Oasis’ “Live Forever” Lyrics Meaning
Despite Noel Gallagher, the writer of “Live Forever”, being in his mid-20’s when it was written, it can perhaps be classified as an expression similar to teenage angst. The singer (Liam Gallagher) has reached a point in his life where he does not want to conform to the mundane routines which have thus far defined it.
Instead he ‘wants to fly’, an expression which likely means exploring the world and chasing his dreams. But he is not a blind optimistic who believes everything is going to materialize in his favor. That is to say that he recognizes his own shortcomings. However, he feels that in the process of ‘flying’, he will be able to ascertain how to rectify them.
The singer is clearly excited by the prospect of the freedom that not only lies ahead for him but also the one whom he is addressing. And he believes that by adopting such a disposition, throughout their lives’ journeys they will have great experiences. Indeed their reward for operating this way will be that they will “live forever”. And within the context of the song, what this expression seemingly refers to is the idea of living a fulfilling life. But outside of that, it also alludes to the notion of leaving a legacy behind for the world to enjoy even after a person is no longer physically present.
Conclusively, there are allusions to the writer’s mother in the song. And the way the track reads, on a personal level, is like an expression of his desire to leave home and pursue his dream of being a musician. He perceives the associated risks but also the rewards if he were to persevere.
However, being that he does not use any explicit references to his own life, “Live Forever” has a general applicability. And the song, at its skeletal level, is based on the singer being antsy, desiring a change in his life which can only be fulfilled by chasing his dreams.
What Liam Gallagher has said about “Live Forever”
In an interview, Liam revealed that “Live Forever” is the song he loves playing the most. He went on to disclose that the song is about his mother Peggy Gallagher. According to him, it’s always a nice song to sing for his mother.
On that note, it’s worth mentioning that the use of the word “garden” in the song is said to be a reference to the writer’s mother, who is known to be very-serious about gardening.
“Live Forever” enabled Noel Gallagher join Oasis
The origin of this iconic song can be traced back to 1991, which was before its writer, Noel Gallagher, even joined Oasis. In fact his composition of “Live Forever” was one of the factors which ultimately convinced Liam, his brother and Oasis frontman, to let him join the band.
Indeed Oasis and others involved were awestricken when Noel first presented the song to them in full, which occurred in 1993.
Release Date of “Live Forever”
Oasis accordingly added the track to their setlist. And due to the positive press it was garnering, they released it as the third single from their debut album, “Definitely Maybe”, on 8 August 1994.
The track went on to become a hit, peaking at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart, which was the first time the band ever placed that high.
The song also broke the top 10 in Scotland and the United States, in the latter on both Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart and on their Modern Rock Tracks list.
Song’s Inspiration and Birth
Noel Gallagher’s composition of the song was inspired by the 1972 track “Shine a Light” by the Rolling Stones. That said, this song was born long before Noel became a member of Oasis. Back then he was a poor lad who did menial job for a local building company. And fortunately (for the world of music), while working, he had his foot injured in an accident. He was then put on light duty and under the circumstances was able to write more songs. And one of the songs he began working on at the time was “Live Forever”.
In a roundabout way, this song was actually constructed as a response to Kurt Cobain, who (along with the rest of Nirvana) dropped a track in 1993 entitled “I Hate Myself and Want to Die”. Noel was appalled by that message. And while he was a fan of Nirvana, he did not want to emulate their pessimistic, self-destructive demeanor in England.
Moreover he considered the sentiments between “I Hate Myself and Want to Die” and “Live Forever” ironic, since at the time Kurt Cobain was rich and famous yet miserable, while Gallagher and his companions were poor yet greatly looked forward to life.
Music Videos for “Live Forever”
This Oasis classic officially has two different music videos. One of the videos was designed for British consumption and the other for American audience.
The British version, which was directed by Carlos Grasso, came out first. Part of it was filmed at Strawberry Fields. This is an area of Central Park dedicated to the memory of music legend John Lennon (1940-1980). In fact the cover art for “Live Forever” features a photograph of the house where Lennon was raised, which is situated in Liverpool, England.
The American version, which was directed by Nick Egan, also features references to Lennon as well as other famous musicians who passed away prematurely. In addition to Lennon, other notable deceased music icons that are referenced in the video include the following:
- Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)
- Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
- Jim Morrison (1943-1971)
The only non-musician featured amongst the group is legendary English footballer Bobby Moore (1941-1993).
Best British Song
Writing and Production of “Live Forever”
Noel Gallagher is credited as the sole writer of “Live Forever”. The song was however, produced by the entire band in conjunction with Mark Coyle.
Notable Live Performance of “Live Forever”
One of the most notable live performances of “Live Forever” occurred on June 4th, 2017 at the One Love Manchester concert. This was a charity concert held in Manchester, England to raise funds for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing. Liam performed “Live Forever” along with Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland of Coldplay.
Liam delivered another brilliant performance of this classic at the Brit Awards of 2018. He performed the song in honor of all the victims of the aforementioned bombing in Manchester.