“bellyache” is the sixth track on Billie Eilish’s first EP “dont smile at me”. As with all of Eilish’s tracks, “bellyache” was written by Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell, who also produces all the songs. This song is one of Eilish’s first tracks to go viral, and is perhaps arguably the song to bring Eilish’s talent into mainstream media.
“bellyache” is told in the perspective of a young psychopath, who is running away from the law after killing her friends. Eilish has spoken about the song with two separate publications, Vice and NME. Speaking to Vice, Eilish had this to say: “It’s obviously fictional. When me and my brother are writing we find it fun to put yourself into character or become someone else, to write about something we’ve never done before. ‘Bellyache’ is about the concept of guilt, when you do things in the moment because you feel so strongly about them. In the end you’re left with the decision you made. That line—”I thought that I’d feel better, but now I gotta bellyache”—is about how you kinda know that you’re the worst but you don’t care. It’s about a psychopath who regrets being a psychopath but doesn’t really care.” When speaking to NME, Eilish revealed that “bellyache” was inspired by some experiences where she had shoplifted or took toys from friends as a child: “I’d leave and want to throw up with guilt. I used to think the police were going to come to class and take me away from my parents. It was completely irrational, but there’s nothing like that overwhelming feeling, and to say that a child can’t write about those feelings because they are too young is bogus.”
The music video for “bellyache” was released on the 22nd March 2017 and was directed by Miles & AJ. It features Eilish walking along a road in a desert, throwing money around and dragging along a bin bag that seems to hold money. At the end of the video, Eilish comes face to face with a police, eating a cake and staring at Eilish. As of the end of April 2020, the video has 4.7 million likes, with 383.1 million views.
Release Date: 24th February 2017
Songwriter/s: Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell
Producer: Finneas O’Connell
Label/s: Darkroom & Interscope
Music Video Release Date: 22nd March 2017
Music Video Director/s: Miles & AJ
Chart Rankings & Certifications: Within a year of its release, “Bellyache” had reached #66 on Australian charts, #65 in Canada, #39 in Ireland, #69 in Portugal, #89 in Scotland, #85 in Slovakia, #197 in South Korea, #1 in Sweden, #79 in the UK, and #3 and #11 in the US. The track is certified Gold in Denmark, Portugal and the UK; Platinum in Canada, and 2x Platinum in Australia, Mexico and the US.
The lyrics to “Bellyache” can be viewed here: LINK