Minimalism Music Moment: Gold – Imagine Dragons

I am a huge Imagine Dragons fan. There are many amazing songs on their newest album, but one that struck me for its amazing lyrics and musical genius is “Gold”. This song came several months ago and has been widely popular. The whole song is about the curse of money and wealth. It shows how it can destroy our lives and the lives of others if we aren’t careful.

The first verse focuses on false friends who are attracted only to wealth. This is a social commentary about the state of humanity. When a person becomes wealthy, popularity is usually quick to come. However, as put so eloquently in the song, we know this popularity is largely false: “But now you can’t tell the false from the real. Who can you trust?”

The second verse is about the transformation of a man with an obsession with “gold” and wealth. Although wealth can command empires and turn water to wine, everything he has is cold, meaning that it is empty and has no meaning and brings no joy. The man in the song has become so wealthy that nothing pleases him anymore and even his gold has become “stale”. The man in the song doesn’t even fear the decay of his life because his heart is so set upon obtaining more wealth and more possessions to overcome the staleness. He’s not afraid that feeling and meaning have abandoned his life: “Oh, you no longer fear when your heart’s turned to gold”.

This sentiment is repeated in the final verse, where we hear the wealthy man speak:

“I’m dying to feel again
Oh, anything at all
But, oh, I feel nothing…”

Wealth has consumed this man. An obsession with material possessions and gold (wealth) has led to his emotional demise. In a sense his heart has died. He cared too much about his money and everything he could do and buy with that money. Eventually, he literally lost the ability to care about anything and everything else.

Don’t be this man! Money is a tool to provide for our families, to buy food, clothing, shelter, and the other necessities of life. We can purchase experiences, electronics, toys, games, movies, furniture, etc. with money, but amassing money and buying these things will not directly bring happiness, love, friendship, joy and purpose to our lives. If your focus is on money, I suggest you stop and examine your life. Don’t ignore the things that are really important, like true friends, family, and memories. Stop giving into the lie of money and the corporate ladder mindset. Life isn’t about getting to the top of the endless ladder. Life is about helping others, finding love, peace, happiness, and experiencing good and bad times while surrounded by those that you love dearly. Don’t let the “curses of diamonds and rings” control your life!

Listen to the song here (Official Music Video):

1 Comment

  • Cool textual analysis, Nathan. 🙂 I feel like so many songs out there have really profound lyrics, and it’s too bad that people don’t always pay close attention to them. Music is often another form of poetry.
    The description of wealth-building (and wealth desensitization) here sounds a lot like addiction! I never really thought about it before, but I suppose someone could become “addicted” to wealth, or to getting new things, or growing their wealth. I’ve heard people talk about being “shopping addicts” sometimes, but that is often said in a joking manner, whereas the lyrics of this song make it sound much more serious.