Anti-Materialism in Counting Stars by One Republic

245 views 5 pages ~ 1298 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

The song, Counting Stars

The song, Counting Stars is an original composition produced and performed by an American all-boy pop-rock band called One Republic. Additionally, the song has received wide international acclaim as it resonates with millions of music lovers due to its message and catchy lyrics. The song talks about a society where people are more preoccupied with worldly pleasures as opposed to enjoying what the world can offer. Inherently, the song focuses on highlighting the detrimental consequences of materialism. The song Counting Stars conveys anti-materialism through tone, theme and stylistic devices used.

The First Stanza

In the first stanza, the writer reveals his internal struggles with materialism and how it affects his view of life. Invariably, the first stanza depicts a man at crossroads with life while contemplating how things became worse and wishing for a better future where the couple would no longer be concerned with material things and instead count stars. The underlying message is the vanity of pursuing a world of materialism that only leads to physical and emotional problems. The writer is losing sleep and often worries about money but still hopes that the future will be bright. Verse one talks of him seeing life as a thrill ride and he does not care if he steps out of line since its part of the fun. He wants to make an impact on the world. The world does not know where it is going, a clear indication of a pointless society with no freedoms as indicated by the declaration that everything that kills him makes him feel alive. The writer feels something right by breaking rules but bad while living by societal expectations on what is right. He is tired of faking it and that everything that drowns him makes him feel like flying, a stand that he further suggests that he cannot lie about ("I couldn't lie, I couldn't lie, I could not lie"). Eventually, the writer emerges as triumphant as he chooses happiness over material things ("take that money and watch it burn").

The Gloomy Mood

The song displays anti-materialism ideologies through the use of a gloomy mood which in this case means the atmosphere that presents an emotional setting to the listener. It evokes the feelings of the audience listening to the songs through the words sang. The ambiance of "Counting Stars" is sad at from beginning indicating that the writer has potential problems in his life that are hindering his relationship with the spouse. Towards the end of stanza one and the start of stanza two, the mood becomes upbeat and joyous with a tone of recklessness to justify the actions.

The Progressive Tone

The other aspect is tone of the piece which rests entirely as a progressive one. It entails the attitude and approach that the singers utilize to express their message. Normally, the notion is identified through the diction, figurative language, and syntax in the composition. With respect to "Counting Stars", the music is slow to create suspense for those listening to it. It changes to an energetic tone that has an upbeat sending a motivational message of enjoying life. 'I see this life, like a swinging vine' talks of enjoying what life has to offer. 'Hope is our four-letter word', he is still hopeful that we are not beyond repair and that something can be done. He implies that something can still be done about viewing things as non-materialistic. The ability to use a progressive tone from sad to optimistic and finally joyousness indicates transitions in life and that no situation is ever permanent.

Themes of Anti-Materialism, Freedom, and Happiness

The song explores the themes of anti-materialism, freedom, and happiness. All these three topics come out implicitly implying that people should focus on joy and value for each other as opposed to the material things. Implicit evidence refers to what the writer hints or implies and the reader discovers the meaning as he reads through. The underlying connotation of this song is that the material things should not be overvalued at the expense of personal happiness and freedom. The writer's purpose accomplishes reliability; helps the audience to make a personal inference of their own depending on what they are facing. Invariably, anti-materialism, and pursuit of delight and liberty render life as one that should be lived and enjoyed regardless of the challenges that may arise. People only need to remain optimistic concerning a better future to come.

Emphasis and Clarity through Repetition

The emphasis and clarity of the concepts present in the song evidently stand out with the use of repetition in "Counting Stars". It appears all over the lyrics as exemplified by the chorus and some lines such as "Take that money to watch it burn" and "sink in the river the lessons I've learned." The previously mentioned phrase is repeated so many times in the song to urge the audience not to focus so much on the money. The effect is felt as the words are continuously repeated.

Stylistic Devices: Simile, Metaphor, and Literary Parallelism

Another stylistic device that is evident in the song to help clarify the theme is simile. The composer also uses similes such as "I see this life like a swinging vine." A vine refers to a plant in the forest that has tendrils and is supported by other branches. It swings from side to side and does not stop. The phrase means that life has challenges, its ups and downs, and it is good and bad moments which therefore requires people to adjust and overcome problems.

In addition, the piece employs metaphor to strengthen the message. Metaphors have been used to place elaborate emphasis on the subject on the prevailing themes of materialism and optimism. The line "swing my heart across the line" metaphorically implies overcoming, finishing the race and crossing over the finish line.

Another aspect of style is literary parallelism. The primary goal of using literary parallelism is to create a feeling of discontent in the world the writer lives in. Literary parallelism is highlighted by the line "I feel something so right doing the wrong thing; I feel something so wrong doing the right thing."

Appealing to Emotion, Trust, and Logic

Pathos. The writer creates an emotional response to convince the audience about "Dreaming about the things we could be." The writer uses this phrase to appeal to the audience that he has included them in his song as he uses the pronoun 'we'.

Ethos. The writer uses ethos through the phrase "The lessons I've learnt" to convince the audience that they should learn from his experience. He, therefore, creates a sense of trust in the audience.

Logos. Logos is the use of logic to provoke thinking. The phrase, "Seek it out and ye' shall find" is extensively used in the Bible and is used by the writer to convince the audience. He relates to the audience who has read such a verse in the Bible and feels their religious views are respected in the song.

Success and the Use of Stylistic Devices

The song Counting Stars achieved enormous success because of the way it touched people's lives and how these people could easily relate to its content. The writer of the song is a lyrical genius as he incorporated various stylistic devices to achieve his primary aim of sending a relatable message while exploring the richness of linguistic use to connect with his audiences. The song presents a concrete theme of materialism and optimism that the modern society can resonate with and integrate into their daily living. The rich use of varying stylistic devices such as literary parallelism, metaphor, similes, ethos and logos have ensured that the writer attains the intended objective of connecting with the global audiences in a great and successful way.

August 21, 2023


Number of pages


Number of words




This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro