Meaning of “Misery Business” by Paramore

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

Meaning of “Misery Business” by Paramore is about the complexities of relationships and personal growth. The song delves deep into the themes of jealousy, competition, and revenge within relationships, especially from the perspective of a younger, more immature viewpoint. It captures the internal conflict and emotional turmoil experienced by the songwriter, Hayley Williams, as she navigates her way through a tumultuous relationship. It’s about reclaiming power in a situation that once made one feel powerless, and there’s a sense of triumph and revelation in Williams’ delivery. However, it also reflects a moment of self-realization and transformation, providing a relatable narrative for those who have been through similar situations.

Dive in to explore the intricate layers, decipher the emotions, and understand the transformation reflected in “Misery Business” by Paramore. Discover how the lyrics convey deep emotional turmoil and how they paint a vivid picture of relationship struggles and personal growth.

“Misery Business” Lyrics Meaning

“Misery Business” unfolds a dramatic story of jealousy and revenge. The line “I’m in the business of misery” sets the tone, establishing a sense of internal conflict and turmoil right from the start. The protagonist seems to be in a battle, both with others and within herself.

The lyrics depict a scenario where a person, presumably Williams, feels she has regained her significant other from a rival, portrayed with the metaphor of an “hourglass”. The ticking of the clock signifies the inevitability of time running out, symbolizing the temporary nature of relationships at this stage of life.

“I waited eight long months, she finally set him free,” conveys the protagonist’s patience and the sense of triumph when she finally reclaims her partner. However, the confession, “it was never my intention to brag,” juxtaposed with “But God, does it feel so good,” illustrates the internal struggle between guilt and pleasure, highlighting the paradox of human emotions.

The phrase “Second chances they don’t ever matter, people never change” reveals a cynical outlook on people and their ability to change, reflecting perhaps a past filled with betrayal and disappointment. The line about forgiveness being exchanged, but passed up, emphasizes the difficulty in letting go of past hurts and moving forward.

“There’s a million other girls who do it just like you, looking as innocent as possible to get to who they want,” brings forward the concept of competition and deception in relationships, pointing to the pervasive nature of these experiences. The resolve in the lines “Well I refuse, I refuse, I refuse,” portrays a sense of determination and self-empowerment.

“I watched his wildest dreams come true, Not one of them involving you,” serves as a climax to the story, showing a glimpse into the protagonist’s vindication and the realization of her own dreams and desires, separate from the rival.

Why Was “Misery Business” Written?

Hayley Williams, the songwriter, was in a complex emotional state when she wrote “Misery Business”. The song reflects her young and more immature self, struggling with feelings of jealousy, competition, and triumph in her relationships. It is a snapshot of a time in her life where every emotion was heightened, and every relationship seemed like a battlefield.

Williams has since reflected on the song’s meaning, acknowledging its raw and unfiltered emotion, and how it captures a specific moment in her life. She has expressed regret over some of the song’s language, emphasizing her growth and evolution both as an artist and an individual since the song’s release.

“Misery Business” isn’t just a portrayal of a fleeting emotional state; it is also a testament to personal growth and self-awareness. It resonates with listeners who have experienced similar emotional turmoil in relationships and serves as a reminder of the transformative journey of self-discovery and empowerment.