I’ve been a student and critic of music lyrics in popular music all of my life. As a young person, I composed music and set off for college, planning to become a songwriter. Although I redirected myself to educate rather than write songs for a living, I continue to listen critically to lyrics and find meaning in them. For this reason, I sometimes use music in my coaching to help people feel understood and write new stories for themselves.

Firework meets us where we are. In the beginning, it asks if we ever feel thin, defeated, overwhelmed, or buried by our lives. As these feelings are part of the human experience at one point or another, the words can draw us in immediately.

What happens next is an encouraging and visionary anthem. Rather than the thin or weak person these feelings suggest, the words tell us we are so much more than our moment.

Instead, we are powerful.

We are spectacular.

We are inspiring and full of light, even if in the moment we do not see this in ourselves.

Taking this story further, in contrast to a firework that lives brightly for only a moment, burns out quickly and might afterward be forgotten, our own beauty, substance, and light can influence indefinitely and impact our lives, others around us, and the contributions we make in the world.