Daft Punk’s Get Lucky has soared to the top of the charts in several countries since its release back in April, and is exercising its longevity in securing its place as one of 2013’s summer anthems. Having sold over 1.5 million copies, the disco funk collaboration between the french duo and Pharrell Williams (vocals) and Nile Rodgers (guitar) continues to usher its tropical island breeze through radio airwaves and over shop stereos. If you’ve managed to go this long without hearing it (where have you been?) here it is, complete with classy sequinned blazers:
The tune is undeniably catchy and enjoyably fresh. The duo leave their electronic counterparts in the dust in terms of the pure pop quality (with more than a little help from Rodgers). It’s not dance music; it’s music you can actually dance to.
But the lyrics. Did you catch them? It’s hard not to, they’re repeated so many times.
The song is structured around the very prominent chorus:
She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky
Williams has claimed “the song is about the fortune of finding chemistry with someone and not just about sexual chemistry.” But the lyrics seem to uphold an attitude of living in the moment, and that moment ceasing when “the sun comes up”. So even if the chemistry isn’t just sexual, it’s not going to last beyond this one evening. Also, the band have recently teamed up with Durex to release Get Lucky themed condoms. So…maybe he wants to rethink that interpretation.
Can the party last forever? Would we even want it to? The opening line of the song – “like the legend of the phoenix/all ends with beginnings” – points to the cyclical, repetitive nature of this pleasure-seeking, offering only fleeting gratification that falls away and demands to be sought again and again. It reminds me of the lowest point in the story of the prodigal son, when things go from bad to worse and the lost son glaringly needs finding: “the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living” (Luke 15:13). The rest of the lyrics, particularly the chorus, expound the details of what that “wild living” entails, and encourages the listener to “raise the bar and our cups to the stars” in amen to it.
However Williams wants to interpret the song, the very title inescapably implies brief, meaningless sexual union and fast, temporary satisfactions. Enduring as the song might be, the lifestyle it promotes cannot be: “after he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need” (Luke 15:14). When we have spent everything and seen the emptiness of “getting some” and “getting lucky”, no matter how long a way off we might be from the Father, he’s seen us already and is filled with compassion for us, ready to embrace and forgive and offer us real, enduring joy with him, declaring “let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:23-24). I’d rather raise my cup to that.