One Direction “Little Things” Lyrics Breakdown: Darling, Let Them Neg You

One Direction PUA
Posted on 10/29/2012 at 6:19 PM

Related To: Boy Band Week, Lyrics, News

The Popdust Files: Little Things, lyrics, one direction, PUAs

One Direction burst onto the scene telling their crush how her very insecurities were what made her beautiful, so it’s no surprise that they’ve returned to that fertile lyrical territory with their newest single, the Ed-Sheeran-penned “Little Things.” But while “What Makes You Beautiful” glided around what exactly the object of the band’s affection was so worried about—it seemed like she was just kind of shy?—1D’s new song zooms in to describe all of their girl’s imperfections in loving detail. Is this an innocent show of support, or something a little more problematic? We decided to break down the song’s lyrics to see!

Your hand fits in mine
Like it’s made just for me
But bear this in mind
It was meant to be

“Little Things” start off innocently enough, with Zayn crooning some words of romantic determinism in his lover’s ear. Nothing wrong with that, everyone from Jewel to Taylor Swift has expressed similar sentiments during their musical career. No quibbles from us here.

And I’m joining up the dots
With the freckles on your cheeks
And it all makes sense to me

Another cute line, one that bites the Postal Service better than Owl City ever did. And while like our colleague we’re digging the shout-out to girls with freckles, we can’t help noting that this is the first shot about physical appearance in a song that’s going to be a lot about physical appearance.

I know you’ve never loved
The crinkles by your eyes
When you smile

Liam’s section is where the trouble begins. For sure, the boys’ hearts are in the right place, but there’s something a little off about the way these boys are cataloging the flaws of the girl they ostensibly love. At a certain point, aren’t they just inventing things for their listeners to feel insecure about? Do One Direction’s teenage fans really need to worry about wrinkles?

You’ve never loved
Your stomach or your thighs
The dimples in your back
At the bottom of your spine
But I’ll love them endlessly

We get what they want to do here; people have been writing “I love your imperfections” songs ever since caveman began banging rocks together. And that’s OK! If these sentiments were being sung by the man who wrote them, we doubt we’d be as put off by them as we are, since Ed Sheeran is something of a ginger mook himself. But when they come from the impossibly toned and coiffed lads of 1D, things are different somehow. They are perfect and you are imperfect, but that’s OK because your imperfections let them be even more perfect by forgiving all your flaws. Are we overstating things? Possibly. But the sentiment is there, bubbling up from underneath the sweet melodies.

I won’t let these little things
Slip out of my mouth

Probably a good idea.

But if I do
It’s you
Oh it’s you
They add up to
I’m in love with you
And all these little things

This is still sweet, but again: What’s the subtext? There’s a vibe here that the boys love this girl despite her bodily flaws—and notice how they’re almost all bodily?—and that’s the sort of crappy message that outweighs song’s good intention.

You can’t go to bed
Without a cup of tea
And maybe that’s the reason
That you talk in your sleep

How British is this line? But also it’s a source of good news: It’s apparently still possible to talk about people’s silly flaws in a way that actually has something to do with who they are as people.

I know you’ve never loved the sound of your voice tape

Another good one! Everyone hates the sound of their voice on the answering machine–nothing wrong with pointing that out.

You never know want to know how much weigh
You still have to squeeze into your jeans
But you’re perfect to me

But again, we’re back to the body-issue issues, specifically this girl’s weight, which has come up over and over in this song. And we do apologize if it seems like we’re harping on this, One Direction fans, we really do. But there’s something really gross underneath Harry’s “I love you even though you’re fatter than a supermodel” crooning in this verse: the idea that One Direction not being immediately disgusted by their lover’s stomach and thighs is the height of romantic devotion, instead of, you know, that being the basic standard for human decency in relationships. Take note that little jab in “you’re perfect to me”—always hinting, “Hey, if I wasn’t such a great guy, I might care more about everything that’s wrong with you.”

You’ll never love yourself
Half as much as I love you
You’ll never treat yourself right, darlin’
But I want you to
If I let you know
I’m here for you
Maybe you’ll love yourself like I love you

We’re with Grady Smith on the “disingenuous chivalry” of this line: “You’ll never love yourself like I love you, because are a misshapen cow and only I am good enough to look past that.” One Direction might not seem like they have a lot in common with Mystery and the PUA community, but by tearing this girl down to build themselves up, all under the guise of a compliment, they’ve just unintentionally released a textbook neg.

What do you think, One Direction fans? We have a feeling you might have some … slight disagreements. Feel free to let us know!

Here are the full lyrics. You can play the song at the bottom of the post!

Your hand fits in mine
Like it’s made just for me
But bear this in mind
It was meant to be
And I’m joining up the dots
With the freckles on your cheeks
And it all makes sense to me

I know you’ve never loved
The crinkles by your eyes
When you smile
You’ve never loved
Your stomach or your thighs
The dimples in your back
At the bottom of your spine
But I’ll love them endlessly

I won’t let these little things
Slip out of my mouth
But if I do
It’s you
Oh it’s you
They add up to
I’m in love with you
And all these little things

You can’t go to bed
Without a cup of tea
And maybe that’s the reason
That you talk in your sleep
And all those conversations
Are the secrets that I keep
Though it makes no sense to me

I know you’ve never loved the sound of your voice tape
You know want to know how much weigh
You still have to squeeze into your jeans
But you’re perfect to me

I won’t let these little things
Slip out of my mouth
But if it’s true
It’s you
Oh it’s you
They add up to
I’m in love with you
And all these little things

You’ll never love yourself
Half as much as I love you
You’ll never treat yourself right, darlin’
But I want you to
If I let you know
I’m here for you
Maybe you’ll love yourself like I love you
Oh

I’ve just let these little things
Slip out of my mouth
Because it’s you
Oh it’s you
It’s you
They add up to
And I’m in love you
And all these little things

I won’t let these little things
Slip out of my mouth
But if it’s true
It’s you
It’s you
They add up to
I’m in love with you
And all your little things

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