The Real Meaning Behind Tate McRae's Greedy

Canadian singer Tate McRae's single "Greedy" has over 155 million streams on Spotify as of October 2023 following its September 15, 2023 release. The singer and dancer wrote the song stemming from a chance encounter in a bar, but it ended up being much more.

McRae gave more context in a "Behind the Song" video on TikTok. She named her cowriters — Ryan Tedder, Amy Allen, and Jasper Harris — and explained how she told them she wanted to write a danceable song due to her past as a competitive dancer. (Her dance ability is no joke, and what you may not know about McRae is that she scored third place on her season of "So You Think You Can Dance" as a teenager.)

Once they got the pop-forward music for the song started, McRae told her collaborators a story about a man in a bar telling her, "You're so mysterious." That sparked a back-and-forth among the songwriters. "We're like, 'Okay, and then he says this, and then I say this. And then blah, blah, blah,'" McRae said about how they envisioned a man who was desperate for the singer's attention. "And we start painting this story."

McRae expressed joy at how well the song was received, and any hesitancy she had at first was unwarranted — "Greedy" made it to the TikTok Billboard Top 50 chart.

Who is being 'Greedy' in the song's lyrics?

In an interview with People about "Greedy," Tate McRae shared that she is not one to be very open with people she doesn't know well. "We started writing this really sassy song about the feeling of having utter confidence being like, 'Yeah, it takes a lot to really get me to open up,'" McRae told the outlet. "And it ended up feeling like this really cool female empowerment song, which I loved."

The greediness referenced in the title has to do with a man in a bar wanting to know a lot about McRae after just meeting her. The opening verse starts with McRae singing quotes from the man when he expresses that he's been talking to her for a while but she's not telling him much. "'Can't you tell that I want you?'" McRae sings. "I say, yeah." She launches into the chorus with a confident, "I would want myself."

She also gives the man the warning that she doesn't share much about herself easily, adding: "So sure of yourself / Baby, don't get greedy / That s*** won't end well / No, it won't end well." The second verse continues that feeling of self-assurance when McRae tells the man he'll "never know much past my name." It's evident he is not the kind of person she wants to get to know, despite his feelings for her.

McRae ends the song with a confident outro

The third verse of the song shows Tate McRae's suitor questioning whether or not she's being serious. He's unsure if she really dislikes him or if she's flirting back. Once again quoting the man, McRae sings, "'Drive me so (So, so) crazy, did you know you got that effect?' / I said, 'Lemme check,' yeah." McRae launches into the final chorus of the song, telling him again not to be greedy with her, and then sings the outro, where she repeats, "I would want myself."

McRae's desire to make a song to which she can show off her dancing skills came to fruition with "Greedy," and the music video includes an excellent demonstration. In her Q&A on the making of the "Greedy" video, McRae said this song was a deviation from her usual sound. "I think it's just cool that people get to see me dance for the first time, for real. So that's very special to me," she said.

The song is definitely a great one to dance and sing along to, and it falls in the same vein as Selena Gomez's "Single Soon" in being an upbeat, confidence-inspiring anthem about knowing your worth.