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Meaning of the song ‘Ego’ by ‘Tove Styrke’

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Released: 2015

Alright, let’s get into Tove Styrke’s “Ego” from the jump—this is a tune about the classic tale of change and disconnect. We’re diving headfirst into the story of someone watching their partner transform into a person bloated with self-importance, to the point where the relationship is on the brink because the ego has taken the driver’s seat. Now, let’s break down how Styrke lays it all out for us in her pop banger.

The opening sets the stage: “I’ve been watching you as of lately / Walking around like you’re something to talk about.” From the get-go, it’s clear that our protagonist notices a shift in their significant other—the partner’s been strutting around, oozing swagger, and frankly, it seems they’ve drunk their own Kool-Aid, believing they’re the talk of the town. It’s like they’ve crossed from being humble to full-on celebrity status in their mind. Styrke reminisces about the past, “Used to be just you and me baby,” a time when things were simpler and love wasn’t corrupted by pretensions or façades. However, she doesn’t shy away from calling it as it is now—”There’s nothing left beyond those lies,” indicating that the relationship is on thin ice, and what’s left is just… air.

Then, she hits us with the direct accusation, “Lie, you’re living such a lie,” emphasizing the phoniness she’s witnessing. The chorus packs a punch with “I wanna hold you, but you’re untouchable.” Here, she’s mourning the loss of intimacy; her partner has become this aloof figure, so caught up in their own self-image that they’re metaphorically out of reach. The repetition of being “caught up in your ego” drives the point home—the ego has become the third wheel in their relationship. Styrke gets real with the pain, “I wanna love you, but you’re making it impossible,” underscoring the struggle of loving someone who’s lost touch with their roots. She questions, “Did you forget where you came from?”—a plea for them to get a reality check and remember the person they used to be.

The second verse doesn’t pull any punches either. “When did you decide to get shady?” Styrke asks, fishing for the moment the switch flipped. She’s not about that life and she makes it clear: “I hate that you become that type.” It’s as if she’s talking to someone who’s chasing clout, and it’s made them into a stranger. “Holding on to moments of maybe,” indicates that she’s grappling with hope, but deep down, she knows it’s a lost cause, and she drops the sad truth, “I see you gave in without a fight.” It’s the resignation that the person she loved didn’t just stumble into this ego-trap—they walked in willingly.

As the song fades out repeating the chorus, we are left to sit with the aftermath. The infectious, melancholic pop melody coupled with Styrke’s lyrics encapsulates a relationship turned sour by ego. We’ve all seen it, maybe been there—that point where someone’s head gets so big, love can’t fit in the room anymore. Through “Ego,” Tove Styrke gives us the bop for when we’re dealing with someone whose self-absorption has cranked up to eleven, or perhaps, a cautionary tale to keep our own feet on the ground. It’s a sticky pop conundrum with a beat that hooks you, but a message that might just save your relationships from becoming a casualty to the ego’s whims.

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