Tag, You’re It by Melanie Martinez: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation

Lyrics meaning


Tag, You’re It is an alternative pop song by Melanie Martinez. It featured on her 2015 debut album, Cry Baby. Before exploring the Tag You’re It lyrics meaning, you should know the intention behind its title.

Title – What does it mean?

The title refers to the game of tag that kids play. This song is about sexually abusing a child, so in this context the word “tag” refers to the attacker choosing a girl as his next victim. Now that the title of the song has been explained, it is now time to understand the Tag You’re It lyrics meaning.

Verse 1 – What does it mean?

Looking at me through your window

Boy, you had your eye out for a little

The narrator of this song is a little girl who is about to be sexually assaulted. The attack does not come out of the blue. In fact, the girl has been observing her attacker for a while now. He has been “looking” through his “window”.

This goes on to prove the statistics on child abuse right. Most cases of child abuse involve someone whom the child already knows. In this case, the attacker could be a neighbor or could be living near the playground where the little girl goes to play regularly.

To keep an “eye out” for someone means to be vigilant and careful. This indicates that the attacker has been planning his moves for some time. Now he will finally take action.

“I’ll cut you up and make you dinner

You’ve reached the end, you are the winner”

The imagery of killing and eating is used keeping the theme of children in mind. Martinez’s entire album is filled with childish references and nursery rhymes. It is normal for adults to express how cute a baby is by saying that they would “eat them up”.

These lines compare the attacker to a predator (a big bad wolf) who is out to make “dinner” out of the girl (his prey). This goes with the theme of children’s fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

The second line indicates that the little girl tries to run away but is chased down by the attacker. She eventually reaches a dead end. Meanwhile her attacker corners her and proclaims himself as the “winner” of the chase.

Verse 2 – What does it mean?

Rolling down your tinted window

Driving next to me real slow, he said

The second verse describes how the attacker makes his move. He follows the oldest trick in the book to lure innocent children. The attacker drives his car towards the little girl and rolls his “tinted window” down. “Tinted window” reflects how ashamed the attacker is to be carrying out such a heinous act. It is also interesting to know that many children who experience such an attack grow up to become alert when they spot a vehicle with tinted windows.

“Let me take you for a joyride

I’ve got some candy for you inside”

To lure his victim, the attacker offers the little girl “candy”. Sex education these days teaches little kids to not fall into this trap. Still, some unfortunate child might throw caution to the wind. They are after all just children who do not know any better.

The term “candy” can also be seen as a metaphor for sex. But the little girl is too innocent to perceive it that way. The attacker, on the other hand, is clear about his intentions. He might even pretend to be friendly and polite to win over the girl’s trust. But this little girl knows better. She tries to save herself. You will find out how in the next segment.

What does the chorus mean?


Running through the parking lot

He chased me and he wouldn’t stop

The little girl knows something is wrong. She perceives the danger exuded by the attacker. Instinctively, she rejects the offer of candy and starts running. The attacker does not budge. He starts running after her. Now the little girl is certain that she is in danger.

Tag, you’re it, tag, tag, you’re it

Grabbed my hand, pushed me down

There are two ways of looking at this. First, the little girl does not understand sexual violence. So her brain is interpreting the incident as a game of tag. In tag, you need to run after the others and touch them. Once they are touched, it is their turn to run after you.

The second interpretation could be that the attacker is shouting “Tag, you’re it” behind her. This could be a disgusting fetish of his. Meanwhile, the little girl is completely traumatized as she runs to save her life.

The attacker finally catches up to the little girl and takes her hostage.

Took the words right out my mouth

Tag, you’re it, tag, tag, you’re it

Having captured the little girl, the attacker covers her mouth so she can’t scream for help. He also exposes himself as the sexual deviant that he is.

Can anybody hear me when I’m hidden underground?

Can anybody hear me? Am I talking to myself?

Saying, “Tag, you’re it, tag, tag, you’re it”

He’s saying, “Tag, you’re it, tag, tag, you’re it”

The little girl cannot comprehend what is happening to her. Her instincts are telling her to shout for help. But she cannot truly gauge the severity of her situation. Meanwhile, the attacker is trying to get his way with her by pretending to play a game. Child molesters do this to engage the children so they may join in the devious act. This attacker is no different. But the girl is scared and knows she is in trouble. The chorus perfectly captures the true essence of the Tag You’re It lyrics meaning.

Verse 3 – What does it mean?

Little bit of poison in me

I can taste your skin in my teeth

The term “poison” here indicates the use of drug or alcohol to placate the little girl. But even in that state she tries to fight off the attacker.

“I love it when I hear you breathing

I hope to God you’re never leaving”

The attacker is afraid he might have overdosed the little girl. Luckily she is still alive. That means the attacker can continue with his disgusting acts.

What does the bridge mean?

Eenie, meenie, miny, mo

Catch your lady by her toes

If she screams, don’t let her go

Eenie, meenie, miny, mo

These lines are a play on the kids’ counting rhyme ‘Eenie, meenie, miny, mo’. This also illustrates how sexual predators like chasing their victim. When their victim resists them or fights back, it turns them on even more.

Your mother said to pick the very best girl

And I am

This hints at the attacker’s upbringing. Perhaps the reason why he victimizes minor girls is because his parents were never kind to him. The toll of childhood trauma has impacted him such that he now seeks comfort in illegal acts. He does not even consider the fact that he is hurting an innocent life. In his mind he is probably only playing a game.

Chorus – Variation – What does it mean?

Running through the parking lot

He chased me and he wouldn’t stop

Tag, you’re it, tag, tag, you’re it

Grabbed my hand, pushed me down

Took the words right out my mouth

Tag, you’re it, tag, tag, you’re it

Running through the parking lot

He chased me and he wouldn’t stop

Tag, you’re it, tag, you’re it

Grabbed my hand, pushed me down

Take the words right out my mouth

Tag, you’re it, tag, tag, you’re it

The little girl is traumatized for life. She will spend many years recounting the events of that unfortunate day. It may severely impact the quality of her future life.Hope you have now understood the Tag You’re It lyrics meaning.


The Tag You’re It lyrics meaning rests in the trauma of someone who was sexually abused as a child. In some cases, the victim remembers the incident as rough-play. It is their mind’s way to cope with the devastating experience.

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