Revisiting the Meaning Behind “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles

Whether you heard it on the radio, a pool deck, or your favorite warm-weather playlist, you probably know Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar.” 

Videos by American Songwriter

Tastes like strawberries
On a summer evenin’
And it sounds just like a song
I want more berries
And that summer feelin’
It’s so wonderful and warm

The Release

With a guitar-driven groove and funk/indie undertones, “Watermelon Sugar” is truly the perfect summer bop. It was initially released in November 2019 as the second track on Styles’ sophomore album Fine Line. But, to get us through summer, 2020, Styles re-released it as a single in May. 

Hitting the top 10 in over 20 countries, the success of “Watermelon Sugar” was proof that Styles could hold his own as a solo artist. In 2021, the song earned him Best Pop Solo Performance at the Grammys and Song of the Year at the Brits. 

Suggestive Lyrics

While the tropical vibe of “Watermelon Sugar” makes it stand out in Styles’s discography, the suggestive lyrics have become a fascination in pop culture. The playful string of double entendres throughout the song leaves it… open to interpretation. 

On the surface, “Watermelon Sugar” is about enjoying some delicious in-season fruits in the summertime. Styles compares falling in love to savoring the sweet taste of watermelon and strawberries on a warm night. However, the underlying theme is more sensual. 

Breathe me in, breathe me out
I don’t know if I could ever go without
I’m just thinking out loud
I don’t know if I could ever go without
Watermelon sugar high

The True Meaning

Styles confirmed the true meaning behind “Watermelon Sugar” during a “Love on Tour” concert in Nashville last fall. As the band vamped the intro to the song, Styles commented on the alluring lyrics. 

“This song is about… well, it doesn’t really matter what it’s about,” he teased as the crowd cheered for more. “It’s about, um, the sweetness of life! Sing it for me!” 

He began the song as normal, but in the middle of the first verse, he threw in: “It’s also about the female orgasm!” The crowd roared as Styles strolled across the stage, laughing. “But that’s totally different, not really relevant. So, that settles that!” 

Strawberries on a summer evenin’
Baby, you’re the end of June
I want your belly and that summer feelin’
Getting washed away in you

The Video Message

The “Watermelon Sugar” music video, released alongside the single in May 2020, also hints at the more sultry side of the lyrics. Since the video debuted toward the beginning of the pandemic when physical touch was scarce for most, Styles included a message at the beginning: “This video is dedicated to touching.”

The “Watermelon Sugar” video perfectly captures the vibe of the song: warm, enticing, and sexy. It begins with Styles sitting at a table for two with a wedge of watermelon on his plate. As he sings the first verse, he runs his finger along the edge of the watermelon before taking a bite and diving into the chorus. 

The rest of the video features Styles and a group of women lounging on the beach with enough watermelon to feed a small country.

Sexual Undertones

While the sexual undertones are evident, the intimacy between Styles and the actors meant a little bit more in 2020. Running hands through each other’s hair, feeding each other strawberries, and even just lying next to one another were experiences people missed. Physical affection and closeness were sensations that many longed for in the quarantine era. Styles definitely gave a sweet taste of it with this video. 

I just wanna taste it, I just wanna taste it
Watermelon sugar high
I just wanna taste it, I just wanna taste it
Watermelon sugar high

Even two years after its release, “Watermelon Sugar” still gives listeners that summer feeling every time it plays. If you want to hear Styles play it live, check out dates for “Love on Tour” HERE!

Photo Courtesy of Sony

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