SEULGI, 28 Reasons: the English lyrics & the meaning

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28 Reasons is the song released by Seulgi in October 2022, her solo debut after eight years of singing in the South Korean girl group Red Velvet. The song became viral immediately for its modern R&B mood that the Western world appreciates. The lyrics are fascinating as they shed light on Seulgi’s darker side. In this article, we will analyze the song’s meaning, and you’ll also find the complete English lyrics at the end.

You can find the official video of the song below.

SEULGI 슬기 '28 Reasons' MV

28 Reasons: the lyrics and their meaning

28 Reasons is a song about the dark side of love. In the lyrics, Seulgi impersonates a toxic woman who hurt her man with her attitude, showing red flags that he shouldn’t be ignoring. However, he keeps wanting her. And on the other hand, she claims she has no bad intentions, feeding an ambiguity that doesn’t let him go away.

The song’s beginning presents the evilest side of Seulgi, describing what she did and admitting that she finds it funny to see him hurt.

I kiss your brother, I steal that heart
You can’t even feel the poison, My pleasure
Mischief and nervous eyes
It’s so much fun to see you like that

Seulgi was instructed to sing 28 Reasons unemotionally to offer a more powerful image of a heartless woman. She seems to like what she does and knows she’s hurting him. Nevertheless, she doesn’t acknowledge any evil nature: she believes she can still send him to heaven with her love, giving him what he really wants. The chorus is the triumph of her position: she openly admits that he should run away, but she’s glad he’s still there.

28 Reasons that ruined you, you don’t have to know
I have no bad intentions
You know all 28 Reasons to run away
So, why are you leaning on me again

Why precisely 28 reasons? Seulgi didn’t provide any official explanation, but she’s 28 at the moment she released the song, so the lyrics may refer to the years that identify her as a person.

The song shows very cleverly the ambiguity that keeps us stuck in toxic relationships: we get hurt, we see our needs neglected, but we are distracted from all the red flags because we feel we need that love and because the counterpart is also able to show us an (apparently) good side. It may consist of good intentions, expressing how much they love us or admitting that they cannot live without us. They are mixed signals that confuse us and feed that part of us that wants to believe that the relationship can work. By interpreting the toxic traits of a love relationship, Seulgi perfectly shows us the typical ways tainted love takes place and teaches us how to recognize the red flags.

Well, that’s love, Sweet and bitter
I ruin you and save you
Make your dreams come true

The lines above perfectly recap toxic people’s philosophy: they justify the pain as part of love because there is no rose without a thorn. In this way, they invite the counterpart to accept pain and ignore all emotional signals that drive them away. Toxic relationships can happen only if one person is convinced that pain is unavoidable. On the other side, Seulgi also shows another typical harmful trait in another verse:

You in danger
But it’s ok
You’re a grown up

Deresponsibilization. While she tries to explain the things she does in a way that doesn’t make them look so bad, she also acknowledges that he’s an adult and should be able to recognize when his emotional balance is in danger. From this point of view, Seulgi will keep behaving the way she likes and forces the other person into special conditions where he’s the only one who can save himself. It will take a lot of courage and self-growth before he decides to run away. And until that doesn’t happen, she’ll keep taking what she wants from that relationship, offering no help to him.

That’s the real meaning of the lyrics inside 28 Reasons: a perfect picture of how toxic people make us fall in love – offering us intense love in some moments and showing no empathy towards our pain, leaving it to us to decide if that’s a healthy relationship or not, while we struggle to interpret the mixed signals we receive. Of course, Seulgi staged all this like a perfect actress, presenting herself as an irresistible femme fatale. And the song can teach an essential lesson to everybody.

Read other popular song lyrics meaning on Auralcrave

The complete English lyrics

I kiss your brother, I steal that heart
You can’t even feel the poison, My pleasure
Mischief and nervous eyes
It’s so much fun to see you like that

Ooh ooh I’m breaking every rule
I want to keep teasing you

28 Reasons that ruined you, you don’t have to know
I have no bad intentions
You know all 28 Reasons to run away
So, why are you leaning on me again

Weird attraction looking at you exhausted, Feel so bad
I will show you heaven
I’m not the devil
Hate me as you want I don’t care
The more you break the more you’ll want me

I steal your treasure, crush it
Your impatience makes me laugh more
Well, that’s love, Sweet and bitter
I ruin you and save you
Make your dreams come true

Ooh ooh I’m making every rule
I will take your breath away and give it back to you

28 Reasons that ruined you, you don’t have to know
I have no bad intentions
You know all 28 Reasons to run away
So, why are you leaning on me again

Weird attraction looking at you exhausted, Feel so bad
I will show you heaven
I’m not the devil
Hate me as you want I don’t care
The more you break the more you’ll want me

I swear I need you, my desires are growing
I’m playing with you like a kid
Hovering like your shadow and whispering to you
I’m your light and your darkness

You in danger
But it’s ok
You’re a grown up

28 Reasons you don’t have to know
I have no bad intentions (Do you just love the pain?)
You know all 28 Reasons to run away
So, why are you leaning on me again

Weird attraction looking at you exhausted, Feel so bad
I will show you heaven
I’m not the devil
Hate me as you want I don’t care
The more you break the more you’ll want me