10 Great Metaphors from Popular 2000’s Songs

A metaphor is a figure of speech used to compare an object, an idea, a feeling or an action which are contrasting. Metaphors are helpful in enhancing the text, both prose, and poetry, to give more clarity and description. They also make any literary work interesting to read.

Most song lyrics are first written as poetry before composing the music which becomes a song. Songs with metaphors and various literary devices create a strong emotional impact on the listeners. Here are a few examples of metaphors in songs from the 2000s and later.

Happy by Pharrell Williams

I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

Here the singer compares himself and his positive nature to a hot air balloon. As the balloon uses hot air to rise up, the singer fuels his mind with happy thoughts and doesn’t worry about anything. ‘Hot air balloon’ can also be compared to lighter moments that cheer up anyone who is burdened with sad feelings.

Cinema by Benny Benassi ft. Gary Go

I could watch you for a lifetime
You’re my favorite movie
A thousand endings
You mean everything to me
You are a cinema
I could watch you forever
Action thriller
I could watch you forever

Here the artist is perhaps comparing his lover or a friend to a movie. This comparison also means that the writer/singer enjoys the company of that person just like we enjoy watching our favorite movie more than once. ‘Thousand endings’ in this stanza could mean that each day with the person we love is special.

Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey

Oh, that face makes me wanna party
He’s my sun, he makes me shine like diamonds

One of the most beautiful songs and also a soundtrack in The Great Gatsby film expresses the extreme love and joy the writer feels in the company of her love. She compares the person she loves to the sun to explain how his presence makes her shine which is another expression for being very happy.

Your Love is a Song by Switchfoot

Your love is a symphony
All around me
Running through me
Your love is a melody
Underneath me
Running to me

One of the meaningful and famous songs in both alternative pop and Christian song is filled with rich literary devices, especially metaphor. Here’s the singer compares a person’s love or God’s love with music. Music is also known as food for the soul. Hence ‘Your love is symphony’ and ‘Your love is a melody’ means the person he loves is an important part of him and their presence brings him extreme joy and happiness.

Stir Fry by Migos

Life is Monopoly
go cop me some land and some property

This song consists of various comparisons. However here the songwriter has compared ‘life’ with one of the famous games – Monopoly. The comparison expresses a strong point that without financial stability or own house a person cannot earn respect in the society. It also means that people must work hard to make their life better.

Thinking Bout You by Frank Ocean

A tornado flew around my room before you came
excuse the mess it made, it usually doesn’t rain
In Southern California much like Arizona
My eyes don’t shed tears, but, boy, they pour

Here the singer compares his life with a room and a tornado to the problems or challenges he had faced in his life. These words also mean that the singer’s life was extremely destructive and without aim until he met the love of his life.

Life Is A Highway by Rascal Flatts

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
I wanna drive it all night long

In this song, the writers are comparing human life to a highway. A highway means a road that connects two towns or cities. These roads are specially built for traveling purpose, hence ‘life’ compared to a ‘highway’ means that we continue to live and connect with new people. However, the people we meet do not stay with us forever as we keep traveling further and gain new experiences throughout our lives.

Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet

Here the singer has expressed the level of his happiness by comparing it with the sunshine. Sunshine makes everything brighter and is the source of light. Hence, ‘sunshine in my pocket’ means the singer not only carries his happiness everywhere he goes but also shares it with the people he meets as mentioned in the next verse.

Roar by Katy Perry

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

This song consists of extended metaphor and as well as metaphors in most verses. However, in the above lines, the eye of the tiger means the singer has compared herself vision to the tiger who is a skilled hunter and can catch prey with ease. The roar also means courage, fighting against the odds and being bold.

Rewrite the Stars in The Greatest Showman movie

What if we rewrite the stars?
Say you were made to be mine
Nothing could keep us apart
You’d be the one I was meant to find
It’s up to you, and it’s up to me
No one can say what we get to be
So why don’t we rewrite the stars?
Maybe the world could be ours

Here the fate or destiny is compared to the stars. Most people also believe that their fate is written in the stars and all the events are predestined to happen as it is supposed to be. Hence ‘rewrite the stars’ means the characters in this film are challenging themselves to change their fate and prove the old belief wrong.