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Meaning of ‘What, Me Worry?’ by ‘Portugal. The Man’

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Released: 2022

“What, Me Worry?” by Portugal. The Man is a self-assured anthem that tells a tale of stoicism and surrender. The song embodies a James-Dean-level cool in its approach to crises, repeatedly prompting the rhetorical question, “What? Me, worry?” and insisting on a blissful, carefree state of mind despite the chaos that surrounds.

Look at the opening line, “Yo, remember when we were kids?“. This childhood reference sets the stage for a narrative filled with echoes of innocence and youthful resilience. It’s a smooth overture into a composition filled with reminiscence and the longing for an uncomplicated existence.

The song refers to a series of problems – “The world outside is waitin’“, “House is burning down“, and even the absurdly comical “Burn, baby“. But in each case, the worry is stubbornly dismissed. With phrases like “I ain’t even trippin’, I ain’t trippin’, I’m just dancin’ through the door“, the band tells us they remain remarkably unfazed. It’s a perfect embodiment of the motto “keep calm and carry on.”

The chorus denounces the encumbrance of worry, replacing it with an almost insouciant approach. The phrase, “Happy as a clown“, exemplifies an added layer of irony. The jesting line is a metaphor for the song’s central defiance – despite the calamity, there’s not only calm but also a leap into sheer joy. It’s a literal laugh in the face of disaster.

However, the song is not entirely devoid of reason. With lines like “Stop right now, take a minute, take your time“, it urges for introspection amidst the mayhem. It also seems to hold a deeper philosophical undertone in the line, “There’s no god to believe in“, suggesting an existentialist approach to life and adversity.

All in all, “What, Me Worry?” is a song that proclaims an approach to face life’s predicaments head-on, never bartering optimism for concern. It’s a rallying cry for staying buoyant, maintaining one’s composure, and above all – keeping the groove going, no matter what!

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