The Real Meaning Behind You Broke Me First By Tate McRae

If you've ever checked out a "Today's Hits" playlist on a streaming service or simply scanned the radio, there's a chance you've heard Tate McRae's voice.

The Canadian teen rose to prominence as a finalist on "So You Think You Can Dance" at the age of 13, but her vocal talent gained attention when she started sharing original work on her YouTube channel. She released her debut EP "All the Things I Never Said" in January 2020, which includes a track co-written by Billie Eilish. While her EP allowed her to further build her fanbase and garnered a great deal of success, it was her April 2020 single "You Broke Me First" that feverishly pushed her notoriety forward.

Released with "You Broke Me First" was a moody lyric video, and fans may be amused to learn that McRae shot the video with the help of friends on her iPhone in quarantine in Canada. Speaking to Notion about the experience, the singer recalled that her label suddenly dropped the request for a music video for the song. "I had to think on the spot and film it at home with one person, so I took one entire shot on my iPhone and sent it in like, 'It's all I got—you've got to work with it!'" she said.

The dark mood of the video is meant to match the song, so what is "You Broke Me First" really about? Keeping scrolling to find out.

You Broke Me First is a heartbreak anthem

Tate McRae's "You Broke Me First" is all about finally putting your foot down to the person who broke your heart, but you'd let back every time. In the first verse, McRae debates why an ex who left her is reaching out to her once again. "Maybe you don't like talking too much about yourself / But you shoulda told me / That you were thinking 'bout someone else / You're drunk at a party / Or maybe it's just that your car broke down / Your phone's been off for a couple of months / So you're calling me now," she sullenly sings, per Genius.

Then, she recalls that every time he needed her back, she would obediently agree. "I know you, you're like this / When s**t don't go your way you needed me to fix it / And like me, I did / But I ran out of every reason." The chorus drives home the fact that she's no longer available at her ex's convenience. "But I don't really care how bad it hurts / When you broke me first / You broke me first," she reminds him.

In a 2020 statement to NME, McRae said the song brings about "the feeling of knowing how much they meant to you, but this time not letting them back in." She also said she hopes fans can connect with the song the way she does.