Ah…cue the livid screams of the totalitarian Z-stans asking why I’m still talking about him if I hate him so much.
- I don’t hate him. Never have, never will. Wouldn’t dream of it. I wish him all the best things.
- I already told you in the “Why I Quit” post that I will re-archive the old posts I made on my 2 other archive accounts that I lost, and stick to talking about the past of Zarry, rather than the present.
- “Dusk Till Dawn” is a published work, meaning it’s available to the public to consume, share, critique, and commentate on. I will do so because I think it’s a brilliant song (not just because of Zarry, but sonically, lyrically, and vocally) and it’s one of Zayn’s best works. It’s a masterpiece.
- Just shuddup and go away if you are one of those stans obsessed with everything I say and who like to twist my words to justify your hatred of me, because you can’t understand my opinions.
Now, on to the actual post!
This is one of Zayn’s best lyrics, hands down, and one of THEE most romantic things I have ever heard. This is a very Hozier-esque lyric and it’s sending me! This lyric places me in an ill-lit room at dawn, right as the sun is rising…two figures barely illuminated in the hushed darkness, exposed to each other in every way imaginable. To refer to something as a sin is to insist that it is ungodly. This lyric can be taken one of many ways:
It could mean they’re simply making love out of wed-lock, but it can also refer to other sexual immorality according to the religious doctrine of multiple cultures, such as male on male relations. But what makes this lyric the most interesting, is the second-person possessive pronoun “your.” Meaning the sins belong to Zayn’s lover. And it is probably something they are doing to themselves without Zayn’s involvement, because Zayn indicates that he wants to watch. Does this put you in the mind of anything? A person committing a sin on themselves at sunrise, therefore meaning when they first wakeup? Sounds a lot like Harry in “From The Dining Table” doesn’t it? “Woke up alone in this hotel room…played with myself, where were you?”
The themes in DTD put one in the mind of Bonnie & Clyde. Love on the run.
The moments Zayn spends with this person are stolen. They do not have a life together. They can only be together “from dusk till dawn” which indicates overnight, and all of these factors indicate that he is in an affair. Which is why he follows those themes up in the gorgeous tune called “Tonight” from Icarus Falls.
I touch on the concepts that Zarry play with in their songs regarding their ongoing affair here:
“Go, give love to your body…”
In “Tonight” Zayn further expounds on the idea of encouraging his lover to pleasure themselves when he is not able to take care of them himself:
“No matter where you are, or where you’ll be, when you’re feeling yourself, I know you’re thinking of me.”
Based on the timing of “Dusk Till Dawn” and its directness in addressing the loneliness and fear Harry expressed in “From The Dining Table,” it’s clear DTD was crafted to be a response to FTDT during a year when Zarry are suspected to have gotten back together: 2017. And it demonstrated how crazy Zayn was for Harry despite being in a public relationship with Gigi Hadid. Zayn even references his and Harry’s break-up/fallout from 2015, and how they were shut off from each other at one point:
“We were shut like a jacket, so do your zip. We will roll down the rapids, to find a wave that fits…”
Meaning they were closed off from each other, so they unzipped (so to speak) and now they will go through the most dangerous currents in life to find a place where they can be together. They will go through hell and high water to discover a situation that suits them. Such as: love on the run.
Watch a full video on Zarry in 2017 here:
Another noteworthy aspect of DTD was the timing and how purposeful it was. It came after Harry’s album was released in May 2017 and therefore when FTDT was released. Harry would later be quoted in many media outlets saying the song was his “most honest and vulnerable” and that when he hears it playing, he has to stop whatever he is doing and listen to it.
He is that transfixed by FTDT, and I think it’s because this song is when he first realized he could be very direct about Zayn and their circumstances as a form of therapy, but that the world would be too obtuse to pick up on what he was illustrating, no matter how specific he became. Such as lyrics like “we haven’t spoke since you went away” following Zayn’s infamous departure from the band and his publicly reconciling with ALL the boys except for Harry.
What people don’t realize is that by 2017, Zarry had reconciled on some level and were very much involved again, hence the lyrics in DTD and why (we believe) Harry ultimately wore Zayn’s rose ring for 2 years and sang “Still The One” to him at MSG in 2018.
We know DTD meant the world to Zayn because he went out of his way to verify the lyrics on Genius, something he had never done before, and something he still doesn’t do for his other songs.
Also, we know these lyrics are meaningful to Zayn because he admitted that we wrote the majority of the song himself to Billboard, and said he wrote it one night and didn’t have any plans in mind for it when speaking to Zane Lowe. I can just imagine him listening to “From The Dining Table” and then penning this track in an emotional state. It’s so sweet and powerfully romantic.
So when he penned it, he had no intentions of collaborating with Sia or featuring the song in the trailer of the movie The Mountain Between Us. The lyrics in this song were so powerful and descriptive of unbreakable soulmateship, that 20th Century Studios used it for a film that depicted two strangers who fell in love while trying to survive in the wilderness in deadly conditions. If that isn’t a metaphor for Zarry then I don’t know what is.
Now certain people tend to dismiss this “cool” lyrical connection in DTD vs FTDT, but I think it’s among the most notable in those songs.
Why is this important?
- It’s a direct lyrical reference or response between the two songs, using identical language. A lot of what Zayn wrote in DTD was written to refute the things Harry was saying in FTDT, and to alleviate his despair by reassuring him of certain promises. So the first thing Harry mentions when Zayn has left him is that he no longer feels “cool,” so Zayn makes mention of “not trying to be cool,” meaning being cool is the least of his concerns in any regard, and so Harry does not have to feel bad about feeling “uncool.”
- Why on earth does Harry relate being cool or uncool to his relationship with Zayn? Why does being cool seem to be of such importance to Harry that he not only wrote about how uncool he felt when Zayn left him, but also talked about how he only “cries in a cool way” on his 2017 Carpool Karaoke episode with James Corden? Why does he feel that it’s important for him to be “cool?”
As with all things Zarry, it all adds up. There is no wonder why Harry seems so unduly concerned with being “cool” even when he’s feeling overwhelmed with emotions like in FTDT or after he listens to “Sign Of The Times.” He subconsciously feels he always has to be (or wants to be) cool because Zayn uses the word cool A LOT to describe things that he LIKES.
Here is how a journalist took account of Zayn’s compulsive use of the word “cool,” to the point where he even named his horse Cool.
It seems to me that Harry (subconsciously) wants to be as desirable as possible before Zayn’s eyes, so he wants to be always seen as “cool.” He’s not aware of how odd he sounds when he talks about feeling “uncool” when he is emotional, which is why James teased him. And remember, being away from this person triggered him to have emotional and uncool behavior in FTDT. Zayn is a chill person who everyone describes as laidback, quiet, and relaxed, so Harry has probably learned to not be overly emotional in his presence. So he therefore equates crying and being emotional to uncool behavior. (But that’s just my theory surrounding that lyrical connection in both songs.)
We all know Zayn struggles to be direct about Harry, which really really sucks. So when he became so SUPER direct about responding to FTDT with DTD, making it almost a line for line rebuttal of the things Harry cried about in that song, Zayn later completely freaked out in the presence of Yolanda Hadid (Gigi’s mom) and in front of US Weekly, and said the infamous “never spoke to Harry” quote, which we all know is a bare-faced lie straight from the pit of hell. But can you blame him? Must’ve been uncomfortable af being specifically asked about Harry in a setting where his girlfriend’s mom was hanging all over him, and where he had just released a song directly responding to Harry’s. Sigh.
In my opinion, he said that to help conceal their reconciled/ongoing relationship in 2017, and to divert attention away from the fact that “Dusk Till Dawn” is a line-for-line response to “From The Dining Table.”
As for the DTD video, we get an action-packed Bonnie-and-Clyde-esque romantic thriller, along the lines of The Getaway with Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin (one of my all time favorite movies.) There’s nothing like a gory romance where the two leads have to shoot their way out of a hectic situation before escaping together. Ahhh, fugitive love is the best sort of love, and it is the sort of love-story found in my Non-Zarry Book (The Noblemen).
Zarry were unquestionably partners in crime. They were born to be together, and I feel that cosmically the entire point of One Direction was to bring them together for some purpose. Which is why when they broke up in 2015 after their fallout, One Direction disintegrated and the other boys were powerless to stop it’s downfall. One Direction could not remain a band no matter how badly Louis, Liam, and Niall fought to stay together. Harry was out of there (in spirit) the minute Zayn left.
Partners In Crime
Zayn said old gangster movies with a lot of shooting inspired the video for DTD, and then he went on to name a few specifics. Notice anything?
Sigh. Goodfellas. Where have we heard that before? Well, most recently it was in Harry’s ID interview with Timothee Chalamet in 2018. The one where Harry revealed if he could listen to one song, watch one movie, read one book, and talk to one person for the rest of his life, who and what would they be.
Notice Harry flat-out saying his movie would be Goodfellas? What are the odds of that?
For more proof of Zarry being the same exact person: click here!
With all things considered, there is simply no mystery of who Harry would choose to speak to for the rest of his life. It’ probably the one person he has trouble getting to talk about his feelings everyday.
Most importantly, Zayn depicted the two lovers in DTD having matching tattoos, and well, we all know about Zarry’s tattoo connection.
Finally, in 2018 after the release of “Let Me,” Zayn was accused of making the same video as DTD all over again.
To that I say, this opinion is unfair, since the “Let Me” storyline was far more nuanced than the “Dusk Till Dawn” story, and took us deeper into the life of the character played by Zayn.
The video for “Dusk Till Dawn” was brimming with clandestine meetings, ill-lit rooms, seedy motels, and the bustle of Chinatown, leaving you to long for a feature-length film of the promising storyline. (Zayn is a wonderful visual story-teller and should definitely pursue film-making among other things like screenwriting, imo.) The video for “Let Me” seemed to try it’s best to accommodate our longing for a fuller storyline and took us into what seemed to be a more fleshed out plot with a bounty of interesting characters and visually stunning locations. Glossy beachside pads, sunbathed rooms, and Zayn quite literally cruising off into the sunset with his lover at the end; scored by the song’s summery guitar chords.
One final thought.
This staged crap…
Will never be this…which is candid and real.
So, all things considered, I think it’s easy to see who inspired the themes Zayn sings about in “Dusk Till Dawn.”
21 Replies to “Dusk Till Dawn”
So,at the suggestion of @incognitocommenting,I was checking out an ig zarry acc. yesterday (but,obviously,I couldn’t scroll through it all since I do not have an ig acc.) and thus,I revisited DTD’s MV.Some references:
1. The occasion is probably of Tanabata star festival which is celebrated on 7 Aug,usually,in Japan (and sometimes 7 July).Note that Z announced the song release on 7 September (although Wikipedia says the release date was 8 September).You can find more information about the history and significance of Tanabata,of how it symbolised two lovers meeting once an year,and that too only when the skies were clear.The lovers are astronomically represented as stars (Z once wrote,”We look above at the stars,because that’s what we are).If you want a cinematographic comparison,you could check out @em.zarry on IG.
2. The Chinatown probably refers to LA’s Chinatown.The film inspiration for DTD,according to a Vogue article,Roman Polanski’s Chinatown,refers to Chinatown of LA.It would also be the only possible Zarry connection (as individuals,showbiz’s game pawns).Also,the skyscrapers in the poster seemingly suggest LA,also the continuation of mafias,clubs & gambling through Let Me and Entertainer,as well.
3. Zayn has for some reason simultaneously used Chinese and Japanese references together,both in DTD & Flames MV,Z has used them both.Harry’s debut album’s cover sports a 3 lettered some writing.I have no idea if it’s Chinese or Japanese.If anyone knows,please share what’s written.
|| I checked out a few other things which I’ll comment in discussion page. ||
1. Zarry had a fall out before Zayn left the band. CHECK.
2. Harry was the most affected by Zayn’s departure. CHECK.
3. FTDT is about him and this person who he wasn’t talking for a long time after that person “went away”.
4. Zayn confirmed himself he wrote most of Dusk Till Dawn. CHECK
FTDT: “Woke up alone in this hotel room Played with myself, where were you? Fell back to sleep, I got drunk by noon I’ve never felt less cool” DTD: “Not tryna be indie Not tryna be cool Just tryna be in this Tell me, are you too?”
FTDT: “We haven’t spoke since you went away Comfortable silence is so overrated” DTD: “We were shut like a jacket So undo your zip”
FTDT: “Woke up alone in this hotel room Played with myself.” DTD: “‘Cause I wanna touch you, baby And I wanna feel you too I wanna see the Sun rise On your sins, just me and you” woke up = sunrise; sins = masturbation
FTDT: “Woke up alone in this hotel room Played with myself, where were you?” DTD: “But you’ll never be alone. I’ll be with you from dusk till dawn. Go give love to your body. (Baby i’m right here)”
FTDT: “Why won’t you ever be the first one to break?” DTD: “Let’s make love tonight Make it up, fall in love, try”
FTDT: “Woke up alone in this hotel room” DTD: “*describes the room* Can you feel where the wind is? Can you feel it through All of the windows Inside this room?
DTD: “On the run, from dusk till dawn = secret, fugitive love affair”
Beautiful thoughtful analysis AD.
Thanks so much! 🙂
You never cease to amaze me with your work. Thank you for this article and everything you do for us
Awe I appreciate you my dear. Thanks for reading and for your support!
I already left a comment about this song on the FTDT post but found it appropriate to do here as well. The time frame of Dusk till Dawn is roughly from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. This is the time most people are back at home. Maybe Zayn was referencing how the only time he has with Harry and the only time he could be with Harry was during these hours because otherwise he has to go about and be in a ‘relationship’ with Gigi. Is that possible?
Yes dear I agree. I believe that is the entire concept of the song. Stolen moments basically over night with this person. So sad
This song is such a masterpiece (I mean please that high note in the end makes me feel like I’m in heaven) and you analysis was beautiful! The ‘cool’ lyric theory is interesting, never thought deeper than it being a simple lyrical reference but is does makes sense – even though I’m glad they’re both ‘real men’ who know expressing your emotions is a good thing. Lastly, 100% agreed: they are partners in crime and soulmates fore sure… like out of all the tattoos Z could choose from – and they share quite a collection – he chooses the yin yang one he has himself please just ugh so romantic
Such a masterpiece!
I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the same bunch of Zarries who are defending Zigi for clouting are hating on Louis for doing the EXACT same thing lol. They just blatantly hate Louis, while you have great points to criticize Zigi (not hating them).
I am stanning the right person. TPWK
Lol thanks for sharing your thoughts love!
always love your posts very informative
Thank you so much!
Bare faced lie straight from the pit of hell😂 thoroughly enjoyed this post. Very Cool!
Haha thanks love!
*Crying in a cool way…*
“Dusk Till Dawn doesn’t mean anything, there were many writers and writers tend to create situations in their songs/works, thinking it’s about Harry it’s Larry territory”
Someone told this to me.
Why are people so dense? Zayn got out of 1D because they didn’t accept his contributions, why wouldn’t he contribute to his own solo work? Why ignore he has a pattern singing about affairs? “I Won’t Mind”, “Fool For You”.. It’s obvious he was the one that gave the idea of the song being about a affair “love on the run”, telling the person they’re not alone and talking about masturbation. He even follows the pattern in “Tonight”.
I was curious for years about who “I Won’t Mind” was about, i convinced myself it meant nothing, it was a hypothetical situation/story he created, but i thought it was SO specific. When i saw the connection between From The Dining Table and Dusk Till Dawn it was like everything cleared up for me. It can’t be a coincidence. And everything makes sense after knowing Zayn and Harry fought before Zayn left the band. I think it’s one of the strongest Zarry proofs and this is why i wanted you to do a solo video about this song alone lol. I would love to read about your opinions about the song and about how in denial people are.
ooo u had me in the first half
I will make a post on I Won’t Mind very soon! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and thanks for the suggestion love. I agree people are simply too dense to get that Zayn has always been speaking on multiple levels. They only accept the surface level narratives presented by the media. Sigh