Music Friday: Mika Celebrates Youth in His 2009 Teen Anthem, ‘We Are Golden’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, English singer Mika performs his uplifting 2009 teenage anthem, “We Are Golden,” a celebration of youth that encourages young people to dream big and acknowledge how awesome they are.

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Mika told The Daily Mail how the song came together. “I lost myself in a teenage world,” he said. “[The song is] about trying to convince yourself that you’re special.”

He also revealed to The Sun that the song was inspired his own experiences of being bullied in school. “I was thinking how things were as a teenager,” he said. “I worried about surviving into my 20s. That song is dark but it’s also saying, ‘I’m going to survive.'”

Mika chants, “We are not what you think we are / We are golden, we are golden / We are not what you think we are / We are golden, we are golden.”

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The terms “we are gold” and “we are golden” come up frequently in popular music. Because of the precious metal’s impressive characteristics, songwriters use “gold” as a metaphor for someone or something that is untarnished or pure.

Music buffs may remember Joni Mitchell using this phrase in “Woodstock,” her 1970 classic. She sings, “We are stardust / We are golden / And we’ve got to get ourselves / Back to the garden.” The garden, in this case, is symbolically the Garden of Eden.

“We Are Golden” was released as the first single from Mika’s second studio album, The Boy Who Knew Too Much. The song charted in more than 20 countries and was featured in TeenNick promos during the fall of 2009. It was also used as the theme song for Fox’s broadcast of the 2009 Teen Choice Awards.

Born Michael Holbrook Penniman, Jr., the 32-year-old British singer/songwriter stylized his name as MIKA. He got his big break in 2007 when he was named the #1 breakthrough act in a BBC poll of music critics.

Please check out the video of Mika’s high-energy performance of “We Are Golden.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“We Are Golden”
Written and performed by Mika.

Teenage dreams in a teenage circus
Running around like a clown on purpose
Who gives a damn about the family you come from?
No givin’ up when you’re young and you want some

Running around again
(Running around again)
Running from running

Waking up in the midday sun
What’s to live for?
You could see what I’ve done
Staring at emotion
In the light of day
I was running from the things that you’d say

We are not what you think we are
We are golden, we are golden
We are not what you think we are
We are golden, we are golden

Teenage dreams in a teenage circus
Running around like a clown on purpose
Who gives a damn about the family you come from?
No giving up when you’re young and you want some

Running around again
(Running around again)
Running from running
Running around again
(Running around again)
Running from running

I was a boy at an open door
Why you staring
Do you still think that you know?
Looking for treasure
In the things that you threw
Like a magpie
I live for glitter, not you

We are not what you think we are
We are golden, we are golden
We are not what you think we are
We are golden, we are golden

Teenage dreams in a teenage circus
Running around like a clown on purpose
Who gives a damn about the family you come from?
No giving up when you’re young and you want some

Now I’m sitting alone
I’m finally looking around
Left here on my own
I’m gonna hurt myself
Maybe losing my mind
I’m still wondering why
Had to let the world let it bleed me dry

We are not what you think we are
We are not what you think we are
We are not what you think we are
We are golden, we are golden

Teenage dreams in a teenage circus
Running around like a clown on purpose
Who gives a damn about the family you come from?
No giving up when you’re young and you want some

Running around again
(Running around again)
Running from running
Running around again
(Running around again)
Running from running

We are not what you think we are
We are golden, we are golden

Credits: YouTube screen captures.

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