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Music Discussions

We Are Young
A Quick Music Discussion Guide

Main Point of Discussion: Being young has its benefits…and liabilities. God wants us to enjoy life, without using our youth as a license to sin.

The Music Video: We Are Young
The band Fun is best known for its hit single We Are Young featuring singer Janelle Monae. We Are Young reached number one on the U.S. Billboard hot 100 and Digital Songs charts and became the first rock/alternative song to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart since Coldplay’s Viva La Vida in 2008.

Introducing the Music Video:
We Are Young has already reached the #1 spot on Billboard, and that means all of you know this song. You may have even seen the song’s music video. It’s by the band Fun, and that could very well be the meaning of this song. After I pass out the song’s lyrics, let’s take a listen.

We Are Young
Give me a second
I, I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom
getting higher than the empire state
my lover she's waiting for me
just across the bar
My seats been taken by some sunglasses
asking 'bout a scar
and I know I gave it to you months ago
I know you're trying to forget
but between the drinks and subtle things
the holes in my apologies
you know I'm trying hard to take it back
so if by the time the bar closes
and you feel like falling down
I'll carry you home

We are young
So let's set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
than the sun

we are young
so let's set the world on fire
we can burn brighter
than the sun

Now I know that I'm not
all that you got
I guess that I
I just thought maybe we could find a ways to fall apart
But are friends in back
So let's raise a cup
Cause I found someone to carry me home

We are young
So let's the set the world on fire
we can burn brighter
than the sun

We are young
so let's set the world on fire
we can burn brighter
than the sun

Carry me home tonight
Just carry me home tonight
Carry me home tonight
Just carry me home tonight

The world is on my side
I have no reason to run
So will someone come and carry me home tonight
The angels never arrived
but I can hear the choir
so will someone come and carry me home

We are young
So let's set the world on fire
we can burn brighter
than the sun

We are young
so let's set the world on fire
we can burn brighter
than the sun

So if by the time the bar closes
and you feel like falling down
I'll carry you home tonight

Music Video: We Are Young
The video is available for free online.

Transition Statement:
When you watch this music video and really listen to the song’s lyrics, it becomes clear that this song is all about having a good time while young. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that…if it doesn’t involve sin, that is. But of course, this song talks about some domestic abuse, drinking, drug abuse, and other things, all of which break God’s heart. Youthfulness if a gift from God, but the people in this video have abused it. They’ve used their youth as a license and an excuse to sin. Since that’s a common problem today, let’s spend the next few minutes talking about it.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and one of the goofiest things we’ve ever done.

  2. ASK A FEW: What have been some of your best experiences as a young person…and what have been some of your worst experiences as a young person?

  3. ASK A FEW: What were some of the things that the singer was talking about doing that night…while they were still young?

  4. ASK A FEW: Why do you think he put such an emphasis on being “carried home” at the end of the night?

  5. ASK A FEW: What kind of consequences do you think the singer will have to face as a result of the night he sings about?

  6. ASK A FEW: Is this kind of attitude and lifestyle evident in the lives of people you know? Can you give an example without using names?

  7. ASK A FEW: How do you think God feels about those kinds of attitudes?

  8. Read the following passage:

      Psalm 25:1-10 (NIV)

      To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; 2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. 4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD. 8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. 10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.

  9. ASK A FEW: Who does David say will be “put to shame”?

  10. ASK A FEW: What are some of the things David asks God to do in verse 4 and 5? Why are those important?

  11. ASK A FEW: What does David mean when he asks God to “remember not the sins of my youth”?

  12. ASK A FEW: Is that a request of God that you find yourself making at times? Why or why not?

  13. ASK A FEW: What are some of the biggest “sins of youth” that you see today?

  14. ASK A FEW: Is the Bible saying in this passage that God doesn’t want us to have any fun?

  15. ASK A FEW: What are some ways we can have fun AND avoid sin at the same time? (Leaders – You may want to make a list of these and compare them with the other groups during the wrap up.)

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: What change will you make to your life so that you have fun without dishonoring God?

Wrap Up:
Tonight we had the opportunity of watching a very popular music video and to discuss its subtle message. What we found was that the singer thought that having fun meant giving in to personal destruction like drinking, drug abuse, violence, etc. It sounds like he couldn’t have fun as a young person without indulging in these practices.

And if you and I were to look around today, we’d see much of the same thing. We’d see alcohol use, drug use, violence, vulgarity, sexual immorality…and the list goes on and on. It’s sad, really. There are so many broken lives left in the wake of a “good time.”

There’s nothing good about it.

God gives us our youth as a time to learn, grow, and honor Him. But too often, we use our youth as a license to do whatever we want, regardless of God’s Word. Not only does that separate us from God, but it causes lots of undue consequences in our lives. Just like the guy sang about in the music video, there are scars left behind when we give into the folly of youth.

So, here’s what I’m challenging you with tonight. I want you to use the list you guys made of ways to have fun that don’t include breaking God’s heart. I want you to make plans of putting that list into action, not just for yourselves, but for your friends, as well.

But we’re not going to leave you without any help. We want to be a part of that. We want to encourage you to enjoy your youth WITHOUT sinning, and we want to help you help your friends. If you’d like to talk about some specific ways we can assist you, come and talk with us after we close in prayer.

Close in Prayer

Written by Paschoal T.

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Comments on this post

   Anonymous         7/18/2012 11:59:21 AM

Actually, the entire song is metaphoric. I don't know why people take it so literally- not a single member of this band even does drugs. Nate (the singer) has said in many interviews that they don't even smoke marijuana. They do drink, however, but they're all old enough to legally and responsibly do so. The message that you view from this song is very clearly not something the band meant to portray. Nate, like many other writers in this genre of music, uses metaphors to explain emotional times that have happened in his life.