Big When I Was Little

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"Big When I Was Little"
Single by Eliza Doolittle
from the album In Your Hands
Released 28 July 2013
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012
Label Parlophone
Writer(s) Eliza Doolittle (singer), Wayne Hector, Steve Robson
Eliza Doolittle singles chronology
"You & Me"
"Big When I Was Little"
"Let It Rain"

"Big When I Was Little" is a song by British recording artist Eliza Doolittle. The song was released as a digital download in the United Kingdom on 28 July 2013 as the lead single from her second studio album, In Your Hands (2013). It joined BBC Radio 2's playlist in June.

It debuted at number 12 on the UK Singles Chart on 4 August 2013, making it her third solo UK top 40 hit following "Pack Up" and "Skinny Genes".


Talking about the song Doolittle said: "I was in the studio and I was rambling on about something saying 'that was big when I was little' and Steve goes 'that's a great song title!'" She also talked about the track's conception, saying: "So I wrote down some ideas and references and we wrote the song. It's the first song off of the new record and I can't wait for the whole album to be in your ears."[1] On BBC Radio 1 Chart Show on 4 August 2013 she described the song as "nostalgic" and "looking back at her childhood".

Live performances[edit]

On 28 July 2013 Doolittle performed the song live on British television series Sunday Brunch.

Doolittle performed the song on 4 October 2013 alongside Dionne Bromfield on CBBC show Friday Download.

Critical reception[edit]

Lewis Corner of Digital Spy gave the song a positive review, stating:

"Just like Instagram filters and movie montages, nostalgia makes everything seem so much better than it actually was. It's a tack Eliza Doolittle uses on her new single 'Big When I Was Little', which hears her reminiscing of a time when cassettes were the music format of choice, Malcolm In The Middle was everyone's favourite tea time viewing and Posh Spice was still a popstar. While the singer recently flirted with '90s sounds on her Disclosure collaboration, the retro references are kept strictly in the lyrics for her own outing as she daydreams over her trademark blend of jazzy brass and swaying melodies. "Oh this box is haunting me/ I can't throw it away/ School reports and birthday cards/ Feels like yesterday," she laments, echoing the bouncy flow of her popular hit 'Pack Up'. It's a charming celebration of hazy days past, but suffers from Eliza Doolittle barely moving forward." 3/5 stars.[2]

However Dan Johnson of The Bastard Lounge was less than complimentary, calling it an "infuriating throwback to The Days of Yore", "a warbling playground ditty" and "devoid of any form of meaning or emotion".[3]

Music video[edit]

A music video to accompany the release of "Big When I Was Little" was first released onto YouTube on 16 June 2013 at a total length of three minutes and fifty-nine seconds.[4] The video shows Doolittle performing the track with her friends, while dressed in an assortment of '90-inspired outfits.[1]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Big When I Was Little" 3:52
2. "You and Me" (Piano Version) 4:00


Chart (2013) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[5] 27
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[6] 17
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[7] 73
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 12

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Belgium 21 June 2013[9] Digital download Parlophone
United Kingdom 28 July 2013[10]