"When I Was Older", stylized as "WHEN I WAS OLDER", is a single by Billie Eilish. It was released on January 9th, 2019 and appears on the album Music Inspired by the Movie Roma. The song was later added to the Japanese edition of Billie's debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?.


Billie stated in an interview with Billboard, "When we were composing the song, we wanted to write from within the narrative of the movie and scenes that struck is the most from it. Having access to sounds used in the film proved to be invaluable to help us convey this." Then, she further explained that the sounds present in the movie make a connection with the sounds present in the song. "Lines like 'memories burn like a forest fire' are accompanied by trees burning [...] The chorus, has the ocean sounds overplayed by it. We were also able to take sounds like the student protest shouts and Borras barking and then turn them into rhythmic percussive elements [...] Nothing about this song would exist without the film, which is exactly what we love about it."[1]


When I was older
I was a sailor on an open sea
But now I'm underwater
And my skin is paler than it should ever be, mhm

[Verse 1]
I'm on my back again
Dreaming of a time and place
Where you and I remain the best of friends
Even after all this ends
Can we pretend?
I'm on my-
I'm on my back again
It seems more and more
Like all we ever do is see
How far it bends
Before it breaks in half and then
We bend it back again

[Verse 2]
Guess I got caught in the middle of it
Yes I’ve been taught, got a little of it
In my blood, in my blood
Memories burn like a forest fire
Heavy rain turns any funeral pyre to mud
In the flood

When I was older
I was a sailor on an open sea
But now I'm underwater
And my skin is paler than it should ever be

I'm watching movies back to back
In black and white, I never
Seen anybody do it like I do it any better
Then going over you, I'm overdue for no endeavors
Nobody lonely like I'm lonely and I don't know whether
You'd really like it in the limelight
You'd sympathize with all the bad guys
I'm still a victim on my own right
But I'm the villain in my own eyes

When I was older
I was a sailor on an open sea



Billie Eilish - WHEN I WAS OLDER (Music Inspired By The Film ROMA) - Audio


  • The song's title and chorus were inspired by a line from Roma, where the character Pepe states, "When I was older I used to be a sailor, but I drowned in a storm."



Billie Eilish
!!!!!!!bad guyxannyyou should see me in a crownall the good girls go to hellwish you were gaywhen the party's over8my strange addictionbury a friendilomilolisten before i goi love yougoodbye
Japanese Edition
come out and playWHEN I WAS OLDER
French Re-Release / Deluxe Edition / Target Edition
WHEN I WAS OLDERbitches broken heartseverything i wanted
When We All Fall Asleep, World TourWhere Do We Go? World Tour
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