All the Good Girls Go to Hell

This song by Billie Eilish was published for her debut album When We All Fall Asleep – Where Do We Go?, and employs metaphor to convey “ideas, criticism, and feelings about global warming, particularly in the United States”. The song is a call to action to fight the climate emergency; to tackle the rising oceans, melting icecaps, wildlife poisonings, and forest fires. The video evokes the imagery of the fall of lucifer, the drastic wildlife poisoning due to oil spills, and forest fires. In the YouTube description she writes an explicit call for action to join the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, and to the join the climate strike.

Through metaphor, she also criticises the role of the U.S. Donald Trump administration, and its ineffectiveness in dealing with the Californian forest fires. She does this through the use of ‘good girls’, which refers to the “people who follow government orders without questioning”, and by linking Trump to Lucifer. The Lucifer metaphor is used “for likeness in structure and function towards someone who is opposed by a group of individuals due to conflicting perspectives underlying harmful ideas and ambitions that affect a large number of people”. Especially Trump’s decision to highlight forest management rather than climate change as the key factor in the wildfires in California, Washington, and Orgeon is called into question.

In a short video broadcast by the American PBS NewsHour she makes this statement explicitly too:

“You don’t need me to tell you things are a mess. Donald Trump is destroying our country and everything we care about. We need leaders who will solve problems like climate change and COVID19, not deny them. Leaders who will fight against systemic racism and inequality and that starts by voting for someone who understands how much is at stake, someone who is building a team that shares our values, it starts with voting against Donald Trump and for Joe Biden. Silence is not an option and we cannot sit this one out. We all have to vote like our lives and our world depend on it, because they do. The only way to be certain of the future is to make it ourselves. Please register, please vote.”


Sources

Billie Eilish, “Billie Eilish – all the good girls go to hell,” YouTube, September 4, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PZsSWwc9xA.

PBS NewsHour, “WATCH: Billie Eilish debuts ‘My Future’ at the 2020 Democratic National Convention,” YouTube, August 20, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sly78aDTjFo.


References