Katy Perry Wide Awake
Album: Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection
Katy Perry no longer believes in the fairy tale version of love in the respectful “Wide Awake.”
Soft synths open the single, setting a supportive tone. She thought she and her boyfriend were on the same page. However, she let herself be blind to his faults. When she first saw him, it was true love for her. She told him her secrets and let him into her close-knit family. Now, she sees she moved too fast and didn’t pay attention to the warning signs. (“I'm wide awake/I'm wide awake/I'm wide awake/Yeah, I was in the dark/I was falling hard/With an open heart/I'm wide awake/How did I read the stars so wrong?/I'm wide awake/And now it's clear to me/That everything you see/Ain't always what it seems/I'm wide awake/Yeah, I was dreaming for so long.”)
In the pre-chorus, she regrets getting involved with him. She would’ve even give him a second glance or have a conversation about him now. In the beginning, he would compliment her and let her know how much he appreciated her. Until, one day, she received a text from him that said “you never want to do what I want to do.” It shocked her that he was capable of being petty and selfish. (“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.”)
In the chorus, she explains she was deeply in love with him. She would’ve done anything for him. But after fighting with him over her job promotion, she saw through his façade. She’s not going to let him get to her anymore. (“Falling from cloud nine/Crashing from the high/I'm letting go tonight/Yeah, I'm falling from cloud nine.”)
She left him in clear conscience. She knows she did the right thing for herself. She’s at the point where she can finally go out with friends and not worry if her boyfriend is going to send her angry texts. She’s ok and wants to be single for a while. Dealing with the breakup has taught her a lot about herself. It was a hard relationship and she’s relieved she doesn’t have to defend her ex’s actions anymore or think of excuses. The relationship is unfixable and he’s out of her life. (“I'm wide awake/Not losing any sleep/I picked up every piece/And landed on my feet/I'm wide awake/Need nothing to complete myself, no/I'm wide awake/Yeah, I am born again/Out of the lion's den/I don't have to pretend/And it's too late/ The story's over now, the end.”)
The pre-chorus and chorus are sung again.
In the bridge, she says it took a lot of courage to get where she is now. Her ex would fight with her if she spoke up about her opinions. He heaved insult at her left and right if she didn’t go along with what he said. She cried plenty and molded herself into the person he thought she should be. She would reason with herself it would get better eventually or he was in a bad mood. However, she knows it’s his real personality. (“I'm wide awake/Thunder rumbling/Castles crumbling/I'm wide awake/I am trying to hold on/ I'm wide awake/God knows that I tried/Seeing the bright side/I'm wide awake/But I'm not blind anymore/I'm wide awake/I'm wide awake.”)
The chorus is sung again.
Perry sings “I’m wide awake” five times to end the single.
Perry’s forthright, defiant vocals are strong. She takes responsibility for being naïve and realizes it was partly her fault for allowing him to control her. She also is able to call out her ex-boyfriend out on his arrogance without resorting to mockery or dragging him through the mud. However, she wil watch for any red flags the next time she is in a serious relationship.
Although it was written about her actual breakup with Russell Brand, the single itself sticks to her own emotions and leaves the gossip out. In turn, the sincere “Wide Awake” is a relatable anthem for anyone who has gone through it.