What does Counting Stars mean?

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OneRepublic: Counting Stars Meaning


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Song Released: 2013

Counting Stars Lyrics

Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby I been, I been prayin' hard
Said no more counting dollars
We'll be counting stars
Yeah, we'll be counting stars

I see this life
Like a swinging...


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    Jun 8th, 2014 6:00pm report

    I won't try to guess what the song writer's intent was, but I choose to view the lyrics through a Christian world view lens. God promises eternal life to those who believe in Him and persevere. "Counting stars" is the dream of that promise fulfilled. Paul in his writings gave One Republic the lyrics for the chorus. "Right doing the wrong thing and wrong doing the right thing" is reminiscent of Paul when he says "That which I will not to do, I do." It is an admission of the struggle to do the right thing through life. "Everything that kills me makes me feel alive." I love this line. It could be drugs, like some have said; however, it is broader in scope. The Bible is chuck full of warnings regarding worldly pleasures and the temporary gratification that comes with those pleasures that will ultimately lead to spiritual death. Overall, the lyrics pay respect to the struggles of living on earth and the promise of paradise to those who "seek" and "find."


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    Feb 8th, 2014 2:27pm report

    I think this song is about losing sight of material things and going free with our dreams. Society has brought him down with all these basic things and he's waiting for the day society will take that turn for the better to follow future hopes, not drugs, money, etc.


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    Aug 19th, 2013 8:46am report


    One of the songs of decade, a future classic.

    If you watch the film clip there is little doubt that at least some of the lyrics pertain to religion and the meaning we give our religious beliefs.

    The crux of the song is found here "I feel something so right Doing the wrong thing"

    To me the lyricist is plainly torn and anxious about his lifestyle , which in his heart he knows to be against his religious beliefs

    Anyone who has even a remote belief in a higher power has no doubt had this internal dialogue with themselves much like this lyricist is now.

    There is also little doubt that he the lyricist is at a crossroads in his life "lve been prayin' hard" ..."Seek and ye shall find", a direct reference to Matthew 7:8.

    Ultimately the lyricist after much internal anguish and dialogue has to come to peace with himself and realising.."the lessons I learned "there are more important things than money and status. I also think the lyricist bemoans the fact that he has spent so much time "losing sleep" ie worry and anxiety about fleeting things, "making money, watch it burn " and muses to himself the perennial question about what gives our life real meaning and purpose.

    In fact he finds real meaning can be found in "counting stars" , ie having mindfulness with grateful disposition and sewing into relationships .


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    Feb 4th, 2:54am report

    Actually if you read up on it and research before judging you will find that the singer is a proffessed christian!


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    Jan 29th, 2015 1:59am report

    I believe its him point blank telling you he sold his soul I feel something so right doing the wrong things says he has no feelings anymore he's gonna do whatever he wants and the alligator is a symbolof the beast alligators have no remorse they'll kill anything


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    Dec 20th, 2014 12:11pm report

    The counting stars is having drugs, like this line:

    "everything that kills me makes fell alive


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    Aug 10th, 2014 8:37am report

    I believe it is about the band selling their souls to the devil for fame and the difficult choice it was to make. Counting dollars would be living hand to mouth. Counting stars would be fame. I'm not sure about the gator though. I don't know if it's life trying to eat him up, or constant fear of being continually watched by big brother. But I think the beginning of the video looking down the stairs and how dilapidated the house is is representative of the state in which they were in. I don't think it's about religion really. I think it's a voluntary control that people surrender to, much like religion.


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    May 29th, 2014 5:29am report

    it is about drugs. The phrase "everything that kills me..." is a term druggies use. Counting stars is because they are dizzy and drunk.


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    May 25th, 2014 5:28pm report

    The meaning of the song becomes clear when we look at it through a psychoanalytic lens:

    "Money is the id itself, the primordially repressed, the collective unconscious appearing in specific denominations, that is, precise quanta or configurations of value, i.e., images. Let us define money as that which possibilizes the imagination. Monies are the riches of Pluto in which Hades' psychic images lie concealed."
    --James Hillman, Blue Fire


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    Jan 24th, 2014 1:35pm report

    It sounds like you can't get out of the pit of human feelings. You have perfection, "And I don't think the world is sold." Then you have human feelings fighting that thought back, "We'll be counting stars." It's the toughest choice a person can make, whether to let love engulf them or let perfection take over. "Down this river every turn." Sounds like the decisions you make always winds up to your despair, to the decision. "I've been praying hard." Sounds like you have to decide, and you need guidance from God (I'm a Christian so don't judge me). But all the while, despair is hitting you hard, and the weight is crushing on you. But you can't decide.


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    Jan 23rd, 2014 1:55am report

    I too think its about being free. ...the lessons you learned...doing wrong....makes it feel right.....lately i've been losing sleep....from the lessons i've learned......no more dollars....let's count stars......great lyrics. .....have fun...no woo
    rries.......from the lessons i've learned.


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    Jan 22nd, 2014 1:10am report

    The thing about great songs is unspecific wording to allow the listener to interpret and apply these meanings to their own life whether for good or bad


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    Jan 19th, 2014 1:32pm report

    I believe that the truth behind this song is in correlation with Abraham and Genius 15.5 "counting stars". How he is waiting for the promise that god made onto us.


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    Jan 16th, 2014 1:45pm report

    He wants to be free from money and other things we promote in society. Nothing about being rich or drugs or taking down the government.
    "Take that money/ watch it burn/sink in the river/the lessons I learned" he does not want money he wants to be free.
    "No more counting dollars we'll be counting stars" he wants to follow his dreams.
    "Feel something so wrong doing the right thing" I think he means "right thing", ideas we promote in society. He would rather be poor and happy than rich and not.
    "We'll be counting" says he is trying to convince someone to also just follow their dreams. Maybe a lover or possibly us, the listeners. But I think it is a positive song.


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    Jan 13th, 2014 1:00pm report

    part of me thinks that hes telling people to stop going by what religion and society thinks im no athiest i believe in God but what ever happened to the lost books of the bible..how come Gods name was removed from the bible..how come there is no J in the hebrew language so jesus wasnt a hebrew then...by letting go of religion you can free yourself to see what it for what it really is stop living and burning your money in churches also known as (circe)


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    Dec 23rd, 2013 12:06pm report

    Seems religious.
    Ever seen the movie "You Can't Take it With You" ?
    A depression era classic.
    Life isn't about money.
    It's about what we can do in life, what we have been given.


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    Dec 22nd, 2013 12:25pm report

    It's saying forget the money [make that money, watch it burn] and see what the society is saying, because if you're obsessed with money, you aren't that great [young, but im not that bold].


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    Dec 22nd, 2013 12:19am report

    This song is about Fight Club. If you don't believe me, I've taken the song and managed to connect it to the movie (and since the movie possess many of the themes talked about here that was quite easy).

    "Lately, I've been, I've been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be"
    The narrator (Edward Norton) is clearly losing sleep dreaming about what his club could become.

    "But baby, I've been, I've been praying hard,
    Said no more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars"
    He is sick of society telling him to earn a living, working at a crappy job to simply buy stupid crap he doesn't need. He'd rather be knocked out and counting stars (you know in cartoons when a character gets hit on the head and stars start swirling around them. That's what I mean) by fighting then wasting his life.

    "I see this life, like a swinging vine, swing my heart across the line"
    This line is saying that he sees life like a potential thrill ride, and he wants to swing on it as much as possible. The swing my heart across the line is saying that he doesn't care if he steps out of line, it's part of the fun.

    "In my face is flashing signs, seek them out and you shall find"
    This could mean that it's clear he's been in a fight from all the blood and wounds on his face,
    It could mean that he's clearly done something exhilarating because he's flashing signs such as smiling and such.

    "Old, but I'm not that old, young, but I'm not that bold"
    This might be saying that he hasn't doesn't done much in his life, or he isn't that bold. It might be in here because he wants to make an impact on the world in some way.

    "I don't think the world is sold, I'm just doing what we're told"
    I think this is him thinking that the world doesn't really know what to do, where it's going. So he might be sick if this fact, and sick of following orders from others trying to advance a society with no purpose, no meaning. That is probably what drive him to make the Fight Club, sick of being in a pointless society with no freedoms.

    "I feel something so right, by doing the wrong thing,
    And I feel something so wrong by doing the right thing"
    He feels something right by breaking the set rules of society, and feels stripped of his freedoms and himself doing what society perceives the right thing to do.

    "I could lie, could lie, could lie"
    He is sick of faking himself. From destroying what he is and covering it up with what you see. He is sick of lying to the world about what he thinks is right, and lying to himself about who he is.

    "But everything that kills me makes me feel alive"
    Literally, getting his ass handed to him in the movie seems to be exhilarating to him. The fact that he accepted the truth about himself, rather than the lie, has made him feel alive.

    [I will skip the parts I have already done to avoid repeating myself]

    "I feel the love, and I feel it burn, down this river, every turn"
    He has a love for breaking the rules, feeling alive, being free. Like a fire that keeps burning brighter and bright (providing it isn't a contained one that will eventually burn itself out)
    The river refers to life, and he wants to be completely free. He has set himself free from societies chains, but he is still in it's cage.

    "Hope is a four letter word"
    I think he has hopes for what he is doing and that it will succeed.

    "Take that money, watch it burn"
    He wants ignore what he has been raised to be. To forget about what society has taught him and let freedom ring. To take what's left of society and watch it burn. To simply forget about all of the things society has made looks important and worth fighting for, in this case money, and experience happiness.

    [Skipping ahead again]

    "Take that money, watch it burn,
    Sink into the river of the lessons I learned"
    This is about letting go of society and burning it, and then thinking about it, or sinking into a river of the lessons you'ved learned. Reflecting on what you've done, how you'ved changed, what you'ved changed.

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