Irene Cara – “Flashdance… What a Feeling” 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.

Irene Cara’s iconic song “Flashdance… What a Feeling” is a radiant expression of self-belief, passion, and the transformative power of music and dance. The song is a rhythmic beacon of light, showcasing the journey from solitude and self-reflection to overwhelming joy and self-actualization. It encourages listeners to embrace their passions, believe in their beings, and dance through life with unrestrained jubilance.

Ever wondered about the depth behind the infectious joy of “Flashdance… What a Feeling”? Delve into the world of Irene Cara and explore the meaning and the story that breathes life into this timeless classic.

“Flashdance… What a Feeling” Lyrics Meaning

The lyrical journey of “Flashdance… What a Feeling” begins with depicting a “slow glowing dream,” a metaphor perhaps for a nascent passion or a simmering desire concealed within one’s mind. This line and the ensuing verses speak to the solitude and silent tears associated with maintaining one’s pride in a seemingly rigid and unyielding world “made of steel, made of stone.”

However, a noticeable transition occurs as the music begins to seep into the protagonist’s consciousness. “Well, I hear the music, Close my eyes, feel the rhythm,” signify the awakening of the soul to the transformative power of music and dance. The passion awakened in this transformation seems to create an extraordinary feeling, a euphoria— where being translates into believing, leading to the realization that one can indeed “have it all.”

The chorus, “Take your passion, And make it happen,” serves as a mantra, urging listeners to seize their passions and transform them into reality, allowing “pictures [to] come alive.” This portion of the song is a powerful reminder of the boundless possibilities that lie within the realms of belief and action.

The consistent reference to “dancing through life” is not merely a literal interpretation but a metaphorical representation of living one’s life with utter joy and unabated passion, allowing the rhythm of existence to take hold of one’s heart. The essence of “being’s believin’” and “I can have it all” reinforces the empowering message of self-belief and the actualization of one’s dreams.

The concluding lines are a crescendo of affirmation, encapsulating the entire essence of the song— a harmonious blend of belief, passion, and realization that one can truly “make it happen.”

The Story Behind “Flashdance… What a Feeling”

Composed for the 1983 film “Flashdance,” Irene Cara’s “Flashdance… What a Feeling” emerged as a reflection of the film’s central theme— the pursuit of dreams and the transformative journey of passion and self-belief. The song, co-written by Cara, Keith Forsey, and Giorgio Moroder, became synonymous with the visual of Jennifer Beals’s character dancing fervently, embodying the song’s essence of liberation and self-expression.

Irene Cara, embodying the zeitgeist of the early ’80s, was likely influenced by the rising themes of individualism and self-empowerment prevalent during this era. The socio-cultural landscape of the time, characterized by the pursuit of personal aspirations and self-expression, was conducive to creating anthems celebrating human potential and the joy derived from embracing one’s true self.

The meticulous crafting of “Flashdance… What a Feeling” is reflective of a collaborative desire to encapsulate the spirit of unwavering determination and the bliss emanating from achieving one’s dreams. The song’s infectious rhythm and inspiring lyrics resonate with the universal human experience of overcoming obstacles and reveling in the fulfillment of one’s passions.

The intertwining of cinematic imagery and musical brilliance in “Flashdance… What a Feeling” resulted in a cultural phenomenon that inspires listeners to dance through life with boundless joy and embrace the extraordinary feeling of turning passions into reality. The song’s enduring appeal lies in its timeless message and the vibrant energy that propels every listener to believe in the beauty of their being and the boundless possibilities of their existence.