"Sunburn" as written by and Adam R. Young....
So there we were, back home
From somewhere inside my head
Well bravely I fought off the monsters beneath her bed
Pillars of post-war books supported my frame of mind
While she memorized the pages that I tried to not hide behind
She took my hand in hers and whispered her love for me
The lantern died that night but we didn't need to see
Implying that she's the bees knees and I am the cats meow
It's funny how she recalls when I can't remember now

But when her smile came back
And I didn't feel half as horrible
She gave me a heart attack
Just because she looked so adorable
We both put our sunblock on
Laid on the beach and vowed that we'd live and we'd learn
Yeah, but she got a tan and I got a sunburn

I got a sunburn

So there we were out there
Unaware of where we'd been
We kicked off our flip-flops
And swung from the rooftops again
It's awkward but I'll confess she's all I can think about
And it's funny how I recall when she can't remember now

But when her smile came back
And I didn't feel half as horrible
She gave me a heart attack
Just because she looked so adorable
We both put our sunblock on
Laid on the beach and vowed that we'd live and we'd learn
Yeah, But she got a tan and I got a sunburn

Oh afterglow, look out below!
We'd left a trail of dust behind
As we parted ways, she held my gaze,
And left an imprint on my mind
I tried not to cry as we said goodbye
And hung the clouds above my town
But I shed a tear when she disappeared
'Cause now I'm a stranger on the ground

But when her smile came back
And I didn't feel half as horrible
She gave me a heart attack
We both put our sunblock on
Laid on the beach and vowed that we'd live and we'd learn
But she got a tan and I got a sunburn

She got a tan and I got a sunburn
Yeah, but she got a tan and I got a sunburn


Lyrics submitted by LovelyMauve

"Sunburn" as written by Adam R. Young

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Sunburn song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentWhen I listen to this song, I get the impression that he has always been a recluse too afraid to get out and experience the world. Then he met her and she was full of joy and energy and brought him out of his shell. He had all of these insecurities about himself, but she loved him and he realized his fears didn't matter any more.

    I've read a lot of comments on here that portray this sad interpretation of the lyrics that are all about regret and missing the past and loss, but I really think this is a happy song rather than a sad or regretful one. I think it's about learning to love and finding out who he really is and what that means--That his mistakes don't define him because love doesn't see him the way he was. When you are loved, your story is retold through grace.

    So I think this song expresses what that feels like when he realizes that he is more than the sum of his faults. That his past does not define him and that love does not hold anything against him.
    pajamasamon November 26, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI Think I totally get it. Okay,In the beginning the girl confesses her love for him.

    "She took my hand in hers and whispered her love for me
    The lantern died that night but we didn't need to see
    Implying that she's the bees knees and I am the cat's meow
    It's funny how she recalls what I can't remember now"

    She tells him how she feels,and he is trying to remember how he felt when he loved her.

    Then later on, he breaks up with her.

    "But when her smile came back, and I didn't feel half as horrible
    She gave me a heart attack just because she looked so adorable
    We both put our sunblock on, laid on the beach and vowed that we'd live and we'd learn
    Yeah but she got a tan and I got a sunburn..."

    He feels bad then she comes back to him and he doesn't.

    He has now fallen back in love with her.

    "So there we were out there, unaware of where we've been
    We kicked off our flipflops and swum from the rooftops again
    It's awkward, but I'll confess she's all I can think about
    And it's funny how I recall, but she can't remember now"

    He's saying he can recall how it feels to be in love,but she is no longer in love with him anymore. And she can't remember how that feels to be in love with him.

    Later on she leaves him.

    And he is alone. And She's alright right and has learned about how life is. She has a Tan.
    And he is brokenhearted,and lonely he has a sun burn.

    That's just what I think. Tell me if I'm wrong.
    jphammmon December 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI think it's about just how life changes us.
    He talks about falling in love. how they 'start' life together and go through each day, but it was like time just flew by for them and they've been together for so long but it seems like they don't know where the time went (most days feel the same while you work.. so they all mesh together and seem like you've been doing nothing). Later on, all the little things she used to love and admire she forgets (probably because she focuses on her career and the realities of life), but he still remembers the dreams/fantasy/innocence.
    But the last bit is so sad... "But, she got a tan and I got a sunburn...
    She got a tan, and I got a sunburn" The sun being all the negative things in life. He got hurt (heartbreak, grief, loss and all that) and she became 'tainted' by everything and "got a tan" (she became accepting of the harshness of life... making her a darker, realistic and more accepting of all the evil in life). BUT that's just my opinion.
    I love this song nonetheless, it's just such a great beat and all the lyrics just flow. I can't believe so few people comment here T.T
    OWL CITY ROCKS >:DD

    SockNabberon January 12, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation"She got a tan but I got a sun burn" has something with the line
    "we vowed that we'd live and we'd learn"

    I think that they both had got something out of their sweet-turned-bitter relationship.
    While she got a tan which is more possitive, he otherwise got bitter and hard to forget scare like sunburn.
    Ultimately It is just like every social interaction. We did/engaged/learned the same thing but everyone has their own
    opinion about it and took things out differently.
    freud2on April 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis has a different and bittersweet meaning for me, based on my personal experiences. The guy I like and I are about three hours apart, though we spent a few months together earlier this year when it all started. My older brother also held a long distance relationship. Here's how I view this song because of this:

    So there we were, back home
    From somewhere inside my head

    When the long distance couple meets again, it's like coming home and the other half is no longer just a thought, but someone they can see.

    Well bravely I fought off the monsters beneath her bed
    Pillars of post-war books supported my frame of mind
    While she memorized the pages that I tried to not hide behind

    They're so excited to be back together that they'll do anything to help each other and are trying to get to know each other even better.

    She took my hand in hers and whispered her love for me
    The lantern died that night but we didn't need to see
    Implying that she's the bee's knees and I am the cat's meow

    They confess their love and don't even need to see each other to believe it, giving them hope for when they're apart and making them feel really good about themselves.

    It's funny how she recalls when I can't remember now

    When they're apart, they share different memories of time together.

    But when her smile came back
    And I didn't feel half as horrible
    She gave me a heart attack
    Just because she looked so adorable

    They meet each other again (her smile returning to the boy) and they both feel a lot better. She makes his heart go crazy because he realizes again just how beautiful or adorable she is.

    We both put our sunblock on
    Laid on the beach and vowed that we'd live and we'd learn
    Yeah, but she got a tan and I got a sunburn

    They try to protect themselves from the distance but she handles it better than he does.

    So there we were out there
    Unaware of where we'd been
    We kicked off our flip-flops
    And swung from the rooftops again

    When they're together, they forget the time apart and enjoy each other's company doing some fun stuff together.

    It's awkward but I'll confess she's all I can think about
    And it's funny how I recall when she can't remember now

    When they're apart (sorry for flipping back and forth so much!) she's all the guy can think about and, again, the sharing memories.

    Oh afterglow, look out below!
    We'd left a trail of dust behind

    This talks about all the memories of the time they get to be together and how they cherish it, but all of it is fading and they want to see each other again.

    As we parted ways, she held my gaze,
    And left an imprint on my mind
    I tried not to cry as we said goodbye
    And hung the clouds above my town

    This one's more from my personal experience. When I said goodbye to him, we couldn't stop looking at each other and it was hard to ignore the emotion.

    But I shed a tear when she disappeared
    'Cause now I'm a stranger on the ground

    This means that he really misses her and feels alone without her.

    That's just my interpretation. Not entirely bad. The meanings of different things tend to be subjective, dictated by the experience of the person thinking about it.
    JuliaEllenon December 06, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI adoreee this song.

    I think it's about a man who helps a woman get through a rough patch in her life, but afterwards she ends up leaving him.
    thallieon December 09, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow... =] I ell ooh vee ee it!!! Maybe the reason no one has commented is because very few know about this song as in the true fans of Owl City ;D
    I feel soo special =]
    owlcitysunhine17on January 10, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentawww owl city! very cute songs. his songs always make me happy :) i love this one and i think its about a relationship that didnt last something so sweet and innocent that you want to hold on to but people change as time ggoes by and take different paths. he was still holding on hoping so he got the sunburn, he was hurt more. She got the tan cause she accepted it and realized that its the reality of life just moving on. kinda sad but sweet :) <3 owl city
    ReflectionInYourEyes08on January 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song so much. Too bad it's so quiet on my iPod so I have trouble hearing it >.<
    PersonalVioliniston February 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningHmm . . .this is a long shot but:

    First it's the normal story of falling in love. He's kind of a shy, forgetful boy, and she's just a sweet, sweet girl. Eventually they get married and in their old age, she gets alzhiemers, forgetting almost everything. And and the end she dies. And he's a stranger on the ground.

    Meh. ::\
    mirkwood922on March 23, 2010   Link

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