“A repeated refrain in the song is simply “I love you.” Something we didn’t hear very confidently from Zayn until 2020. But Harry said it rather profusely once Zayn left him in 2015. (Even Niall admitted more than once that the only reason Harry included the name “Olivia” in the song was because it rhymed with: I love ya.)”
For One Direction’s final studio album Made In The AM released in November 2015, Harry is credited as the principal writer on 4 songs. Today I want to explore the reoccurring themes found within those songs, chiefly those that would later bleed into the lyrics of his debut solo album released in 2017. Primarily in “From The Dining Table” and “Meet Me In The Hallway.”
I’ve made it clear over the years that I have no doubt these songs were crafted with Zayn in mind, and they are essentially a diary entry of the things Harry was experiencing at the time (both before and after Zayn left the band.)
I believe each track covers their fallout in some regard, includes lots of reconciliatory language on Harry’s end, includes a desire to make amends, includes descriptions of metal anguish, and lastly the tracks hint at Harry revealing just how much Zayn has meant to him all along. These are powerful songs that remain underrated to this very day because no one realizes who truly inspired them.
- “If I Could Fly”
- “Walking In The Wind”
Made In The A.M. (Tracklist)
1 – If I Could Fly.
I believe this song was inspired in part by Blaze Foley’s “If I Could Only Fly” since he is an artist that appears on Harry’s 2016 Another Man Mixtape with “Oh Love.”
The shared motif of “flying” found throughout Zarry’s art is just spectacular. I can imagine them laying awake late at night and whispering about their dreams of solo careers and their shared desire to get away from the band, which I believe they characterized as flying.
I say this all the time, but the intimacy in this lyric alone is gut-wrenchingly beautiful. This is Harry saying regardless of anyone else in his acquaintance (friends, family, co-workers) his truest self is known by one person only. They are the only one he would ever consider revealing his heart to. Wow…I cannot begin to process the level of love Harry expresses sometimes. It’s simply sublime. Quite literally breathtaking.
Here’s what I posted about this lyric on Instagram last year:
They are only the realest version of themselves with each other, and that’s only when they’re alone.
“For your eyes only…” also tells me that we (Harry’s supporters) know very little about him, despite how much we try to observe and understand him through his art. Not to flatter ourselves too much, but I do personally believe Zarries may be the sub-fandom closest to recognizing who the real Harry is, but even still, we’re only scratching the surface with our material.
One thing remains clear regardless of what we do or don’t know at the end of the day: Harry loves Zayn deeply, he will never stop loving him, and he has been writing about him since he was at least 18 years old. He is now a 27 year old man and hardly anything has changed. Zayn’s eyes are the only ones allowed to see the real Harry, and I envy him for that.
I believe a large part of Harry trying to reconcile with Zayn after their 2015 fallout (which all his MITAM songs allude to) was him being more vulnerable and more unguarded about his feelings. Harry spoke in depth of the importance of vulnerability when trying to draw closer to another human being, and how integral it is to building lasting relationships that are worthwhile.
It’s something we saw him express in the interview with Zane Lowe in late 2019. He even agreed with Zane’s assessment that “Golden” perfectly embodies the concept that vulnerability builds solid relationships, and I think it’s just laughable at this point for people to keep pretending he’s not referencing Zayn in that song.
Point being, we already witnessed Harry practicing the philosophy of vulnerability in the lyrics to IICF, where he desired to show someone his heart in case they ever forgot who they were. This is a gorgeous sentiment that for me transcends traditional ideas of romance, and seems to encapsulate the strange almost unidentifiable relationship they had over the years. We tend to call it “love” or “dating” because those are commonly accepted terms, but there has never been anything conventional or common about their bond.
Beyond that, the overarching sentiment in this song is an impending separation. This is one of the greatest proofs available that Harry knew Zayn was leaving before he left. In WITW the notion that Harry knew Zayn was preparing to leave is pretty unquestionable. But in IICF you have to read between the lines a bit:
If I could fly
I’d be comin’ right back home to you
I think I might
Give up everything, just ask me to
This lyric suggests that they have already separated. But lyrics throughout the song vacillate and sound like the person hasn’t left yet. Such as the preparatory sentiment in “I’ll show you my heart, FOR WHEN you’re lonely, and forget who you are…”
You must ask why this person is in danger of forgetting who they are in the future? What changes are taking place where they have the potential to lose themselves so deeply? And why does Harry feel that showing them HIS heart will help them remember who THEY are? Well, you just have to look a little further into the song for that. Harry goes on to say: “I’m missing half of me, when we’re apart…”
So in Harry’s mind, they reflect each other so deeply that he feels incomplete without this person by his side, and he knows the other person feels the same. That sounds like someone he’s been around for an extended period of time, likely during his formative years, almost like a sibling. Someone he came-of-age with. These tend to be the most undying types of bonds.
It then quickly becomes obvious Harry is singing to Zayn, someone who is preparing to leave behind his entire career, and all his friends and advisors, and everything he has known for the last 5 years to go off alone. Harry is afraid of what may happen to him in that time alone, and rightfully so. He knows Zayn better than anyone, so he anticipated the emptiness, the disorientation, and the alienation Zayn would suffer after making this move. And these are the exact same feelings Zayn admitted to suffering in his biography after he left the band. He specifically mentioned how scary it was to be left alone with his own thoughts after being surrounded with so many people for so long.
For your eyes only
I’ll show you my heart
For when you’re lonely
And forget who you are
So if you listen to IICF from the perspective of Harry literally preparing Zayn for leaving the band and telling him how much he will miss him, it all makes sense. Especially when you consider the lyric: “I’ve got scars, even though they can’t always be seen. And pain gets hard, but now you’re here and I don’t feel a thing.”
This could both be referencing how Harry feels broken and alone whenever he is apart from Zayn, and then feels relieved (the pain abates) whenever they finally reunite. Or it could be referencing the fact that while Zayn is still there before leaving the band, Harry is not suffering yet, but he knows he will once he is gone. Like: “But [for] now you’re here and I don’t feel a thing.”
I can feel your heart inside of mine
I feel it, I feel it
I’ve been goin’ out of my mind
I feel it, I feel it
Know that I’m just wastin’ time
And I hope that you don’t run from me
It’s also pretty obvious Harry is singing to Zayn when he openly alludes to pursuing him after he leaves, like we already know he did. (Read about that here!) In IICF he says: “I’ve been going out of my mind, know that I’m just wasting time, and I hope that you don’t run from me.”
Phuckkk, that hits so hard when you take a moment to realize this man was telling everyone exactly what he was going to do the minute the band ended. He’s just like:
Don’t you phucking run from me, because I’m coming after you. Nothing can stop me. This band shit is irrelevant, it no longer holds meaning for me. I’m just biding and wasting my time until I’m free of this tour and I will follow you.
DO YOU GET IT?? It’s super super powerful because that is exactly what this man did. First he pushed for the hiatus immediately after Zayn left against the wishes of the other boys, including LOUIS, and thennnn this man went after Zayn very openly and undeniably. Fine Line tells this story quite vividly!! So does the 2017 video linked above!
PAGE TWO: Walking In The Wind
25 Replies to “If I Could Fly, WITW, Olivia, & Perfect”
I’ve often wondered what the other boys thought when Harry started writing songs such as these (esp ones like IICF, JALBOYH, WITW, Olivia). I have zero doubt they knew about Zarry on some level but I’ve always wondered if after seeing H write songs with such deep lyrics what they said or realized their relationship was more than physical. Same with when each of their individual albums came out (and those that followed).
Same here! I wonder that so often. Some of Harry’s lyrics are so obvious, like in FTDT I often wonder what his family thought of them. I feel like his mom and sister knew on some level. And like you said, the other boys must’ve known on some level as well, so Harry’s 2015 songs are just glaringly obvious. Liam made that clear in their Beats One interview when he couldn’t shut up about how emotional Harry’s songs made him, and we all know Liam seemed to KNOW more than anyone lol
FTDT was actually the one that tripped me up the most in trying to explain it with anything but a Zarry context. Why a hotel room? Harry could have put himself anywhere and he put himself in a hotel room. He has houses and if the song was about a girlfriend he was missing wouldn’t you sing about your home and not a hotel room? If he was missing a girlfriend, while on the road, I’ll give him hotel room and playing with himself, but why get drunk and if he was missing a girlfriend while on the road, why not call her. He’s not able to call, he’s alone drinking in a hotel room, it’s just so not a regular boyfriend girlfriend thing going on.also using the word “cool”, is, as AD has pointed out, such a Zayn word. Harry is too good of a writer to pick “hotel room” just because it is three syllables.
Exactly! Imagine being in the room and Harry brings IICF to the table and shows a song he’s wrote. Do they ask questions or just go with it? I agree that his mom and sister as well as Liam knew but when did they realize it and when did they know how deep it was? If Liam can’t keep his mouth shut in interviews I can only imagine what he was saying to Louis and Niall. Do the other boys listen to their solo albums and catch the lyrical connections? The questions that keep me up at night haha. Imma need you to ask these questions when you meet them some day ; )
It looks for me that Bella moved Z. Han because that’s not part of the contract. 😂
Yet he was not to be found. I was reminded cruelly that he couldn’t swim, as I gazed out over the crashing vawes in hopes of a glimpse of his face. Realistically there was no way he had survived the wreck. By now he was somewhere remote; having drowned alone because he was too afraid to fallow me.
TTUM(I quoted from your book AD :))
While watching all this, this scene in TTUM came to my mind. It’s scary how well this part fits his action!
I’m so sorry I wrote this wrong post:(
Perfect explanations as always. Wow! Great job! Nothing is as deep as Harry’s love for Zayn…
Harry misses half of himself when Zayn’s gone away from him because Zayn is his other half.
I’ll be completely honest, when I heard WITW for the first time, I wasn’t a Directioner. I just heard a random 1D song. But it suddenly clicked this song is about Zayn. I could feel the hurt in Harry’s voice. And I cried actual crocodile tears. Even more when I rediscovered 1D and Zarry last year. I love them so much and I just want them to be happy. Maybe together. Definitely together. Now I’m crying again…
which song is thst plz
Walking in the wind
I’m losing faith in Zarry, and it makes me sad.
This is great as usual.
Thank you A. D. Please put those two pictures together just to see the difference. Please. Please. Love you.
Sorry I just want to talk about Z. How he is “putting his hand on G. But.” Notice the difference to actually hold H. But.
Specially in the concert when he hold his ass.
And on the picture they just put on. He is just……
Please you guys help me here.
hey love I know we all want to find excuses that Zayn may fix his act but it has been like six years. I think it is thing we hope that Harry will finally date a man and I wish that man would be Zayn but it will be toxic for both of them and Harry would get too hurt again. I hope harry doesn’t wait anymore. I hope Zayn will realise what he did and fix his mistake and maybe Zarry will get back together. but for now we have to be realistic and hope that Harry will find a lover that gives him the love he deserves and that Zayn will fucking put his act back together.
Interesting pictures of Bella moving Zayn’s hand up from G’s butt to her waist. “Fan” comments were about “love protective Bella”. What is she protecting? G’s image?
If you check live footage it’s actualy the other way around, you can see Bella walking out , tap Z’s hands countouring them and then Z’s hands is on G’ s butt. Interessting indeed.
Oh wow that’s even weirder i.e. having 3rd person stage your significant other’s hand position (in public) to make it look more intimate. I’d give Bella’s effort a fail to be honest as it kinda look “dead fish” rather than natural. Reminds of the Met pictures/video where Z’s telling G what to do. That was weird too. Anyway each to their own I guess.
Them planing this whole thing out lmao i can hear bella and her family saying
“alright remember to put ur hand on gigi’s bottom”
the fact that she tried to move his hand so she looks like a good sister is funny all of this was thought out kinda cringy 🤣
Just love the way you always make thing clear for us base on facts thanks for always opening our eyes to what is real and so obvious,am just always so heart broken over their relationship and hope harry I will be finally happy some day.love them both but there is this special place in my heart for harry. Just love him. Keep doing what you are doing your posts and videos give me hope for them sometime cause I feel deeply love will win in the end.
AD amazing analysis, great job as always. You are amazing and I thank you for sharing it with us,❤️
Perfect reminds me of Zayn so much. The music video has so much clues that it’s about him as well. Like Harry is getting dressed like he’s going to a awards show but what he’s wearing looks exactly like one of the suits Zayn wore to the Brits 2013. Then Liam is getting tattooed in the hotel room, and recording the album. Like that’s something he used to do with Zayn how does that make sense for Taylor Swift, Idk. And then when Harry says your perfect it’s just reminds me of when Harry used to turn Zayn and sing Your Perfect To Me during little things.
your mind is crazy give me a piece of that brain i never thought about that!!
also i just wanna add this thing that ive found from a fellow Zarrie its not mine but here it is
“is there somebody else you’ve missed?” -Zayn Malik (rainberry)
Harry during his performance after Zayn’s solo in SOML: “I’ve missed you”
Gosh!! i can’t believe i missed this too such a good connection
It always blow my mind how good you are with words and everything that you say make sense…
right?! its always hard for my stupid self to put my thoughts into words she does it so well and even better and i love all the big words she uses teeehee makes me feel smart 🙂