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Released: 2017

With its propulsive electronic pulse and a thunderous chorus, “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons presents an unabashed anthem of individuality and ambition. The song is a testament to resilience, celebrating defiance, perseverance, and self-realization in the face of doubt and restrictions.

“Just a young gun with a quick fuse…” kicks off the song with a bang, painting a portrait of a restless, hot-headed young person yearning to break free from societal constraints. The quick fuse is symbolic of their impatience, the spark waiting to explode, craving bigger dreams. The phrase “Fit the box, fit the mold,” signifies the societal pressure to conform and follow a traditional path. However, the protagonist refuses to be a “Yes, sir”, a follower, explicitly expressing his rebelliousness.

The thunderous chorus “I was lightning before the thunder” comes like a bold declaration, resonating with the listeners’ own experiences of struggles and dreams. It plays on the temporal sequence of thunderstorms where lightning always precedes the thunder, metaphorically suggesting that the protagonist was a force of nature before anyone heard or acknowledged them.

The second verse delves into the protagonist’s past trials: “Kids were laughing in my classes / While I was scheming for the masses”. The protagonist has always dreamed big, aspired to be a star even when derided by others. Adding insult to injury, the protagonist faced belittlement with phrases like “You’re basic”, “You’re easy”, highlighting the dismissive attitude of those who underestimated them.

However, the tables have turned in the final lines: “Now I’m smiling from the stage while / You were clapping in the nosebleeds.” The protagonist has achieved their dreams and is now on stage in front of the crowds, while the same detractors are seated far in the nosebleeds, clapping from a distance. It’s a sweet victory for the protagonist and a clear message to never underestimate the ‘thunderous’ potential of dreamers.

The repeated chorus “Thunder, feel the thunder…” serves not just as a catchy hook, but also as an empowering chant, echoing the protagonist’s journey from being overlooked to becoming a force to reckon with. The message to “never give up” on dreams is reinforced in the final chorus, solidifying the song’s central theme.

In summary, “Thunder” is a triumphant anthem that champions ambition, resilience and the will to rise above societal expectations. It’s a classic underdog to top-dog story that emphasizes the power of staying true to oneself and relentlessly pursuing one’s dreams, no matter the obstacles.

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