The wait is over. Olivia Rodrigo’s highly anticipated sophomore album, “Guts,” is out in the world, and it’s everything we had hoped for and more. The “Good 4 U” singer is known for penning vulnerably honest, true-to-life lyrics that run the gamut of all the complex and wonderful – albeit sometimes messy – emotions coming of age has to offer. Her latest LP is no exception (which is probably why fans will be using “Guts” lyrics for Instagram captions for years to come).
A follow-up to the 20-year-old singer-songwriter’s record-shattering debut record that launched her to global superstardom, “Sour,” “Guts” consists of 12 songs on its standard edition, and several of those tracks have already become instant fan favorites – especially “Lacy.” Clocking in at two minutes and 58 seconds, the fourth track on the album packs in powerful, gut-wrenching lyrics that cohesively tie into the overarching theme of the compilation. The mid-tempo ballad finds Rodrigo consumed with envy and fury as it explores her fixation and growing resentment toward someone named Lacy. The title alone is sending listeners on a lyrical Easter egg hunt as they try to decode the meaning behind its hard-hitting, punchy lyrics. So, who exactly is the titular Lacy? Let’s dissect the lyrical inspiration behind “Lacy” ahead.
Olivia Rodrigo‘s “Lacy” Meaning
The song starts off by providing vivid descriptors for the seeming protagonist, Lacy. She’s smart, appealing, has “skin like puff pastry,” and is so unbelievably beautiful that Rodrigo goes as far as to call her “Bardot reincarnate” and someone so perfectly angelic that she appears to be “made of angel dust.” The “Vampire” singer notices every little thing Lacy does while also confiding about her deteriorating state of mental well-being. “Did I ever tell you that I’m not doin’ well?” she sings at the end of the first verse.
Rodrigo aptly likens admiring Lacy’s absolute flawlessness to the “sweetest torture,” something that has taken over her life to the point that it’s taking its toll, yet she can’t seem to stop. However, as the singer moves on to the second verse, her admiration of Lacy appears to be turning sour, as she finds herself comparing herself to Lacy and, as a result, feeling inadequate or less-than. It’s almost as if Lacy is taunting her by simply existing. “I’m losin’ it lately / I feel your compliments like bullets on skin,” she wistfully confesses in the second verse before the impending chorus declares her resentment and struggle with these unwanted emotions of inferiority. “Try to rationalize, people are people / But it’s like you’re made of angel dust,” she sighs.
The outro is a heightened version of her infatuation-turned-aversion as her idealization of Lacy dissipates, leaving her enraged. “Lacy, Oh, Lacy / It’s like you’re out to get me / You poison every little thing that I do,” she kicks off the bitter revelation before acknowledging her own culpability in putting Lacy on a pedestal, and, by doing so, being her own worst enemy. “Lacy, oh, Lacy / I loathe you lately / And I despise my jealous eyes and how hard they fell for you / Yeah, I despise my rotten mind and how much it worships you,” she closes out the track, expressing bitterness towards herself for the way things turned out.
Who Is Olivia Rodrigo’s “Lacy” About?
On its face, “Lacy” could easily be about a girl named Lacy whom Rodrigo reveres and measures herself up against. However, as the track goes on, it becomes apparent that Lacy might not be an actual person, but a figment of Rodrigo’s imagination. If Lacy appears too good to be true, it’s because she isn’t real, but a witty lyrical device employed by Rodrigo. Lacy is likely the personification of the Perfect Young Woman that the “Brutal” singer strives – and, at times, desperately wishes – to be.
The aspiration to be “Lacy” starts out innocent but soon spirals into a full-blown unhealthy obsession, which chips away at Rodrigo’s self-esteem over time. She ultimately realizes that she’s the creator of her misery as she tries and fails to live up to the impossible beauty and gender norms imposed by the media and the public in general. The outro echoes her indignation as she acknowledges how young women’s self-worth and value are so often tied to their physical appearance, and, having realized it, she loathes herself for wanting to chase the perfection that Lacy embodies. Even then, she’s self-aware of the part she played in indulging and buying into those unrealistic expectations as a young woman in the entertainment industry.
The running theme of “Guts” is introspection and self-discovery, as it presents an unflinchingly honest portrayal of Rodrigo’s (very public) teenage experiences as she enters her 20s. “Lacy” isn’t the only track that speaks to her deep-seated insecurities, self-doubt, and feelings of inadequacy as she navigates her young adulthood. The seething album opener, “All-American B*tch,” unleashes her long-repressed anguish over being so far from a perfect American girl that’s poised, an eternal optimist, a pretty crier, and pretty much “grateful all the time” for all that she has. Similarly, track 11 on the record, “Pretty Isn’t Pretty” delves into the mental turmoil that originates from not aligning with societal physical expectations for women. “When pretty isn’t pretty enough, what do you do?” she says, exasperated, before lamenting how impossible it is to meet every single one of those absurd parameters anyway.
Olivia Rodrigo’s Quotes About “Lacy”
While Rodrigo hasn’t yet addressed the track in an interview, she has spoken about its thematic inspiration while making the album. “Nobody can be perfect, ever,” she told The Guardian in the September 2023 story. “It’s so funny because I am so strait-laced. But it’s hard. I feel super mature in some ways and super stunted in others cos of how I’ve grown up.” In the same interview, she said, “I’ve always felt like: you can never admit it, be so grateful all the time, so many people want this position. And that causes a lot of repressed feelings. I’ve always struggled with wanting to be this perfect American girl and the reality of not feeling like that all the time.”
Olivia Rodrigo’s “Lacy” Lyrics
Check out the “Lacy” lyrics in their entirety below (via Genius).
Lacy, oh, Lacy, skin like puff pastry
Aren’t you the sweetest thing on this side of Hell?
Dear angel Lacy, eyes white as daisies
Did I ever tell you that I’m not doin’ well?
Ooh, I care, I care, I care
Like perfume that you wear, I linger all the time
Watching, hidden in plain sight
And ooh, I try, I try, I try
But it takes over my life, I see you everywhere
The sweetest torture one could bear
Smart, sexy Lacy, I’m losin’ it lately
I feel your compliments like bullets on skin
Dazzling starlet, Bardot reincarnate
Well, aren’t you the greatest thing to ever exist?
Ooh, I care, I care, I care
Like ribbons in your hair, my stomach’s all in knots
You got the one thing that I want
Ooh, I try, I try, I try
Try to rationalize, people are people
But it’s like you’re made of angel dust
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Lacy, oh, Lacy, it’s like you’re out to get me
You poison every little thing that I do
Lacy, oh, Lacy, I just loathe you lately
And I despise my jealous eyes and how hard they fell for you
Yeah, I despise my rotten mind and how much it worships you