Disclaimer: The following article includes mentions of abuse and rough upbringings. If you or anyone you know is going through this, seek help and call the ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 and The Trevor Project's LGBTQ+TrevorLifeline at 1-866-488-7386.
Since Olivia Rodrigo's debut album, SOUR, dropped at midnight, I have not stopped listening to the album and analyzing its lyrics.
A lot of Olivia's fans — who have deemed themselves "Livies" — have theories that the album is about more than just a breakup. They believe that it showcases a progression of the seven stages of grief:
Shock and denial
Pain and guilt
Anger and bargaining
The upward turn
Acceptance and hope
"Hope Ur Ok" is the final track on SOUR, which would most likely represent the final stage of grief: acceptance. Olivia first teased some lyrics to the song during a game of 17 Questions, saying that they're some of her favorite she's ever written.
"'I hope he took his bad deal and made a royal flush." I really like that lyric, it's one of my faves. I think that song is really beautiful, too, as the last track on the album," Olivia told Seventeen.
According to Pitchfork's official review of the album, "Hope Ur Ok" is a hopeful anthem directed toward outcasts. "Over a twinkly instrumental, [Olivia] sings directly to a victim of child abuse, a queer girl rejected by her family, and to outcasts more broadly," said the review.
Though the lyrics could tie into acceptance, it rings positivity to those who have faced hardships in their own lives, and Olivia is merely the messenger with a beacon of hope. Let's look further into these lyrics to see what they're about.
Lyrics provided by Genius.
I knew a boy once when I was small
A towhead blond with eyes of salt
He played the drum in the marching band
His parents cared more about the Bible
Than being good to their own child
He wore long sleeves 'cause of his dad
And somehow we fell out of touch
Hope he took his bad deal and made a royal flush
Don't know if I'll see you again someday
But if you're out there, I hope that you're okay
"['Hope Ur Ok,'] is written from the perspective of my friends. I don’t actually know some of the people that I talk about in the song. But there are stories [in it] that I had accumulated from different friends, so stuff like that I do all the time," Olivia said in an interview with MET107.
In the first verse, Olivia describes a situation where someone with a religious upbringing faced discrimination from his own parents. The line "he wore long sleeves 'cause of his dad" alludes to the subject's father potentially abusing him.
According to Genius, a royal flush is the rarest and strongest hand possible in a game of Poker. Olivia’s metaphorical comparison reflects her hope that he has overcome the hardship he faced at the hands of his unaccepting family.
My middle school friend grew up alone
She raised her brothers on hеr own
Her parents hated who shе loved
She couldn't wait to go to college
She was tired, 'cause she was brought into a world
Where family was merely blood
Does she know how proud I am she was created?
With the courage to unlearn all of their hatred?
We don't talk much, but I just gotta say
I miss you, and I hope that you're okay
"Her parents hated who she loved" could allude to the second subject's queerness, which seems to be unacceptable for her parents' standards. "She was brought into a world / where family was merely blood" also ties back to the LGBTQ+ community, where the concept of having a "chosen family" is common because of the discrimination many face within their own bloodline.
Toward the end of the verse, Olivia expresses her love and support for the subject although they don't speak much anymore.
Address the letters to the holes in my butterfly wings
Nothing's forever, nothing's as good as it seems
And when the clouds won't iron out
And the monsters creep into your house
Every door is hard to close
Here, Olivia brings back the message of hope and acceptance, saying that "nothing's forever" and that there's light at the end of the tunnel. She even describes how some victims of abuse find it difficult to come out on the other side when she says "every door is hard to close."
Well, I hope you know how proud I am you were created
With the courage to unlearn all of their hatred
But, God, I hope that you're happier today
'Cause I love you
And I hope that you're okay
The outro of the song includes a sweet message about Olivia being proud of the subjects for "unlearning...hatred" and moving on from their past hardships.
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