Elaborating on the track in a statement, Maria said:
Betelgeuse is about coming to terms with one’s role as a victim, bystander, and perpetrator. The narrator of this song recalls a traumatic moment from their childhood: the day a father figure abandoned them and their mother. Now they’re an adult and want to leave home, which means abandoning their mother. They feel cruel for leaving home, but ultimately they follow the path of the man they despise, the ghost of him, their guiding star.
In seventh grade, an astronomer visited my science class and said that Betelgeuse is our only hope for seeing a star explode within our lifetimes. Then in late 2019 early 2020, Betelgeuse dimmed slightly, and people speculated that it was about to burst. That turned out not to be the case (a cloud passed over it, or it farted or something, I don’t remember). It was a let down. And likewise it’s disappointing, when you experience loss, that the world doesn’t stop to admire some new hole that’s been ripped into the universe. There’s no great explosion.
The title “Betelgeuse” has something to do with how grief can bring on this desire for a meteorological or astronomical alignment with your experience. But no, the world doesn’t stop. It makes you want to throw a wrench in the gears, blow something up, get people to notice.