"Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)" as written by and Michael Stroud Evan Mast....
Crush a bit, little bit
Roll it up, take a hit
Feeling lit, feeling right
2 A-M, summer night, I don't care
Hand on the wheel
Driving drunk I'm doing my thang
Rolling in the midwest side now
Living my life, getting our dreams
People told me slow my roll
I'm screaming out fuck that
I'm a do just what I want
Looking ahead no turning back
If I fall if I die
Know I lived it to the fullest
If I fall if I die
Know I lived and missed some bullets

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know
Everything that's shine ain't always gonna be gold (hey)
I'll be fine once I get it, get it in, I'll be good

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know
Everything that's shine ain't always gonna be gold (hey)
I'll be fine once I get it, get it in, I'll be good

Tell me what you know about dreamin' (dreamin')
You ain't really know bout nothin' (nothin')
Tell me what you know about the night terrors every night
5 A-M cold sweats, waking up to the sky
Tell me what you know about dreams (dreams)
Tell me what you know about night terrors nothin'
You don't really care about the trials of tomorrow
Rather lay awake in the bed full of sorrow

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know
Everything that's shine ain't always gonna be gold (hey)
I'll be fine once I get it, get it in, I'll be good

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know
Everything that's shine ain't always gonna be gold (hey)
I'll be fine once I get it, get it in, I'll be good

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know
Everything that's shine ain't always gonna be gold (hey)
I'll be fine once I get it, get it in, I'll be good

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know
Everything that's shine ain't always gonna be gold (hey)
I'll be fine once I get it, get it in, I'll be good

I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know
Everything that's shine ain't always gonna be gold (hey)
I'll be fine once I get it, get it in, I'll be good

Pursuit of happiness
Yeah, I'm a get it, I'll be, good
Ugh
Oh man
Oh alright
Oh, room is spinning, room is spinning
Pat, Zule, where, oh fuck
Oh my God
Why did I drink so much and smoke so much oh


Lyrics submitted by mranderson

"Pursuit of Happiness [Nightmare]" as written by Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi Evan Peter Mast

Lyrics © DOMINO PUBLISHING COMPANY

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Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare) (feat. MGMT & Ratatat) song meanings
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99 Comments

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  • +8
    Song MeaningI feel like most people are missing the actual point of this song. Have you seen the video? It's not an uplifting anthem. This is a fairly dark, depressing song despite the title. Basically, the whole song is about a person feeling empty and doing self-destructive things to try to feel the void, hence the "driving drunk," and "crush a bit, roll a bit" referring to drugs, obviously. There are other clues to the dark place the person singing this song is in, specifically the whole verse referring to nightmares and waking up in cold sweats. Basically, the drugs and alcohol can only help him fake happiness for so long before he wakes up in dark place all over again. The most important song is the chorus, however. "I'm in the pursuit of happiness and I know that everything that shines won't always be gold. I'll be fine once I get it. I'll be good." This is a person in denial, trying to kid himself that if they can just find that one "good" thing, all their problems and unhappiness will go away. The person of this song is not fine, but wants desperately to cling to the idea that if he can just find that one thing to fill the void, he can truly be happy. But at least a part of him knows that's not very realistic, saying "I know everything that shines ain't always going to be gold." Drinking, drugs, and being reckless (refusing to slow your roll) can look shiny and appealing, esp. when you are so depressed and desperate to be happy, but they come at a big cost, i.e. the nightmares, 5 AM cold sweats, and knowing that you haven't managed to find happiness. This song is definitely not glorifying drunk driving and drug use. Just the opposite in fact.
    sarahisdreamingofon April 10, 2012   Link
  • +7
    General CommentHere we go!
    Keep in mind ratatat and MGMT are involved in this song. This song is addressing something that is going on with my generation specifically in the Midwest. I can relate so much to this lyrics over the past 3 years of my life it’s scary. Its starts with him “feelin lit, feelin right” at, “2 am [on a] summer night” driving drunk but he doesn’t care because he’s getting to experience all the things hes been wanting to and can now that he’s older(I live in Illinois and have made this drive to and from a party to many times).
    He’s on the pursuit of happiness and thinks partying is the gateway. At first no one could make him think otherwise. As the song progresses he becomes progressively unsure until finally he realizes it’s not the answer.
    “I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold, hey
    I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be good”
    “Imma do just what I want, lookin ahead no turnin back If I fall, if I die, know I lived it to the fullest If I fall, if I die, know I lived and missed some bullets”
    That’s his reasoning to continue the life style. When he’s talking about, “night terrors” and “5 am cold sweats waking up to the skies” I think he’s referring to drug and alcohol abuse. I think “You don't really care about the trials of tomorrow Rather lay awake in a path full of sorrow” he is being introspective about how he’s living life.
    Then he takes a step back “Pursuit of happiness, yeah I don’t get it, [but] Ill [still] be good” but is still stuck in the cycle. I feel like I’m at the end of this song over the last 3 years.
    I said to keep MGMT and RATATAT in mind because if you have ever been to a festival this attitude that happiness can be found this way is a very large issue.

    AMDdeckeron October 02, 2009   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationTo me, the song is essentially showing the dark side of "pursuing happiness" through the means of alcohol, drugs, etc. The song is showing how much he is craving living life to the fullest, whether it's by drinking, doing drugs, whatever---he is going to pursue pleasure and fun at any cost. Instead of presenting a happy ending to this way of life, the song takes a sharp turn, where he talks about night terrors, cold sweats and ends with him passing out and falling down, regretting drinking and smoking so much. In a dark way, the song is showing that this lifestyle is in reality more of a nightmare --- hence the name "Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)". MGMT has had similar themes in their songs, most notably "Time to Pretend", where they begin the verse by reciting their desire to live life to the fullest, by doing drugs, f***ing with stars, getting models for wives, driving fast cars, etc. The song takes a sharp turn, and talks about the perils of this lifestyle and what he loses as a result---his friends, his family, love, innonence, etc. The song ends with them getting divorced and chocking to death on their own vomit. The theme, while dark, is a powerful one. The fast life isn't as glamorous as it appears, and instead of acheiving happiness most end up living a nightmare.
    jrm25tton February 19, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI personally think this is a great song. It hits home pretty good for me cuz I am a recovering heroin addict. Using drugs is truly a pursuit of happiness. Thats all your looking for, the best high which is the greatest happiness. When your not on the drug you lay away in your bed with cold and hot sweats all night living a nightmare of withdrawl symptoms till the next time you get high. I feel like this song really captures how an addicts life it. You dont really care about the trails of tomorrow while your high, you will be fine once you get it, and thats happiness. Heroin shines but it should not be gold, white or brown, it is gold to an addict. Thats my opinion dont jump all over my back cuz i say its about drugs. I just feel like it is.
    jwilson924on February 21, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti made an account to comment on this video. and i don't mean to sound like a dick, but just hear me out. all the people saying this is about doing whatever you want no matter what the consequences are as misguided as the person Cudi is trying to portray in this video is.

    in my opinion, his character is telling himself that excessive partying with alcohol, driving drunk, smoking pot and having sex with tons of women is okay because "he's having a good time", "hell be good" and all that stuff. he's just using all of those things to mask his real problems, and perhaps he believes that doing all of those things will eventually lead him to happiness.

    i think the end of the video shows that once the good time and party is gone and you're just drunk and stumbling around, you begin to realize that this isn't what you want and this isn't what makes you happy. but all of those destructive behaviors are a vicious cycle.

    i've been there and i'm sure most people on this forum have too. great song. dudes awesome.
    imonthepursuitofhappinesson December 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationi think its about drugs too. in the beginning he talks about taking a hit, which is taking drugs. Then in the second verse he talks about night terrors:

    'Tell me what you know about them night terrors every night
    5 am cold sweats wakin' up to the skies'

    That could be him coming down from drugs and having cold sweats and night terrors from the withdrawl. he then goes on to say:

    'Tell me what you know about night terrors, nothin'

    Which is his explanation that we dont know what its like during his withdrawls, so thats why he keeps taking drugs, so he doesnt have to experience them.

    Also it sounds like he says that he'd rather lay awake in the BATH full of sorrow, not on the path full of sorrow :S. but that is probably just me hearing it wrong lol
    andoooon December 31, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentShit might not be perfect, but pursuing happiness is what you gotta do!
    gmags2003on September 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's about just doing what makes you happy regardless of what other people think. he says "if i fall, if i die, know i lived it to the fullest" meaning that he doesn't care if his lifestyle is reckless or dangerous because he'd rather die happy than live miserable. and he tells people who doubt him that they don't know about dreaming or having nightmares, meaning that they don't understand the hardships he's been through or the hope that he has for a better life. they can't relate to him at all o they're in no position to judge him.
    castor11on September 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI think its funny that everyone is getting some inspirational meaning from this song. Heres what it really means since nobody has even come close.

    What you need to understand is that the "pursuit," [b]is[/b] doing drugs, weed, alcohol, other substances, etc. The song is quite simply about getting fucked up and thats what makes him happy. So the process of getting fucked up whether that be drinking, smoking, whatever is the "pursuit of happiness." Crush a bit

    He doesnt, get better towards the end or leave you on a positive note. Hes throwing up at the end asking why he drank so much. Hell the entire album is fairly dark.

    Read this again below with this in mind. Hes talking about what he is [b]CURRENTLY[/b] doing. Hes has crushed a bit, rolled it and smoking it, hes fucked up and "on the pursuit." And, "he'll be fine" once he gets his high.

    Crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit
    Feelin lit, feelin right, 2 am summer night
    I don't care, hand on the wheel, drivin drunk, I'm doin my thing
    Rollin the Midwest side and out livin my life gettin out dreams
    People told me slow my road. I'm screaming out fuck that
    Imma do just what I want, lookin ahead no turnin back
    If I fall, if I die, know I lived it to the fullest
    If I fall, if I die, know I lived and missed some bullets

    I'm on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain't always gonna be gold, hey
    I'll be fine once I get it, I'll be good
    Gary03mwon October 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe beat of this song hit me like water balloons in the face the first time I heard it. (i was extremely high)
    TheeNinja35on January 26, 2010   Link

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