Harry Styles has never released diary-esque lyricism like some of his peers, instead preferring to share his
The lyrics of 'As It Was' reveal that Styles is feeling like he's being left behind as everyone around him moves on, including those who he thought loved him. He longs for someone to reach out, even if they are only a ghost to him. It's a relatable song for anyone who felt like they were alone during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and those who had long distance relationships.
The song hints at a romance that is not quite right and has fans wondering about who the addressee might be. The line "Ringin' the bell / And nobody's coming to help" seems to be referring to a father who might be worried about his son's isolation and use of pills, but it could also be referencing a lover whose presence is no longer as special as it once was.
The lyrical references to Bishopsgate, a district of London, have fans wondering whether the song is about a romance with an American actress named Olivia Wilde. The pair have been linked to each other since the former One Direction member was cast in her upcoming movie Don't Worry Darling. However, the song's sombre tone and introspective lyrics make it seem more likely that he's singing to a romantic partner who was once very close to him and that their relationship has changed beyond recognition since they started dating.