All Star is a powerful song. Powerful enough to have adhered itself to two generations at least. Now 20 years old, the perennial pop classic has seen a recent resurgence. After initial radio success, a second boom in 2001 with the release of Shrek and a more recent revival thanks to meme culture, All Star seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. This was likely not random, but took place because of the world’s love for the aforementioned Shrek, as well as an enduring musical quality and deeper relatability within the lyrics. More than just a tasty jam though, there are some powerful lessons to be gleaned from the lyrics, if one brings an open mind to receive them.
The Value of Taking Action
From the opening verse, All Star immediately establishes a theme of taking action, along the road less traveled. Just before launching into the chorus, Smash Mouth urges: You’ll never know if you don’t go. You’ll never shine if you don’t glow. Truly, the Bible states this as well in regard to faith, in many places.
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
It is not enough to merely be present in the faith, but as followers of Christ, we must be active in ministering, and active in providing for those in our community and beyond.
Think of Yourself as God Thinks of You
The iconic chorus of Smash Mouth’s hit has some powerful subtleties that one is prone to miss without a deliberate and investigative eye. The most important thing to take from it is that we have value as individuals.
“Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play.
Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid.
And all that glitters is gold,
only shooting stars break the mold.”
-“All Star” by Smash Mouth, 1999
Note the encouragement within the tone of the lyrics. This can be brought to the classic story of David and Goliath. David was the littlest brother in a large family, yet he was the type to shoot his shot, quite literally. He may not have been at the front lines initially, but through his action and a confidence that God had in him, he guided a stone to just the right place, like a shooting star, and after 40 days of Goliath tormenting the Israelites, he broke the mold.
Sympathize and Participate in Faith and Good Works With One Another
As the song draws to a close, Smash Mouth brings one last parable to the table for contemplation. The story illustrates that, on multiple levels, we are all in a similar situation with one another.
“Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas?
I need to get myself away from this place.
I said yep what a concept,
I could use a little fuel myself
and we could all use a little change.”
-“All Star” by Smash Mouth, 1999
We all live in the same world, from the pastor to the sinner, the rich man to the poor. We are equal before God, in the sense that we all come to the cross tarnished, we all live together within His creation, we are all under the umbrella of His mercy and all must answer to His judgment. We should not look down on one another, but instead remember that at a low level, we are all in the same situation. We should be good Samaritans, we should be sympathetic to the struggles of our brothers and sisters, and we should lift each other up through words of encouragement, just as the song lyrics suggest.
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Media by Di’Mond Salmond