Adele was the last artist to bring in a James Bond theme song (“Skyfall”) so powerful, so utterly meta, that you immediately understood its connection to the Bond franchise once you heard it. But now it’s time for Grammy award winner Billie Eilish to carry the proverbial torch.
Eilish’s latest track, “No Time To Die” is a blend of somber and haunting. The tune showcases Eilish’s natural ability to vocalize ambiguity and tension, and it focuses on Bond’s own anguish as he tries to move past heartbreak and betrayal.
Spectrewas the last Bond film to hit theatres back in 2015, and it suggested that Bond could, perhaps, live happily ever after. But the latest previews for the upcoming flick, No Time to Die (which, like most every major movie scheduled to be released this spring, has been delayed because of the coronavirus) hint that that might not be true. And this theme song, if Eilish pinned its lyrics on the film itself, suggests that Bond may be played for the fool once more.
Eilish opens from Bond’s perspective as he reflects on mistakes from his relationship with Dr. Madeleine Swann: “I should have known/I’d leave alone/Just goes to show/That the blood you bleed is just the blood you owe.”
He says that though he and she used to have a great relationship, she’s caused him so much internal pain that he wonders if it was a mistake to love her at all: “You were my life, but life is far away from fair/Was I stupid to love you?/Was I reckless to help?/Was it obvious to everyone else?”
He feels he’s “fallen for a lie.” And now he declares that he will no longer be made the fool as he casts her aside: “Fool me once, fool me twice/Are you death or paradise?/Now you’ll never see me cry/There’s just no time to die/I let it burn/You’re no longer my concern.”
Eilish has come quite far in her career in just a few short years. The singer, who began debuting her music at the young age of 13, is now 18: She took home five Grammys from 2020’s ceremony, has topped the charts with her gothic, sound bending singles and has become one of the most talked-about artists in the world.
It’s quite impressive. And now, to add to her list, she’s the youngest artist to ever write and record a Bond theme. It steers away from profanity and graphic references, and it instead delves into more generalized themes of love and loss. Staying in tune with her own style, this track weaves together a sad tale of hurt and betrayal and leaves Bond fans wondering if 007 will ever be happy again.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).