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I almost cried last night when I was singing it onstage, ‘cause it’s about something that’s so special to me when I hear it. It strikes a personal chord. “Honeymoon Avenue” is about knowing you are at the end of a relationship and wishing it could not be the end and go back to the beginning and start over.

Ariana Grande talking about performing Honeymoon Avenue live [1]

"Honeymoon Avenue" is a song by American singer Ariana Grande from her debut studio album, Yours Truly, released in 2013. The song was written and produced by Babyface, Antonio Dixon, the Rascals, Travis Sayles, and Tommy Brown, with additional writing by Victoria Monét, Roahn Hylton, Maurice Wade, and Dennis Jenkins. With a duration of five minutes, 39 seconds, it is both the longest track on the album and the longest track in Grande's career. It was released through Republic Records on September 3, 2013.

Background[]

The original version of "Honeymoon Avenue", which sounds drastically different from the version that is found on Yours Truly, was more upbeat and bright, and featured a motown inspired composition. The production was eventually reworked as Grande found it to be too happy in contrast to the lyrics, therefore making it harder to capture the emotional message behind the song.

In 2013, Grande teamed up with the production duo, the Rascals, to rework the song in order to better have it sonically represent the lyrics, as well as to have it better fit the rest of the album. Strings were added under the track as well as completely overhauling the drums and percussion, opting for a more electronic-R&B sound. The tempo was also slightly slowed down and various parts of the song were rearranged. Grande re-recorded parts of the song and extended the second verse. Following this rework, Grande went on to state that the song feels "like it finally captures what [it's] really about."[4]

On November 6, 2015, Grande posted via Snapchat that she would be releasing the original version of "Honeymoon Avenue" that same week, as well as the studio version of the then-unreleased fan favorite, "Voodoo Love".[5] Following this announcment, Grande played short snippets of the original version’s demo on Snapchat.[6] Though, after several months, the release of the songs never materialized. Grande, on a livestream Q&A hosted to celebrate the release of "Dangerous Woman", later apologized to fans for the delay, promising she would release them "by the end of the year", but that delays were occuring due to the amount of paperwork involved.[7] The original version of "Honeymoon Avenue" (titled "OG Honeymoon Ave") and "Voodoo Love" were finally released on August 2, 2016, through Grande's official SoundCloud account.[8]

Gallery[]

Audio[]

Lyrical Meaning[]

The title of the song references the "honeymoon phase", a term used to describe the period in a relationship where a couple are just getting to know each other and find little fault with their signifigant other. Usually being described as blissful and carefree, the "honeymoon phase" sees both parties of a relationship in complete infatuation with the other, finding everything they do—from how they eat to the stories they tell—charming and endearing.

The song combines the concept of the "honeymoon phase" with metaphors of driving to convey the frustrations of falling out of love with someone. In stating "I looked in my rear-view mirror and it seemed to make a lot more sense than what I see ahead of us", the narrator realizes that they are no longer infatuated with the person they are in a relationship with. Things were much better in the past, and its very clear that the future may not hold as many cherished moments, if any. The line, "Right when I think that we found it, well, that's when we start turnin' around. You're saying 'baby, don't worry,' but we're still going the wrong way" shows a lack of trust that the narrator has in their partner. Despite feeling as though they have almost made it back to that "honeymoon" phase, their partner swiftly takes control of the situation and leads them even further from true love, disregarding any plea from the narrator, simply telling them not to worry.

In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Grande stated: "...some relationships actually took a toll on me mentally and made me feel like a different person, in a bad way." She then went on to say that "Honeymoon Avenue" was written about "a very confusing relationship that [she] stayed in for all the wrong reasons." She continued: "I was so incredibly sad while I was with this person. I'm a happy girl — I love laughing. But I don't remember smiling once when I was with him."

Chart performance[]

The song peaked at number 24 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.

Live performances[]

The album version of the song was first performed live on August 13, 2013, during the Listening Sessions. It was performed at all eleven shows.[9] The album version of the song was also included on the Honeymoon Tour (2015) setlist.

Grande performed the original version of "Honeymoon Avenue" live for the first time in 2011, and around five more times throughout 2012.[10] The original version of the song was also performed on February 9, 2017, in the "interchangable song" portion of the Dangerous Woman Tour. The original version of the song was again performed on August 22, 2018, during the Sweetener Sessions. Starting on December 13, 2019, the original version of "Honeymoon Avenue" replaced "get well soon" on the Sweetener World Tour setlist.

On August 25, 2023, to commemorate 10 years since the original release of Yours Truly, Grande recorded live versions of various songs from the album and released them as part of a reissued version of the album. Among those songs, "Honeymoon Avenue" was performed. The performance starts with the strings present in the intro of the reworked album version, though it quickly transitions into the original demo version.

Videos[]

Trivia[]

  • Grande has stated multiple times that this is one of her favorite songs out of her whole discography, alongside "Only 1".
  • The original version of the song features horns by the Dap-Kings, though performances of the song throughout 2011-2012 do not feature them.[11]
  • The demo of the original version used the entire second verse which was put used on the album version but was shortened for the version with the Dap-Kings.[12]
  • The length of the original versions demo is about one minute, 49 seconds shorter that the revised version found on the album. [13]
  • At five minutes, 39 seconds, this is not only the longest song on Yours Truly, but it is also the longest song in Grande's discography.
    • "Honeymoon Avenue" is the longest studio song in Grande's disography. The longest song overall is the live version of "thank u, next", at six minutes, 29 seconds.
  • Grande stated on Twitter back in October 2013 that she was ill with skull and lung infections while recording this song, along with "Tattooed Heart" - this all happened in June 2013 when she re-recorded vocals for both songs. She went on to say that she would "sing for ten minutes, then nap for twenty."
  • "Honeymoon Avenue", alongside "Tattooed Heart" and "Daydreamin'" are the only three songs that weren't scrapped when the album was reworked.
  • Grande has referenced this song several times throughout her career:
    • She has a tattoo of the word "honeymoon" written in cursive on the side of her right middle finger.
    • The location on her now-defunct Twitter account was "honeymoon ave"
    • The Honeymoon Tour (2015) was named after this song. Interestingly, "Honeymoon Avenue" is not on the main album that the tour was promoting, My Everything (2014).
  • The first voice heard on the track, as well as the whole album and Grande's entire discography, is Leon Thomas III.
    • The two both starred in the Nickelodeon show, Victorious (2010-2013).
  • This was one of the songs Grande's sang on her YouTube channel during a series she dubbed "Lullaby Friday".[14]
  • Rolling Stone ranked "Honeymoon Avenue" as Grande's 23rd best song.
  • Grande said in the Yours Truly 10 Year Anniversary Q&A that this is her favorite non-single of the album, alongside "Daydreamin'" and "You'll Never Know".[15]

Lyrics[]

[Intro: Leon Thomas III]
It's The Rascals!

[Verse 1]
I looked in my rear view mirror
And it seemed to make a lot more sense
Than what I see ahead of us, ahead us
I'm ready to make that turn
Before we both crash and burn
'Cause that can be the death of us, the death of us

[Pre-Chorus]
Baby, you know how to drive in rain
And you decided not to make a change
Stuck in the same old lane
Going the wrong way home

[Chorus]
I feel like my heart is stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic
I'm under pressure 'cause I can't have you the way that I want
Let's just go back to the way it was
When we were on Honeymoon Avenue
Honeymoon Avenue, baby
Coasting like crazy
Can we get back to the way it was?

[Verse 2]
Hey, what happened to the butterflies?
Guess they encountered that stop sign
And my heart is at a yellow light, a yellow light
Hey, right when I think that we’ve found it
Well, that’s when we start turning around
You're saying, "Baby, don't worry."
But we're still going the wrong way

[Pre-Chorus]
Baby, you know how to drive in rain
And you decided not to make a change
Stuck in the same old lane
Going the wrong way home

[Chorus]
I feel like my heart is stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic
I'm under pressure 'cause I can't have you the way that I want
Let's just go back to the way it was
When we were on Honeymoon Avenue
Honeymoon Avenue, baby
Coasting like crazy
Can we get back to the way it was?

[Bridge]
They say only fools fall in love
Well, they must've been talking about us
Sometimes I feel like I've been here before
I could be wrong, but I know I'm right
We're gonna be lost if we continue to fight
Honey, I know that we can find our way home

[Chorus]
I feel like my heart is stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic
I'm under pressure 'cause I can't have you the way that I want
Let's just go back to the way it was
When we were on Honeymoon Avenue
Honeymoon Avenue, my baby
Coasting like crazy
Can we get back to the way it was?
When we were on Honeymoon Avenue
Honeymoon Avenue, baby
Coasting like crazy
Can we get back to the way it was?

[Breakdown]
Baby, you know how to drive in rain
And you decided not to make a change
Stuck in the same old lane
Going the wrong way home

[Outro]
I feel like my heart is stuck in... traffic
I'm under... pressure, pressure
Let's just go back to the way it was
When we were on...
(Honeymoon Avenue, Honeymoon Avenue, Honeymoon Avenue, Honeymoon Avenue)
Let's just go back, back, back

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande]
I looked in my rear view mirror and
It seemed to make a lot more sense
Than what I see ahead of us, ahead of us, yeah
I'm ready to make that turn
Before we both crash and burn
'Cause that could be the death of us, the death of us

[Pre-Chorus]
Baby, you know how to drive in rain
And you decided not to make a change
Stuck in the same old lane
Going the wrong way home

[Chorus]
I feel like my heart is stuck in bumper to bumper
Traffic, I'm under pressure
'Cause I can't have you the way that I want
Let's just go back to the way it was

[Post-Chorus]
When we were on Honeymoon Avenue
Honeymoon Avenue
Baby, coastin' like crazy
Can we get back to the way it was?

[Verse 2]
Hey, what happened to the butterflies?
Guess they encountered that stop sign
And my heart is at a yellow light (a yellow light)

[Pre-Chorus]
Baby, you know how to drive in rain
And you decided not to make a change
Stuck in the same old lane
Going the wrong way home

[Chorus]
I feel like my heart is stuck in bumper to bumper
Traffic, I'm under pressure
Cause I can't have you the way that I want
Let's just go back to the way it was

[Post-Chorus]
When we were on Honeymoon Avenue
Honeymoon Avenue
Baby, coastin' like crazy
Can we get back to the way it was?

[Bridge]
They say only fools fall in love
Well, they must've been talking about us
And sometimes I feel like I've been here before
I could be wrong, but I know I'm right
We gon' be lost if we continue to fight
Honey, I know, yeah
We can find our way home

[Chorus]
I feel like my heart is stuck in bumper to bumper
Traffic, I'm under pressure
'Cause I can't have you the way that I want
Let's just go back to the way it was

[Post-Chorus]
When we were on Honeymoon Avenue
Honeymoon Avenue
Baby, coastin' like crazy
Can we get back to the way it was?

When we were on Honeymoon Avenue
Honeymoon Avenue
My baby, coastin' like crazy
Can we get back to the way it was?

References[]

Yours Truly
August 30, 2013 • 46:28 • Republic Records
Songs
Released Almost Is Never EnoughBaby IBetter Left UnsaidDaydreamin'Honeymoon AvenueLovin' ItPianoPopular SongRight ThereTattooed HeartThe WayYou'll Never Know
Unreleased 3OH!3 OuttakeBoyfriend MaterialButterfliesDo You Love MeFirst TimeHumanILABLa Vie En RoseNobody Does It BetterOh, DarlingParachutePink ChampagnePlease Don't Let Me GoPut Your Hearts UpRealSandmanSaturday Love'Til We Finally MeetUnknown Nick Jonas DuetUnknown Nick Jonas BalladUnknown Sean Kingston CollaborationVoodoo LoveYoung LoveYou're My Only Shawty
Artists
Ariana GrandeBig SeanDemi LovatoGreyson ChanceJ BalvinJade NovahKing LosMac MillerMIKANathan SykesPebe SebertSean KingstonTaro HakaseThe Dap Kings • 3OH!3
Tour
The Listening Sessions
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