Cool About It
Boygenius Lyrics

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Met you at the dive bar to go shoot some pool
And make fun of the cowboys with the neck tattoos
Ask you easy questions about work and school

I'm trying to be cool about it
Feelin' like an absolute fool about it
Wishin' you were kind enough to be cruel about it
Tellin' myself I can always do without it
Knowin' that it probably isn't true

I came prepared for absolution, if you'd only ask
So I take some offense when you say, "No regrets"
I remember it's impossible to pass your test

But I'm trying to forget about it
Feelin' like I'm breaking a sweat about it
Wishin' you would kindly get out of my head about it
Tellin' myself one day I'll forget about it
Knowin' that it probably isn't true

Once, I took your medication to know what it's like
And now I have to act like I can't read your mind
I ask you how you're doing and I let you lie

But we don't have to talk about it
I can walk you home and practice method acting
I'll pretend being with you doesn't feel like drowning

Tellin' you it's nice to see how good you're doing
Even though we know it isn't true

Overall Meaning

The Boygenius song "Cool About It" is about trying to maintain a facade of nonchalance and composure, even though the singer is deeply affected by their feelings for someone else. The lyrics state that the singer and this person met at a dive bar to shoot pool and make fun of the cowboy types with tattoos. The singer is asking the other person about themselves, trying to appear easygoing and nonchalant. However, the singer feels foolish and wishes the other person had been harsher or more dismissive of them, which would have been easier to accept than being ignored or brushed off.

The singer is trying to forget about their feelings for the other person, but they are finding it challenging and feel like they are "breaking a sweat" over it. The two have a history; the singer took the other person's medication to see what it was like, and now they have to pretend not to know what's going on in their mind. Despite that, the singer asks them how they are and willingly accepts their lies. In the end, they express that they could walk the other person home and act as though they are fine, even though being around them feels like they are drowning. The singer tells the other person how nice it is to see that they are doing well, even when they both know it is not accurate.

The lyrics illustrate the pain of feeling strongly for someone who does not seem to reciprocate those feelings while trying to navigate social norms and maintaining an illusion of calm. The song captures the experience of falling for someone and feeling out of control but not wanting to appear vulnerable.

Line by Line Meaning

Met you at the dive bar to go shoot some pool
I met you at a dive bar to go play a game of pool

And make fun of the cowboys with the neck tattoos
We laughed at the cowboys with neck tattoos

Ask you easy questions about work and school
I asked you easy questions about your work and school

I'm trying to be cool about it
I'm trying to play it cool

Feelin' like an absolute fool about it
I feel like a complete idiot

Wishin' you were kind enough to be cruel about it
I wish you would be cruel to me instead of being kind

Tellin' myself I can always do without it
I'm telling myself I don't need this

Knowin' that it probably isn't true
I know deep down that it's not true

I came prepared for absolution, if you'd only ask
I came ready to apologize if you would only give me the chance

So I take some offense when you say, "No regrets"
I feel a little hurt when you say that you regret nothing

I remember it's impossible to pass your test
I know that I can never please you

But I'm trying to forget about it
I'm trying my best to forget about everything

Feelin' like I'm breaking a sweat about it
I'm feeling incredibly anxious and stressed about everything

Wishin' you would kindly get out of my head about it
I wish I could forget about you and move on

Tellin' myself one day I'll forget about it
I'm telling myself that I'll eventually forget about all of this

Knowin' that it probably isn't true
But I know deep down that it's not very likely

Once, I took your medication to know what it's like
I once took some of your medication just to experience what it's like

And now I have to act like I can't read your mind
And now I have to pretend like I don't know what's going on inside your head

I ask you how you're doing and I let you lie
I ask you how you are, but I know you're lying

But we don't have to talk about it
Let's just not talk about it

I can walk you home and practice method acting
I'll walk you home and pretend to be happy

I'll pretend being with you doesn't feel like drowning
I'll pretend that being with you isn't suffocating me

Tellin' you it's nice to see how good you're doing
I'll tell you that it's nice to see you doing well

Even though we know it isn't true
Even though we both know that it's not completely true

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: Julien Baker, Lucy Elizabeth Dacus, Paul Simon, Phoebe Lucille Bridgers

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:


This is going to be long, but you say'd something that completely fits in with my interpretation of the video. Sry if this is a bit messy... I'm sadly not a native speaker.
I like to think that the Dog starts out as a kid. The dog (I'll refer to the dog as a he/man) we see at the beginning, is still small/young. I think the age could be anywhere around 6-18 years old. The girl in the beginning sitting down with him, is most likely the girl he's running with in the beginning. I like to believe that it was his first girlfriend, but maybe it could also represent the mother of him. The reason why i interpret it as his girlfriend, is because they seem to be the same age (small girl+small dog). They got together at an early age, and when they grew up, she had ambitions and dreams which he could not live up to, but really tried to. I think it's like that because she's running in front of him and he's running behind her/trying to keep up with her speed. That's also the reason why i think it could represent his mother, because many mothers have high standards for their kids, which they can't really fullfill. But like i say'd... I think she's his early girlfriend just because of the age similarity. I just wanted to get that idea of her being his mother out of my head.
I think it's important to notice that they just stare at each other in the beginning, representing the start of their young love/relationship.
But after running after her for too long and not being able to keep up with her way of living, he must feel very abandoned and lonely. When he finally sees someone else that's abandoned and lonely (The doll) he stops, and looks at her just like he just looked at his first girlfriend.
The reason why i think that the doll was abandoned and lonely, is that her first shot is just her laying in front of a completely blank background. She basically had nothing and noone.
We now have 2 broken people, a barely stitched up doll that looks like it's falling apart and an abandoned dog. They see comfort in each other and now i come to the part why i even wanted to respond to you in the first place.
You pointed out that the dog is some kind of shepherd! Shepherds are usually known for being the "guidance" for sheeps and i think that's why the doll (I'll start referring to it as just she/her now) saw something in him. She saw guidance, and he saw himself. Right after that, they are slowly walking up a hill. But this time, he is the one in the front leading the relationship. He can walk calmly and she follows him just as slowly and with no pressure.
They fall in love and the bond is getting stronger and stronger.
I'll skip to the end of the song now because there is so much to unpack here and OMG i don't want to annoy you.
Let's just say that everything in Lucy's verse shows how the relationship went.
In Phoebes verse, the bond is so close to tearing apart. She tries to hold on to him, but she can't because he liquifies and the only thing that stays of him is his mask... Which she then rips off of him revealing his true self.
I think this represents him becoming emotionally abusive which is quite literally tearing her apart and eating her up. He finally lost his mask. And because the mask was a shepherd one, i believe that it's revealed that he was never leading/helping her at all. It's just what she saw in him. And after she got completely eaten up by her inner emotions, the mask finally broke apart... But the damage was allready done.
I think the vague shots of that one girl waving at the dog, while he's holding the doll in his hands is his first girlfriend still waiting for her love to catch up with him. But he phisically can't which is why he is holding onto someone broken that he can "lead" and abuse.
There is still so much to say but i really wanted to share my thoughts with you because you pointed out the shepherd part.
Thank you for that, you must have a really interesting way of thinking and must have a beautifull outlook on life.


Here is my brief analysis, how I view the metaphors!
It starts with ''cool about it'', written like scars in skin; still red, this signals that the wound that the narrater is ''cool about'' is recent - or keeps being ripped open. It has not yet finished healing and this is foreshadowing of the song, that ends without closure. These wounds get stitched up, but still have a huge healing process to go through. (wounds: in this case a metaphor for mental wounds, from feeling ''ripped open'' and ''cut'' by this unbearable pain from the impact and loss of the ''dog'' -person-)
START: 0:16
Then we see a girl, walking her dog. I'm assuming this is the owner, she has the dog on a leash, but doesn't hold it very tight. I see this as; the dog is already destined to be with her - the dog could be aware of this or not , after a bit of time the string will start pulling and no matter what the dog will end up with her. However there is a bit of space for him to roam, and ''try out'' the toy that is stitched up and broken om the bench (This might signal that the ''toy'' - person has been left alone and hurt by past relationships) - to translate this to human relationships. (I will call the dog ''d'' when I'm talking about it as a person and the toy ''t'') D is destined to be with his soulmate/person but before his destiny, he tries out t, a person that has had a lot of bad experiences in relationships. However, he will leave her again eventually - because of his pull to the string to who he is actually meant to be with.

We see a lot of dogs standing in the park, however if we take a closer look they are ghosts. I think this might be the past dogs that picked the toy up, wrecked it and left it alone - this translates to the past relationships of T.
Very interesting to see how T's form changes from human to toy, when it switches to the dogs perspective. This could imply that he doesn't see her for who she actually is, and will never understand his impact on her - to him she is just a ''toy''.
This is the leash, symbolising he only has a little bit of time before his fate - to end up with the girl - will take him
The dog takes a human form when T looks at him, she does see him as a person and as someone like her - she sees him as more than an animal. This implies that she sees him as very important. Where he can't see she's human - just viewing as a toy - he doesn't do this intentionally, he simply doesn't know better. Which implies he can't help seeing her as less important and not understanding what she actually is. He just doesn't have the ability to.
- Important to note - even in her view, he does have a mask, which tells me that he doesn't disclose his real identity and keeps her at a distance. She doesn't have a mask, she wants him te see her.
He is sniffing around, dogs have very strong smell and it's their first instinct to smell anything new it meets. This is the beginning of the story of these two people, it doesn't necessarily click easily - while not backing away, T seems wary of him, but doesn't fight the inspection. Even though all the other ''dogs'' (past relationships) hurt her, she seems to keep trying.
First, T looked away, now she looks him right in the eye. Eye contact is very personal, and vulnerable. She does this without hesitation, he backs away, a little startled. He isn't as comfortable with this level of personal contact, still keeping her at a distance.
T and D are walking together, or are they? It certainly looks like she is following him, this isn't a relationship with equal respect and effort - because this is often symbolised with walking next to each other. He doesn't look back and she just follows him around. But she knows to keep her distance...
The eye contact is extremely intense and personal - but she is staring, wide eyed, while he has got a mask to protect himself from this level of intimacy.
Such an interesting switch from perspective. The owner calls him back, they wake up from reality; all this time he was just playing with a toy. This translates to it turning out to be insignificant for D when he gets to his senses, he isn't really impacted. He has got the toy between his teeth - teeth that will undoubtedly hurt T, but she can't escape.
Just a slight touch, there is something - but they aren't actually holding hands. Enough to exist, not enough to call it real.
It gets lost in the clouds, fades, you can't prove it - you can't touch it. You drown in the feeling.
This might symbolize the feelings that came with this strange relationship, they are doomed, because every dog eventually destroys his toy.
They stare this spiral (of their relationship) together, without saying a word - so much goes unspoken (WE DONT HAVE TO TALK ABOUT IT...)
Their time is running out.
He grabs her face and I interpret this as a look inside of her feelings. The first thing I notice is the colours, how light she is and how this contrasts with his darkness. She loves deeply, but they can't become one whole like soulmates - they are just different, light and dark just can't exist at the same time.
This could be his perspective - hugging the toy, but it's lifeless, he views it as pointless, as if the relationship is already dead.
The colour contrast is heartbreaking, she seems to be on a cloud ( being so in love she is floating on a cloud ), it's bright white - almost angelic, it seems this love lights her up and makes her shine in the dark night. The dog is black, this doesn't light him up - he might take her with him and kill what makes her light up.
It was too heavy to carry, it comes breaking down - her light dies.
She is surrounded by darkness, and the eye contact comes back. Everything around them seems unimportant and dark, the only thing that she sees as hopeful and bright (judging from the use of dark and light) are his eyes, the closed she'll get to knowing him.
I think this is how she feels looking through his mask to meet his eyes
She looks up, meaning she thinks what she is looking at (his eyes) are the most important thing, the light round her body appears again.
Their relationship is hanging by a thread
Again, we are reminded how unimportant this is for the dog, when we see it in perspective.
Her light spreads everywhere and the only thing she has eye for is him, he is her everything.
He traces her scars, he probably learns about her past.
The stable point in their relationship might have been symbolised as a tree, but this also begins to melt away.
He slowly starts to fade, I think T's idea of him is slowly dying, seeing him for who he actually is.
She pulls his mask, to see who he actually is - because all this time he hasn't let her in
He lashes out, because he is very protective of his mask, because of past experiences he doesn't want her to get that close to him.
He abandoned her because of his own pain, not just abandoning - he throws her away. You can see the light just spilling out of T
This kills her, all of her scars rip open again, she drowns in this feeling. Everything spills right out of her skin.
When she looks in the mirror, she realises she is starting to slip, her actual feelings are spilling out and she can't hold them in anymore.
What once made her light up - now kills her.
The dog is with it's owner, they see each other for who they are (human and dog), they are in an embrace because he actually lets her, they see the remains of her light, it seems small and insignificant to them.
The dog doesn't mean it in a cruel way, but bites her open completely.

Does anyone have an interpretation for the end?


This mv is a subtle masterpiece, I keep noticing new things with every rewatch.
- The dog being left behind by the healthy girl and approaching the damaged one
- The dog seeing the girl as a puppet toy from the start
- The puppet stitches representing scars
- The swirling clouds showing her feeling of being trapped
- The dog running with a hand in his mouth foreshadowing her demise
- The dog devouring her and then leaving her behind
- The strings signifying the status of their relationship
- The background turning white and washing everything away due to medication
- The girl trying to hold onto the dog mask nevertheless until she breaks
- The same hand the running dog was holding in its mouth hitting her in the face
- The sound of the dog barking at the beginning and crow chirping at the end playing into their dog/bird metaphor motif


this song is so beautiful and so is the mv! i cried when i heard this for the first time, i cried when i heard this live in july, and i cried today the first time i watched this.
i’d like to share how i interpreted this mv just for fun and so i can maybe look back on it later and see if it changes :)
i remember seeing a comment once that said the different choruses in this song seem like their ways of dealing with a reunion after a fight/facing someone after a rough patch in the relationship and i feel like this kinda makes sense in the music video?
it’s very interesting
dog is someone who maybe was/is struggling with something personal and the one trying to reconnect. i see it as if the dog had already been the one to rip the doll up before which is why it’s stitched up and they connected fairly quickly as if the dog had played with it before
owner is maybe a friend who is ignoring or trying to ignore what happened/is happening, “i’m trying to forget about it”
the doll is a friend who is fully aware of what’s going on, trying to stay by the dogs side, connecting and trying take a deeper look into how they’re really feeling and what’s going on “once i took your medication to know what it’s like”
the dog recognizes the doll as if it has played with it before. to go with the song i assume the dog played with it before and ripped it up as i mentioned earlier. so like the friend who is represented by the dog, had a relationship with the friend represented by the doll before. they were close, maybe best friends (makes me think of how my dog has a favorite toy that she ripped apart to the point where it’s just a rag and left it on the floor even though she loves it. eventually she goes back to it and carries it around with her. that’s the only toy she carries everywhere and the only toy she’s turned into a rag). dog friend sees doll friend and tries to reconnect and eventually succeeds. they spend lots of time together and go back to being how close they were before but based on the look on doll’s face, they still remember that dog was and probably is struggling with something, and everything that happened last time they saw each other. maybe they’re prepared for the next time they get “ripped apart”. dog clearly loves doll very much and doll also loves dog just is maybe worrying about dog deep down. where doll and dog seemingly connect physically and dog looks like they’re melting, i thought maybe it’s just showing just how close they are. maybe they feel so close that they might as well be one. doll thinks it’s safe to “pull off the mask” (reminds me of mental health masking like masking depression, anxiety etc.) and see how dog is really feeling and what’s really going on. dog gets upset maybe isn’t ready to open up about that yet or maybe feel they never will be. maybe it’s like dog friend gets upset at doll friend for “prying” and hurts them again which is shown when the dog shakes the doll and rips it and it tears at the seams. doll friend hasn’t fully healed from the emotional wounds from last time or maybe it just means dog friend hurt them in the exact same way before, thus showing why the doll is stitched up. owner rushes to dog and runs away with them. maybe owner friend who is trying to forget about everything, is rushing to help dog friend like helping distract from everything instead of sitting in it and just waiting for a change. helping them get away from doll friend for a bit (because doll friend tried to bring dog friends struggles up to the surface instead of letting them bury it all like owner friend) but will eventually bring them back to reunite and reconnect with their best friend. the breaking of the mask might indicate that dog friend is finally ready to be open about their personal struggles with their friends and is wanting to break the cycle making this the last time the mask is worn and they want it to be the last time they hurt their friends whether it’s intentional or not or a mix of the two

edit: totally forgot about the fact the owner never gets to see the dog in the mask! maybe it’s because the owner friend is like trying so hard to forget about everything that they don’t realize that dog friend is putting up a mask and only pretending to be feeling better
i also feel like the part where the dog is huge and ripping the person apart is maybe that friend hurting the one trying to distract them as well. i could see that being it because i have gotten upset with people just trying to help me by distracting me in the past. it’s not that you don’t want a distraction, it’s more like you don’t think you deserve a distraction and maybe that friend doesn’t think they deserve it after hurting their other friend

All comments from YouTube:


one of you guys here has to be my soulmate


it’s me


Oo can I come to you guys wedding


you're a boygenius fan AND a swiftie so i do think we could be soulmates.


@@jjsbelova you have good taste in ppl and music wow



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It's awkward. I don't remember that from the radio broadcast.


I don’t really like it. I can see it being symbolic. I don’t think it’s cyclical it kinda feels sudden. The nonresolution makes me feel uncomfortable. Still my favorite song from them, if I’m honest but that last bit bothers me 😭


I didnt see any difference with any song? How would you like it to end, I am confused

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