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What does "Cry for Me" by Camila Cabello mean?

What does "Cry for Me" by Camila Cabello mean?

“Cry for Me” Lyrics Meaning

Camila Cabello said of “Cry for Me” in an Instagram post, “I wrote a song back when I was 16 called I’m pissed off you’re happy, about a situation where someone and I broke up and sooner than I expected, they moved on, they were having fun and happy and dating and I was just like…. what the hell, that didn’t take very long. I took that idea and put it into this song, the feeling nobody likes to admit about feeling wild with jealousy.” In other words, these lyrics are about being angry with an ex because their speed at moving on can make you feel like they weren’t as serious about the relationship as you were.

“Never thought you’d be so good at moving on” 

Though not much is said about the time that Camila’s character in “Cry for Me” is with her boyfriend pre-break up, it’s clear that she thought they were serious. He said he would never be able to move on from her, and that he would die to protect her. Whether or not he believed these things at the time, he moves on much faster than she does, and it causes her to feel betrayed. Although she likely knows he shouldn’t spend his whole life grieving their lost romance, she wishes he would at least be sad for as long as she is.

Disclaimer: For simplicity’s sake, this analysis will refer to Camila Cabello, but it doesn’t mean that the song autobiographical, either partially or entirely.

Verse 1
Yeah, you look so happy walking down the street, don't you, baby? 
Did you for-get, you said that in this lifetime you can never get over me?
Are you over me?

Camila sees her former lover and is struck by how happy he is going about his life without her. She asks him if he forgot what he told her while they were a couple, that he could “never get over” her in this lifetime. It seems like he’s already moved on.

When I said I hope you're happy, didn't mean it
Never thought you'd be so good at moving on
When I'm lying wide awake, you're probably sleeping
And maybe what I'm thinking is wrong

Although she had wished him well and said that she wished he would be happy, she “didn’t mean it” deep down. She hoped that he would be as unhappy after the breakup as she was, and wasn’t expecting him to be “so good at moving on.” While she’s “lying wide awake” she realizes that he likely isn’t, which only makes her feel more alone in her heartache. 

I want you to cry for me, cry for me
Say you'd d-d-die for me, die for me
And if you can't, then baby, lie for me, lie for me
'Cause you haunt me when I'm dreamin'
And it's time you know the feeling
So cry for me

She wants to see her ex “cry for [her]” the way she’s crying over losing him. He made promises when they were together that are hard to forget, saying he would die for her. If he can’t find it in his heart to miss her, she begs him to lie and say he does. Though it won’t change things, she hopes that if he knew “the feeling” it would ease her own pain as she misses him.

Verse 2
See that pretty life in pictures 
See her lips erasing me
You're so good to her, it's vicious
Yeah, she should be thanking me
Who, who's gonna touch you like me?
Yeah, tell me, who?
Who can make you forget about me?

“See that pretty life in pictures” likely means she’s looking at photos of her ex on social media and is angry that he already is kissing someone else. Whether she knows it, or is only imagining it, the idea that he’s treating his new girlfriend as well as he did her, if not better, stirs up her jealousy. She believes his new lover owes it to her for helping him become a better person while they were dating. Again, she questions him and asks if his new girlfriend, or any woman, can be good enough to “make [him] forget about [her].”

Why won't you cry?
Tears in my eyes, yeah
And you're okay, you're okay
How can you be okay?
No, why won't you cry?

Underneath her anger and jealousy, is the pain of rejection. She doesn’t understand why he won’t cry over her the way she does over him. He’s okay now that the relationship is over, and she isn’t yet. How could he move on so quickly?

Deeper Meaning of “Cry for Me” by Camila Cabello

“Cry for Me” is a song that many people can relate to. People move on at different speeds, and for those who move on slower they often act as if they are no longer grieving the loss of the relationship, especially in front of their ex. This is a painful experience for the person who hurts longer, because they can feel even more isolated in their pain. Though it’s not easy, and can hurt for a long time, seeking out comfort from others who care about you can help to ease the pain of loneliness during a heartbreak. Just because the other person has moved on, or appears to, doesn’t mean you’re alone. 

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