Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart
This song has a spectacular backstory. Ariana Grande said in an interview (6:18 in the video below) that she met Harry at a studio when he was in LA on tour (early August 2013) and the producer (Harry’s friend Johan, who he wrote “If I Could Fly With”) asked if Harry wanted to write something for Ariana on the spot. Harry did so, and what resulted was JALBOYH. The song was later recorded and released by Ariana on her 2014 album My Everything.
Later in 2017 when Harry was on the first leg of his solo tour, he began covering JALBOYH as a part of his setlist, which would continue into 2018 until the tour ended. While introducing the song, Harry was quoted on multiple occasions admitting that he wrote it and gave it to Ariana, but now he was taking it back because it “meant a lot to him.”
Right away I know the lyrics in this song are probably among the rawest and most authentic we have ever gotten from Harry, simply because it was written on the spot (presumably with no prior conceptualization.) For that reason, I believe it’s safe to assume these are sentiments Harry might’ve been feeling at the time the song was written, since they were evoked on the spot. And they’re simply too heartfelt and SAD for them to be the result of creative fabrication. We can be assured of that because of all the many songs he has written that are unreleased or ended up in the hands of another artist, he chose to reclaim this particular song from Ariana and add it to his tour setlist.
I personally believe he added songs to his debut album setlist because the songs were all written about the same relationship (and therefore the same person) and he wanted to memorialize them in that way. They all tell integral parts of his music journey, but also the tribulations of his relationship with the love of his life. And I’m positive he was also inspired to sing “Stockholm Syndrome,” “If I Could Fly,” “Anna,” “Medicine,” “Landslide,” “Still The One,” “Girl Crush,” and “The Chain” for that same person as well.
What’s especially significant about the timing of when JALBOYH was written, is that it was during the exact time Zayn got engaged to Perrie (August 2013.) And lord don’t we know at that time Harry was openly anti-Zerrie and abhorred the idea of their engagement.
In my mind, it’s clear what impelled Harry to write the lyrics he wrote on a whim that day for Ariana. He was seeking an outlet for these emotions and realized that giving this song to Ariana was the perfect vehicle for him to vent since he could use the correct pronouns to refer to his love triangle with Zayn and Perrie. That’s my theory! The lyrics are straightforward as hell, so I will not dissect them ad nauseum like I usually do everything else, except to talk about how they are a play on Adele’s “One And Only.”
One day in late 2013, Harry was spotted walking with a rather worn journal, and the internet had the brilliant idea to zoom in on the book to read the text written on the outside of it. Oh boy…
Yes, I hunted down my own proof that the “one and only” text on Harry’s journal was not an edit. It is indeed real.
Type Into Google: Harry Styles In Adelaide (September 22, 2013)
We know Harry was deep in his feelings about Zayn at this time, and the evidence regarding Zayn’s engagement heavily supports it. It is incontrovertible evidence that he was deeply aggrieved by Zayn’s engagement to Perrie in late August, and the fact that I continue to point this out pisses off people who like to demonize Harry and victimize Zayn at all costs.
During the same month that “one and only” was spotted on his journal (mere weeks after he wrote JALBOYH) Harry also got the rose tattoo and also tweeted multiple anti-marriage lyrics. It was just pouring out of him. This poor boy couldn’t contain his feelings at this time, having to watch the Zerrie PR circus and being powerless to stop it or tell the world how much he loved Zayn.
This is also the month he posted the spraypainted metal box.
I suppose you’re still wondering: what is the significance of Adele’s “One And Only”? I’m glad you asked! Please note the play on words:
This is not just some lyrical coincidence. Harry is alluding to Adele’s song on purpose, and his journal scribblings around this time prove that. He identified with this song so potently that he wrote the lyric on the outside of his journal!
IMPORTANT CONTEXT: Adele’s 2011 song is about her pleading to the person she loves to be given a chance to prove she is worthy of being with them. It is incomprehensibly sad! THIS SENTIMENT ESSENTIALLY EMBODIES HARRY’S ENTIRE DISCOGRAPHY.
“I’m hoping someday you’re open. I know that you’re scared because I’m so open.”
He has WANTED to be Zayn’s “One And Only” for so long and was never really given a chance. How many times have I said that? A MILLION. How can Harry cheat on Zayn when he was never given a chance to be with him without other parties involved??
That’s why I have no sympathy for anything Zayn says about being “hurt” when he has always kept Harry in second place and refused to communicate despite Harry begging him to, thereby causing the core issues in their relationship, which affected things like trust, fidelity, honesty, expectations, and both of their mental health.
Harry then went on to beg for even a little piece of Zayn’s heart, mirroring Adele’s bridge where she admits she knows it’s not easy giving up one’s heart. Harry is qualifying Adele’s sentiment by saying he only wants A LITTLE BIT of his heart, because he knows he can’t ever have the whole thing (because of his gender.) Wow. Ouch.
Regardless of what went on behind the scenes, it is perfectly clear from all publicly available information that Zayn has taken Harry’s love for granted for a long time, especially since he HAS ALWAYS BEEN IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH ANOTHER PERSON while admittedly trying to keep Harry on the “down-low.”
This idea of Zayn taking Harry’s love for granted is something we can see Harry toy with when he also wrote a lyric from The Thrills “Not For All The Love In The World” on his journal just like “One And Only.”
The Thrills’ song is basically about being rejected by the person you love because they are taking the significance of that love for granted (because they clearly don’t understand love or how valuable it is.)
So, baby, let’s split tonight
I got a tank full of gas to light
Yeah, we could drive for miles and miles
But you just said
“Not for all the love in the world
Oh, not for all the love in the world”
‘Cause she didn’t realize, now, that’s a lot of love.
Just to make you all more miserable, contrast Harry writing “one and only” on his journal in 2013 after he had written JALBOYH (and after Zayn had got engaged) to him utterly forfeiting this long-fought battle in Fine Line in 2019:
“You don’t have to say you love me, you don’t have to say nothing, you don’t have to say you’re mine…”
He literally gave up on those things.
The remainder of JALBOYH just stings:
I don’t ever ask you where you’ve been
‘Cause I don’t feel the need to
Know who you’re with
I can’t even think straight
But I can tell
You were just with her
And I’ll still be a fool, ’cause I’m a fool for you
This reveals such a tormenting dynamic that greatly mirrors the lyrics in “Happily.” Harry continues to sit back and watch his lover be with someone else while he is crumbling inside with jealousy, and trying not to give his lover stress about who he’s been with (because he doesn’t want to lose him) and he is happy to play the fool for this person despite how unhappy their escapades make him, because he loves him so much.
So hopefully now you see why I say, to infer Harry cheated on Zayn at anytime in their relationship is to admit that Zayn has been WRONGLY holding Harry to an UNFAIR double standard of fidelity, because we SEE and KNOW Zayn has always done what he wanted with WHO he wanted, even outside of Perrie, Gigi, and Harry.
I don’t ever tell you how I really feel
‘Cause I can’t find the words to say what I mean
And nothing’s ever easy
That’s what they say
I know I’m not your only
I’ll still be a fool
‘Cause I’m a fool for you
“I don’t ever tell you how I really feel, ’cause I can’t find the words to say what I mean…”
Here Harry admits to not being able to fully express himself properly because he can’t find the words to do so. I think this can be taken two ways as well:
- He struggled to tell Zayn exactly how he felt for him (which is something we know he started to overcome in 2014 during the “Little Things” performances.)
- He was afraid to confront Zayn about him being with other people, because he can’t find the words to do so confidently, and likely because he’s afraid he would lose Zayn if he tried to make demands on him. This is why we see Harry capitulate again and again on a level no human being should be forced to if they are actually in a loving relationship, which I feel Harry never was. He was playing the fool for someone, like he himself admits.
I’ll take “Things You Should Never Have To Say To Someone Who Claims They Love You” for $600, Alex: I know I’m not your only, but at least I’m one. I heard a little love is better than none