Meaning of “Team” by Lorde

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

Lorde’s “Team” is an emblem of the youth, a depiction of the struggle of the young generation that lives in the unseen corners of the world, in cities “you’ll never see on-screen.” It’s a response to the over-glamorized portrayal of life and relationships prevalent in popular culture. Lorde crafts an anthem of realism, a melody representing a team of people who are living in the ruins of palaces within their dreams. The song delves deep into themes of disillusionment, unity, and the aspiration for authenticity.

Lorde is arguably expressing her disdain for the mainstream and a desire for genuine experiences and relationships, living in a world that might not be picture-perfect but is very much real and alive.

Want to get into the depths of Lorde’s thoughts, explore the unseen cities, and understand why we are all on each other’s team? Stick around to unravel the magic and the realism behind “Team.”

“Team” Lyrics Meaning

In “Team,” Lorde begins with a scene that could be interpreted as a critique of societal norms and expectations, a silent rebellion against the predefined. The reference to “graces” and the “hounds” paints a vivid picture of restraint and civility, a subtle whisper of discontent brewing beneath the polished surfaces.

“Call all the ladies out, they’re in their finery,” illustrates a society draped in pretenses, with individuals wearing their best disguises, hiding their true selves. The notion of “a hundred jewels on throats, a hundred jewels between teeth,” is possibly a metaphor for the riches and the glamorous allure of high society, seemingly desirable yet deceivingly hollow.

The mention of the “boys” with “skin in craters like the moon” brings forth the idea of scars and imperfections. The “moon,” a universal symbol of time and change, possibly represents the transient and fleeting nature of life. Lorde seems to convey an acceptance and embracement of flaws, creating a sense of unity and camaraderie among the imperfect.

“Dancin’ around the lies we tell,” delves into the reality of our existence, a dance around pretensions and untruths. Lorde’s reference to the “comatose” who “don’t dance and tell” may be pointing at the silent observers, those who watch the facade but do not partake in it.

The chorus, “We live in cities you’ll never see on-screen,” brings the listener to the hidden corners of the world, to the unnoticed and the unglamorous. Here, life is not picturesque, but it’s real. Lorde manifests a world living in “ruins of a palace within my dreams,” where people form a united “team,” breaking free from the utopian portrayals and embracing their true selves.

The sense of disillusionment comes forward as Lorde expresses being “kind of over gettin’ told to throw my hands up in the air.” It’s an echoing whisper of defiance against the clichéd and the conventional. Lorde, with every word, seems to be tearing away from the norm, leading her “team” to a world unchained by societal standards.

This song is not merely a set of beautifully intertwined words; it’s a beacon for those seeking authenticity in a world swathed in artifice. It’s about coming together, forming alliances with those who see beyond the superficial, who understand that beauty resides in ruins and reality is far more enchanting than fantasy.

Why Was “Team” Written?

To support the myriad of interpretations we explored, it’s essential to understand why Lorde wrote “Team.” When penning down this song, Lorde was in a phase where she was absorbing the contrast between reality and the glittering portrayal of life and relationships in the media. The song emanates a sense of realization and maturity, depicting her growth and her perspective on genuine experiences and connections.

Lorde’s state of mind during the conception of “Team” was seemingly marked by her desire to break free from the shackles of societal expectations and to embrace the raw, the real, and the imperfect. Her words echo a symphony of rebellion against the over-glamorized and a silent proclamation of unity among the unseen and the unheard.

This background strengthens the interpretation of “Team” as an anthem for the unseen cities and their inhabitants, striving to live authentically amidst the ruins of their dreams, united in their quest for truth and realism in a world dominated by illusions.