It has been said over and over again—we are the tattoo generation. Getting a tattoo once you are the legal age is quite common now-a-days. Many people will get a family symbol, a random design, or a short quote. One type of tattoo that is becoming quite common is tattoos of song lyrics.
A tattoo is a big commitment—it will be on your skin for the rest of your life. Not only do you have to consider the fact the tattoo is permanent, but getting a song lyrics tattooed poses another question—what if you don’t like that song in a year? What if you grow to hate that artist?
I wondered about these questions for a long time, so I decided to ask three people I personally know about their song tattoos. All three are different in age, all live in a different place, and all three have very different genres for their lyrics.
The first tattoo is a lyric from Drake’s “Fireworks” which was originally from Tupac’s book of poems. The person who got this tattoo—we’ll call her S— is a 19-year-old college student. She got this tattoo on January 17, 2012.
“The song is about going through hard times such as his parents’ divorce and rising from it and reaching his dreams—such as me,” said S. Drake has been one of her favorite artists for over two years now, and she feels she can relate to him.
Although Drake has been a favorite for a long time, she was nervous about regretting her tattoo choice later on in life, but soon realized it didn’t even have to do with the music in the end.. “I was afraid I’d regret it for a bit, but then I realized how beautiful the lyric is and it doesn’t even matter if Drake sang it or not it relates to me and I feel strongly towards it,” she said. She also has another tattoo, and feels like this one will be her only lyric tattoo. “One quote is good for me,” she said.
The next tattoo is a lyric from Matt Nathanson’s “All We Are.” M—the person who this tattoo belongs to—is a 22-year-old graduate of Suffolk University, who currently has a job in the marketing field. She got her tattoo on June 29, 2009 and it was a spur of-the-moment decision. “I was planning on getting a line from a movie eventually, but the night I came up with the idea for the tattoo I got, I just went with it,” she said.
“To me, and the artist in some way, the song is about being proud of who you are. You shouldn’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not,” she said. “When I first heard the song when I was seventeen, it really resonated with me. Two years later, when I got the tattoo, and now, it still means just as much.”
M also agrees that no matter how much she likes or dislikes this artist years from now, this tattoo is more than just about liking a song. It’s about having a personal connection with the lyrics.
Finally, the last tattoo comes from Yellowcard’s “Believe.” T—the tattoo holder—recently got this tattoo on October 31, 2012. Yellocard has been one of her favorite bands for the past seven years, and this song has always stuck with her.
After contemplating the idea of getting this tattoo for two years, T decided that it was time to get it. These three small words hold a great amount of meaning to her.
“It has two meanings to me. The first one being a simple reminder to just stay and strong and believe because things can get better. Then the second one is because my dad is a survivor of the 9/11 attacks. He was in the impact zone of the Pentagon,” she said.
That being said, she feels like this is certainly a tattoo she will never regret. “The tattoo has so much meaning to me that I will never regret it,” she said. Unlike the other two, T plans on getting another music lyric tattoo very soon.
What these three very different people have shown is that music brings people together. Three different people connected to three different so powerfully that they decided they would like it for the rest of their lives. To outsiders, it looks like song lyrics—a sign of being young and reckless. To these three girls, and many others like them, these tattoos are works of art and reminders of hope. That no matter what kind of day they are having, they can look at their tattoo and remember what made them happy enough to forever hold onto those words.