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Live While We’re Young
A Quick Music Discussion Guide for Parents
11/27/2012

Dynamic ImageThe Song: Live While We’re Young

Main Point: It’s totally fine for us to have fun, especially when we’re young. But we can’t allow our youthful fun to become irresponsible or sinful.

Vital Info Before You Get Started: The following info should help you contextualize this very popular song so you can have a great discussion about it with your kids.

  • Currently, One Direction is the boy band causing the biggest worldwide craze. Their latest song is Live While We’re Young which comes from their highly anticipated second album entitled Take Me Home. The song is high energy, upbeat, and includes just about every element that’s specific to the pop genre. Furthermore, the music video shows lots of footage of the guys having loads of fun hanging out with each other and their fans.

  • As of this writing, the song’s music video has been viewed more than 98 million times on YouTube. In fact, when it was released, the song made history as the highest-ever Hot 100 debut by a UK band in the chart’s existence.

  • 1D’s music has always been “squeaky clean” but that may have changed with their second album. For instance, there appears to be a distinction between what the music video is about (having fun with your friends) and what the song’s lyrics are about (possibly hooking up with a girl). This distinction serves as the focus of this resource.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO PARENTS: We at The Source for Parents believe that certain elements in our youth culture can serve as good discussion jump starters with students. At the same time, we would never hope to introduce students to a negative influence that they haven’t already encountered. This balance is a delicate one. In our experience most students, churched and unchurched, keep pretty current with music and music videos. Thanks to YouTube, MTV.com, and iTunes, the most popular music videos and songs are free to access only a click away.

Since this song is so popular, your kids have heard it. Heck, this song gets playtime in retail stores and grocery stores which means everybody’s heard it. When you sit down to discuss this song, make sure to have a copy of the lyrics available (below) and access to the music video (which we provided in the link below, as well).

Above all, don’t appear as if you have a “canned” discussion in your head and rattle off questions like a teacher giving a pop quiz—your kids get enough of that in school. This is a guide, primarily—not a verbatim script. Just familiarize yourself with the content here and start a conversation in the most natural, unforced way you know how.

The Music Video: It can be found online at http://www.vevo.com/watch/one-direction/Live-While-Were-Young/GB1101200812



Song Lyrics –
    Hey girl, I'm waitin' on ya, I'm waitin' on ya
    Come on and let me sneak you out
    And have a celebration, a celebration
    The music up, the window's down
    Yeah, we'll be doing what we do
    Just pretending that we're cool
    And we know it too
    Yeah, we'll keep doing what we do
    Just pretending that we're cool
    So tonight
    Let's go crazy, crazy, crazy till we see the sun
    I know we only met but let's pretend it's love
    And never, never, never stop for anyone
    Tonight let's get some
    And live while we're young
    Woahhh oh oh oh
    Woahhhh oh oh oh
    And live while we're young
    Woahhh oh oh oh
    Tonight let's get some
    And live while we're young
    Hey girl, it's now or never, it's now or never
    Don't over-think, just let it go
    And if we get together, yeah, get together
    Don't let the pictures leave your phone, ohhhh
    Yeah, we'll be doing what we do
    Just pretending that we're cool
    So tonight
    Let's go crazy, crazy, crazy till we see the sun
    I know we only met but let's pretend it's love
    And never, never, never stop for anyone
    Tonight let's get some
    And live while we're young
    Woahhh oh oh oh
    Woahhhh oh oh oh
    And live while we're young
    Woahhh oh oh oh
    Tonight let's get some
    And live while we're young
    And girl, you and I,
    We're 'bout to make some memories tonight
    I wanna live while we're young
    We wanna live while we're young
    Let's go crazy, crazy, crazy till we see the sun
    I know we only met but let's pretend it's love
    And never, never, never stop for anyone
    Tonight let's get some
    And live while we're young
    Crazy, crazy, crazy till we see the sun
    I know we only met but let's pretend it's love
    And never, never, never stop for anyone
    Tonight let's get some
    And live while we're young
    Wanna live, wanna live, wanna live
    Come on, young
    Wanna live, wanna live, wanna live
    While we're young
    Wanna live, wanna live, wanna live
    Tonight let's get some
    And live while we're young

Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: When it comes to this song, what’s the MUSIC VIDEO about and what are the LYRICS about? (Take a second look at each if necessary!)

A: The song’s music video is about the guys just having fun together, you know, “living while they’re young.” They’re playing soccer, off-roading, making music, swimming, etc. But when it comes to the song’s lyrics, it appears they’re singing about getting together with a girl. We hear them talk about “sneaking out,” “pretending it’s love,” “taking risqué photos,” etc.

Q: Is it wrong to try and have fun when you’re young?
A: Certainly not, but we have to make sure our fun doesn’t allow us to dip into irresponsibility or sinfulness.

Q: Is the “fun” that the lyrics describe responsible or not? How do you know?
A: The lyrics definitely make us raise our eyebrows. What do they mean by “sneaking out”? How about “let’s go crazy till the sun comes up”? Or “don’t let the pictures leave your phone”? Then there’s the line about “I know we only met but let's pretend it’s love.”


Where to Take It from Here:
Wherever it feels natural. If these questions lead to a longer discussion on the topic, wonderful! (There’s a guide just after this paragraph that helps you do just that.) If your kids are barely uttering grunts, don’t get discouraged—the next time it feels right, try out another song. Keep engaging them.

Introducing the Music Video:
Neither the song nor the band needs much of an introduction. One Direction’s latest hit “Live While We’re Young” is sweeping across the globe impacting millions of fans on a daily basis. At first glance, it appears as though the tune is about a bunch of guys desiring a good time and seeking fun. But there may be more to this song and music video than meets the eye. Let’s take a really close look at the song’s lyrics as we watch the music video to see what kind of message the boys from Europe are imparting with their latest single.


For Deeper Discussion: If your kids seem into diving in deeper, the following discussion guide can help take you there.

CLICK HERE if you want to look at a quick training article on small groups and drawing questions out of young people—you may find much of the information applicable as you go through this subject with your family members.

Transitional Statement:

Engaging. Exciting. Young. Fun. All of those words could describe what we saw in the song’s music video. The boys from 1D were having a blast with each other and their fans. That’s always great to see. I mean, who doesn’t like to have fun with their friends??? But the lyrics seem to suggest a different meaning; they seem to be describing the guys’ intentions when they’re alone with their girlfriends. I want us to spend the next few minutes talking about fun and some responsible ways to have it. The truth is, it’s totally fine for us to have fun, especially while we’re young, but we can’t allow our youthful fun to become sinful.


More Discussion Questions:

  1. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our favorite band.

  2. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Of all the things in the video that the guys were doing for fun, which would you most like to do? Why?

  3. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: We all like to have fun, which seems to be the focus of this music video. What are some ways you and your friends have fun together?

  4. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think some people have fun in irresponsible ways? Can you give a few examples of what that looks like?

  5. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: We’ve already talked about the difference between the song’s lyrics and the song’s music video. Take a few moments to look back over the lyrics. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being very irresponsible and 10 being totally responsible, how high do you rank the message in the song’s lyrics?

  6. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Does God have expectations for our fun? If so, what are they?

  7. Read the following passage:

      Proverbs 7:6-27 (NLT)

      I was looking out the window of my house one day 7 and saw a simpleminded young man who lacked common sense. 8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman. He was strolling down the path by her house 9 at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. 10 The woman approached him, dressed seductively and sly of heart. 11 She was the brash, rebellious type who never stays at home. 12 She is often seen in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner. 13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said, 14 "I've offered my sacrifices and just finished my vows. 15 It's you I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are! 16 My bed is spread with colored sheets of finest linen imported from Egypt. 17 I've perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18 Come, let's drink our fill of love until morning. Let's enjoy each other's caresses, 19 for my husband is not home. He's away on a long trip. 20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him, and he won't return until later in the month." 21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. 22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, 23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life. 24 Listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words. 25 Don't let your hearts stray away toward her. Don't wander down her wayward path. 26 For she has been the ruin of many; numerous men have been her victims. 27 Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death.


  8. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: If you had to sum up this passage in two sentences or less, how would you do it?

  9. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: Do you think the man and the woman in this passage were having fun with each other? How do you know? (Leaders – The passage talks about “let’s drink our fill” and “enjoy each other’s caresses.” It sounds like the fun many young people have these days, even though there would be consequences.)

  10. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What were the consequences of this man and woman’s sin?

  11. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: When we allow our fun to become sinful and irresponsible, what are some of the consequences we could face?

  12. ASK A FEW FAMILY MEMBERS: What are some ways we can keep our fun from becoming sinful and irresponsible?

  13. HAVE ALL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ANSWER: In what ways do you need to change the fun you have to make sure you don’t become sinful or irresponsible?

Wrap Up:
I don’t want it to sound like I’m hating on One Direction during our discussion. After all, several of us probably think this song is catchy and fun. Further, I think we can see how talented the guys are. Finally, they seem to really understand what it’s like to be young, and they sing about that in real ways.

But at the same time, there may be some liabilities in their message. Their song talks about “sneaking out” and “going crazy” whatever that means, and “getting some” and taking pictures that need to remain private. It’s not hard to imagine what the guys have on their minds in this song. They seem focused on having fun with their girlfriends, even if that fun is of a sexual nature and irresponsible.

But the passage we read from the Bible really gave us a clearer picture of what happens if we seek that kind of fun. It ends in death and destruction; the Bible actually depicted it as an animal headed to its own slaughter. If we’re honest with ourselves, we never think that the fun we seek is going to lead to our harm or the harm of others, but that’s exactly what can happen when we allow our fun to become sinful and irresponsible.

Sadly, many take this biblical teaching and turn it upside down and make it mean things about God that simply are not true. For instance, many read the Bible and walk away thinking God is some cosmic killjoy who wants to ban any inkling of fun from our lives. But nothing could be further from the truth! God wants us to have loads of fun; He just wants us to avoid sin and irresponsibility while doing so.

If we think about it for a moment, that’s not being unfair. In fact, God’s expectations and concerns stem directly from His love for us. He wants us to have fun because He loves us, and He wants us to steer clear of sin and irresponsibility because He loves us.


Close in Prayer

David R. Smith


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