Halsey – The Tradition | Lyrics Meaning Explained

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“The Tradition” is the first track from Halsey’s 2021 album “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power”. In the song, Halsey sings the story of a girl from a small town who is dressed to be a symbol of femininity just to be sold to different people. There is no known “tradition” as such in the world today, so we can assume that the song is about the commercial nature of the music business.

Halsey released her fourth studio album “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” on August 27, 2021. This is her follow-up project to her hit album “Manic” released in 2020. About the new album, Halsey mentioned “This album is a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth. It happened by accident. I wasn’t trying to make a political record, or a record that drowned in its own depth – I was just writing about how I feel. The reason the album sort of has this horror theme is that this experience, in a way, has its horrors.

In “The Tradition”, Halsey draws a frail, bony girl from a distant village, dressed in feminine clothes and flowers for sale to the highest bidder. However, none of the buyers actually keep it. They all send her away because she’s just crying. When it comes to the music industry, there are many claims that performers are portrayed as sex icons because sex sells. Madonna kissed him but Demi Lovato suffered tremendously because of it. However, the tradition continues.

Listen to “The Tradition” by Halsey

Buy the album “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” on Apple Music and Amazon


Halsey ‘The Tradition’ Lyrics Review and Song Meaning

Oh the loneliest girl in town
Is bought for pennies a price

The song revolves around a girl from a remote town. She has no friends or family. Maybe she started chasing her dreams and found herself stranded in this town. If you chase your dreams on your own and don’t achieve them, this is a scary place. At this point, she might get desperate. His vision blurs and his milestones fade.

Now she is the city sex worker. The whole town is supporting her to be sold to the highest bidder. Because everyone gets a share of the profits. However, only the girl endures the pains of her labor. His heart is black, having been stabbed to death repeatedly. Now she feels nothing but hate.

The lonely girl also has a lot of money now. But what can her money really do when she has no control over her destiny ?! She’s like a circus monkey dancing on the city’s flutes.

Take what you like, don’t give ad * mn
Ask for forgiveness, never for permission

These words send a powerful message to many broken parts of society. From the lonely girl’s point of view, she has no say in what her next day will be. Whoever pays the most money will own it for whatever he wants to do with it. They will gladly say “sorry” after all, even city dwellers. But they never ask her in advance if she’s okay with doing this.

The music industry is a tough business. We have seen so many bickering ensue for many different reasons. Label and artist managers have a lot of power over artists due to red tape and NDAs. So many artists have talked about these issues and exposed their labels and their executives. But not much has changed over the years.

The tradition continues!

Let us know what you think of this song in the comments below. Check out the full lyrics on Genius.

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