This article is part of What Do You Mean?, a new series where we dive into the analysis and associations of the important songs of today.
The news is in: today, Harry Styles’ sleeper hit, ‘Watermelon Sugar’, crowns the Billboard Hot 100 after 20 weeks, making it the British rocker’s first number one on the chart.
And perhaps equally as mystifying as the song’s climb to the summit is its subject matter. What exactly is a ‘Watermelon Sugar’, and how does one get high from it? When the song was first released in November last year, conspiracists across the globe began formulating any number of theories decoding its meaning, ranging from getting high on drugs, referencing a book of the same name, to sexual pleasure.
Come May this year, however, ‘Watermelon Sugar’ was announced as the fourth single from ‘Fine Line’, and we were bestowed accordingly with its music video.
Opening with the cheeky “This video is dedicated to touching”, the music video features a beach orgy party of sorts, where its guests dig ever so lustfully into perfect slices of watermelon. The sexual nature of the song becomes almost painfully obvious, and on hindsight lyrics like “I just wanna taste it” should have been a giveaway. Unless, of course, he really was just itching for a bite of the juicy fruit on a hot day. Who’s to say?
Whatever ‘Watermelon Sugar’ actually means, there’s no denying that it’s become a late contender for Song of the Summer, after it seemed we’d all but moved on to the leaves of autumn with Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’. The funky ‘Sugar’ had a boost this week partly thanks to National Watermelon Day (yes, that exists) on August 3rd and a trippy tour visual that Styles dropped on the same day to celebrate the occasion.
And as beaches start to reopen all across the world, maybe we will get to enjoy some ‘Watermelon Sugar’ in the sun after all.