'1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back' Song Lyrics And Meaning Explained

1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back is a song released by Olivia Rodrigo, an American singer-songwriter
1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back is a song released by Olivia Rodrigo, an American singer-songwriter( Source : youtube )

Olivia Rodrigo, an American singer-songwriter, wrote and released the song "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back."

The song has become hugely popular on TikTok. As it is one of the most popular apps currently, TikTok has a knack for making songs popular out of nowhere.

Songs will often appear out of thin air and become massive hits because of the fame they gain on TikTok. However, younger artists have found a way to use TikTok to gain traction for their music, though it happens through pure luck for some.

For this song, it was neither, as it came from the artist's strength. 1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back is the fourth song on the album Sour, which is Rodrigo's debut studio album, The album was released on May 21, 2021, by Geffen Records. Dan Nigro produced the song.

Since it incorporates Taylor Swift's 2017 song "New Year's Day," she and her producer Jack Antonoff also received composition credit.

What Do 1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back's Lyrics Signify?

1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back's lyrics describe the harmful effects of inconsistent communication on a romantic relationship.

Musically, the song is a tender downtempo ballad driven by a damp piano and subtle bass. Upon Sour's release, the song received positive comments from critics who complimented its simplistic instrumentation and vulnerable lyrics.

After her debut song "Drivers License" became a viral hit, Rodrigo announced the name, track listing, and cover art for her debut studio album, Sour, on April 13, 2021.

1 Step 3 Steps Back interpolates Taylor Swift's New Year's Day
1 Step 3 Steps Back interpolates Taylor Swift's New Year's Day ( Source : youtube )

The fourth track was named "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back." Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff were listed as the songwriters of "1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back" when the album's personnel was made public on digital music platforms on May 20, 2021.

According to Rolling Stone, the song interpolates Swift and Antonoff's "New Year's Day," written in 2017. Rodrigo credits swift as one of Sour's main inspirations and her greatest musical motivation.

On May 21, 2021, the album went on sale in physical shops, online through streaming services, and on Rodrigo's website.

What Is The Meaning Of 1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back?

The lyrics to the song 1 Step Forward, and 3 Steps Back describe the sporadic harm communication can do to a relationship.

The subject of the song suffers due to mixed responses via text messages. The song is made all the sadder due to it being led by a dampened piano with a descending chord progression.

These piano chords are interpolated from Taylor Swift's "New Year's Day" the last track from her sixth studio album, Reputation, from 2017.

The cover of Olivia Rodrigo's Sour album which has 1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back
The cover of Olivia Rodrigo's Sour album which has 1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back ( Source : pitchfork )

Rodrigo has stated that she had the verse and chorus of the song ready and felt like playing it over the chords of New Year's Day and found the result beautiful. As such, with the help of producer Dan Nigro, she created the song.

The title of the song is a play on the phrase one step forward, two steps back, but she changed it from two to three for emphasis.

However, some fans have speculated that Rodrigo changed it to three because Swift's favorite number is 13.

Who Made The Song 1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back?

As stated above, singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo wrote and performed the song, 1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back.

Olivia Isabel Rodrigo, known simply as Olivia Rodrigo, became famous in the late 2010s for playing the lead role in the Disney television shows Bizaardvark, and then High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Due to some drama within the latter, she wrote and recorded some breakup songs, the first of which, "Driver's License," became a huge success. 

The song broke various records and became one of the best-selling songs of 2021 and propelled her to mainstream fame. She then signed with Geffen and Interscope records and followed up "Driver's License" with Deja Vu and Good 4 U.

Olivia Rodrigo wrote and performed the song, 1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back.
Olivia Rodrigo wrote and performed the song, 1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back. ( Source : biography )

After she released her debut album, Sour, she gained even more critical and commercial success and won three Grammy Awards. Besides the Grammys, she has won an American Music Award, four MTV Video Music Awards, and seven Billboard Music Awards. Her album, Sour, was a Billboard Hot 200 number-one album, and she also has had two Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles.

The Recording Industry Association of America also has awarded Rodrigo five multi-platinum certifications.

Lastly, Time Magazine named her Entertainer of the Year for 2021, and Billboard named her Woman of the year the next year.

How To Do The 1 Step Forward 3 Steps Back Challenge? 

There's not challenge around the song, people are simply enjoying it.

Rodrigo is hugely popular on TikTok, and due to being a figurehead amongst the youth, her song has become very popular.

If anything, the song on Tiktok is an excuse for her fans to support her more.

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