“What A Time To Be Alive” by Fall Out Boy

It’s easy to ascertain from the lyrics that the thesis sentiment put forth, i.e. Patrick Stump celebrating this moment as “what a time to be alive”, is a sarcastic one. Or as he described this piece in his own words, the intent is for this track to be “the kind of song… you play at a wedding and don’t really pay attention to how absolutely bleak it is”. 

And with that in mind, perhaps the simplest way of describing what’s going down here is as the vocalist being under the impression that the world is coming to an end or, on an more-individual level, suffering from a serious case of depression.

The first verse gives the impression that this track was inspired by the universally-harrowing ordeal known as the COVID-19 pandemic.  But Stump also clarified that most of this piece was composed before that event transpired.  And verily, many people were already suffering from a fatalistically-negative outlook of the world prior to COVID-19.

So it’s as if the vocalist is mocking the “apocalypse”. Or another way of looking at it, in terms of him ‘livestreaming’ said event under a party-like disposition, is that he’s trying to make the best of the situation. 

Or yet another theoretical way of breaking it down is as the vocalist being convinced the end is coming alright yet still intending to have some fun along the way. So it’s as if, in a manner of speaking, he is able to value the gift of life, even though it may all come to a close in the near future.

“But, baby, please, I just need someone to hold me
Even though you don’t even know me
Oh, I’m going neon in the night-time
Oh, what a time to be alive”

And what’s further inferred in the chorus is that the source of his depression may lie in the vocalist being lonely from a romantic perspective. Or let’s conclude by saying that as troubled as his mind may be, Patrick has resolved himself to make the best out of the situation anyway he knows he. 

The vocalist avoiding his medication, hooking up with random women or wildin’ on social media isn’t going to stave off the apocalypse. But such actions obviously have an encouraging effect on him in the meantime.


This is yet another track from Fall Out Boy’s LP “So Much (for) Stardust” that was written exclusively by the band’s members – Joe Trohman, Andy Hurley, Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump – and produced by their longtime collaborator, Neal Avron. 

This entire project is a product of DCD2 (aka Decaydance Records) in conjunction with colorfully-named music label Fueled by Ramen.

What A Time To Be Alive

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