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Released: 2023

“Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo is a soul-baring recount of a toxic relationship, using the metaphor of a vampire to depict a manipulative, emotionally draining partner. The song teems with startling honesty, and the raw emotion is a direct reflection of the heartbreak and confusion Rodrigo experienced in the aftermath of a turbulent relationship.

The opening verses set the stage, with Rodrigo asking her ex how they are doing since they’ve built their life off people they pretend to care about. The sarcastic overtones imply a strong sense of resentment. She describes their ex’s life post-breakup as a “castle,” signifying the grandiosity and pomp built on insincere relations. This verse sets the precedent for the metaphorical interpretation of her former lover as a parasitic vampire.

The chorus plays out the vampire analogy, equating her harmful ex to a “bloodsucker” and “famefucker,” eluding towards a partner who exploited her emotionally and for her fame, bleeding her dry like a “goddamn vampire.” The stinging words echo the sentiment of someone robbed of their emotional energy and personal worth.

The phrase “you only come out at night” further extends the vampire allusion, suggesting her ex’s predatory nature and nocturnal malevolence, not unlike vampires, nocturnal, blood-sucking creatures of the dark. The phrase can also be interpreted as an indication of the ex’s two-faced nature, revealing their true, sinister colors only in certain situations.

“Girls your age know better” seems to imply her ex preyed on her naivety. The line “You said it was true love, but wouldn’t that be hard?/You can’t love anyone, ’cause that would mean you had a heart” hammers home the message that this person couldn’t truly love her because they are heartless – incapable of genuine affection.

Throughout the song, Rodrigo’s frequent self-rebuke for her naivety emphasizes her growth and self-realization of the toxicity in her past relationship. She acknowledges her gullibility and resolves to not repeat the same mistake in the future. “I’ve made some real big mistakes/But you make the worst one look fine” reflects this resolve.

“Vampire” is a profound exploration of the emotional torment that comes with a manipulative relationship. Rodrigo expertly juxtaposes vampire imagery with a modern tale of deception, resulting in a poignant pop anthem that resonates with listeners who’ve tasted the bitterness of a toxic love.”

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