If you've seen The Lego Movie, starring Chris Pratt (voice), Elizabeth Banks (voice) and Will Ferrell then chances are you know the song "Everything Is Awesome." While you may remember it as being an ultra-upbeat pop track with nothing but lyrics about "blue skies, bouncy springs" and endless partying, you may be surprised to learn that writing the tune was anything but.
In theory, the songwriting process for The Lego Movie's theme song seems like it would have been a blast. Well I hate to burst bubbles but it turns out everything was NOT awesome for one of the track's songwriters, Mr. Shawn Patterson, who co-wrote the now-infamous tune with Joshua Bartholomew, Lisa Harriton and The Lonely Island. Patterson explained what made the process of writing "Everything Is Awesome" so excruciatingly painful for him in an interview with THR:
I was going through a very ugly divorce when I wrote that song. All of us, I'm assuming, have gone through horrible breakups at some point. So part of what we do, I guess, with our tools and what we feel and have studied, is we create. I wrote pages and pages and pages of lyrics, trying different concepts. There were definitely elements of darkness seeping into my lyrics — sarcasm, heavy f—ing sarcasm. And I'm like, 'Hold on. Don't get too sarcastic in this part.' That's why I had pages and pages. It was very therapeutic, in many ways.
"Pages and pages of lyrics" is the last thing I would have been expecting to hear when discussing The Lego Movie's "Everything Is Awesome." But being a writer myself, it makes complete sense when you think about it. The song only appears to be simple, when in all actuality it's pretty complex. It's just one of those songs that grabs you with its hook (love it or hate it) and that's all you remember.
When you break it down on a lyrical level it does get kind of depressing, provided you're keen to Patterson's heavy sarcasm. After reading his quote above, the lyrics kind of take on a whole new meaning:
Everything is better when we stick together / Side by side, you and I, gonna win forever, let's party forever / We're the same, I'm like you, you're like me, we're all working in harmony
I'm not going to speculate but it seems to get bleaker and bleaker the more you look at it. Hopefully the Grammy and Oscar nominations helped him bounce back from what sounds like a pretty brutal relationship split. The fact that he took part in a collaboration with Tegan and Sara and Mark Mothersbaugh should soothe a bit of the heartache.
Warner Bros. The Lego Movie is out on DVD and Blu-ray now.