After Laughter

“Hard Times” by Paramore on the Sunday Song Spotlight

Here’s a song that you wouldn’t expect to see here amongst our hard rock and heavy metal heroes! Paramore generally are not our kind of band. They started out as a young emo rock quintet but have evolved into something more clever, nuanced and pop-oriented. Through lineup changes, drama, and perhaps even one asshole ex-member, Paramore have thrived and grown with five hit albums under their belts.

“Hard Times” is an 80s pop ditty brought into the modern day by singer Hayley Williams, guitarist Taylor York, and drummer Zac Farro. It was the premier single from their fifth record After Laughter. Any fan of 80s hits will find it easy to like. The music video emphasizes Hayley’s keen sense of image with splashes of colour. With all that neon, it sure does look like 1988 (The year of Hayley’s birth). It’s a far cry from the kind of emo rock they started out with in 2005. The best parts of the song are when Hayley forgoes the melody and gets all shouty (“And I gotta hit rock bottom!”).

Hitting #2 in Sweden and New Zealand, and #6 in the US, “Hard Times” was a bit of a hit. And you can easily hear why. Regardless of the dreary lyrics, the music is totally upbeat.  I love the dancey beat, and the way that Taylor York just rakes that one chord.  “Hard Times” may not rock, but it surely is a good song.

Paramore are working on new music in 2022.

All that I want
Is to wake up fine
Tell me that I’m alright
That I ain’t gonna die

All that I want
Is a hole in the ground
You can tell me when it’s alright
For me to come out

(Hard times) gonna make you wonder why you even try
(Hard times) gonna take you down and laugh when you cry
(These lives) and I still don’t know how I even survive
(Hard times)
(Hard times)
And I gotta get to rock bottom

Walking around
With my little rain cloud
Hanging over my head
And it ain’t coming down
Where do I go?

Gimme some sort of sign
You hit me with lightning
Maybe I’ll come alive

(Hard times) gonna make you wonder why you even try
(Hard times) gonna take you down and laugh when you cry
(These lives) and I still don’t know how I even survive
(Hard times)
(Hard times)
And I gotta hit rock bottom

Tell my friends I’m coming down
We’ll kick it when I hit the ground
Tell my friends I’m coming down
We’ll kick it when I hit the ground
When I hit the ground
When I hit the ground
When I hit the ground
When I hit the ground

(Hard times) gonna make you wonder why you even try
(Hard times) gonna take you down and laugh when you cry
(These lives) and I still don’t know how I even survive
(Hard times) (hard times)
(Hard times) (hard times)
And I gotta get to rock bottom