"All Star" by Smash Mouth is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best song ever written for the best movie ever made, and if you think I'm exaggerating, well, that's ok. Something about the lyrics mixed with the melody mixed with the guitar mixed with the drums mixed with bass mixed with the record scratch noises makes for a song that is hard to deny. What makes the song even better is the music video, which has been parodied so many times that it is literally legendary. In my opinion, this song, instead of "Smells Like Teen Spirit", is the official anthem of both 1990's and early 2000's. They even used cheerleaders in their music video, just like Nirvana did ironically. Jon Sudano is officially the king of the "All Star" meme, and it is good to know that it's in such good hands:
I will now commence in doing a line by line analysis of the lyrics:
"Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me" – The beginning line of the song tells the listener about a person telling him that the world is going to "roll" him, possibly referencing Bob Dylan's song "Like A Rolling Stone".
"I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed" – This is either saying that he himself thinks that he isn't smart, or the person from the last line doesn't think he's very smart.
"She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb, In the shape of an "L" on her forehead" – This line tells the listener that the person talked about in the previous lines is possibly a woman, and she looks unintelligent by putting her hand in the shape of an "L", symbolizing loser, to show to the person, possibly Bob Dylan, that she doesn't care what he thinks.
"Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming, Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running" – This is a declaration of how time flies and eventually you have to start moving forward, even if it takes playing catch up by metaphorically "hitting the ground running".
"Didn't make sense not to live for fun, Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb" – It is obvious now that being dumb is an insecurity of the narrator, and that by not living for fun, you are wasting your time, even if your "brain gets smart".
"So much to do, so much to see, So what's wrong with taking the back streets?" – There is so much to see in life that its almost a waste to not see it, even if takes going through the "back streets".
"You'll never know if you don't go, You'll never shine if you don't glow" – In a way, the narrator is saying that you can't understand something unless you actually go out and see it for yourself. He, or she, then states that you can't shine without glowing first, possibly referencing the effects of radioactivity, which could possibly be emitted from the "All Star" in question.
"Hey, now, you're an All Star, get your game on, go play" – The chorus is pretty straight forward. It is simply saying that its time to make a move towards the life that you want, even if if it takes playing the games that we are unfortunately required to play through various seasons of life. The narrator is, by saying that "you're an All Star", giving you the message that you can be the "All Star" that you want to be, even when other people doubt you.
"Hey, now, you're a Rock Star, get the show on, get paid" – Once again, I see a reference again to rockstars, specifically Kurt Cobain because of when this song came out, essentially showing that even when you get what you always wanted, it becomes tedious like work, where you essentially just "get paid".
"And all that glitters is gold, Only shooting stars break the mold" – The lyrics in this song stand up to any of the "songs of a generation" songs, like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or the song I referenced earlier, "Like A Rolling Stone", because of the self-depreciating lyrics saying that they can't be the "shooting star", while at the same time being the "shooting star" by making such a loved song.
"It's a cool place and they say it gets colder, You're bundled up now wait 'til you get older" – Just like with the previous verse, there is an unknown person telling the narrator/character that the world is a cold place, and it only gets worse with age, while at the same time contrasting "cool place" with "cold place", the first with a positive connotation, the second with a negative connotation.
"But the meteor men beg to differ, Judging by the hole in the satellite picture" – This line is kind of confusing, but I think what it is saying is that the experienced "meteor men" see a different picture that the unknown "they", which always look at the world as a "cold place". The possible "hole in the satellite picture" could in fact be coming from the burning hot "All Star", which is what is seen by the "meteor men".
"The ice we skate is getting pretty thin, The water's getting warm so you might as well swim" – Once again, the narrator/character is referencing the heating up of the "cold place" that the "they" was so worried about, by making another metaphor about walking closer and closer to the edge, while at the same time talking about "warm" water, possibly a reference to the metaphor of "being in hot water".
"My world's on fire. How about yours?, That's the way I like it and I'll never get bored." – The narrator/character's world is now the complete opposite of cold, being "on fire", and he/she asks us if our world, or the "they" in question's world, is "on fire" as well. Finally, there is a declaration of enjoying living on the edge, where the world is always "on fire" and it is impossible to be bored by living this way.
"Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas, I need to get myself away from this place" – This time, the somebody is asking for help, the complete opposite of telling the person that the world was going to "roll" them. The somebody now wants to get away from the life they thought they once had. Another possible meaning could be the reference to gas, being that the person in question is an "All Star".
"I said yep, what a concept, I could use a little fuel myself, And we could all use a little change" – This is the last original line in the song, so whatever else is going to be said is right here. The narrator/character is agreeing with the somebody about needing "fuel" (another "All Star" reference), and ends the line with a perfect double entendre on the word "change", which at first meant money, but it now means the concept of not staying the same. This goes in with what was being argued the whole song about not wanting to live a boring life, and enjoying living on the edge and having fun while we still can.
Well, thats it. The legendary song itself analyzed by the one and only yannistalebeats. I think what can be taken away from this analysis is the idea of not letting others bring you down and living life to fullest, which I think everyone can agree with. Other than "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley, I would argue that "All Star" is the current official anthem of the internet. It's such a perfectly written song, and in my opinion, it is much deeper than it seems at first when just listening to it for its face value. Thanks for reading, and as always, God Bless America.