​A-ha – “Take On Me” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Take On Me” captures the essence of young love, risk, and adventure. The song revolves around a narrator urging his love interest to take a leap of faith with him. The lyrics hint at uncertainty but with an underlying excitement. It’s about those thrilling yet nerve-wracking moments at the start of a new relationship. A-ha penned this song to reflect the ups and downs of love and the bravery it takes to dive into the unknown.

Ever wondered about the rollercoaster of emotions behind this iconic 80s track? Stick around to unpack the layers of “Take On Me” and discover what really makes this tune tick.


“Take On Me” Lyrics Meaning

From the get-go, “We’re talking away” sets a conversation scene – perhaps one where words aren’t coming easily. The line, “I don’t know what I’m to say,” gives us a glimpse into the narrator’s vulnerability. Haven’t we all been there? That moment when we desperately want to express our feelings but can’t find the right words?

“Today is another day to find you, Shyin’ away” suggests an ongoing pursuit, possibly indicating the game of cat and mouse often played in budding romances. The back and forth, the chase, and the allure of the unknown.

Now, the chorus is where the magic happens. “Take on me… Take me on… I’ll be gone in a day or two.” It’s a daring proposition. The narrator is laying it all out, asking for a chance, even if it might be short-lived. This encapsulates the fleeting nature of youth and romance – sometimes things are brilliant, and sometimes they fade away, but they’re always worth the risk. The line, “Slowly learning that life is okay” tells us that there’s growth happening. Both in the narrator’s personal journey and in the relationship. It’s a beautiful nod to the fact that as we grow, we also learn to accept life with its ebbs and flows.

One of the most introspective parts? “All the things that you say, yeah, Is it life or just to play my worries away?” Here, the narrator grapples with distinguishing between reality and fantasy. Is this relationship genuine or just a temporary escape from the everyday grind?

Wrapping it all up, “You’re all the things I’ve got to remember, You’re shyin’ away, I’ll be coming for you anyway” reinforces the song’s central theme of taking chances in love, even in the face of hesitation.

The Story Behind “Take On Me”

Initially released in 1984, the track didn’t initially set the charts ablaze. However, its 1985 re-release and groundbreaking rotoscope animation video helped skyrocket it into the annals of pop music history. The tune’s origins are rooted in a song called “The Juicy Fruit Song” written by Pål Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen, members of A-ha. As they honed the track with Morten Harket, the band’s lead singer, it evolved into the version we recognize today.

Mentally, A-ha was in a transitional period while penning this song. Norwegian by origin, they were on the cusp of international fame, grappling with the complexities of breaking into the global market, especially the competitive UK scene. The song’s lyrics mirrored this phase of anticipation, hope, and uncertainty, as it pivots between hesitancy and the thrill of taking risks. The visually stunning music video, which intertwines live-action with pencil-sketch animations, not only reflected the song’s themes of reality versus fantasy but also added another layer to its narrative. This fusion of music and innovative storytelling techniques bolstered the song’s appeal, making it a quintessential 80s anthem.

Today, “Take On Me” isn’t just remembered for its catchy hooks but also for its feelings of perseverance, adaptation, and willingness to take risks; a reflection of A-ha’s journey in the music industry. The story behind this song is an inspiring reminder that sometimes, success is just around the corner, waiting for the right moment to shine.