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“Houdini,” written by Dua Lipa, Caroline Ailin, Tobias Jesso Jr., Kevin Parker & Danny L Harle, is a song released on the 9th of November, 2023. It is the first single for her third studio album in 2024. The meaning of “Houdini” lyrics by Dua Lipa is to seek authentic relationships instead of on-and-off relationships where escaping is easier. Magician Harry Houdini is famous for his ability to escape from chains, handcuffs, straitjackets, and padlocked containers. This song means you have to pull a Houdini and exit situations that no longer contribute to your growth as soon as possible. You can listen to Dua Lipa’s “Houdini” below.
What Is the Meaning of the Song “Houdini” by Dua Lipa?
The Chorus and Outro of “Houdini” by Dua Lipa have iconic lyrics, “I come and I go” and “Catch me or I go Houdini.” These lyrics reference the legendary escape artist, Harry Houdini, and serve as a metaphor for leaving situations that no longer serve our best interests. Here, the clever use of Houdini’s name describes the art of disappearing when necessary. Dua Lipa hasn’t exactly released a proper album since 2020. Hence, she tells us that she disappeared because making music during a series of lockdowns wasn’t helping her emotionally. She sings, “Tell me all the ways you need me // I’m not here for long,” which means she values her time and is only interested in things that help her grow. The lyrics, “Prove you got the right to please me // Everybody knows” means she is self-content with her single status. She is only interested in a relationship if he respects her and values her time.
In the First Verse of the song, Dua Lipa sings, “Time is passing like a solar eclipse // See you watching, and you blow me a kiss.” Here, she compares time to a solar eclipse. The meaning of these “Houdini” lyrics by Dua Lipa is that things are always changing and transient. Hence, we must have the urgency to seize any opportunities we find along the way. Then, blowing a kiss is not letting moments slip away as she finds herself on a date with a person who is also focused on his personal growth. Also, she sings, “It’s your moment, baby, don’t let it slip // Come in closer, are you readin’ my lips?” These lyrics mean she is interested in the person she is on a date with and wishes to spend as much time as possible with her.
The Post-Chorus of “Houdini” by Dua Lipa begins with the lyrics, “If you’re good enough, you’ll find a way // Maybe you could cause a girl to change her ways.” These lyrics mean that being “good enough” can change her thoughts about commitments in a relationship. She is willing to change herself if she finds out that he is exactly what she has been looking for. Here, she sings, “Do you think about it night and day? // Maybe you could be the one to make me stay.” These lyrics question if her lover is as interested in her as she is interested in him. She is optimistic that she can eventually trust him enough so that she can stay with him.
In the Second Verse of the song, Dua Lipa sings, “Everything you say is sounding so sweet // But do you practice everything that you preach?” These lyrics mean she desires for substance beyond mere verbal expressions of affection. She questions if his actions align with his words. This is particularly relevant in the song as she is looking for an authentic relationship. The lyrics, “I need something that’ll make me believe (Ah-ah) // If you got it, baby, give it to me” confirm that she wants something she can rely on her lover. This can be an emotional support for her or her desire to grow as a person with her lover. Read the complete original lyrics of Dua Lipa’s “Houdini” via Genius.
Context of “Houdini” Lyrics Meaning by Dua Lipa
According to Variety, “Houdini” lyrics by Dua Lipa aren’t about the legendary escape artist, Harry Houdini, except in a symbolic sense. The meaning of the title, “Houdini” is a metaphor to represent an act of disappearance by gracefully leaving situations that no longer support Dua Lipa’s personal growth. Here, she explores whether someone is worth her time or if she’ll ghost them in the end. Also, the singer insinuates that she will happily remain single until someone who aligns with her values comes along in her life.
On the 12th of October, 2023, Dua Lipa uploaded a teaser after a long pause in music with the caption, “miss me?” Here, the camera focuses on her eyes and cuts off as the director is about to reveal her face. Watch the teaser below.
On the 27th of October, 2023 Dua Lipa deleted all of her Instagram posts. Then, she uploaded a cryptic teaser post with the caption “catch me or I go…” Then, on the 29th of October, she released another teaser with the caption, “I’m not here for long.” In the teaser, she has control over a key. Watch the teaser below.
Then, on the day of Halloween, on the 31st of October, 2023, which also happens to mark the death of legendary magician ‘Harry Houdini’ who passed away on the same day in 1926, Dua Lipa posts a cryptic snippet video showing the numbers “4 8 9 9 14 15 21,” as the sound of a key locking into place plays. These numbers represent the position of the alphabet in the English language and go by the alphabet letters “D H I I N O U.” As these alphabet letters are rearranged, we get the title of the song, Houdini.
Then, on the 7th of November, 2023, Dua Lipa dropped a teaser for “Houdini” with her singing, “Maybe you could be the one to make me stay.” It is also a line from her Post-Chorus. Watch the teaser video below.
On the 9th of November 2023, Dua Lipa released behind the scenes of her studio recordings. Watch the video below.
Also, Dua Lipa released a YouTube Short where she runs as someone calls her “mummy.” She uses the “Houdini” reference to show how uninterested she becomes when someone calls her “mummy.” Watch the video below.
Similarly, on another YouTube short, Dua Lipa runs as someone reveals that their flatmate is their ex. Watch the video below.
Finally, Dua Lipa revealed the final teaser of the song as she sang the Chorus of the song, “Houdini.” Watch the video below.