What does Big Girls Don't Cry mean?

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Fergie: Big Girls Don't Cry Meaning

Song Released: 2007

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Big Girls Don't Cry Lyrics

Da Da Da Da
The smell of your skin lingers on me now
You're probably on your flight back to your home town
I need some shelter of my own protection baby
To be with myself and center, clarity
Peace, Serenity

I hope you know, I...


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    Sep 7th, 2007 9:48am report

    Okay, first thing's first: if you've seen the video, put that out of your mind. That's just one writer/director's interpretation, and it doesn't quite fit this lyric, mainly because of the line "this has nothing to do with you". In the video, Fergie sees her boyfriend doing a drug deal! Clearly, in the video, it has *everything* to do with him. He's on a path to pain and possible destruction, and she doesn't want to go down that path with him. Plus, the line "you're probably on your flight back to your hometown" has nothing to do with the video (in which he is there the whole time), either.

    No, the song itself is much simpler than that, and I bet any guy who's ever been dumped by a girl he thought was in love with him will recognize it.

    This is what used to be known as a "Dear John Letter", which is that note you get from your girlfriend saying you're breaking up. It contains these classic elements:
    1) surprise! you thought nothing was wrong
    2) it's over
    3) there's nothing you can do about it
    4) it's not you....it's me
    5) let's be friends

    And, of course, I know this because this song happened to me, too. So...on to the lyric.

    The smell of your skin lingers on me now

    This implies they had sex recently. And no, even that doesn't stop her from deciding to break up.

    You're probably on your flight back to your home town

    This means we have a long-distance relationship, which is another reason it isn't going to work out.

    Oh, and together these first two lines indicate that he has NO idea they're breaking up, blissfully on his way back home after a night with her.

    I need some shelter of my own protection baby
    To be with myself and center, clarity

    In my case, she didn't leave me for another person. She just wanted to be alone, face life on her own.

    Peace, Serenity

    Funny thing about this line: when we were together, she ended her notes to me with "Love,". Now, I get an email from her once in a while, and she ends with "Peace,". She even said she wants me to have peace. Thanks for that. You put my heart in a blender and you want me to have peace!

    I hope you know, I hope you know
    That this has nothing to do with you
    It's personal,

    This part is classic "Dear John" material. "It's not your fault. It's not you...it's me". In my mind, it's all about lame excuses.

    ...myself and I
    We've got some straightenin' out to do

    Here's one off-the-wall possible alternative interpretation, based on this line: Nowhere in the song does it say that "you" refers to a guy. This could be a lesbian breakup, where the singer wants to become hetero, as in "myself and I, we've got some *straightening out* to do". Not that it's the right interpretation, but it certainly does give this song a totally different perspective!

    And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
    But I've got to get a move on with my life
    It's time to be a big girl now
    And big girls don't cry
    Don't cry

    Having this relationship is like a security blanket, but she doesn't want that. She wants to take the risks of being her own person, moving on with her own life. In my real-life case it was like this. We each graduated college. I stayed in town, and she got an offer to work in another town. She had to choose between life in town with me (or life with me being her "house-husband" in the other town) or life on her own without me. She had a decision to make, and she made it. Read on...

    The path that I'm walking
    I must go alone
    I must take the baby steps 'til I'm full grown, full grown
    Fairytales don't always have a happy ending, do they?
    And I foresee the dark ahead if I stay

    Actually, it's been a long time since we broke up, and I have to agree with foreseeing "dark ahead". We were probably in for a long hard struggle if we'd decided to stick with each other. We would have had an uphill battle, beginning with the fact that neither of our families approved of the person we were with. I do regret seeing her end up with a husband and 3.5 kids. Damn it! Those ought to be my kids! That should have been our life! But, I digress.

    Like the little school mate in the school yard
    We'll play jacks and uno cards
    I'll be your best friend and you'll be my Valentine
    Yes you can hold my hand if you want to
    'Cause I want to hold yours too
    We'll be playmates and lovers and share our secret worlds
    But it's time for me to go home
    It's getting late, dark outside

    This is the "let's be friends" part. In other words, I love you, to a point. Our relationship is "kid's stuff", built on games and fantasies, but ultimately my "real" life needs to go in a different direction...without you.

    One of the last emails I got from my ex said, "In many ways, I find it hard to believe that anyone could really love me as I was at 19 years old. I am a far better person in so many ways now." Maybe so. But sometimes I wish I'd had the strength (or strength of character) to do whatever it took to keep her. Oh, well. It's all water under the bridge now.

    I need to be with myself and center, clarity
    Peace, Serenity

    [CHORUS and out]

    Ironically, of all the girls I dated since my First Love, the ones I have admired most have been those who "stood on their own two feet". But in this case I wanted her to hold on to me (for better, for worse, etc.).

    The last thing about this song: listen to "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White Tees, then listen to this song as a "response" to that.
    I admit it's a little cynical, but the counterpoint of this song versus that one blows my mind, especially thinking of that guy as a blissfully ignorant, arrogant dude (thinking he's got Delilah all wrapped up and he can now go off and change the world) about to get kicked to the curb.

    Apologies to Fergie if it's not what you meant.


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    Nov 20th, 2019 11:00pm report

    I think I would write this song for my past relationship with Eddie and so he got so happy and so I’m glad that I wrote this song to write about personal song for on my relationship with other people and then we can spend time a lot and me and Ben are moving to the parts of Virginia, it’s like vacation. When we go the state we can hang out and swim and we can hang out try to hang out and write music. Lots of fun.


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    Oct 12th, 2019 10:07pm report

    I think to this song the song come on song to the radio when someone need to practice their song then we could go somewhere like fun and we’re going to have performing at the football stadium but it’s really cool to perform on stage, and sometimes when we have our friends and our parents to make them happy, and writing songs about them and it’s fun to write about songs came from my friend Ben. He understands to make music for me he’s awesome and handsome young man.


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    May 11th, 2019 5:23pm report

    I think to leave the relationship to the song that mark to the bridge but when I was at school but in my life when I did stuff at my jobs.


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    Mar 25th, 2019 3:11pm report

    I wanted to work with Shawn because he’s my producer and so. I have been recording since I was at my brothers school tours. But it’s incredibly nice to have the day off but it’s good. Patrick is my producer to my own writing but he knows about it. I know him at school I liked him very much. He’s my best friend I’ve met him at squires but it’s different than other. He looked at my eyes and said, you look gorgeous Bethany. I hugged him and I was happy to have him as a friend.


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    Mar 23rd, 2019 3:58pm report

    I would do the song be quick but it’s very fun. The Jonas brothers helped me out with this song. I used to live in Knoxville. It gives me emotional to supported by my friends but it’s starting for couple hours.


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    Apr 1st, 2017 4:23pm report



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    Feb 3rd, 2016 2:18pm report

    as per my view its all about moving on.Though she wanted to be with him she had something holding her back.I'v been through this :((


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    Apr 23rd, 2013 4:06am report

    I also believe "Big Girls Don't Cry" was intended to be a read-between-the-lines break away (break up) from methanphetamine use.
    That is not a subject most people would feel comfortable going public with, yet the emotion such a separation could certainly evoke would scream to come out either instrumentally or lyrically from within a musician as talented and passionate as our Fergie.
    Not only is the tune catchy and performed extremely well, we the listener can easily plug in to a variety of alternate meanings, making the song our own.
    On a personal note; "Big Girls Don't Cry" was played for me in 2007 by a wonderful young lady I had become smitten with. Was she telling me something through music? It wouldn't be the first time that had been done. Alas, my concern was for naught, but the fear of loss and association with Fergies song and my green eyed beauty were powerful. Still are.
    So I think I know where my fellow listeners are coming from with quite different takes on the same tune. Ah, better to have loved and lost... But we never did really lose that love did we, or we wouldn't care?
    Meth? Love? They might be closer than we think.


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    Aug 21st, 2012 8:08pm report

    The song Big Girls Dont Cry by Fergie means that she has to move on or move forward with her life between her and the guy. I believe she doesn't want to, but she has to because her boyfriend is doing wrong things with drugs. She doesn't want to be around that! Though she loves him!


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    Jan 25th, 2011 1:13pm report

    My interpretation was that it has nothing to do with her relationship with a married man or a boyfriend but her relationship with her drug addiction, saying goodbye to that part of her life in whole. Its time for her to grow up and be a big girl, the video may show a guy in it but its more about her, clarity peace and serenity.


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    Jun 7th, 2010 6:45pm report

    I think that she wants to switch to a new school but she has so many problems with herself that she can't hold on any longer and she just needs some time to get herself together! and it could be about a relationship but that's your opinion
    love ya RNHV


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    Apr 11th, 2010 4:14pm report

    This is about a relationship between a girl and a married man. She has come to the conclusion that she is headed nowhere if she stays with him. No matter what she may feel for him, she knows that she has to put herself first. This is about how she needs to rise above whatever the relationship gives her and be her own person. She has been repeating a pattern in her life with men and it needs to change in order for her to survive.


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    Jun 3rd, 2008 6:50pm report

    Okay the person who submitted that long interpretation is an ass, the song is about her and her boyfriend both being addicted to meth. She dealt with the addiction and stopped doing it, well he couldn't stop and stayed addicted. He loves him so much but she had to leave because she was moving on and he wouldnt get help.

    It's not about sex, it's about him always being apart of her and he leaves because she breaks up with him for the addiction not to be alone.


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    May 18th, 2008 5:21pm report

    It's about knowing you have to leave the people you love at one point or another ps. big girls do cry but they get though it


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    Dec 27th, 2007 12:23am report

    The first time I heard this song, I had just broken up with my boyfriend of two years because he moved away. It was a very traumatic time for me, and so my friend played it for me in attempt to make me feel a little better. As I listened to the lyrics, I began to realize that the burning hole I felt inside me was a feeling shared by others—that I wasn't alone.

    I believe that the music video has some pertinence, even if it does not go exactly with the lyrics. I feel this way because Fergie realizes that for her own good, she must get out of this relationship. As it was with me; though I was so sad to see him go, I realized that it was probably a good thing because our relationship was not meant to be. I think Fergie was simply being wise and ending something before it was too late. I know that my relationship would probably have gone bad if my boyfriend had not moved away, but may not have necessarily ended because we were in love and it was painful to break away. I give Fergie (or the character in the song) lots of credit for having such guts to do something so difficult!

    What I have found to be true is that something bittersweet about a bad relationship is the good memories. I say this because it makes you think one thing in your heart when your head is telling you another. Often, we do not want to go with what our head is saying but it is almost as frequently the better choice. I hate to sound so cynical, because I am a girl and I'm supposed to believe in romance, but love is really something else. Sure, romance is involved, but there comes a point where two people have to work out together if they want to carry on, and Fergie could see that they did not work out.

    In the music video, they seem to be very happy in most of the clips. I think this goes back to what I was saying about the happy memories. I think she shows these clips to help portray to the viewer the inner battle Fergie is experiencing. Should she cling onto something that used to be, or purge it from her future and try to move on? I think the clips are memories that she has and is trying to imagine are the present truth, but she realizes she can no longer do this when she sees what occurs with her boyfriend and his buddies outside the house.

    As for her saying it's personal, heck yes it's personal. I would not want to be with someone who deals drugs! She doesn't have to tell him that, all she has to tell him is that she is done, and that should suffice, seeings as he definitely saw her standing there at the door. I think most men would know at that point that they were in trouble.

    As much as she hates to see him go, she still loves him very much and that is why she is so hurt. She recounts their relationship and compares it to several more innocent images probably because it helps her heal. Childhood is a much simpler and innocent time, and I believe that she is trying to place her mind back into childhood, when relationships were merely crushes and playdates, but nothing more.

    We all know that love is not simple and that is the very irony of the song. I think the contrast provided between what is actually going on and what Fergie provides the listener with is what gives the song its uniqueness. The fact that it struck so close to home is what provided me with comfort, so thank you, Fergie. It is painful to let go, but in some situations more painful to hold on. If you can block some things out, at least for a little while, you can come closer to acceptance. And like she says, get a move on with your life.

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