any former One Direction band member is going to claim indie influence, it's probably going to be "Sweet Creature." The name's already odd enough to be alternative, and the folksy backing vocals, simple guitar picking, and country-inspired vocal flourishes remind me heavily of acoustic alternative songs about summer days and childhood. 

I'll be honest: I never thought I'd be a huge fan of Harry Styles's solo-projects. I didn't like "Sign of the Times," but I'm actually digging "Sweet Creature." It adds pop-perfection to the indie-style, and it sounds sincerely nice and (pardon the laziness) sweet. 

An Imperfect Perfect Relationship

The big idea behind "Sweet Creature" is Harry Styles singing about a relationship that's difficult and involves fighting but that he's willing to go back to because it's still overall stabilizing and powerful. The song doesn't get into much detail, but we do hear him singing about this woman who it's hard to argue with but who brings him "home" when he's not able to go on by himself. 

Verse 1

Sweet creature
Had another talk about where it's going wrong
But we're still young
We don't know where we're going
But we know where we belong

In the lyrics of the first verse of "Sweet Creature," Harry Styles sings to a woman who he calls "[s]weet creature " and comments on how they've been talking about how things have been "going wrong," but the fact that he doesn't go into depth on what's going wrong and only casually mentions it later suggests that while something may be going wrong, it's not necessarily ending the relationship. He even excuses the problem by saying "we're still young," taking pressure off the need for the perfection and helping them to enjoy the moment they're in. 

He explains that while they "don't know where [they're] going," they "know where [they] belong," which refers to them knowing that they need to stay together. They may not know who they are going to be, or, as young people, they may not know their place in society, but they are going to find the answers with each other.

Pre-Chorus

No, we started
Two hearts in one home
It's hard when we argue
We're both stubborn
I know but . . .

The reference in the lyrics to "Two hearts in one home" could mean that they have lived together or the fact that they "started" there could mean they grew up together. In any case, they began with similar ideas and worked together well, but they've also been arguing recently, and it's "hard" because they're "both stubborn" and don't compromise easily. The last line "I know but . . ." suggests that Harry Styles accepts these difficulties and is prepared to continue working them out together.

[I have some suspicion that this song may be about a non-romantic relationship like a sibling or platonic relationship, but the lyric ". . . where it's going wrong" is a phrasing usually used in the context of romantic relationships. It is possible (and even likely) that this vagueness and presence of only one exclusively romantic line points to a purposeful ambiguity so that listeners can apply the song to various life situations.]

Chorus

Sweet creature, sweet creature
Wherever I go, you bring me home
Sweet creature, sweet creature
When I run out of rope, you bring me home

The chorus again refers to the woman as "sweet creature" and shows Harry Styles telling her that wherever he goes, she "bring[s] [him] home." She grounds him and helps him to have a sense of belonging and stability. This is an exact answer to his concern about not knowing "where we're going" in the first verse. He finishes the chorus by singing, "When I run out of rope, you bring me home." When he feels overwhelmed and is exhausted, she's a safe place for him to go.

Verse 2

Sweet creature
We're running through the garden
Where nothing bothered us
But we're still young
I always think about you and how we don't speak enough

In the lyrics of Verse 2 of "Sweet Creature," Harry Styles sings about their dreamy, ideal times together. They were "running through the garden / Where nothing bothered us." They have beautiful times together, but Harry Styles knows that it's partially because they're "still young"; as they get older, they will have opportunities for more difficult and less pleasant experiences, but for now life is beautiful. 

Styles finishes the verse by singing about thinking about her and wanting to talk with her more. The reference to them not "speak[ing] enough" could mean they need to spend more time together or that they spend their time enjoying each other's company quietly.

Deeper Meaning of "Sweet Creature": A Beautiful, Vague Love

My favorite aspect of "Sweet Creature's" deeper meaning is that it doesn't give away its moral too easily. Now, it does give it away somewhat easily, but if you don't listen closely, it might be tempting to think that this is either a relationship that's perfectly good, but lines like "Had another talk about where it's going wrong / But we're still young" give the song an added shade of a gray and a deeper meaning that suggests that this relationship, like real relationships, is complicated and nuanced. 

I appreciate that Harry Styles doesn't "cartoonify" relationships in this song, and while--sure--he doesn't get into specifics or develop the relationship all that much beyond vague, sweet generalities (I'm still not 100% that he meant it to be about romantic relationships and only romantic relationships), I think it's a pretty "sweet" song, and I look forward to listening to it on my local Top 40 station.

Let me know what you think about the song down below in the comments!

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