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Meaning of the song ‘GET UP’ by ‘Shinedown’

Released: 2018

“GET UP” by Shinedown is a powerful rock anthem that implores listeners to keep pushing forward through life’s challenges. At its core, the song is a raw testament to resilience, encouraging those in despair to rise and give life another shot.

The song starts with a captivating repetition of ‘get up,’ reflecting the urgency of the message the band seeks to communicate. The following lines illustrate the struggle of depression or tough times: ‘I know you’re clinging to the light of day / To tell you everything’s A-okay / And medication don’t do much / Yeah, it just numbs the brain.’ It implies that while medication may provide temporary relief, overcoming mental challenges is a deeper journey that needs one’s active participation.

‘I’m on the bright side of being hell-bent’ is a rebellious proclamation, suggesting that the path through adversity often involves tenacity and an almost stubborn determination. The singer then establishes a sense of commonality by saying ‘you’re not the only one / Who can’t see straight,’ which reminds listeners that everyone grapples with their own demons and difficulties.

Next, the chorus: ‘If you were ever in doubt / Don’t sell yourself short / You might be bulletproof / Hard to move mountains when you’re paralyzed / But you gotta try, and I’m callin’ out.’ Here, Shinedown amplifies its mantra of self-belief, challenging listeners to perceive themselves as ‘bulletproof,’ capable of overcoming any adversity, to keep trying even when the obstacles feel insurmountable.

The line ‘So, Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On?”‘ references Marvin Gaye’s iconic song that was a social commentary on the struggles of its time. By invoking this line, Shinedown implies that everyone has a unique story to share—a ‘song to sing’—and encourages listeners to vocalize their battles and triumphs.

The phrase ‘I’d rather twist myself in knots / Than watch you give up on your dreams’ reinforces the importance of persistence and the fear of regret that comes with surrender. In the end, the singer admits, ‘Yeah, I don’t know why I never talk about it / I guess that’s probably part of the problem,’ acknowledging that keeping problems hidden exacerbates them.

‘GET UP’ communicates the importance of resilience, self-belief, and honesty. It’s an anthem to get you moving, lifting you from the mire of your challenges with the strength of its musical prowess and the power of its message. It’s a rousing call to action, urging you to rise, not give up, and continue pushing forward, no matter the cost—and that’s rock n’ roll, baby.

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