Song of the Day #3,639: ‘Olivia’ – One Direction

My next One Direction song, like the last one, comes from the band’s final album, Made in the A.M. In fact, all five of this week’s selections appear on the band’s last two albums. This is a band that got better and better as they went.

‘Olivia’ is a straight-up homage to the British Invasion, with a melody and production that would have felt at home on any Beatles album.

It also includes, in the bridge, a neat call-out to ‘Pure Imagination’ from Willy Wonka. This is the sort of musical experimentation that makes One Direction’s later albums a treat.

[Verse 1: Niall]
Remember the day we were giving up
When you told me I didn’t give you enough
And all of your friends were saying I’ll be leaving you
She’s lying in bed with my t-shirt on
Just thinking how I went about it wrong
This isn’t the stain of a red wine, I’m bleeding love

[Pre-Chorus: Niall]
Please believe me, don’t you see
The things you mean to me?
Oh I love you, I love you
I love, I love, I love Olivia

[Chorus: Harry]
I live for you, I long for you, Olivia
I’ve been idolising the light in your eyes, Olivia
I live for you, I long for you, Olivia
Don’t let me go, don’t let me go

[Verse 2: Liam]
Say what you’re feeling and say it now
‘Cause I got the feeling you’re walking out
And time is irrelevant when I’ve not been seeing ya
The consequences of falling out
Are something I’m having nightmares about
And these are the reasons I’m crying out to be with ya

[Pre-Chorus: Liam]
Please believe me, don’t you see
The things you mean to me?
Oh I love you, I love you
I love, I love, I love Olivia

[Chorus: Harry]
I live for you, I long for you, Olivia
I’ve been idolising the light in your eyes, Olivia
I live for you, I long for you, Olivia
Don’t let me go, don’t let me go

[Bridge: Harry]
When you go and I’m alone
You live in my imagination
The summertime and butterflies
All belong to your creation
I love you, it’s all I do, I love you

[Chorus: Louis]
I live for you, I long for you, Olivia
I’ve been idolising the light in your eyes, Olivia
I live for you, I long for you, Olivia
Don’t let me go, don’t let me go, don’t let me go

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,639: ‘Olivia’ – One Direction

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Good song. I’m not sure that the homage to “Pure Imagination” was intentional, though I hear why one could come to that conclusion. What strikes me as a more direct homage (or lifting) is the pre-chorus, which is musically identical to Haim’s “The Wire.” That song was likely charting around the time these songs were being written, so it may have been stuck somewhere in Harry’s mind.😊

    • Clay says:

      Yeah, the bit from ‘The Wire’ is pretty blatant. I think the Willy Womka think must be intentional, though, simply because it uses the word “imagination” is the very same place.

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