Funny Stuff

The true meaning behind Smash Mouth's All Star

The Odyssey. The Iliad. The Epic of Gilgamesh. These classic epic poems have been told and retold for centuries because their messages about the human experience continue to resonate. Stories of true heroism remind us of the bravery we are all capable of.

The Odyssey. The Iliad. The Epic of Gilgamesh. These classic epic poems have been told and retold for centuries because their messages about the human experience continue to resonate. Stories of true heroism remind us of the bravery we are all capable of.

A modern example of one such poem is the 1999 epic All Star, written by the bard Smashmouth. Here we will interpret the message of this piece and understand why this song must be sung until mankind no longer has the voice to sing it.

"Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me / I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed"

Our hero lives a simple life. A farm life. He is held back by the limits of his small town and his perceived lack of intelligence.

"She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb in the shape of an L on her forehead"

He meets a witch, who is mute. Using hand signals, she makes the symbol 'L' for Larazarus, signaling death and rebirth. His farm life over, he must now rise from the ashes of his dull existence and become the hero he is destined to be.

"You'll never know if you don't go, you'll never shine if you don't glow"

Our hero is called to action. The journey will be difficult, but if he does not accept, he stands to lose the land he loves and the "shining" future promised to him by the witch.

"Hey now, you're an all star, get your game on, go play
Hey now, you're a rock star, get your show on, get paid
All that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold"

Our hero accepts that he is the "All Star" of legend, but the demon he must face is powerful, both with magic and with riches. In order to defeat the demon, he must wield the power of a 'shooting star.'

"It's a cool place, and they say it gets colder / You're bundled up now, wait 'til you get older"

Arriving at the temple of the demon, he is hit by a blast of winter magic that nearly kills him—aging him at an accelerated rate.

"The ice we skate is getting pretty thin / The water's getting warm so you might as well swim"

Summoning a magic power he did not know he possessed, the All Star melts the ice of the demon. The demon plunges into a lake and is defeated.

"My world's on fire, how about yours? / That's the way I like it and I'll never get bored"

The All Star, having freed the kingdom from the Ice Demon, now takes his place at the throne. Becoming a leader will be stressful but he welcomes the challenge. His life will no longer be rural and dull.

"Hey now, you're an all star, get your game on, go play…"

The chorus is repeated here, but with new meaning. The All Star, gazing out upon the riches of his vast kingdom, realizes that none of this material world is of any consequence.

The "shooting star" power lay within him all along.

now