"Shine So Bright" as written by and Adam Teddy Thompson....
I wanna be a huge star
That hangs out in hotel bars
I wanna wake up at noon
In somebody else's room

I wanna shine so bright it hurts

I wanna be death bed thin
Never realize the state I'm in
With my head in the clouds
And be followed around by crowds

I wanna shine so bright it hurts
I wanna be high strung
Make people wonder what they've done
No one will talk back
Cause you'll never know
When it might snap

I wanna shine so bright it hurts
I wanna shine so bright it hurts
I wanna shine so bright it hurts


Lyrics submitted by spoonlike

"Shine So Bright" as written by Adam Teddy Thompson

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  • 0
    General CommentI heard Teddy Thompson do this song live in Central Park and it was great. It's an easy song to misinterpret, though. Some might see it only as a longing for fame and fortune, but its message obviously goes deeper than that to reveal the uglier side of fame.

    * * * *

    "I wanna be a huge star
    That hangs out in hotel bars"

    // These are just about the only lines that can be seen as positive or neutral about fame. Obviously the person narrating the song is referring to becoming famous enough so that s/he can just hang out anywhere and have people recognize him/her, and have them be drawn to him/her. //

    I wanna wake up at noon
    In somebody else's room

    // This is a more neutral reference to fame - the ability to sleep with anybody one wants to, without having any idea who they are (hence the anonymous "somebody else's room" rather than giving a specific person's name, or even a gender ... this song is meant to be all-inclusive). Waking up at noon suggests the life of a rock star - uncaring and disconnected from the "real world," but also suggests laziness and possibly the undue unfluence of drugs or alcohol. //

    I wanna shine so bright it hurts

    // This is probably the best line in the song, because it has two meanings. In one sense, he suggests that he wants to be such a big "star" that the "light" he creates will hurt people to look at him ... this suggests that he wants to be so famous that people will practically be blinded by his persona. However, as we see in the rest of the song, fame is not free from negativity. One can also read this as suggesting that he wants to be famous so badly that he is willing to things that will hurt himself, the way that famous people so often do (drinking, drugs, failed relationships, money problems, etc.). //

    I wanna be death bed thin
    Never realize the state I’m in
    With my head in the clouds
    And be followed around by crowds

    // Here he refers to the obviously unhealthy lifestyles that some of the "rich and famous" live - to be "deathbed thin" but without realizing it suggests that one simply cannot perceive that the things that one is doing are harmful. This line doesn't refer only to actually being thin, it refers to all of the things that famous people do which cause them to be unhealthy, even to the point of risking their own deaths. It is unclear whether this is being done in order to be famous (in the case of a rail-thin model or actress who thinks she has to be that way in order to be attractive) or whether it is merely a by-product of fame. Probably either interpretation is valid.

    "With my head in the clouds" could be a reference to drugs and alcohol, since people who are under the influence are often said to be "in a fog" and unable to perceive things as they normally would. It could also be a reference to the inability to perceive how things actually are for regular people (those who are not famous) since his fame has transformed him so completely that he cannot even remember what it was like to be "normal."

    "Followed around by crowds" suggests the obvious throngs that famous people attract, but in a very impersonal sense. Note that they're not "fans" or "friends" - they're just a "crowd." This is a very negative, but realistic, way to look at it. //

    //

    I wanna be high strung
    Make people wonder what they've done
    No one will talk back
    Cause you'll never know
    When it might snap

    // The lyrics don't properly capture the way Teddy sings the first line of this verse, drawing out the word "high", almost certainly to highight the association between drugs and alcohol and fame. However, on a purely textual level, these lines suggest a person who is getting closer and closer to the edge. S/he is snapping at people, making them "wonder what they've done" to deserve the star's wrath. This suggests that the star doesn't even know his/her friends anymore. In fact, the "snap" suggests more than just a person snapping vocally - it implies that the star is on the verge of "snapping" mentally as well, from the substance abuse, and the stress s/he has put on his/her body and mind. //

    This song is very melancholy, but it provides an interesting counterpoint to many of today's songs which promote a lifestyle of fame-at-all-costs.
    MatCon June 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, it sounds a bit radiohead. Thanks for the breakdown Mat, that was great.
    pennycrayolaon November 23, 2007   Link

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