Album: Teenage Dream
Katy Perry wants people to believe in themselves in the lucent “Firework.”
Glinting synths open the single, setting a sparkling tone. She eats her sandwich. As she wipes her mouth a napkin, she notices a young girl sitting on the bench. She’s by herself. The other guys and girls her age around her, carrying on their own conversations. Perry thinks the girl must be feeling awful about herself. None of them would care if the girl started crying. They would laugh at her. Perry wants to go over there and comfort her, telling her it won’t be like this forever. (“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag/Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?/Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin/Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?/Do you ever feel already buried deep?/Six feet under screams, but no one seems to hear a thing/Do you know that there's still a chance for you?/'Cause there's a spark in you.”)
In the pre-chorus, she hopes the young girl discovers she’s a valuable person. She has a beautiful personality other people should see, too. (“You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine/Just own the night like the Fourth of July.”)
In the chorus, the young girl will amaze people one day with who she is. People will wonder why they didn’t get know her sooner. She would like to know how in 10 years, if the girl would be comfortable with herself. (“'Cause baby, you're a firework/Come on, show 'em what you're worth/Make 'em go "Ah, ah, ah!"/As you shoot across the sky/Baby, you're a firework/Come on, let your colors burst/Make 'em go "Ah, ah, ah!"/You're gonna leave 'em all in awe, awe, awe.”)
She spots a guy around her age who averts his eyes as she walks by. She smiles back at him, but he doesn’t look at her. She hopes one day the guy will find the courage to talk to an attractive woman. He’ll see all the rejection he faced was not a reflection of who he is. He has to take a chance. (“You don't have to feel like a waste of space/You're original, cannot be replaced/If you only knew what the future holds/After a hurricane, comes a rainbow/Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed/So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road/Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow/And when it's time you know.”)
The pre-chorus and chorus are sung again.
In the bridge, she thinks people aren’t even aware of they what are capable of doing. (“Boom, boom, boom/Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon/It's always been inside of you, you, you/And now it's time to let it through.”)
The chorus is sung again.
A variation of the bridge is sung to end the single. (“Boom, boom, boom/Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon/Boom, boom, boom/Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon.”)
Perry thinks people shouldn’t be afraid to expect better of themselves. Wanting more isn’t something to be ashamed of. It’s something that can be achieved. All they have to do is take the first step.
The beaming “Firework,” while many of self-esteem songs released in 2010, has a heart and seems to actually care.