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Meaning of the song ‘Gasoline’ by ‘Halsey’

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Released: 2015

“Gasoline” by Halsey, is a potent delve into the psyche of an individual living in a society that demands perfection, amidst battling self-doubt and mental health struggles. The song confronts the pressures of conforming to social norms, the impact of vanity and consumerism, and the internal battle of maintaining one’s identity.

The opening lines question the listener, asking if they share the same pain and habits as the singer. Halsey expresses her mental turmoil with lines like “Are you insane like me? Been in pain like me?” and discusses acts of self-destruction and decadence — the hundred dollar bottle of champagne is going down the drain, a metaphor for squandering resources trying to drown one’s sorrows. The question about using the water bill to dry the stain is a poignant expression of prioritizing immediate gratification or aesthetic over more important, practical matters.

Through the chorus, Halsey sheds light on the dehumanizing effect of society’s expectations and the entertainment industry, implying that she’s part of a machine programmed to perform and entertain. “You can’t wake up, this is not a dream / You’re part of a machine, you are not a human being” – these lines depict the bleak reality of a life where the individual has lost control, reduced to an automaton. The reference to her face being made up and living on a screen speaks to her public image’s constant scrutiny and criticism, leading to low self-esteem and a reliance on ‘gasoline’ – possibly a metaphor for artificial stimulants or simply the energy that comes from embracing negative feelings.

The second verse intensifies the sense of self-destruction and turmoil. Lighting matches to swallow up the flame suggests destructive tendencies, the desire to feel pain just for the sake of feeling something. The line about calling oneself a hurricane further shows the chaotic inner state of the speaker, a troubled individual who’s causing a lot of destruction and pain.

In the line “I think there’s a flaw in my code”, Halsey uses technological language to convey her feelings of being broken, further emphasizing the dehumanizing effect of societal expectations. Also, the voices mentioned could be indicative of a struggle with mental health or simply the external critiques and expectations that persistently haunt her.

Conclusively, with the soul-baring honesty of “Gasoline”, Halsey deconstructs the glamorized façade of fame and fortune, unveiling a striking commentary on societal expectations, personal demons, and the price of being in the public eye. This song stands as a powerful anthem for those who may feel marginalized, flawed, or simply struggling to keep up with the pressures of today’s world.

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