Lifehouse’s “Hanging by a Moment” Lyrics Meaning
Having previously covered another Lifehouse song entitled “Everything” (2000), we noted how said tune treads the line between being religious and secular (i.e. romantic). We have since discovered that prior to going mainstream pop, Lifehouse was actually a Christian band.
So that would explain why songs such as the aforementioned as well as this one we’re covering today, which was derived from the same album, have that spiritual feel to them. Or put differently, they read a lot like Christian songs but do not possess any proper nouns pointing to religion, thus leaving tracks such as “Hanging by a Moment” more open to interpretation.
But in this case, we would have to say the musical piece is decisively romantic. And that conclusion is based on only one line really, the beginning of the chorus where the vocalist tells the addressee that he is “falling even more in love” with her.
In other words, that is not the type of terminology one would relay to, say the spiritual being whom they worship. Nor is it the type that would generally be spoken to someone you love in general, such as a parent or close friend. Rather when we talk about “falling… in love”, that statement is almost invariably used within the context of romance.
“Hanging by a Moment”
But that noted, we can perhaps also say that the addressee has had a more profound impact on the vocalist than your standard romantic interest. As a premise the latter is presented as someone who, most simply put, is searching for meaning in life. And he finds the answer via his relationship with the addressee. Or, at least he is idealizing such.
That is to say that, as the lyrics read, the vocalist is at the point where he’s basically prepared to forsake his past in the name of giving his all to this relationship. And yes, doing something like that would be inherently risky. So that is why he is compelled to say that he is “hanging by a moment” with this individual.
“Hanging On by a Moment” is a phrase which is meant to allude to the concept of making the most of the present as opposed to being worried about the future. But again, one of the reasons he’s able to adopt such an extreme mentality is because he is at a juncture where life has sorta lost its meaning or at least its joy.
The Lyrics might be Religious
Based on the above, it’s easy to see how this song can be interpreted as a religious piece. Being depressed, going through an existential crisis and then being willing to forsake the past in the name of being with someone without any regard for the future reads more like a case of extreme religious devotion as opposed to romance.
But as we have also noted in the past, pop music is such that religious imagery and innuendos are commonly featured in mainstream songs, including those based on romance.
Indeed “Hanging by a Moment” is actually more clever than most in that regard, since it relies on a religious sentiment as opposed to directly referencing related terminology.
Release Date of “Hanging by a Moment”
Being the lead single to “No Name Face”, i.e. Lifehouse’s debut album, “Hanging by a Moment” also serves as the first single in the band’s discography. The tune was released on 31 October 2000 by DreamWorks Records.
Who are Lifehouse?
Lifehouse is an alternative rock band from Los Angeles who, when they first began, consisted of the following members:
- Jason Wade
- bassist Sergio Andrade
- drummer Jon Palmer
Membership has fluctuated throughout the years, and as of the writing of this post the group is actually a quartet, with Wade remaining at the lead. And the other current members are:
- Bryce Söderberg (bassist)
- Steve Stout (guitarist)
- Rick Woolstenhulme Jr. (drummer)
Who wrote “Hanging by a Moment”?
It was written exclusively by Lighthouse frontman, Jason Wade.
More Facts about “Hanging by a Moment”
Also as of the writing of this post, “Hanging by a Moment” remains, overall, the most-successful song in Lifehouse’s catalog. For instance, in peaking at number 2, it marks the highest the band has ever made it on the Billboard Hot 100.
Then the song topped two other Billboard lists, Alternative Airplay and the Adult Top 40. In addition to this, it scored a number 1 on Australia’s ARIA chart. And the track has also been certified double-platinum down under.
And turning our attention back stateside for a moment, this tune holds the distinction of being the most-played song on the radio for the year 2001. All of this for a piece which, according to Jason Wade, he penned “in like 10 minutes” and didn’t initially consider to be anything particularly special.
But of course the track’s success would also be partially attributable to its producer, the multi-faceted and Grammy Award-winning Ron Aniello.
Gavin Bowden is the name of the director of the official music video to this track, which was shot in a bowling alley / roller rink located in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District.