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Meaning of ‘We Are Young’ by ‘Fun.’ feat. fun., Janelle Monáe

Released: 2012

Features: fun., Janelle Monáe

“We Are Young” by Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe is a powerhouse anthem that wraps up youthful exuberance, the pain and pleasure of love, and the desire to seize the moment in a single, catchy tune. It speaks to anyone who’s ever felt the invincible cloak of youth, urging them to live loudly and brightly, despite the inevitable messiness of life and love.

The opening lines throw us into a scene that’s all too familiar – a night out that’s spiraled into something more chaotic than planned. The singer’s trying to piece together his evening, acknowledging the highs and lows already faced, including a confrontation with a past lover marked by a scar he caused. This sets a tone of reckoning and reflection amidst a backdrop of revelry. The phrase “getting higher than the Empire State” is a playful exaggeration used to describe the wild abandon of their youth, yet it contrasts sharply with the intimate struggle happening at the bar.

The chorus is where the song explodes into a rallying cry – “Tonight, we are young. So let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun”. Here, it’s about harnessing the power of the moment, embracing the brilliance of youth despite the shadows that linger from past mistakes. It’s an invitation to forget the lows and soar on the highs, if only for the night.

As the song progresses, there’s a shift from focusing on personal regrets to a collective experience of resilience and celebration. The mention of “raising a toast” signifies shifting from dwelling on past mistakes to acknowledging the support system of friends around them. When they sing about finding “new ways to fall apart”, it’s an acknowledgment of the inevitable bumps down the road but also a commitment to keep going, together. The repeated call for someone to “carry me home tonight” speaks to the reliance on friends or partners to help weather the metaphorical storms – a plea for help when the weight of the world, or simply the night’s excesses, becomes too much.

The recurring emphasis on companionship, whether in the highs or lows, and the energy to live fully shines through in “We Are Young”. It’s a bittersweet acknowledgment that while youth comes with its set of challenges, the intensity of living in the moment and for each other is what burns “brighter than the sun.” It speaks to the universal desire to cling to the nights that feel like they could change the world, if only those feelings could last forever.

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