There's Always Room for 'Fun'
There are some songs that never lose their ability to make you think of the past. One can be up to their nose in frustration while sitting in rush hour traffic, until a familiar song like Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit or Forever Young by Alphaville plays on the radio. Before they realize it, the once frustrated driver's mind is full of memories. Maybe they first heard Nirvana back when they were an awkward teen in high school, or made out with their first boyfriend/girlfriend while listening to Forever Young when they were sixteen. Whatever the case, the familiar song on the radio remains as a source of teen- age nostalgia. Every now and then a new song hits the radio that acts as an anthem to adolescence, the song We Are Young by Fun. Featuring Janelle MonÃ e, is a current example.
We Are Young, the first single from Fun's second album Some Nights, has received great commercial success. The song has been sung on Glee and also has been used in a Chevy Sonic ad for Super Bowl XLVI. We Are Young has also found a spot on Kiss FM- a station that tends to play more dance tracks than indie pop. Fun's single is not the first track to cut through the dance trend on Kiss FM. For in- stance, Adele's soulful tunes such as Someone Like You and Set Fire to the Rain has been played constantly on the Chicago station. Since We Are Young isn't the first track to go against the current music trend, there must be something about it that makes it memorable.
The striking chorus is part of what makes the song unique amongst its counterparts on the charts. The lyrics in the chorus "To- night we are young. So let's set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the Sun," speak of being invincible. The single's theme of being unshakable makes it a perfect soundtrack to Saturday nights with good friends. The subject matter of We Are Young is what makes it notable. The lyrics portray a narrator who has made mistakes as they try to rectify what they have done: "But between the drinks and subtle things. The holes in my apologies, you know. I'm trying hard to take it back." However, in the midst of his apologies, he eventually offers a solution; tonight, let's forget about everything that troubles us, and enjoy our youth while it's here. The song speaks of those times during adolescence where one can forget the problems on hand and trade them in for a night of fun. Being young grants the opportunity to "set the world on fire" and be carefree.
It seems that tributes to youth never lose their magnitude. Songs like The Who's My Generation, Billy Joel's Only the Good Die Young, and Green Day's Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) have remained relevant in our society because their lyrics remain a source of memories and nostalgia for listeners. Every generation before us has had bands supplying them with anthems to youth. The 1960s had bands such as The Who, the 1980s had Alphaville, while the 1990s had Nirvana. Fun's We are Young goes along with the growing soundtrack of unforgettable anthems. With every generation comes a new batch of songs that represents the inevitable trials and tribulations of growing up, which always leaves room for bands like Fun to break through the music scene.
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