Halsey Gets Vulnerable About Pregnancy in “1121”

Halsey, a musical artist whose debut album ranked at number two in the US on Billboard 200 in 2015,1 released her fourth album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power in 2021. This new album is quite personal. Halsey said, “This album is … about the joys and horrors pregnancy and childbirth.”2

One song on the album that’s of special note is “1121.” The title refers to November 21, 2020, the day that Halsey learned she was pregnant. As this was during the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Halsey thought she had COVID because she wasn’t feeling well. Instead, she learned she was pregnant.

The lyrics of “1121” reveal Halsey’s deep emotions and love she has toward her unborn child, as well as the associated stress and worries.


Depth of Halsey’s Love
Just seconds into the song, Halsey sings the words “Well I won’t die for love,” yet by the time we’ve reached the chorus, she has a different perspective:

But ever since I met you
You could have my heart
And I would break it for you

Since the song is referring to her unborn child, it’s as if from the moment Halsey learned of her pregnancy, her child already held her heart, even though she hadn’t actually met the baby face-to-face.

Depth of Halsey’s Fear
The lyrics also show Halsey’s fear—presumably the horrors of pregnancy that she mentioned. She gives a glimpse into it at the beginning of the song, with the lyrics:

I’ve got a body here to bury
And if truth be told it’s scary

It’s probable that she’s reflecting on her past miscarriages. The listeners can feel Halsey’s frantic worry during the song’s bridge, when she cries over and over, “Please don’t leave…don’t leave me.”

Clearly depicted are Halsey’s two emotions when she discovered her pregnancy—intense love for the child, and intense fear that she’d miscarry again.

Reflecting on Halsey’s Experience
It’s interesting to note how this song from Halsey plays into the world’s continued dialogue on life, fetuses/unborn children, miscarriages, and even abortion. While Halsey herself said, “I wasn’t trying to make a political record, or a record that was drowning in its own profundity—I was just writing about how I feel,”3 it’s impossible to deny that her story and perspective adds to the conversation.

First, we’ve already discussed Halsey’s intense love for her unborn child, how she was ready to experience the sacrifice of a broken heart, when she hadn’t even come face-to-face with her child yet. Though some would call the child just a clump of cells, Halsey felt a depth of strong love for her baby.

Second, Halsey’s past miscarriages affected her deeply, partially in light of how she “failed” as this part of motherhood. In an interview with The Guardian, Halsey said, referring to her miscarriages, “It’s the most inadequate I’ve ever felt. Here I am achieving this out-of-control life, and I can’t do the one thing I’m biologically put on this earth to do. Then I have to go onstage and be this sex symbol of femininity and empowerment? It is demoralizing.”4

Third, pregnancy itself is a wonder and miracle. Before getting pregnant again, Halsey had a positive prognosis and said that motherhood is “looking like something that’s gonna happen for me. That’s a miracle.”5 On July 14, 2021, Halsey welcomed her child, Ender Ridley Aydin, into the world. On an Instagram post, she wrote, “Gratitude. For the most ‘rare’ and euphoric birth. Powered by love.”6

Halsey’s expression of her experience leads us to ask, what ideas about motherhood and pregnancy do we see in culture around us, and what ideas do we pass along to young people? Are we trivializing motherhood? Or are we pondering the wonder and miracle that a woman can bear a child—bringing another soul and life into the world?

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Abby Debenedittis

Abby DeBenedittis is a freelance writer and the owner of Quandary Peak Editing. She likes to write about how faith in Jesus Christ influences ordinary life. She’s a fan of adventures in the Rocky Mountains, complicated board games, and lattes from local coffee shops.