Why “Ribs” is an Anthem for Millennials

Lorde-Ribs blog


Her name is just as mysterious as she is. You probably have seen her winning a couple of Grammys for Best Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. And by the way, she’s only an 18-year-old from New Zealand.

Besides the fact that Lorde’s become a chart-topper with “Royals” and “Team” off her debut album “Pure Heroine”, her songs remain true to voicing her humble beginnings. Many millennials (18-34 year olds) have connected to her music through her messages of being down-to-earth and afraid of the future.

One of her songs, “Ribs”, has an electropop feel that’s ever present in today’s music scene. The song’s lyrics are repetitive in voicing the thought of growing old, a realistic fact many young people are scared to face.

So why is “Ribs” the anthem for millennials?

1) The song emphasizes the thought of aging to the point where you wonder why you ever wanted to grow up so fast.

 In the first verse of the song, Lorde talks about her mother and father by saying, “My mum and dad let me stay home, it drives you crazy, getting old.”

 About half of millennials continue to live with their parents after high school and/or during college. According to the Washington Post, 50% of guys and 44% of gals ages 19-24-years-old are dorming with their parents (Settersen, 2014). The media have blown this statistic out of proportion because although half of millennials live at home, they continue to spend their hard-earned money whether they live at home or have moved out. This number has been on the decline recently with the economy bouncing back.

Lorde directly states, “It feels so scary getting old,” a couple times throughout the song. During this same verse, she talks about how “This dream isn’t feeling sweet,” and “I’ve never felt more alone.”

We are a go-getter generation. “This dream” refers to the millennials who are looking for that dream job fresh upon graduation. The reality of that situation is very slim, but not impossible. The latter often find themselves getting their masters or working at a job they really don’t care for. It’s a scary thought many young people are worried will be the result in their hard-earned efforts.

2) Millennials are “90’s kids” and love reminiscing on their childhood.

Born in 1996, Lorde is on the cusp of what it was like to grow up watching The Big Comfy Couch and forgetting to feed your Tamagotchi so it died.

Nonetheless, millennials wish we could go back to those “simpler” days when being a kid didn’t involve playing with dirt rather than an iPad.

Lorde alludes to this in her lyrics, “I want them back, the minds we had, how all the thoughts, moved ’round our heads.”

 After puberty hits, many people feel the loss of innocence ever-present in their childhood often taken for granted. This was an age where imagination overruled reality. This makes sense as to why I’ve heard the phrase, “What were we thinking when we couldn’t wait to grow up?” way too often.

The song ends with, “You’re the only friend I need, sharing beds like little kids, and laughing ’til our ribs get tough, but that will never be enough.”

Many millennials want to hold onto their youth because it’s treasured as one of the best times of their life. This may be the cause for why many young adults are delaying marriage, having families, and so forth. It seems as if any age after 40 is considered “all downhill from here.”

You should enjoy your younger years by pursuing your goals and ambitions during a time when there is less responsibility. You will never be able to go back to your childhood, but you can always engage in ways to maintain your youthfulness (and I’m not talking about Botox here.)

Don’t worry about getting old. It’s another stage of life. Enjoy whatever age you are and will be. We can’t stay young forever.

What songs do you think connect to this generation?



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