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OneRepublic, ‘Counting Stars’ – Song Meaning

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OneRepublic‘s uplifting ‘Counting Stars’ is one of their biggest radio smashes. It’s a feel good hit, one that’s catchy and super fun to sing along to. We’re breaking down the song’s deeper meaning on the lyrical level.

“Said no more counting dollars / We’ll be counting stars / Yeah, we’ll be counting stars.”

Clearly, Ryan Tedder’s narrator is interested in pursuits other than the monetary ones. Why get mired down in money? Mo’ money, mo’ problems. But he doesn’t literally mean to lay down on your back, in the grass, on a starry night and count the stars dotting the night landscape. Stars = blessings. So count your blessings and remember that which is important in life.

“I see this life / Like a swinging vine / Swing my heart across the line / In my face is flashing signs / Seek it out and ye shall find / Old, but I’m not that old / Young, but I’m not that bold / And I don’t think the world is sold / I’m just doing what we’re told.”

It can be terrifying and thrilling to let go and just live life as a free spirit. You just have to be open and willing to look for those joys in life and embrace them, especially if you lack support from those around you as you navigate these exploits.

“I feel something so right / By doing the wrong thing / And I feel something so wrong / By doing the right thing / I couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie / Everything that kills me makes me feel alive.”

What some people may think is the right thing may be the wrong thing for another person. It’s a matter of perception. Sometimes letting go and trying something new, different and unaccepted by the majority or the mainstream is the key to happiness in life. Doing the perceived right thing didn’t make the narrator happy. And as for the notion that “everything that kills me makes feel alive?” Sometimes it’s good to be bad and to not do what is expected and perhaps viewed as bad by someone else. This is a tricky lyrical passage that is open to many and multiple interpretations and that’s just one of ours.

PopCrushers, what do you hear when you listen to Onerepublic’s ‘Counting Stars?’

Listen to Onerepublic, ‘Counting Stars’

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