“I Am My Own Muse” by Fall Out Boy

“I Am My Own Muse” features contributions from the London Metropolitan Orchestra. Actually, there are a number of other tracks from “So Much (for) Stardust”, the Fall Out Boy LP which was released on 24 March 2023, that they also participated on. 

But this is one of only a couple of such songs which have been pointed out for possessing “massive orchestral parts that feel cinematic”. And in that regard, Patrick Stump acknowledged that this track was influenced by the works of Danny Elfman, who scored the 1989 film Batman, as well as the late Prince, who was responsible for the movie’s actual soundtrack. In doing so, Patrick cited the music from that particular flick as the primary reason he decided to become a musician.

Besides Stump, the frontman of Fall Out Boy, his bandmates are also credited as authors of this song. So we have the list of writing credits looking like this:

  • Patrick Stump
  • Andy Hurley
  • Pete Wentz
  • Joe Trohman

“I Am My Own Muse” was subsequently produced by Neal Avron, who worked heavily with the band back during the aughts. Additionally, the labels behind this outing are DCD2 and Fueled by Ramen, the latter of whom also recently reunited with Fall Out Boy after some years.

What exactly is going on here?

A muse, as commonly understood, is a person who serves as the inspiration for an artist’s endeavors. 

Sometimes, said individual may inspire a particular work. For instance, we commonly come across songs where the muse behind it would be the singer/songwriter’s wife. But other times, an artist’s entire career may be motivated by such a person they admire. And so is the case, in a manner of speaking, with the lyrics we are met with here.

More to the point, as indicated by the title, the singer being his own muse. First of all, that expression is never overtly emitted in the lyrics. And secondly, as inferred this is not a case of the singer having always been his own muse. Instead, it would appear that the addressee is someone who has some type of beef. 

It is their quarrel – or whatever is going on between them – which has caused the singer to assert, once again in the title, that he has now become his own source of inspiration.

When you look at it from a certain angle, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to postulate that Patrick may be referring to his relationship with his bandmates. 

“Smash all the guitars
‘Til we see all the stars
Oh, got to throw this year away, we got to throw this year away like
A bad luck charm
Smash all the guitars
‘Til we see all the stars
Oh, got to throw this year away, we got to throw this year away like
A bad luck charm”

One can further go out on a limb by theorizing that the vocalist and addressee are both musicians, part of the same group, and earlier on were able to see eye-to-eye, having a relationship that strengthened both of them in their endeavors.

But now, the singer has become ‘his own muse’. That is to say he is no longer inspired by admiration for the addressee. Rather this person stabbing him in the back – and apparently vice versa as implied in the bridge – has caused the vocalist to now look inside himself for encouragement. 

Their relationship no longer has the same uplifting quality as it did in times past. It appears that now the opposite has become true, to the point that Patrick has to conscientiously look for a way to “keep it together”.

To note, Fall Out Boy did break up for a while about a decade ago. But actually concluding that this song speaks to discontent within the band would be stretching things, unless we’re notified otherwise. After all, Patrick Stump and co. are in fact musicians. So it wouldn’t be unusual for them to use terminology related to their profession, such as “smash(ing) all the guitars”, to get a broader point across.

And that broader point would be that the vocalist has become disillusioned concerning his relationship with the addressee. “This year” in particular has been especially troublesome as far as their association goes. 

So now, once again as implied in the title especially, the narrator is compelled to look into his own soul for inspiration to keep things moving forward, rather than focusing on what his relationship with the addressee has devolved into.

I Am My Own Muse

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