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Meaning of ‘traitor’ by ‘Olivia Rodrigo’

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Released: 2021

“Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo is a heart-wrenching tale from the perspective of the person who was left behind in a failed relationship. It’s a story about the emotional devastation created by betrayal. Olivia sings about her feelings of being duped and lied to, hinting that her ex cheated on her.

The lyric “Brown guilty eyes and little white lies, yeah” hits the nail on the head. Olivia probably suspected something was off, but didn’t want to confront the ugly reality. Speaking of confronting, “I played dumb, but I always knew” points to her unwillingness to face the hard truth.

When she belts “And ain’t it funny how you ran to her”, we can feel her bitter sarcasm. She’s expressing the deception that not only broke their relationship but also shattered her trust in her ex. Moreover, “You betrayed me / And I know that you’ll never feel sorry for the way I hurt” highlights her raw pain and her former partner’s lack of remorse.

Dropping lines like “Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor” draw fine lines between the act of cheating and the betrayal of trust. Rodrigo is saying, even if he didn’t technically cheat, he’s still a wrongdoer for emotionally abandoning her.

As the song progresses, she addresses the swift move her ex made to a new relationship, belting out, “It took you two weeks to go off and date her.” She’s calling him out on his lack of respect, in a sense saying that their relationship deserved better closure than that.

The recurring line “Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor” serves as a powerful refrain. It emphasizes how deeply she feels betrayed, even in the absence of outright infidelity. The phrase “You’re still a traitor” is her final verdict, a condemnation of his actions and their devastating impact on her.

“Traitor” is a powerful exploration of broken trust within a relationship, and Olivia Rodrigo’s raw and emotive delivery brings the heartache to life.

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