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Avicii, ‘Wake Me Up’ Feat. Aloe Blacc – Song Meaning

Mike Lawrie, Getty Images

When Avicii first dropped ‘Wake Me Up,’ featuring rich, earthy vocals from Aloe Blacc, the song confounded people. So, what’s it all about?

First, let’s trace the song’s steps and history before we get into the nitty gritty. Some listeners thought it was a country song, contained within the framework of the Swedish DJ’s EDM style. Others felt it was neo-folk, like “Avicii Does Mumford and Sons,” thanks to Blacc’s lived-in, citizen-of-the-world voice.

Well, it became a SMASH hit, mixing two different musical mediums and coming up with something wholly unique. But despite the initial sonic shock of the song, it actually has a deep, important lyrical meaning about the power of dreams.

It’s okay to dream, since that can be your saving grace.

“Feeling my way through the darkness / Guided by a beating heart / I can’t tell where the journey will end / But I know where to start / They tell me I’m too young to understand / They say I’m caught up in a dream / Well life will pass me by if I don’t open up my eyes / Well that’s fine by me.”

That sentiment celebrates the fact that life is a journey and not just the destination and that sometimes, throwing caution to the wind is the best thing you can do. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, because dreams can and do come true. Dreaming is not a waste of time, especially if the dreams are an escape from a harsher reality.

“So wake me up when it’s all over / When I’m wiser and I’m older / All this time I was finding myself / And I didn’t know I was lost.”

The chorus is catchy, and it’s lyrically simple but powerful. Sometimes, you learn the most and find out who you really are when you didn’t even know you were looking. Blacc is essentially singing about experience making you who you are. The only way to know life is to live it. Sometimes, that requires living it in your mind, when you are bound by circumstance and can’t just take the first step of the thousand-mile journey whenever you feel like it.

“I tried carrying the weight of the world / But I only have two hands / Hope I get the chance to travel the world / But I don’t have any plans.”

Again, Blacc sings about going with the flow and moving with the wind, without any firm plans. It also suggests that the narrator might not have the chance to travel the world due his situation or station in life. Perhaps he is poor. Perhaps he is committed to a family. Perhaps he doesn’t have the means. Even so, that shouldn’t prevent him from thinking and dreaming about what could be. Sometimes, when you are in a situation over which you have zero control, the best faculty you have is your mind, and even your daydreams can help make that harsh reality a little bit better.

Watch Avicii ‘Wake Me Up’ Video Feat. Aloe Blacc

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