Follow TV Tropes


Music / Lily Allen

Go To
"I don't really see how any song can not feel contrived if it isn't honest, and how could I write honest songs if I don't write about stuff going on in my life and how I'm feeling?"

Lily Rose Beatrice Allen, known professionally as Lily Allen, is a British artist known for light pop songs, usually with some form of satirical message behind them. She was born in London on May 2, 1985, to actor and musician Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen. Her brother Alfie (a target of at least one of her songs) is an actor, most notable for his role as Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones.

As a child, Lily attended some of the most expensive British Public Schools around, but got expelled from most of them for drinking and smoking, and dropped out of school at 16. At first, she was seen as immature and bratty, and was rejected by many labels which she attributes to her lifestyle. However, she still achieved mainstream success, and developed a much more mature image in music videos like "The Fear".

Despite her school life and having a pretty similar past to even a criminal, she is talented in what she does and has achieved Grade 5 piano as well as Grade 8 singing. She also writes all of her own songs, which is actually pretty impressive considering the large amounts of subtext she puts into her songs ("The Fear" is a perfect example - "I'll look at the sun, and I'll look in the mirror" can mean this in a literal sense, but "The Sun" and "The Mirror" are also popular UK newspapers that regularly report on celebrities' lives).

She is married to David Harbour since 2020.


  • Alright, Still (2006)
  • It's Not Me, It's You (2009)
  • Sheezus (2014)
  • No Shame (2018)


  • Caught with Your Pants Down: The singer finds her brother masturbating in "Alfie".
  • Cheap Heat: In live performance, she tends to swap out the reference to "London Town" in "LDN" for wherever she's playing at the time.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Fuck You" has total of about 30 "fuck you"s. The singer does not like, respect, or care about racists, homophobes, bigots, haters, small-minded people and similar scum.
  • Crapsaccharine World: "LDN" about London and how everything looks exciting and wonderful at first, but when you take a second look... not that great.
  • Defenestrate and Berate: "Smile" shows her getting revenge upon her cheating boyfriend by hiring thugs to beat him up and trash his apartment.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "The Fear" begins thus:
    I wanna be rich
    And I want lots of money
  • Disappeared Dad: Absent father became the subject of "He Wasn't There".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: "Smile" had the singer's character pay people to beat her ex up, ruin his means of livelihood, mess up his apartment, and put laxatives in his coffee, while she pretends to be comforting. The lyrics indicates that while he had been cheating, they aren't even going out anymore.
  • Female Empowerment Song: "Hard Out There" is about sexism and gender roles.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: The woman who was cheated on in "Smile" eats chocolate, but she still looks depressed. Needs more chocolate.
  • I Have to Wash My Hair: "Knock 'Em Out" is essentially a string of these, ranging from the girl saying she's getting married next week to claiming she has to go because her house is on fire.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: She is a master of it.
    • "LDN". It's an upbeat song about how the back alleys in London are nowhere near as nice as the rest of the city... And even the nice parks... what looks like a guy helping out an old lady turns out to be a crook stealing her wallet etc. The music video lampshades it. In it, everything is all bright and perky and cheery as Lily goes skipping along— at least until she's out of range when everything reverts to its normal twisted self.
    • "Smile" is about a girl getting revenge by systematically ruining her cheating ex's life. The music video has the dissonance. The song itself is about taking pleasure in her ex's suffering, not necessarily caused by Lily.
    • "Not Fair" is a rather upbeat, country-style song about how she is in a relationship with a man who is quite nice but unable to satisfy her sexually.
    • "He Wasn't There" is a very bouncy pop song about her absentee father...
    • "Fuck You" is a very upbeat, cheery song where Lily chews up intolerant people while dropping total of about 30 F-bombs
    • "Everything's Just Wonderful" is a very sarcastic song with a happy beat. In it, Lily laments about being broke, unable to pay mortgage. She also talks about the pressure women have in advertising.
    • 22 is a very upbeat song for most parts, and its lyrics are how women have okay jobs, but never careers, and if they don't snatch a man soon, no one will ever want them.
      It's sad but it's true how society says her life was already over...
    • On "Never Gonna Happen" she tells a guy that she is never going to want him, with a cheerful-catchy melody.
    • "Alfie" sounds akin to carnival music, but about Lily's brother Alfie doing drugs and generally being a bum.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: This is the point of her song "Not Fair", where the singer is dating a seemingly perfect Nice Guy, with the exception that he's complete rubbish in bed. Allen indicates throughout the song that this does matter and isn't a case of Minor Flaw, Major Breakup, as she points out it speaks very poorly of a lover who doesn't put in the effort to satisfy their partner, comparing it to an All Take and No Give relationship.
There's just one thing
That's getting in the way
When we go up to bed
You're just no good
It's such a shame
I look into your eyes
I want to get to know you
And then you make this noise
And it's apparent it's all over
It's not fair
And I think you're really mean
I think you're really mean
I think you're really mean
Oh, you're supposed to care
But you never make me scream
You never make me scream
Oh, it's not fair
And it's really not okay
It's really not okay
It's really not okay
Oh, you're supposed to care
But all you do is take
Yeah, all you do is take
  • Me's a Crowd: The video for "Our Time" features four Lilys. One similar to "Hard out Here", one prim and proper, one drunk and blonde, and one in a hotdog suit. Two of the Lilys make-out at one point.
  • Music Video Overshadowing: "Who'd Have Known" is a lovely song about a maturing relationship. Its video is a creepy video in which Lily Allen stalks and then kidnaps Elton John.
  • New Sound Album: It's Not Me, It's You was a whole mixture of pop styles, but distinctly different to Alright, Still which was mostly ska-influenced.
  • No Periods, Period: Obliterated by "Sheezus":
    Periods, periods, we all get periods
    Every month, that's what the theory is
  • Old Man Conversation Song: Subversion. "Take What You Take" has the old person talking to Lily entirely in cliches and questionable folk wisdom, leading to Lily's exasperation and (somewhat inevitably) a Precision F-Strike.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: "Smile" is about a woman who takes a revenge on her cheating ex, which includes getting him beaten up, putting laxative in his coffee and having his stuff in his apartment destroyed, including his precious LPs.
  • Reality Warper: In the music video for "Fuck You", Lily appears to be one, inflicting funhouse-mirror-ish transformations upon random people and buildings as she wanders around town.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Fuck You" is one long explanation why it sucks when people are hateful and bigots, and it's directed at them. More specifically, it's about George W. Bush.
  • Record Producer: It's Not Me, It's You was produced exclusively by Greg Kurstin, known for his work as part of The Bird and The Bee.
  • Rich Bitch: The singer paints herself as a mean rich woman in "Silver Spoon". It's in Sarcasm Mode.
    So I got a trust fund, so what am I doing?
    Buying property, can't be bothered with the viewings
    I'm getting hungry, could you fetch my butler?
    Step back I couldn't be any humbler
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: The radio edit of "Fuck You" uses funny sounds instead of the F-word.
  • Survival Mantra: "Life For Me" can come off as this as the singer must keep repeating she is happy with her more calm life.
  • Take That!:
    • "Hard Out Here" is several minutes of jabs at sexism in the music industry. It's even more apparent in the music video, which mocks Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke especially.
    • "Everything's Just Wonderful" throws a subtle take that at Kate Moss and the advertising industry as a whole.