Not Today by Imagine Dragons: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation

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Imagine Dragons need no introduction. They’re one of the most popular pop rock bands in the recent decade and have made quite a significant impact on the pop culture of America as well as the rest of the world. The band was formed in 2008. It consists of Dan Reynolds, Ben McKee, Wayne Sermon, and Daniel Platzman. Their songs “Radioactive” and “Demons” have topped the charts in every quite a few countries. They’re usually known for producing songs that resonate deeply with a wide range of audience. Most of their songs tend to inspire hope. Another fact about Imagine Dragons is that they’re heavily into philanthropy. The Tyler Robinson Foundation that helps young people fight cancer was founded by Imagine Dragons. Apart from that, they regularly play live to raise funds for various social issues and problems. They’ve also been identified as an ally to the LGBTQA+ community as the lead singer of the band, Dan Reynolds, released a documentary that is based on topics such as LGBTQA+ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The band’s single “Believer” was included in that very documentary.

“Not Today” is a song that’s a bit introspective in nature as are their all songs. In a way, it also inspires hope for the heartbroken, if looked in a certain way. This song was the lead track from the soundtrack of the film, “Me Before You”. Most people tend to interpret the song in regard to the context of the movie. However, one can also interpret it separately.

What does the Title mean?

The title of the song can be interpreted in the context of the movie, or separately. In the context of the movie, “Not Today” might mean that the narrator is not ending his life on a particular day. In the movie “Me Before You”, Will Traynor becomes paralyzed after a motorcycle accident. He loses everything that he loves – adventure, his girlfriend, and his best friend. He contemplates assisted suicide, and his mother also grants his wish to make a claim for legal assisted suicide on one condition. The condition being that he should make an attempt to live for 6 more months. If he still doesn’t think that life is worth living, his mother would grant her permission to let him go for assisted suicide. In countries where assisted suicide is legal, an approval from a family member is necessary. It is then that he finds Louisa who makes his life worth living. Thus, the title “Not Today” can mean that he is not ending his life and by extension, not giving up hope. On the other hand, there is also a darker interpretation of this song’s title. Will becomes paralyzed and does not die after his accident. Thus, the title of the song can also refer to the narrator’s longing to die. The aspect of assisted suicide comes into play here.

Apart from the movie, the interpretations of the song can be many as the lyrics are quite vague. It can also be interpreted as a breakup song or a song for someone who longs for love. The interpretations can vary a lot as subjectivity of the listener comes into play here.

Verse 1 – What does it mean?

“There she goes in front of me

Take my life and set me free again

We’ll make a memory out of it

Holy road is at my back

Don’t look on, take me back again

We’ll make a memory out of it”

In the first two lines, the narrator might be referring to Louisa, his caretaker, who makes his life worth living again. She metaphorically sets him free again from the bounding of his medical condition with her love. It’s her love that keeps him going and sets him free of the pain in his soul. Will or the narrator also decides that he will make a memory out of the life that he had lived. The memories that he will share with her. The “holy road” can refer to his life of adventure and ability that he left behind. However, there is still a part of him which longs to go back to his old life. Disability can destroy someone mentally as they struggle to accept the reality. The same happens with Will. But the song gives hope to the listener that he’ll move on and make a memory out of it.

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What does the Pre-Chorus mean?

“We finally fall apart

And we break each other’s hearts

If we wanna live young, love

We better start today”

The Pre-chorus refers to the part in the movie where his best friend steals his girlfriend. Thus, Will ends up losing two of his most beloved persons as well as his ability to walk and perform basic tasks of every day life. However, he comes to know that if someone really wants to “live”, there has to be love in their life. Without love, a human being cannot really be alive. After being in denial as well as being depressed about his condition, the lyrics suggest that he would start living young with Louisa today and not give up.

What does the Chorus mean?

“It’s gotta get easier and easier somehow

‘Cause I’m falling, I’m falling

Oh, easier and easier somehow

Oh, I’m calling, I’m calling

And it isn’t over unless it is over

I don’t wanna wait for that

It’s gotta get easier and easier somehow

But not today, not today”

In the chorus, it seems that Will believes that living with his condition will get easier with time. He will come to terms with reality. “Falling” can refer to the nightmares that he must’ve had of falling from his motorcycle that led to his condition in the first place. The line about his life not being over unless it is over can be interpreted in two ways. In a positive, his life may not be void of everything as life isn’t really over until the person stops breathing. On the other hand, the narrator might be lamenting the fact that his life isn’t over because most people consider a life of disability to be one that’s worth not living.

Verse 2 – What does it mean?

“There she goes in front of me

Take my life, set me free again

We’ll make a memory out of it

Holy road was at my back

Don’t look on, take me back again

We’ll make a memory out of it”

The second verse is same as the first one. Yet as it is in the ending, it gives hope and inspiration to the listener. It suggests that we should make a memory out of everything that happens to us, regardless whether it is good or bad. If someone like Will can move on from such a big change in his life as this with the help of love, people can overcome anything.

What does the Bridge mean?

“So come with me

You’ll come with me

So come with me

You’ll come with me

Not today

Not today

Not today

Not today”

In the bridge, the narrator invites his loved one to come with them. The repetition of ‘Not Today’ refers to him not giving up. According to the other darker and less explored interpretation, this could also refer to him lamenting the fact that he’s dying today. However, such an interpretation is less likely to be accepted by many listeners due to the nature of the movie it was released for. The movie ends on a relatively happier note, and thus, this darker interpretation does not hold up in the face of that.


All in all, it’s a very inspiring song from a motivating movie. It is filled with a variety of emotions, and if listened to in the movie, it makes a greater impact on the audience. Imagine Dragons are known to produce emotionally-sensitive music such as this. This is what makes them one of the most popular pop rock bands in the whole world.

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