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Meaning of the song ‘Live in the Moment’ by ‘Portugal. The Man’

Released: 2017

“Live in the Moment” by Portugal. The Man unfurls itself as an anthem to seizing the day, cherishing the here and now without being tethered by memories of the past or fears of the future. It’s a glorious call to arms for living freely and fully, underscored by an infectious beat that makes you want to drop everything and just bask in the moment. The song weaves a narrative that’s both a celebration of life and a gentle reminder of its fleeting nature.

The opening lines introduce a protagonist whose home is not a place but a person, “a girl with eyes like wishing wells.” This imagery sets a tone of depth and mystery, suggesting that this person brings a sense of stability and wonder to the protagonist’s life. However, there’s an acknowledgment of loneliness that persists despite her presence, hinting at the idea that companionship alone can’t fill every void.

Reference to the “midnight sun” brings a touch of melancholy nostalgia, touching on the endless days of youth that glow even in the rearview mirror of memory. It’s a universal feeling, the bittersweet recollection of times that seemed to stretch endlessly before us, yet have somehow slipped through our fingers. The chorus then bursts forth, an invitation to let go of these reflections and instead “live in the moment.” The repetition of “Oooooh la la la la la” acts like a mantra, encouraging us to embrace joy and spontaneity.

The story evolves with the protagonist describing his significant other as someone “who can’t wait for time to tell,” possibly indicating her impatience or desire to break free from the constraints of waiting for life to happen. It also subtly nods to a rejection of predestination (“God only knows/We don’t need history”), emphasizing autonomy and the power to shape one’s own destiny rather than being shackled by tradition or familial expectations.

The song then shifts towards a communal call to action, “Wake up everybody you know/Come and watch the garden grow.” This isn’t just a private or individual journey anymore; it’s a collective awakening to the beauty and potential of the present. The “garden” symbolizes life itself, ever-growing and evolving, and there’s an open invitation to partake in this natural expansion together.

In essence, “Live in the Moment” is a beautifully layered piece that combines personal longing with a broader, more universal appeal for connection and presence. It’s both a reflection on the past and an optimistic gaze into the future, all while grounding us firmly in the present. Portugal. The Man has crafted an anthemic reminder that, in a world that’s constantly moving, sometimes the most radical thing we can do is simply live in the now.

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