Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart
This song has a spectacular backstory. Ariana Grande said in an interview (6:18 in the video below) that she met Harry at a studio when he was in LA on tour (early August 2013) and the producer (Harry’s friend Johan, who he wrote “If I Could Fly With”) asked if Harry wanted to write something for Ariana on the spot. Harry did so, and what resulted was JALBOYH. The song was later recorded and released by Ariana on her 2014 album My Everything.
Later in 2017 when Harry was on the first leg of his solo tour, he began covering JALBOYH as a part of his setlist, which would continue into 2018 until the tour ended. While introducing the song, Harry was quoted on multiple occasions admitting that he wrote it and gave it to Ariana, but now he was taking it back because it “meant a lot to him.”
Right away I know the lyrics in this song are probably among the rawest and most authentic we have ever gotten from Harry, simply because it was written on the spot (presumably with no prior conceptualization.) For that reason, I believe it’s safe to assume these are sentiments Harry might’ve been feeling at the time the song was written, since they were evoked on the spot. And they’re simply too heartfelt and SAD for them to be the result of creative fabrication. We can be assured of that because of all the many songs he has written that are unreleased or ended up in the hands of another artist, he chose to reclaim this particular song from Ariana and add it to his tour setlist.
I personally believe he added songs to his debut album setlist because the songs were all written about the same relationship (and therefore the same person) and he wanted to memorialize them in that way. They all tell integral parts of his music journey, but also the tribulations of his relationship with the love of his life. And I’m positive he was also inspired to sing “Stockholm Syndrome,” “If I Could Fly,” “Anna,” “Medicine,” “Landslide,” “Still The One,” “Girl Crush,” and “The Chain” for that same person as well.
What’s especially significant about the timing of when JALBOYH was written, is that it was during the exact time Zayn got engaged to Perrie (August 2013.) And lord don’t we know at that time Harry was openly anti-Zerrie and abhorred the idea of their engagement.
In my mind, it’s clear what impelled Harry to write the lyrics he wrote on a whim that day for Ariana. He was seeking an outlet for these emotions and realized that giving this song to Ariana was the perfect vehicle for him to vent since he could use the correct pronouns to refer to his love triangle with Zayn and Perrie. That’s my theory! The lyrics are straightforward as hell, so I will not dissect them ad nauseum like I usually do everything else, except to talk about how they are a play on Adele’s “One And Only.”
One day in late 2013, Harry was spotted walking with a rather worn journal, and the internet had the brilliant idea to zoom in on the book to read the text written on the outside of it. Oh boy…
Yes, I hunted down my own proof that the “one and only” text on Harry’s journal was not an edit. It is indeed real.
Type Into Google: Harry Styles In Adelaide (September 22, 2013)
We know Harry was deep in his feelings about Zayn at this time, and the evidence regarding Zayn’s engagement heavily supports it. It is incontrovertible evidence that he was deeply aggrieved by Zayn’s engagement to Perrie in late August, and the fact that I continue to point this out pisses off people who like to demonize Harry and victimize Zayn at all costs.
During the same month that “one and only” was spotted on his journal (mere weeks after he wrote JALBOYH) Harry also got the rose tattoo and also tweeted multiple anti-marriage lyrics. It was just pouring out of him. This poor boy couldn’t contain his feelings at this time, having to watch the Zerrie PR circus and being powerless to stop it or tell the world how much he loved Zayn.
This is also the month he posted the spraypainted metal box.
I suppose you’re still wondering: what is the significance of Adele’s “One And Only”? I’m glad you asked! Please note the play on words:
This is not just some lyrical coincidence. Harry is alluding to Adele’s song on purpose, and his journal scribblings around this time prove that. He identified with this song so potently that he wrote the lyric on the outside of his journal!
IMPORTANT CONTEXT: Adele’s 2011 song is about her pleading to the person she loves to be given a chance to prove she is worthy of being with them. It is incomprehensibly sad! THIS SENTIMENT ESSENTIALLY EMBODIES HARRY’S ENTIRE DISCOGRAPHY.
“I’m hoping someday you’re open. I know that you’re scared because I’m so open.”
He has WANTED to be Zayn’s “One And Only” for so long and was never really given a chance. How many times have I said that? A MILLION. How can Harry cheat on Zayn when he was never given a chance to be with him without other parties involved??
That’s why I have no sympathy for anything Zayn says about being “hurt” when he has always kept Harry in second place and refused to communicate despite Harry begging him to, thereby causing the core issues in their relationship, which affected things like trust, fidelity, honesty, expectations, and both of their mental health.
Harry then went on to beg for even a little piece of Zayn’s heart, mirroring Adele’s bridge where she admits she knows it’s not easy giving up one’s heart. Harry is qualifying Adele’s sentiment by saying he only wants A LITTLE BIT of his heart, because he knows he can’t ever have the whole thing (because of his gender.) Wow. Ouch.
Regardless of what went on behind the scenes, it is perfectly clear from all publicly available information that Zayn has taken Harry’s love for granted for a long time, especially since he HAS ALWAYS BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH ANOTHER PERSON while admittedly trying to keep Harry on the “down-low.”
This idea of Zayn taking Harry’s love for granted is something we can see Harry toy with when he also wrote a lyric from The Thrills “Not For All The Love In The World” on his journal just like “One And Only.”
The Thrills’ song is basically about being rejected by the person you love because they are taking the significance of that love for granted (because they clearly don’t understand love or how valuable it is.)
So, baby, let’s split tonight
I got a tank full of gas to light
Yeah, we could drive for miles and miles
But you just said
“Not for all the love in the world
Oh, not for all the love in the world”
‘Cause she didn’t realize, now, that’s a lot of love.
Just to make you all more miserable, contrast Harry writing “one and only” on his journal in 2013 after he had written JALBOYH (and after Zayn had got engaged) to him utterly forfeiting this long-fought battle in Fine Line in 2019:
“You don’t have to say you love me, you don’t have to say nothing, you don’t have to say you’re mine…”
He literally gave up on those things.
The remainder of JALBOYH just stings:
I don’t ever ask you where you’ve been
‘Cause I don’t feel the need to
Know who you’re with
I can’t even think straight
But I can tell
You were just with her
And I’ll still be a fool, ’cause I’m a fool for you
This reveals such a tormenting dynamic that greatly mirrors the lyrics in “Happily.” Harry continues to sit back and watch his lover be with someone else while he is crumbling inside with jealousy, and trying not to give his lover stress about who he’s been with (because he doesn’t want to lose him) and he is happy to play the fool for this person despite how unhappy their escapades make him, because he loves him so much.
So hopefully now you see why I say, to infer Harry cheated on Zayn at anytime in their relationship is to admit that Zayn has been WRONGLY holding Harry to an UNFAIR double standard of fidelity, because we SEE and KNOW Zayn has always done what he wanted with WHO he wanted, even outside of Perrie, Gigi, and Harry.
I don’t ever tell you how I really feel
‘Cause I can’t find the words to say what I mean
And nothing’s ever easy
That’s what they say
I know I’m not your only
I’ll still be a fool
‘Cause I’m a fool for you
“I don’t ever tell you how I really feel, ’cause I can’t find the words to say what I mean…”
Here Harry admits to not being able to fully express himself properly because he can’t find the words to do so. I think this can be taken two ways as well:
- He struggled to tell Zayn exactly how he felt for him (which is something we know he started to overcome in 2014 during the “Little Things” performances.)
- He was afraid to confront Zayn about him being with other people, because he can’t find the words to do so confidently, and likely because he’s afraid he would lose Zayn if he tried to make demands on him. This is why we see Harry capitulate again and again on a level no human being should be forced to if they are actually in a loving relationship, which I feel Harry never was. He was playing the fool for someone, like he himself admits.
I’ll take “Things You Should Never Have To Say To Someone Who Claims They Love You” for $600, Alex: I know I’m not your only, but at least I’m one. I heard a little love is better than none
If someone has clearly done someone wrong, and it has only become more and more apparent as the years have gone by, then you coming along and saying some dumb trite condescending shit like “everybody makes mistakes” and “there are a thousand shades of grey” makes you an enabler of emotional abuse. Do you also make excuses for rapists and say “everyone makes mistakes”? do you also make excuses for bank robbers and say “everyone makes mistakes”? Emotional abuse is not a fucking joke. It is just as severe and life-ruining as physical abuse. I sure hope if any of you ever suffers in a relationship the way Harry clearly has or even worse, that you have someone on your side willing to call our the person who did you wrong, not enable him and make excuses for him or blame you as the victim just because he is famous and handsome. Some of ya’ll won’t wake the fuck up until this man is really truly exposed, and his life is ruined or he ends in a tragic way, because you continue to enable his toxic behavior and make excuses for it. If Zayn self-destructs as a result of the horrendous choices he has made and the people he has crossed, you idiots will have no one to blame but yourselves.
This just broke my heart all over again. That song just shows the intensity of Harry’s feelings for Zayn. There’s absolutely no mistaking what he was going through. It’s so heartbreaking. I know in relationships people compromise but JALBOYH is literally begging for scraps. Zayn wake up dammit! One was willing to take anything he could get and the other was withholding as much as he possibly could and willingly accepting everything he was getting. . It’s just all so sad 😔 😔 😔 😔 😔
two more songs by harry that is heartbreaking are Don’t let me go and half the world away.
crazy someone like Harry has felt and potential still feels the way JALBOYH describes. writing it for a girl to sing did indeed let him take it back to sing with the pronouns as written. There’s a lot of difference between a physical relationship and an emotional relationship. The compromises JALBOYH describes making are emotional. The willingness to accept any little crumb to maintain some form of relationship and intimacy. Very tragic loving someone so much when so little comes back from the other person. But clearly having that little bit and hope of something rather than nothing is precious and nothing else compares. God to be loved in that way and not appreciate it, know it or understand the incredible gift in it. For that other person to think the crumbs are OK/enough and what they want is more important. It breaks you. It must be a feeling so deep and so intense that eclipses all other possibilites. Amazing to feel that intensity for another person .. who doesn’t acknolwedge it or is unwilling to or is even potential incapable of reciprocating it in kind.
Z needs to open his eyes and see what he’s lost……h needs to move on if z can’t come out. H moving on for real and not just for the sake of pr will be a major eye opener for z and even if they don’t come together z will learn to love someone in the future truthfully , value them and not take them for granted . H deserves someone who can love him without any reservations, he deserves to be happy and it breaks my heart to say this but maybe zarry aren’t meant to be . They are a calamity and their love has brought only pain and sadness , zarry have not had a real relationship, a normal one and what do you think will happen if they ever become open and be together. Zs destructive behaviour will destroy their relationship, having a real chance ……we don’t know it’s outcomes , them having that chance it’s result will likely be not good considering all the history they have had. But they deserve to have this chance , no matter what it leads to. They should get this chance of trying to have a real relationship. And it’s all in zs hands , this chance to try …..h is ready to give in all but z needs to make the move and maybe they can have a good relationship after all this.
only to think that a 19 y.o. teen wrote those wonderful lyrics…
it’s heartbreaking with everything he’s been through.
I hope for his heart that he never takes back zayn
everything that zayn has done will always remain
how will he be able to heal his heart
if zayn loves harry he should stop playing with his heart and let him be.
zayn has a very high ego, how can you do this to another human being.
Harry has to heal himself
Harryyyyyy!!💔😭 Someone please take his pain away.. This man has been through a lot..
sorry … this song makes me cry …
This really reminds me of “Six Degrees of Separation” by The Script. The lyrics talk about things you do when you try to get over a broken heart–self help books, drinking, smoke, talk to friends about it–date somebody who likes you even when you’re still in love with someone else. I think that is why Olivia is in the picture. I really think it’s like medicating. It’s just not real. He may be angry and hurt but there’s no way he’s over it and moving on. At some point, you can’t run from that.
“Fake a smile, yeah, lie and say that, I’m better now than ever and your life’s okay. Well, it’s not. Ohh. You’re doing all these things out of desperation. Ohh ohh, you’re going through six degrees of separation…No, there’s no starting over without finding closure. You take them back no hesitation. That’s when you know you’ve reached the sixth degree of separation.”
I think H would drop O in a heartbeat if Z came back and committed to being H’s one and only. I just don’t believe for a minute that that is every going to happen.
Everytime I listen to that song I never fail to shed a tear, I can only imagine what he felt at that time, what he feels to know he will never be his one and only. It breaks my heart. Moving on from someone you truly love and care for is hard but I pray to God he finds peace.
This is a knife to the heart because I’ve done it. It eats away at your soul because you internalize it and keep asking yourself, why am I not good enough to be his/her only? In my mind, it’s like being a puppy looking through the window, watching him at a table with friends having a great time and wondering why you aren’t good enough to be at the table. Then, he slips outside and gives you a few scraps and pets and you accept that. You light up because you got something, anything from him. It’s a cruel, manipulative thing. The person staying in it does bear responsibility because they can walk away and end it but the person they’re settling for crumbs from, the person who is eating away at their soul feeds the situation by showing the puppy some “love” and attention whenever they feel the puppy pulling away and trying to move on. It reminds me of watching Z stare at H on stage longingly after H pulled away because of the engagement. You can’t have it both ways. It’s so selfish. I’m going cry now!!
I’m floored. This is the unfiltered, raw, ugly truth. Harry loved and loved and loved until he destroyed his own sense of self and Zayn took and took and took and eventually destroyed himself with his selfish attitude and lack of authenticity. This is as tragic as any love story could get, The bold lover and the boy that treated him like a dirty little secret.
🥺 just. heartbreaking.
”I heard a little love, was better than none”
*aggressively blows nose in a handkerchief*
in a cool way