Lyrical Life Lessons: What We Can All Learn From “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons Katie Patton

Upon first listen, I thought “It’s Time” was just the next catchy tune, soon to find itself blasting from my iPhone on repeat; finally something to replace “Call Me Maybe.” What I didn’t realize is that the lyrics would soon become the newest source of twenty-something life inspiration. I’ll admit, my introduction to the song was through the premiere of Glee a few weeks back, which means there is a significant (absolutely certain) chance that Darren Criss’ performance of this Indie hit distracted slightly from the lyrical meaning upon first listen. Make no mistake however, “It’s Time” has indeed been playing on repeat since it’s national television debut and the words, poetically written by Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds, have definitely tugged at the heart strings. The meaning behind this very personal melody may not be easily deciphered but I have absolutely found it to have a great deal of meaning in relation to life as a twenty-something. That’s what good music is all about anyway, right? Don’t act like “Call Me Maybe” didn’t strike a cord with all of us…some of you probably took that next step and actually, maybe called someone. Okay, seriously though, here is how Imagine Dragons is speaking right to our 20-something souls:

Reynolds himself has admitted to writing this song during a transitional period in his life and career, which pinpoints exactly why we easily feel a connection to the words. As twenty-something’s we know all about transition; at times it feels like we exist in the “in between.” At some point though we face the music, begin to understand that we can’t live in transition forever. But, where do we go from there? How do we act on what we now understand? Apparently, Reynolds wondered the same thing and then sang about it.

The beauty of “It’s Time” is that while you’re top down, singing loud, you also start to feel a connection, like there is someone else who is at the beginning of an end, almost ready to start again; as if you aren’t the only one that has tired of the unknown. Each of us begins to understand what it means to be “spent,” in dire need of a direction and to become painfully aware that the only way to get where we are going is by building up from the bottom. The lyrics we love reaffirm the fact that, in a world of instant gratification and reality television, the only real way to the top, is by going straight up without looking back.

We are all on our own unique paths but to get where we want to go, we actually have to decide to go. That doesn’t mean it will be easy- another reason most of us will find ourselves proclaiming this Dan Reynolds original to be our new theme song. The words “the path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell right to the top,” remind us that success isn’t meant to be an overnight process. Growing into who we are supposed to be, living the life that was meant for us, is serious business that we must commit to. We may have found our direction, come out of the “in between” but that is just the beginning; the rest won’t simply be given to us. There are times we are worried we will let people down, let ourselves down; times when we don’t want to leave home, move up and on to strange cities and towns; times we may be challenged to be something we are not. Let us all remember that all that crazy mess of emotion is normal and there will still come a time through it all to begin again. When that time comes, turn on “It’s Time,” prepare to build up from the very bottom and know three things- it won’t be easy and that’s okay; there is no need to look back; and you never need to change who you are.

Apologies to Dan Reynolds if I have totally butchered the meaning of your song, but feel good about the fact that I am nominating it for the new anthem of twenty-something’s everywhere. You have connected with us and, again, proved that we can learn everything we need to know about life through a good song. So, thank you Mr. Reynolds, Imagine Dragons and, as always, Darren Criss, for throwing us a little love, reminding us that it’s time to begin, isn’t it? I’m never changing who I am.

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  1. Thanks for reading ladies and for all your comments…they are so great and encouraging! Always love to hear your thoughts!

  2. I don’t think you butchered the meaning at all. If “books belong to their readers” then songs belong to their listeners.

  3. I am a huge Imagin Dragons fan and I totally agree with you, this should totally be the anthem for twenty-somethings everywhere!

  4. I love this song because of everything you said. Reminding myself that I have a ways to go to get where I want to be, but I’ll get there despite everything. And I love the Darren Criss love. :)

  5. Well, I just found a great new artist to listen to! Thanks for the article, it really is great to know that I’m not the only one struggling, confused, direction-less, (and broke.) It will be alright in the end, though …

    • So glad the article helped you discover them- they are pretty great! And OF COURSE you aren’t alone- I feel a little lost on a daily basis;) We all do before we figure it all out!

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