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"Awake and Alive" : A Look at Skillet's Most Popular Song

posted May 23, 2011, 8:11 PM by Sarah Brehm   [ updated May 23, 2011, 8:46 PM ]

Just yesterday, May 22, Skillet brought home the Billboard Award for Top Christian Album for their explosive album, Awake. Easily Skillet’s most popular of their eight albums, Awake, hasn’t stopped gaining new fans since its release in August of 2009. The album went Gold by the RIAA in July of 2010 and is close to going Platinum (1,000,000 units sold). The first two singles, “Hero” and “Monster” have been featured in everything from ACC football promos to WWE Smackdown and peaked on the U.S. Active Rock radio charts at four and 12, respectively The third single, “Awake and Alive” made history when it reached number one on the U.S. Active Rock radio charts—this was the first number-one song in the chart’s history to feature female vocals; drummer, Jen Ledger sings along with lead vocalist John Cooper.

 

And with Skillet’s growing success, for some reason fears have arisen that Skillet have flung their faith away and are joyously embracing the life of a stereotypical secular rock band. These accusations are absurd. All it takes is going to a show, talking to band members, or listening to Skillet’s meaningful lyrics to conclude that this is a band whose members reflect the light of Christ in a world going dark.
 
In this article, I’ll discuss my interpretations of the lyrics to “Awake and Alive.” Are you awake? Are you alive?
 
I’m at war with the world 
And they try to pull me into the dark

I struggle to find my faith

As I’m slipping from Your arms 

 

As Christians we must live in this world, this Earth. It is the ultimate test of good and evil, light and dark. In concert , John Cooper prefaces this song with a speech about how every day there is a war going on—a war for our souls. And that, ultimately is what this song is about. The world is trying to “pull me into the dark.” There are days that “I struggle to find my faith.” On those days I’m frustrated, I complain to God, and I lose sight of what’s important—on those days I am “slipping from Your arms.”

 

It’s getting harder to stay awake

And my strength is fading fast

You breathe into me at last

 

When I’m discontent with God I find myself in a foul mood—a sort of what’s-the-point? mood. It drains me of my energy when I’m mad and it really does “get harder to stay awake” and I do feel “my strength fading fast.” But then, I see God again—either through pray and meditation, or going on a hike, or even listening to Skillet. In those moments of revelation, He “breathes into me” and peace and love fill my heart.

 

I’m awake, I’m alive

Now I know what I believe inside

Now it’s my time

I’ll do what I want ‘cause this my life

 

Right here, right now

Stand my ground and never back down

I know what I believe inside

I’m awake and I’m alive

 

The chorus is a declaration. I’m awake! I’m alive! Today the world has not won my soul. Today, my soul belongs to God. This is my faith. This is what I believe, and I’m not afraid to proclaim it!

 

I’m at war with the world

‘Cause I ain’t never gonna sell my soul

I’ve already made up my mind

No matter what, I can’t be bought or sold

 

The second verse starts out exactly the same as the first. However, in the first verse, the world is winning the war. In this verse, the world is losing. Why?  “ ‘Cause I ain’t never gonna sell my soul!” It makes grammarians (including myself) cringe, but it’s a bold statement.

 

When my faith is getting weak

And I feel like giving in

You breathe into me again

 

In those times of weakness and frustration, I soon remember why I live for God. He does breathe life into me again. In those moments, I feel renewed and refreshed.

 

I’m awake, I’m alive

Now I know what I believe inside

Now it’s my time

I’ll do what I want ‘cause this is my life

 

Right here, right now

Stand my ground and never back down

I know what I believe inside

I’m awake and I’m alive

 

The chorus comes again. This is my life. I know why I’m living, and the world cannot take that away from me!

 

Waking up, waking up

Waking up, waking up

Waking up, waking up

Waking up, waking up

 

In the dark I can feel you in my sleep

In Your arms, I feel You breathe into me

Forever hold this heart that I will give to you

Forever I will live you

 

The bridge of this song demands listeners to wake up! It’s time to be awake! God breathes life into me. He holds me. I have given Him my heart and I will live for Him!

 

I’m awake, I’m alive

Now I know what I believe inside

Now it’s my time

I’ll do what I want ‘cause this is my life

 

Right here, right now

Stand my ground and never back down

I know what I believe inside

I’m awake, and I’m alive

 

Waking up, waking up

Waking up, waking up

Waking up, waking up

Waking up, waking up

 

The song ends with the chorus and repeating “waking up.” It’s time for us Christians to boldly wake up and start living. I’m awake. I’m alive. I know what I believe, and I will not back down!

 

Words by: Sarah Brehm

Photos by: Sarah Brehm

 

Have a song you want me to discuss, or that you want to write about? Send me an email to infoatfortechattanoogadotcom

 

In Atlanta, 2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
In Raleigh, NC 2010
 
 
 
 
In Atlanta, 2011
 
 
 
 
in Chattanooga, 2009
 
 
 
 
 
In Knoxville, 2009
 
 
 
 
In Chattanooga, 2009
 
 
 

Skillet "Awake and Alive"

Official music video: Interestingly, this was filmed live at Memorial Auditorium, here in Chattanooga!
 
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