From my Instagram post on January 15th:

Outside seems to be referencing a breakup. There’s a lyric about a dog thrown in to make it sound like it’s about Gigi, but if you dig deeper, it’s debunked by the lyric immediately preceding it about sneaking out of the parents house and being up on the roof.

When Zayn met Gigi she was a grown woman and living on her own in NYC. There was no need for her to sneak out of her parents house, plus her parents were divorced long before Zayn met her. This lyric simply does not apply to Zigi.

July 2015 Gigi sold the NYC apartment she moved into in 2013

This lyric about the parent’s house and the roof in “Outside” is purposefully evocative of youth. Not independence and adulthood which would represent Zigi or Zerrie, but parental control. Zayn did that on purpose to rule out his two publicly known relationships. And we all know Zayn and Harry grew up together. We’ve seen video evidence of Zayn at Harry’s parents house in 2011, and they were completely alone. None of the other 1D boys were there. So I think the imagery in that lyric is about Harry, and therefore it is far more compelling than the lyric about a dog. 

Looking at this song from the Zarry perspective, not Zigi: it references what Harry may have done that he felt guilty over in “Falling.” Because as I always said, if you also look at the lyrics of TBSL, the “infidelity” narrative seems to pick up again and Harry expounds: “you can’t blame me darling, not even a little bit…I was away and I’m just an arrogant SOB who can’t admit when he’s sorry. It’s hard for me to go home and be so lonely. Do you think it’s easy, being of the jealous kind?” Sounds like he may have done whatever he did out of jealousy and loneliness and vindictiveness. Here is an excerpt from my Camille vs Zayn post below.

Camille vs Zayn:

“Don’t blame me for falling, I was just a little boy…” (To Be So Lonely) Uh, did you happen to notice Harry was a grown man when he dated Camille?

23 year old Harold.

“You can’t blame me darling, not even a little bit, I was away and I’m just an arrogant son of a b*tch who can’t admit when he’s sorry.” (To Be So Lonely) Same song as the “little boy” lyric, therefore ruling out the idea that this song is about Camille. Harry is singing to Zayn in that song about when they first started fooling around. “Don’t blame me for falling, I was just a little boy. Don’t blame the drunk caller, wasn’t ready for it all.”

The lyric: “You can’t blame me darling, not even a little bit, I was away and I’m just an arrogant son of a b*tch who can’t admit when he’s sorry..” is an indication Harry is singing to someone he’s in a phucked up, twisted, open, long-distance relationship with. Not a normal relationship with someone who he is monogamous with. How do we know this? Because the language he uses. “You can’t blame me…” Uh, excusez-moi? No one in their right mind would say that when they cheat on a monogamous partner. You would say “you can’t blame me” only if in some respects you felt you had a right to sleep with someone else. He then follows it up with “I was away…” meaning he has some kind of agreement with this person that he can see other people on the road.

Like, hmm, maybe you would say this if your lover is constantly not with you (by their own volition) because they are with someone else in public, and so you have to tell them “it’s hard for me to go home and be so lonely” and that same lover even admits “I know it’s taking all your strength to keep restrained…where’s the shame? No shame in what you need.” It all fits together like a dysfunctional little puzzle. And you know this relationship Harry is singing about in TBSL is phucked up because Harry justifies what he did by saying “Do you think it’s easy, being of the jealous kind?” That means he did what he did (the thing he is having trouble apologizing for because he’s an arrogant SOB) out of pettiness and vindictiveness because he was tired of being alone, but also out of JEALOUSY because the person he loves is WITH SOMEONE ELSE. Get it??? And remember, he made it clear this song was NOT about Camille with the “little boy” line.

Harry touches on the same infidelity sentiment in “Falling,” this idea that he did something that he regretted while on the road (“wandering hands”) and got his lover upset with him, which is why he ended up in bed alone. And that opening line to “Falling” is a drawback to the opening line of “From The Dining Table,” a song about someone leaving him, written when Camille was NOT around. People tend to take for granted the fact that he says “I’m falling AGAIN, I’m falling AGAIN…” meaning he had been in that low and dark place before with this person and it led him to drinking. FTDT: “Fell back to sleep I got drunk by noon….we haven’t spoke since you went away…”

And did you happen to notice who was singing about their lover being with someone else in 2018? The same person who wrote about their lover having a hard time keeping “restrained” in 2018. Zayn’s timeline matches Harry’s for Fine Line. And who followed up the thought about his lover sleeping with someone else in 2021 with Outside? Zayn. That’s who. “Hurts me when I think about it, someone else being in your bed…”

Now back to the Outside text from my IG post:

Two wrongs never make a right. Meaning, Zayn acknowledges them being petty with each other is not the answer to their issues. Hurting someone because they hurt you is never the answer, it just worsens things. Then Zayn mentions how someone else being in his lover’s bed hurts him. This seems to be the “wrong” he’s referencing. “I know I’m not too innocent.” Indicates they’ve BOTH sinned. They’ve both done each other wrong on some level. Hence “two wrongs make no right.”

“Hope it hurts you when you think about it, but both of us just have to dip.” Meaning they both have to deal with the failure of their relationship and the consequences of their actions, and leave it at that. This shows Zayn want’s his lover to feel guilt and upset over what they did to hurt him.

These two lines in “Falling” and “Outside” (respectively) are both meant literally and figuratively. I say that because you can’t literally leave someone’s life outside, so I believe Zayn was referencing the emotional baggage he had left Harry. Basically encouraging Harry to just forget about him and everything they had together. And in “Falling” Harry is likely referring to physical and figurative baggage, both of which comes along with a romantic relationship and usually remains long after that person has left.

Final Thoughts:

I find it tragic that this is the ultimate outcome for this relationship. It seems they can never truly get on the same page, as far as loyalty and commitment and understanding each other and properly communicating is concerned. Which is too bad, because I feel like if they ever gave each other a real chance and dated in a legitimate way, they both were naturally endowed with the characteristics to succeed together. Things could’ve worked out. But their relationship never got a real chance to thrive without public beards and without the complications of being closeted.

As it stands, it seems like Zayn has always wanted to carry on a relationship with Harry behind the scenes with no strings, while maintaining a public relationship with Perrie or Gigi (or whoever else is next.) And it seems like he expected Harry to understand that and put up with that and settle for that sort of backwards illegitimate sex-addicted relationship forever, as long as he made it clear his love for Harry was “real.” This can be plainly seen in the fact that even when Zayn makes an effort to promise Harry something as far as being with him, it’s always conditional and always comes with a qualifier.

“You’ll never be alone…baby I’m right here…I’ll be with you from dusk till dawn.” He can only be with him overnight, nothing is ever promised beyond that.

Harry has struggled with this concept of sharing Zayn or being without him from the beginning, demonstrating his inability to be with anyone other than Zayn for more than a few weeks/months at a time, and being extremely jealous of Zayn’s long-term public partners. And I think the strange conditions of the affair led him to often believe he wasn’t loved, like he expressed in JALBOYH, Only Angel, and Adore you. And who can really blame him?

13 Replies to “Outside”

  1. I really like the song Dusk til Dawn musically but from the minute I heard the lyrics I hated the meaning of that song. I thought it was a shi*ty thing to say that H could have him on those terms. Like H is supposed to jump up and down for joy “Oh boy, I get to be Z’s dirty little secret”. Zayn really needs therapy to help him sort it all out for himself before it eats him alive. Great stuff as always – Thank you ❤

  2. Anyone else think “staring at the perfect view” is a private joke of theirs? Harry has mentioned “admiring the view” in some interviews and I remember Zayn sniggering at that? Also, Zayn’s deleted tweet about the view of Harry…

    1. He wrote Satisfaction in 2015 with Malay.
      Other tracks from IF that he wrote in 2015 were at least Let Me,Stand Still,Sour Diesel,All That,Scripted and There You Are

  3. Yes it is tragic. Z also says “or let me in” so there is another choice on the table. But “I’ll let you decide” means it’s for the other person to choose which way things go.
    Found this article about hurting the person you love.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-the-name-love/201010/you-always-hurt-the-one-you-love. Seems there’s in inherent insecurity in the vulnerability of being deeply in love with someone. Windowsill seems to talk to this theme. “Break the glass” reach a point of no return, an irreversible decision to “show me how you really feel”. “Cut me deep” hurt my feelings “and sew it up”. “That’s the way you show me love”. Jealousy can be a symptom of feeling insecure and uncertain, of feeling you need to compete for affection and attention, of trying to control and protect and hold on to something or someone that you value deeply. Windowsill also admits “I never let her know so she comes back for more” in other words keeping the person in a state of uncertainty. Sad, sad, sad way to treat someone.

  4. Completely off topic but

    Firstly, I wanted to say that I really really appreciate and like your work. But back to the reason I am writing. It might be stupid but I have just started reading Zayn’s autobiography and couldn’t help but noticed that he uses green too much 😂 it might be just a coincidence but it’s quite an interesting coincidence. That’s all) Thank you for everything you do, i really enjoy your writing style!) Best of luck with everything!💕

  5. Obviously you’re done analyzing NIL but do you think there is a connection between “River Road” where he sings “stand on your own, be a pillar” and the poem by Kahlil Gibran that he has tattooed on his arm that says “And stand together, yet not too near together, for the pillars of the temple stand apart?”

  6. Hey A.D. this archive is incredible and, from my many comments you can see, has become my new obsession. A question for you: what do you think of the comics that Zayn has published along with NIL? They are not representational of the songs they are paired with but have to have some kind of significance. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  7. I feel like this has been their relationship from start. There was always something being hidden or conditional. It’s sad bc like u said… if only they were able to really give it a try. It’s such a powerful thing to say “we are who we are when we are alone” that’s an emotion that worth fighting for. Like everyone, I really don’t know what they do/talk about behind public sight but I believe they will never love like they loved each other. So I do hope Z realizes how H’s heart needs to start being a priority and treats H they way he had always deserved. Question: do u think the poem in Z song wasn’t meant for H?

    1. 01/09/12 “Enjoying my view”… I think it would be Norway “Best Views”. The time at the bungalow, young boys, heady times, “Just you and me up on the roof
      We didn’t have much, but, yeah, we did it, staring at the perfect view”. I can just see them sneaking alone time on the roof, Zayn reminiscing x

      1. I wondered where that roof was and their time at the bungalow is a perfect fit lyrical as it was Harry’s Dad’s place. Also ticks the opportunity box i.e. no parental/adult supervision and sharing bed due to space. Also I think the image of the H and Z in same bed and video of the other 3 boys rushing in to wake them is also from the bungalow i.e. it’s after X factor.

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