Meaning of “Open Arms” by SZA (Ft. Travis Scott)

Written By Michael Miller

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

The song delves into the complicated terrain of love and self-worth. It explores how love can both liberate and confine, leaving us “open” and “devoted,” but also vulnerable and full of insecurities. The lyrics seem to be a personal tale from SZA, capturing her struggles with love and self-esteem. The message here is complex; it’s a raw commentary on the emotional gymnastics one has to perform in relationships. Travis Scott’s rap verse adds another layer, bringing in themes of loyalty and commitment.

Now, go on. Dive into the full article and discover all the layers in this musical gem.

“Open Arms” Lyrics Meaning

The song opens with a moral grounding: “When you do your best, that’s all you can do.” It sets the tone for the exploration of the complexities of love and self-worth. You get that the protagonist, likely SZA herself, has been doing her best but still finds love elusive. The lines “Runnin’ away from where I’m from / Never can stay with no one” tell us she’s wrestling with her past, possibly carrying emotional baggage that makes relationships tough.

The chorus “With open, open, open, open arms” is both a yearning and a defense mechanism. She’s ready to embrace love, yet the repetition suggests she’s almost trying to convince herself. And when she says, “I’m so devoted,” it isn’t necessarily a positive. Devotion can be a two-edged sword; it can make you stay in situations that aren’t good for you, just for the sake of love.

Travis Scott comes in with his verse, adding a different but complementary perspective. He raps about eternal commitment, “I’m forever ridin’, you’re forever guidin’,” hinting at a ride-or-die mentality. Yet even he acknowledges the complexities, with lines like “Notice when you mad, ain’t no words, just silence.” His verse introduces the theme of loyalty but also admits that loyalty comes with its complications, including silence and changing personas.

SZA’s lines, “Who needs self-esteem anyway? / I hate myself to make you stay,” are particularly gut-wrenching. Here, she’s questioning the whole notion of self-worth and revealing the depth of her vulnerability. She’s saying she’s willing to sacrifice her self-esteem to maintain the relationship, which is both deeply moving and terribly sad.

This isn’t even scratching the surface; there’s a lot more to unpack.

Why Was “Open Arms” Written?

SZA and Travis Scott both have a history of discussing relationships and vulnerabilities in their music. For SZA, this song appears to have been written from a place of personal experience. She’s no stranger to opening up about her struggles with love and self-worth in her music. Travis Scott’s contribution seems more like a complementary narrative, likely inspired by his own experiences with commitment and love.

Understanding their mindsets enriches our interpretation of the song. It gives context to their open confessions and makes the song even more impactful. It’s not just a song; it’s a multi-layered story begging to be unraveled.

So, that’s the rundown. Now, how do you hear “Open Arms”?