Behind the Meaning of Katy Perry’s Sobering Song, “Wide Awake”

In 2012, Katy Perry divorced from her then-husband, Russell Brand. Anyone who watched Perry‘s concert movie, Part of Me, will remember the infamous scene when the comedian/actor called it quits with the singer over a text message. While we’re sure Perry has penned several songs about that heartbreak, one of the most sobering is “Wide Awake.” Revisit the meaning behind this track, below.

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Behind the Meaning

Yeah, I was in the dark
I was falling hard with an open heart
How did I read the stars so wrong?

It’s hard to see the truth of a moment when you’re in it. It’s often only after we put some space in between us and the moment that we can truly see it for what it is. That’s the onus behind this Perry hit.

If we look at this track through the lens of her breakup with Brand, we find a series of revelations. Perry, now on the other side of that relationship, can finally see it for what it is. Everything you see ain’t always what it seems, she sings.

I wish I knew then what I know now
Wouldn’t dive in, wouldn’t bow down
Gravity hurts, you made it so sweet
‘Til I woke up on, on the concrete

Perry sings about falling hard with her blinders on. She only realizes the issues in her relationship when she hits the ground. Fallin’ from cloud nine / Crashin’ from the high, she sings.

Perry has always been able to write pop hits that have a real message behind them. She doesn’t have to sacrifice an ear-worm melody to relay a strong message. The empowering and grounding idea behind “Wide Awake” will certainly resonate with anyone who has earned clarity after heartbreak.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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