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Katy Perry Thinks We're Going to Die: Analyzing "Chained to the Rhythm"

Are we crazy?
Okay, so right off the top, Katy wants you to know this is a social commentary. The first line in the song is “Are we crazy?” And by asking if “we” are crazy, she is commenting on society as a whole, as opposed to asking “Are you crazy?” which would sound accusatory, or “Am I crazy?” which studies have shown is the most commonly unanswered text sent from me to my ex-boyfriend. Seriously, guys, am I?!

Living our lives through a lens
One word – Instagram. Five more words – is taking over our lives. A lot more words – now it’s coming together that Katy-gurl is commenting on our obsession with Instagram. We are letting it direct our actions, influence our styles, ruin our relationships. We are double-tapping our lives away, which begs the initial question—are we crazy? Or are we dancer?

Trapped in our white picket fence, like ornaments
Hold up, why are there ornaments trapped behind a white picket fence? Is Katy Perry so rich that she has an entire house dedicated to the off-season storage of her Christmas ornaments?! Yes. She is. Therefore, this is the only possible explanation. Props, Katy. And please check your DMs for my Venmo handle.

So comfortable, we're living in a bubble, bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble
Katy doubles up on the words “bubble” and “trouble” – which is a clear suggestion of the world-renowned witches’ chant, “Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” I just can’t believe that Katy Perry is flat-out spelling it out for us that she is a witch, and everyone is too busy talking about politics and losing healthcare blah blah blah. SHE’S A WITCH, SHEEPLE. This explains so much, like how she charmed Orlando Bloom into dating her, or how she survived numerous death curses from The Devil (colloquially known as “Taylor Swift”).

Aren't you lonely, up there in utopia, where nothing will ever be enough, happily numb
Now that we know beloved singer-songwriter Katy Perry is a witch, it really brings the next couple of lines into focus. Note that she is asking are “you” lonely, as opposed to the initial “we” pronoun usage. Katy isn’t lonely, no. Katy is a witch, and witches roll deep. (See Charmed, Hocus Pocus, The Craft, and any other movie/show about witches. They never work alone. And if they do, they have hordes of flying monkeys to compensate.)

So comfortable, we're living in a bubble, bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble
“I’m a witch, I’m a witch, are you guys seriously not getting this?”

So put your rose-colored glasses on, and the party on
Oh God. Something bad is happening. And Katy, as a witch, is able to sense this before us mere mortals. Because of this, she is telling us to put our rose-colored glasses on, which is a timeworn symbol for ignorant bliss. Put your rose-colored glasses on, and you won’t see all the blue ugliness that is apparently happening in Katy Perry’s America.

Turn it up, it's your favorite song
Wait. This is my favorite song? What? Ha, no... no way. [turns off this exact song that has been on loop for the past three hours] YOU DON’T KNOW THAT, KATY. YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO FEEL. I AM IMMUNE TO YOUR BIG-BOOBED SORCERY.

Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
The question here is what exactly is being distorted—and why are we dancing to it? One theory is that through our aforementioned rose-colored glasses, the screaming and crying of the world is distorted into music. So, why solve the world’s problems when you can dance to them! Yeah!

Turn it up, keep it on repeat
Alright, Katy’s on a real power trip trying to tell us what to do. Maybe I have kept this song on repeat, but it’s because I chose to with my own willpower, and not because Katy Perry told me to in this line. Right? Right. Yeah, totally. I am my own person. Katy Perry is not the boss of me. (I repeat this last sentence in the mirror before I go to bed every night.)

Stumbling around like a wasted zombie
This line infuriates me. Walkers, I mean, uh, zombies, can’t get wasted. Zombies have extremely limited brain functioning, essentially the same as a single-celled animal. Alcohol would not affect their brain activity like it does with humans, because that brain activity is not there in the first place. Show me a wasted zombie, Katy, and I’ll show you a fan that you paid to dress up like that to prove me wrong. Give it up, girl, you’re wrong here.

Yeah, we think we're free
This song gets dark. First off, Katy tells us she’s a witch. Then she tells us that our blue-tinted world is full of screaming and crying. Then she attempts to mind-control us and make us forget everything we know about zombies. Now, she’s saying we only “think” we’re free?! What is happening here, Katy? Are we not?! Are we… dying?

Drink, this one is on me
Oh my God. If you ask someone if you’re dying and they respond with this, your odds are not good. Also, is Katy Perry really offering to buy me a drink here, because I will hold her to that. Besides, she has enough money to have a separate house for Christmas decorations, so I mean, it makes economical sense.

We're all chained to the rhythm, to the rhythm, to the rhythm
WHAT IS KATY TRYING TO TELL US? Stop embedding your dark, ominous messages in a catchy pop song and flat-out tell us, Katy. This line is giving some serious slavery vibes and it is freaking me the hell out. (I also want to formally apologize for saying “slavery vibes”) Why are we all chained to something? What does the rhythm symbolize? And why does she say it three times?! Three, like the Holy Trinity? Or three, times two, which is SIX which is the number of The Devil (“Taylor Swift”)?! We haven’t heard from The Devil in a while… what is she planning? Why am I crying?

Are we tone deaf? Keep sweeping it under the mat
You know what, yes, Katy. We are tone deaf. Because clearly you are trying to warn us of a serious and present danger and we still have no idea what you’re trying to say. And the only thing I’m sweeping under the mat is my cash and passport because apparently there is an impending Swift-ocalypse and I don’t want her consuming my valuables.

Thought we could do better than that, I hope we can
I hope so, too. I HOPE SO TOO.

So comfortable, we're living in a bubble, bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble
We get it, you’re a witch. Can you please help us please and thank you.

So put your rose-colored glasses on, and the party on
My glasses are on from the last time you told me to put them on. Does anyone still not have their rose-colored glasses on? Please put them on now. Keep up.

Turn it up, it's your favorite song. Dance, dance, dance to the distortion

Turn it up, keep it on repeat, stumbling around like a wasted zombie
But also, like, could you imagine if zombies could get wasted? Like, maybe it would be a good thing, like instead of craving human flesh, they’d want pizza?

Yeah, we think we're free. Drink, this one is on me
Whoa. Snap back into it. I forgot everyone is dying and Katy wants to buy us a drink.

We're all chained to the rhythm, to the rhythm, to the rhythm
Katy, how are we going to die and also does this free drink include top shelf or is it just beer and wine like the budget wedding of your two high school friends whom you haven’t talked to in ten years but they invited you because they needed more single girls and also they have no friends?

[Skip Marley] It is my desire, break down the walls to connect, inspire
When he says it’s his desire to break… hahahaha totally kidding. The only question here is who the hell is Skip Marley and how many Marleys are there and why did Owen Wilson do a movie with one and how did Melissa VillaseƱor get a spot on Saturday Night Live when the only thing she can do is a decent Owen Wilson impression?! Heh, um, yeah… that’s the only question here. Nothing else. No other deep-seated issues. Heh.

Ay, up in your high place, liars. Time is ticking for the empire
Hey, Skip, it’s me. I visited your father(/grandfather? Great-uncle? Where do you fit in this family tree exactly)’s tombstone on a really oddly-planned family trip to Jamaica. So hey, now that I’ve established we’re friends, can you tell me what in the fresh heck you and Katy are talking about? I feel like you’re both telling us that we’re about to die and I just want us to be on the same page. So like, what’s the deal?

The truth they feed is feeble, as so many times before, They greed over the people
Skip, my man, I gotta be honest with you, I never have any clue what people are saying in any reggae song, and I actually looked up the lyrics here and I still have no idea. Like, what.

They stumbling and fumbling, and we're about to riot. They woke up, they woke up the lions

[Katy Perry] Turn it up, it's your favorite song. Dance, dance, dance to the distortion
Good. Great. Now we’re back to Evil Candyland Sorceress Katy Perry and we still have no idea about the lions. Where are these lions. Give the mic back to Skippy. We were so close to [takes sunglasses off] the truth.

Turn it up, keep it on repeat, stumbling around like a wasted zombie
Wait, also, why did you and Orlando Bloom break up? Is this your version of a breakup song? Like, we broke up so now I’m going to come out as a witch and brainwash everyone? Is that what’s happening here?!

Yeah, we think we're free. Drink, this one is on me
Let the record show that our free drink tally is currently at three (3) free drinks, courtesy of KP.

We're all chained to the rhythm, to the rhythm, to the rhythm

We’re all gonna die.


Send This To Your Grandparents!

URGENT: I have solved all of our nation's problems. Election Day is tomorrow, so please forward this to all your older relatives who plan on voting for Trump. Awesome. Love you.