Explaining Your Favorite Songs! V.1

Lose Yourself by Eminem & I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe

Explaining Your Favorite Songs! V.1

Kristen Farley, Editor In Chief

Whether it be gospel, rock, emo, country, pop, etc., music is something we all listen to. It’s something we can all enjoy and relate to. Everyone has their own favorite song/songs. Sometimes you can’t help but wonder, “what’s this really about?”, or “what’s the story behind this song?” That’s what this series is going to be about. I’ll be explaining and telling the story behind some of your favorite songs!


I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe:

It Would Take a 'Divorce' to Split MercyMe Up Nowadays

If you listen to K-Love, you’ve probably heard this song a million times. Of course, it’s about Jesus; but have you ever wondered what prompted vocalist, Bart Millard to write this song? If you’ve seen the “I Can Only Imagine” movie, then you already know the story behind this song. If not, then let’s dive into the story. When Millard was very young, his father was a very abusive man who was awful to not only him, but his mother as well. He was also a raging alcoholic since as far back as Millard could remember; he never cared about church or the bible at all. 

After Millard had grown up and started his music career, he noticed at some point along the way that his father had started taking not only more of an interest in being an actual father, but in God as well. Of course Millard was glad for his father, who wouldn’t be? But it was a bit confusing, given his past. Then, Millard found out his father has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer, and started spending as much father/son time as he could with him. His father had finally found God and become a changed man.

After his father’s passing, Millard starts going through a journal his father had began writing in some time before his death. In it, he finds on one page the words “I can only imagine”. That was what first triggered the idea for this song.

When asked about what inspired him to write this song, Millard told the story of how his father was while he was growing up. Then, he told the story of how his father found God. He said “I knew if God could change a man like my father, he could help change anyone”. 

Lose Yourself by Eminem

Marshall Mathers (@Eminem) | Twitter

There’s a good chance that you already know what this song is about, but if you aren’t a big Eminem fan, you may not. 

Of course, some of Eminem’s lyrics can come off as goofy, trust me, I know. So, it may not really be super clear what the lyrics mean. If you didn’t know, the guy Eminem is rapping about in Lose Yourself, “Rabbit”, is actually himself. 

Way back before he had a career in hip-hop, Eminem was dirt-poor living with his mother and working at a factory. He actually never wanted to be a rapper specifically, but seeing as he was a great lyricist, he knew it was the only way out of the life he was living. So, he started going to a place called “The Shelter”, where rap battles would take place. He called himself B-Rabbit, hence the reference to “Rabbit” in the song. He called himself this because of his childhood nickname. When he was a kid, he had really big buck teeth, and because of this, his mother nicknamed him “Rabbit”.

When Rabbit (Eminem) first gets to rap in front of a crowd at the shelter, he gets nervous and throws up before he’s supposed to go on stage, hence the line: “His palms are sweaty, knees weak arms are heavy, there’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti. He’s nervous”.

He’s actually so nervous, that he freezes up on stage and finds himself unable to say anything, causing time to run out: “Time’s up, over”. He’s humiliated and for the longest time, refuses to go back to the shelter. One day, he gains enough confidence to go back and he does really well. So, he keeps going.

One day, Rabbit is discovered by Dr. Dre, and that’s how Eminem came to be.

So, this catchy rap tune that may not seem that serious, is actually about how Eminem went from being dirt poor and living in a trailer park with his mom, to being one of the most famous rappers of all time.