What Is “Night Changes” About? One Direction’s New Song Needs Some Puzzle-Solvin’ Skills

CHIBA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 03: (L-R) Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan of One Direction meet Japanese fans to promote 'The 1Derland: THIS IS US' on November 3, 2013 in Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Keith Tsuji/Getty Images)
Source: Keith Tsuji/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

On Nov. 17, an album called FOUR will hop on a cloud, descend from the heavens above, and bless our ears. It's... so... close... I... can... almost... hear... it. As if the boyband knew what we fans needed to keep ourselves from going bonkers in the days leading up to the album's drop, One Direction officially released “Night Changes” into the Internet wild. The follow-up single to “Steal My Girl” is a jam, no doubt. A slow jam, but a jam nevertheless. What's it about? Funny you should ask! For that is what I am about to dive into.

Like fellow Bustler Tanya Ghahremani (whose interpretation of the song's lyrics is both valiant and outstanding), I also attempted to wrap my mind around what the lyrics mean. But rather than try to pinpoint what it is about (try as I might, I just couldn't do it. I got as far as "something about a relationship? And something about changes at night?" and then gave up), I went the process of elimination route and ruled out what it is probably not about.

Here is what "Night Changes" is probably not about:

  • The fight that inspired the song’s name
  • A detour off of the freeway due to late-night road construction
  • Switching out the Brita filter before you go to bed
  • Daylight Savings Time
  • A werepanther transforming from its human form to its panther form when there’s a full moon
  • That time of evening when a restaurant replaces the Dinner menu with the Late Night menu
  • Rolling quarters and dimes into the wee hours of the morning
  • Every twist from an M. Night. Shyamalan movie
  • When the street lights switch on at the same preset time every evening
  • When the clock strikes FourthMeal at Taco Bell
  • MTV and VH1 playing risqué music videos late at night (wait, do those channels still do that?)
  • A nocturnal gerbil looking forward to nightfall because that's when it's at its best
  • Trying on every article of clothing in the closet before a party
  • When the manager of a quiet neighborhood restaurant unfolds a portable laminate floor and breaks out a strobe light as soon as the sun sets. It's daaaance club tiiiiiime!
  • When the night crew at a 24-hour store relieves the day crew
  • A knight changing his armor (those homonyms'll get you)
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