Olivia Rodrigo’s Traitor Lyrics: Unveiling the Heartbreak and Betrayal

by Alex Harris

28th August, 2023

Olivia Rodrigo’s Traitor Lyrics: Unveiling the Heartbreak and Betrayal

Olivia Rodrigo, the breakout star of 2021, captivated listeners with her deeply personal and relatable songs on her debut album, Sour. One track that resonated with fans on a profound level is Traitor. With its raw emotion and heartfelt lyrics, the song delves into the pain of a shattered relationship and the devastating feeling of betrayal.

In this article, we will dissect the lyrics of Traitor to uncover the true meaning behind Olivia Rodrigo’s powerful words.

The Story Behind Traitor

Traitor is a song that reflects Olivia Rodrigo’s personal experiences in a past relationship. The lyrics vividly depict the heartbreak and the sense of being betrayed by someone she deeply cared for. The song explores the themes of infidelity, deceit, and the lingering pain of a failed romance.

According to Olivia Rodrigo, she wrote Traitor in her bedroom after a breakup. She said, “I was really obsessed with this idea that somebody could be so close to you and then just turn around and be with somebody else so quickly. And I think that’s such a universal thing that people go through.”

Brown Guilty Eyes and Little White Lies

The opening lines of “Traitor” immediately set the tone for the emotional journey that the song takes the listener on. Olivia Rodrigo sings, “Brown guilty eyes and little white lies, yeah. I played dumb, but I always knew.” These words convey a sense of awareness and intuition that Olivia had about her partner’s unfaithfulness. She chose to ignore the signs and pretend not to notice, hoping that things would improve.

The use of colour imagery in these lines creates a contrast between the brown eyes of her ex-partner and the white lies they told her. The brown eyes symbolise guilt and dishonesty, while the white lies represent innocence and purity. Olivia Rodrigo exposes the irony and hypocrisy of her ex-partner’s actions, as they tried to hide their true intentions behind false words.

The Anguish of Betrayal

The chorus of Traitor encapsulates the anguish and hurt that Olivia experienced in the aftermath of the relationship. She sings, “You betrayed me, and I know that you’ll never feel sorry for the way I hurt, yeah. You talked to her when we were together, loved you at your worst, but that didn’t matter.” These lines reveal the pain of realising that someone she loved and trusted had turned their back on her. Despite standing by their side through difficult times, Olivia’s commitment was disregarded, leaving her feeling betrayed and unimportant.

The repetition of the word “you” in these lines emphasises Olivia Rodrigo’s accusation and resentment towards her ex-partner. She holds them accountable for their actions and expresses her disappointment in their lack of remorse. She also reveals that they had already started talking to someone else while they were still together, implying that they had been cheating on her or planning to leave her.

Olivia Rodrigo Traitor song cover
Olivia Rodrigo Traitor song cover

The Quick Rebound

One of the most striking aspects of Traitor is Olivia Rodrigo’s candidness about her ex-partner’s rapid rebound. She sings, “Took you two weeks to go off and date her; guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor.” These lyrics hint at the fact that her ex quickly found solace in someone else’s arms, leaving Olivia feeling replaced and discarded. The swiftness of this new relationship adds insult to injury, intensifying the pain of the betrayal.

Olivia Rodrigo uses sarcasm in these lines to mock her ex-partner’s justification for their actions. She questions their loyalty and integrity, as they moved on so fast after breaking up with her. She also challenges their definition of cheating, as they technically did not cross any physical boundaries with their new partner while they were still with her. However, she argues that they still betrayed her emotionally by having feelings for someone else.

The Impact of Traitor

Traitor struck a chord with listeners worldwide due to its relatability and emotional depth. The song resonated with anyone who has experienced heartbreak and feelings of betrayal in a relationship. Olivia Rodrigo’s ability to express these raw emotions through her lyrics allowed fans to find solace and connection in her music.

The song received critical acclaim from music critics, who praised its honesty and vulnerability. Teen Vogue called Traitor “flawless”, and remarked that the song had a “Kacey Musgraves-esquenlight-folk backdrop”. Tatiana Tenreyro of The A.V. Club called the song “[Rodrigo’s] most vulnerable song yet”. NME‘s Rhian Daly described the song as “gorgeous”. Larisha Paul from Billboard praised the song, deeming it to feature Rodrigo’s “best vocal performance” throughout Sour.

The song also achieved commercial success, reaching number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified 4× platinum by the RIAA on June 30, 2023. The song also earned Rodrigo seven nominations at the American Music Awards, where she performed a stunning rendition of the song.

Fan Reactions and Interpretations

Upon the release of Traitor, fans took to social media to share their interpretations and personal connections to the song. Many speculated about the inspiration behind the lyrics, pointing to Olivia Rodrigo’s past relationship with Joshua Bassett and his subsequent involvement with Sabrina Carpenter. Fans found solace in the lyrics, feeling as though Olivia had put their own experiences into words.

Some fans also created memes and videos based on the song, using humour and creativity to cope with their emotions. For example, some fans made TikTok videos of themselves reacting to the song with exaggerated expressions of sadness and anger. Others made jokes about how they would confront their ex-partners after listening to the song.

The Healing Power of Music

Traitor is just one example of how music can provide a cathartic release for both the artist and the listener. Olivia Rodrigo’s ability to convey the pain of betrayal through her lyrics resonates with those who have experienced similar heartbreak. The song serves as a reminder that they are not alone in their struggles and that healing is possible.

Music can also help people process their emotions and gain new perspectives on their situations. By listening to songs that reflect their feelings, people can validate and understand their emotions better. By listening to songs that offer hope and encouragement, people can find strength and motivation to move on.

Conclusion

Olivia Rodrigo’s Traitor is a powerful and emotionally charged song that delves into the heartbreak and betrayal experienced in a failed relationship. Through her heartfelt lyrics, Olivia captivates listeners and allows them to connect with their own experiences of love gone wrong. The song’s universal themes and relatability have solidified Olivia Rodrigo’s status as a voice of her generation.

Olivia Rodrigo Traitor Lyrics

Intro
Ooh-ooh-ooh
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah

Verse 1
Brown guilty eyes and
Little white lies, yeah
I played dumb, but I always knew
That you talked to her, maybe did even worse
I kept quiet so I could keep you

Pre-Chorus
And ain’t it funny how you ran to her
The second that we called it quits?
And ain’t it funny how you said you were friends?
Now it sure as hell don’t look like it

Chorus
You betrayed me
And I know that you’ll never feel sorry
For the way I hurt, yeah
You talked to her when we were together
Loved you at your worst, but that didn’t matter
It took you two weeks to go off and date her
Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor

Verse 2
Now you bring her around just to shut me down
Show her off like she’s a new trophy
And I know if you were true, there’s no damn way that you
Could fall in love with somebody that quickly

Pre-Chorus
And ain’t it funny? All the twisted games
All the questions you used to avoid
Ain’t it funny? Remember I brought her up
And you told me I was paranoid?

Chorus
You betrayed me
And I know that you’ll never feel sorry
For the way I hurt, yeah
You talked to her when we were together
Loved you at your worst, but that didn’t matter
It took you two weeks to go off and date her
Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor

Bridge
(Ah-ah-ah)
God, I wish that you had thought this through
Before I went and fell in love with you
(Ah-ah-ah)
When she’s sleepin’ in the bed we made
Don’t you dare forget about the way

Chorus
You betrayed me
‘Cause I know that you’ll never feel sorry
For the way I hurt, yeah
You talked to her when we were together
You gave me your word, but that didn’t matter
It took you two weeks to go off and date her
Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still, you’re still a traitor
(Ah-ah-ah)
Yeah, you’re still a traitor

Outro
Ooh-ooh-ooh
God, I wish that you had thought this through
Before I went and fell in love with you

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