Meaning of Life by Kelly Clarkson: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation

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Kelly Clarkson is an American singer who barged into the American Music scene by winning the 2002 edition of American Idol. She has now transitioned into becoming a full-fledged actress, TV personality, and author. Today, she’s a household name in America. She debuted with her single “A moment like this”. This single took the whole nation by storm and was at the number one spot on the Billboard 200. Post her American Idol success, Clarkson changed genres and released the pop rock album “Breakaway” in 2004. The title of this album was a direct addressal of the change in her art form. The album was a huge success and it won two Grammy Awards. It not only received critical acclaim but also became very popular among fans as it sold over 12 million copies.

What does the title mean?

The meaning behind the title of this song is pretty straightforward. Kelly Clarkson wonders about the meaning of life in the context of love. Of course, this is a subject that has had philosophers arguing for centuries, and there is still no definite agreement on the same. However, Clarkson’s exploration of this topic in this song is pretty limited. It revolves only about romantic relationships. Although, taking her personal life into account, this song has a lot of significance to her as it is about her husband, Brandon Blackstock. In 2021, however, the couple underwent a healthy divorce. The reason cited by Clarkson was that both of them wanted a chance to build their lives anew.

Verse 1 – What does it mean?

“Baby, I’ve been livin’ in the dark

The only friend I got here’s my broken heart

Feelin’ like I’ve finally had enough

Livin’ like an animal can be so rough”

To put this song into perspective, one has to remember that Kelly Clarkson was going through a rough patch in her romantic life. She had been single for almost 7 years before she met her husband, Brandon Blackstock. In the first couple of lines of the verse, she is singing about that phase of her life. In an interview, she revealed that every Christmas was like hell for her because she’d see couples around her celebrating, while she had to brood alone. She really needed an emotional partner at the time to share her journey with.

That yearning of hers was only taken care of when Brandon slid into her life. In the last two lines, she explains how her life has become of an animal. The emotional yearning for a lover is pretty apparent in the lyrics. She’s had enough of her single life, and just wants to be with a serious lover who can appreciate her for who she is.

What does the pre-chorus mean?

“I’ve been waitin’ so long for you to come my way

And now I, I can’t wait another day”

In the pre-chorus, she goes on about how long she had been waiting for a lover. In real life, she had just found Brandon Blackstock. So, her long search for a lover had finally come to an end. The desperation in the lyrics may sound a bit out there. However, coupled with her beautiful voice, it comes off as pretty sober.

What does the chorus mean?

“When you hold me, I finally see

When you say love, I know what it means

I was broke down so alone in the dark

Until you showed me the light (baby)

‘Cause when you kiss me, I know who I am

And when you let me feel it I understand

When I’m lost I just look in your eyes

You show me the meaning of life

Meaning of life, life, life, life

You show me the meaning of life

Meaning of life, life, life, life

You show me the meaning of life”

In most pop and pop rock songs, it’s the chorus that ties all the verses together. The same is true for this song as well. The title of the song is mentioned in the chorus itself, and we are offered a deeper glimpse into Clarkson’s thought process. She narrates her experience of being held and loved by her lover, for whom she had been waiting. She narrates her experience of being alone in the dark, without anyone to lean on. She explains how magical she feels when her lover kisses her.

All in all, she finds meaning when she looks into his eyes. There’s a whole universe in his eyes. A universe in which loves to get lost. That’s the thing about true love. Two entities become one and their two separate universes become one. This sentiment is captured perfectly by Clarkson in this song. Her lover shows her the meaning of life. Many people claim that love itself is the meaning of life. We are here to love each other and find meaning in the process. Perhaps that is the real meaning of life as many of us have experienced the bliss of being in love.

Verse 2 – What does it mean?

“Every time I spend a lonely night, yeah

Thinkin’ I won’t make it til the morning light

All I do is think of you and I

Suddenly the wrongs they start to feel so right”

Loneliness can eat a person from the inside. Many illnesses of the mind actually stem from our human condition of loveless existence. This might not be accurate in medical terms. However, emotional support and love is necessary for everyone, no matter who they are. Clarkson explains how she barely makes it to the morning through those lonely nights. She often doubts whether she will be able to see the morning light or not. But when she starts to think about her lover, everything falls into place.

What does the bridge mean?

“You show me love

You lift me up

You take me higher and higher

The truth is I’m in love

Can you feel us, we’re flyin’ higher

Oh, you show me love

You lift me up

You take me higher and higher

The truth is I’m in love

Can you feel us, we’re flyin’ higher”

In the bridge, she explains why she needs love. She says that her lover lifts her spirits and keeps her going. No matter what the world throws at her, if her lover is by her side, she’ll face it all. That’s the power of love. When she’s in love, she flies high. That’s the intoxication that love brings to the table. It’s a fact that our brain starts producing more of those happy chemicals when we’re in love. Being elevated I love can also be a reference to the spiritual aspect of love. People on their own spiritual journey often need another spiritual partner with whom they can grow.

Another interpretation of the last line could be that she wants to go wild with her lover. She wants to live her life to the fullest with him. Of course, this will involve having wild experiences with him. Nevertheless, both of these interpretations have one element in common and that is the bond with her lover.


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All in all, it’s an amazing song that deserves a listen. The magical voice of Clarkson that won her the American Idol in 2002 can be seen in full effect here. The lyrics are truly elevated when Clarkson sings them in her own unique way. There is no wonder why Clarkson’s voice as well as her songs are loved in almost every household of America. Moreover, with proper PR management, she has also started to gain traction in the international scene.

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