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Billie Eilish released her song and music video for ‘Xanny’ in 2019 to the awe of her fans, who instantly fell in love with the beat and visuals. Essentially, the song talks about drug abuse, but it’s so much more than just that. While Billie herself has explained a few of her lyrics many times in the past, there’s a lot that we can gather from the music video itself.
‘Xanny’ is shot in a padded, white room where Billie is sitting and singing. A shot of hands holding cigarettes closes into her face to leave burn marks before she finally gets up to walk away. According to some of her interviews, this may signify a rather deep and personal experience of losing close friends to drugs. The word “xanny” is a colloquial term that refers to Xanax—a prescription drug that’s become more and more popular for its recreational uses.
However, she’s also talking about alcohol, cigarettes, and drug abuse in general and how she doesn’t believe that her generation needs to rely on these substances to feel fulfilled or happy.
Billie Eilish commented in an interview that she’s never done drugs or gotten high, and that she’s stayed away from doing such things even as people around her did it. She used the line “Don’t give me a Xanny, now or ever” to portray how ugly addiction can be in people’s lives.
She expresses her distaste for this kind of lifestyle and declares that she doesn’t need a Xanny to feel better, no matter what she may be going through. She believes that drugs that make you feel better temporarily are much bigger problems that are hidden and marketed as a solution.
The line “I’m in their secondhand smoke” signifies how Billie believes that other people’s use of drugs and other substances has impacted her negatively, even though she isn’t part of their lifestyle. She continues to indulge in ‘canned Coke’ instead of giving in to peer pressure and affirms that she doesn’t need Xanny to feel better due to having seen its effects firsthand.
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