Welcome to the 19th article of our series, “K-Pop Lyrics Explained” where we analyze the lyrics to some of your favourite songs. From new releases to old classics, OSTs to non-Korean songs, we have all bases covered. If you’d like to request a song to be featured in this series, leave a comment down below!
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This week, we’re diving deep into the brand new anthem of the summer of ’22, SEVENTEEN’s diamond maknae Dino’s ‘High-Five’! The song is written entirely by Dino and is co-composed by the idol too! It wonderfully captures the essence of Dino’s youthful musicality and establishes his sonic aesthetic as a soloist with panache.
‘High-Five’ is a pop dance track that truly highlights Dino’s multifaceted talents. His vocal flair and control are beyond comparison and the composition is one of a kind. The fast-paced melody is spirited and full of life, painting a picture rich with colour and vivacity. So, without further ado, let’s break down the lyrics of ‘High-Five’!
“Okay, I’m ready / My perfect fit, yeah / Heavy luggage in a corner, keep, keep / Like the birds, my heart is free, yeah / The excitement of stopping makes me jump“
With the horrors of COVID-19 subsiding little by little and the world coming back to normal, revenge travel has been at the top of everyone’s post-COVID wishlist. ‘High-Five’ embodies a similar sense of wanderlust and liberation, both physical and emotional, as Dino prepares to set off on a journey to satisfy his soul. However, this journey doesn’t necessarily have to be out into the world. Instead, Dino urges us to look within and find the light that never goes out. Rather than packing heavy, he prefers to simply bring a friend along and explore the beauty of the little things in life. At the same time, Dino poignantly implies that it’s time to put aside the heaviness of our hearts and live our lives to the fullest. He isn’t afraid of a pause but rather, is so thrilled by the idea of rest that it drives him. Not only does this line posit the beautiful duality of his lyrics but it also anticipates adversity and turns it around, creating a kinder reality.
“The sunlight becomes our light / On the street stage the runway (Way, way) / If you know the truth inside me / Every day, endlessly, go, go, go“
Dino emphasizes that one doesn’t need fancy luxuries to have a good time. As long as the sun is shining down on us and our hearts are full, the world becomes our oyster. If you know and love yourself, that alone can push you to seize the day.
“To the rhythm / Give me a high-five / You know that (All right) / It’s like our own world, high-five / It’s not hard, oh / Even on a difficult day, so-so (So, so, so) / Frozen words to me are, so-so (So, so, so) / All right, just in your mood / Give me a high-five (Woah) / It’s shining right now, uh“
In the iconic chorus, Dino sends a message loud and clear: we’re on a floating rock moving across the universe so we might as well make it our own. Despite the hard times when our emotions are all out of whack, if we can just gather the will for a high-five, whether that be to a friend or even to oneself, we can make it through just fine.
“Where are we going, yeah / I don’t know, but the obvious answer is far away / I shake you in the right color / Just as you want (Move on)“
‘High-Five’ doesn’t claim to be a lesson or a manual for life. Instead, Dino presents it as a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on. We might not always know what the future holds but it is certainly full of possibilities. If the great unknown ever overwhelms you, Dino wants you to listen to this song and feel at ease. No matter the circumstances, he hopes to make you feel just right.
“The seasons are passing by endlessly / But there are things that don’t change / If you’re holding the handle inside me / Don’t stop, go, go, go“
Once again, Dino expresses an implicit duality with his lyrics through the metaphor of seasons. By virtue of their existence, seasons are meant to change. However, they come around time and time again, unchangingly. This irony is strangely comforting and Dino does an incredible job of bringing out the beauty of it all.
“I want to run beyond the universe / I’ll let you know / Even if there’s a place no one knows / I’ll let you go / Even if it’s crazy (Even if), yeah / Don’t hesitate, get up, yeah / Where the sun is dancing / I’ll let you know / Leave your worries / Even if it’s crazy, yeah / As you wanted, yeah, yeah, yeah“
The song reaches an energetic climax with the post-chorus, where Dino puts his soul into his art, encouraging CARAT to live their lives by their own rules and standards. Nothing is too far from reach, not even the sun. He is Icarus incarnate and his wings are fireproof. This is what true artistic genius looks like and we could not be more excited about what Dino has in store for us next.
What did you think of Dino’s ‘High-Five’? Share your thoughts with Kpopmap in the comments section down below!