“Permission to Dance” by BTS
BTS’ “Permission to Dance” is primarily metaphorical and as such can be described in a number of different ways. But ultimately it is meant to serve as an exercise in self-encouragement, as are by and large all BTS songs.
So in this case, depending on one’s perspective, “dancing”, as referred to in the chorus, can be taken literally. But ultimately what it represents, within the grand scheme of the lyrics, is an individual submitting him or herself to a joyful as opposed to negative disposition, even when compelled to give in to the latter.
Subject and Addressee of “Permission to Dance”
Also as commonly found in BTS songs, the subject is not the vocalist individually, nor is it the addressee by him or herself. Rather it is both, as in “we”. And the lyrics may be put into the framework of the addressee, logically speaking, being someone who the singer knows.
But in the world of BTS, what this kind of language usually symbolizes is the Bangtan Boys addressing their die-hard fans, the Army as they are often referred to, in general. And then beyond that, considering that this is once again an exercise in self-encouragement, it’s the listening audience overall.
Indeed if there’s one thing we know about this musical act’s artistry, it’s that Jimin and the rest of the gang definitely do not approve of people giving in to depressing thoughts.
Also interesting to note is that BTS actually gives a shoutout to Elton John. This is one of the very few instances of them shouting out other musicians.
We would have to presume that Sir John being mentioned would have something to do with the fact that a couple of the co-writers of “Permission to Dance” are themselves from the UK. But that said, RM is on record of having expressed appreciation for the Rocketman in times past.
So by this point in the game we have figured out that all BTS singles, if not those by K-pop artists in general, as of late are fundamentally about the same thing. So then what analyzing such tracks instead boils down to is breaking down the metaphor being used to relay the quintessential message of remaining upbeat in trying times.
And in this case, that would be engaging in some carefree, positivity-thinking inspired “dancing”.
Release Date of “Permission to Dance
BTS’s traditional label, Big Hit released this song on 9 July 2021 in conjunction with Columbia Records. On “the said date, “Permission to Dance” came out as both a single and part of a mini-album.
And concerning the later, it is included on the “Butter / Permission to Dance – EP”, being packaged with “Butter“. “Butter” is a track the Bangtan Boys dropped about a month and-a-half ago which is also rendered in English. And as expected said tune charted around the world. This is in addition to breaking four YouTube records. However, thus far it has failed to garner an international (outside of Japan) certification history.
But perhaps the reason “Butter” didn’t earn a bunch of certificates is because it’s not even in BTS’s native language. Or at least that’s a theory we can work with for now considering that the only other single they dropped in 2021, “Film Out“, is in Japanese and also performed similarly, i.e. earning silver certification via the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
But of course everything that BTS touched in 2020 was going platinum or better, setting records and what not, whether they sang it in Korean or not. For instance, their first English-language track which itself came out in 2020, “Dynamite“, was perhaps the most talked about song of the year. Simply put, it was a major international hit.
And also their previous Japanese single, “Stay Gold“, another 2020 tune, reached platinum status in the Land of the Rising Sun.
More about “Permission to Dance”
Officially none of the members of BTS participated in the composition of “Permission to Dance”. Rather Steve Mac (UK) and Jenna Andrews (Canada) served as both writers and producer.
Stephen Kirk, who is also clearly not Korean, was another co-producer. Furthermore, Johnny McDaid (Scotland) of Snow Patrol acted as an additional co-writer. But the biggest name on the list who lent a hand to writing this song is another musician from the UK, musical A lister Ed Sheeran.
Besides the aforementioned Jimin and RM, the other members of BTS are as follows:
- Jung Kook
And they all participate vocally on “Permission to Dance”.