What does Big Girls Don't Cry mean?

Fergie: Big Girls Don't Cry Meaning

Album cover for Big Girls Don't Cry album cover

Song Released: 2007

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...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Sep 7th 2007 !⃝

    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.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 27th 2022 !⃝

    Anyone that's been in a relationship with a married person sees this for what it is. As the adult in the relationship - She sees him on his way back home (the scent of you lingers) and while she misses him she (as an adult) knows she has to move on . . it has nothing to do with YOU . SHE has to grow up (beyond the relationship which will never work) and get "centered". But - at the same time there's the other side - the child in her wants to hold hands again and play again and again . . . . it's the obvious conflict and contrast between the longing (of a child) and the harsh reality the adult knows. Anyone who's been in a relationship with a married person recognizes all of this.

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 5th 2022 !⃝

    The song has to be my personal favorite somehow it’ll turned this ballad everything it recorded Fergie had beautiful voice because when we have the song coming out me and my clowns are traveling other places to perform and having fun

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 23rd 2020 !⃝

    Fergie had a huge drug problem back in the day .. this song is clearly about a boyfriend or friend(s) that got her into drugs and she wanted out but being around them was impossible because they were still doing the drugs ("you cant heal the same place you got sick" - not sure who said this quote originally). The lyric "this has nothing to do with you" could be her saying this has nothing to do with the person you are but your bad habits are affecting me. Not a breakup song but still a good one

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 20th 2019 !⃝

    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.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 12th 2019 !⃝

    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.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 11th 2019 !⃝

    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.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 25th 2019 !⃝

    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.

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 23rd 2019 !⃝

    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.

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 1st 2017 !⃝


  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 3rd 2016 !⃝

    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 :((

  12. arthur_scott
    click a star to vote
    Apr 23rd 2013 !⃝

    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.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 21st 2012 !⃝

    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!

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 25th 2011 !⃝

    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.

  15. singalot
    click a star to vote
    Jun 7th 2010 !⃝

    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

  16. singing.wolf
    click a star to vote
    Apr 11th 2010 !⃝

    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.

‹ prev 12

More Fergie songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Demon Of The Fall anonymous
Rebel Yell anonymous
Softcore anonymous
The Chains Are On anonymous
Bounce anonymous
Lake of Fire anonymous
Evil Woman anonymous
Hello Kitty anonymous
The Mighty Quinn anonymous
Hermit the Frog Hjkxx100
Hole in the Bottom of my Brain anonymous
Pretender (Acoustic) anonymous
Disintegration anonymous
Love Love Love anonymous
My Darling anonymous

(We won't give out your email)