Shine by Mondo Cozmo: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation

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“Shine” is a 2016 single by American singer-songwriter Mondo Cozmo. Born Josh Ostrander in Philadelphia, he began recording under the name Mondo Cozmo in 2016. The single “Shine” became a hit upon its release and reached Number 1 on the Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs chart in January 2017. Mondo Cozmo followed the release of “Shine” by an opening act for the tour of the American band Bastille.

Mondo Cozmo’s “Shine” lyrics’ meaning has resonated with thousands of people across the world. Amazed by its success, Mondo Cozmo admits that the song was written at a time when he wasn’t doing so well. In his own words, he “wasn’t in the best headspace.” Juggling with two jobs and recording out of a spare bedroom, “Shine” was born during a period of hardship for Mondo Cozmo.

With references to Jesus Christ and Mary, the song wasn’t meant to be a religious anthem. In fact, despite its use of religious imagery, for Mondo Cozmo, “Shine” is a song of hope during tough times. Growing up in a religious Baptist household, he admits that religious symbolism and meaning have stuck with him through the years. Despite not practicing religion much anymore, Cozmo’s 2016 single draws heavily from faith-based symbolism and meaning.

The song is an inspiration to many who interpret it as a plea for support, steadfastness, and hope during bleak times. Mixing house, gospel, and classical soul to render a simple and heartfelt tune, “Shine” for Mondo Cozmo was “as much a prayer as it was a hope.”

What Does the Title Mean?

Mondo Cozmo’s “Shine” lyrics’ meaning is associated with a call to look inwards and introspect on the subjectivity of the human experience. Human beings are fragile and fraught with hardships. But instead of blaming the world, the song reaches out to whatever the divine means for people to pray for support and strength in trying times. In a world full of harsh judgment and bleak prospects, “Shine” is a powerful anthem calling for acceptance, forgiveness, and support no matter our habits and human misgivings.

In “Shine”, Mondo Cozmo calls for a light to be shone on those who are in darkness, fighting their battles and demons. “Shine” is a song of hope for those left without the means to survive. Calling on religious communion and referencing the use of marijuana, Mondo Cozmo doesn’t shy from criticizing society’s assumptions about people.

The title of the song also comes from a scene in the film Cool Hand Luke. In the movie, actor Paul Newman sings the song “Plastic Jesus” when he learned about his mother’s death. The scene was particularly overwhelming and influential for Mondo Cozmo who grew up in a religious household. The scene stuck with him and he wanted to capture the emotions and sentiments of that moment. That’s when he wrote down the first line of the song, “Stick with me Jesus through the comin’ storm”. He says that the rest of the track came easy to him and was written under “two minutes”.

Verse 1 – What Does It Mean?

Stick with me Jesus through the comin’ storm

I’ve come to you in search of something I have lost

Shine down a light on me and show a path

I promise you I will return if you take me back


In the first verse, we understand Mondo Cozmo’s “Shine” lyrics’ meaning. The song is a prayer or a hopeful call to whoever one chooses to believe in for a way or a path out of difficult times. The line, “I’ve come to you in search of something I have lost” is a reference to things tangible and intangible. These include friendships, relationships, love, or stability that people lose during life’s hardest moments.

In such times, people send a prayer out for support and assistance, hoping to find the right path for them and sticking it out to the end. The verse also refers to promises of returning and mending one’s ways if they are accepted for who they are, flaws and all.

What Does the Chorus Mean?

Let ’em get high

Let ’em get stoned

Everything will be alright if you let it go

Let ’em get high

Let ’em get stoned

Everything will be alright if you let it go


Mondo Cozmo’s “Shine” lyrics’ meaning of religious or spiritual communion and the use of weed point out society’s hypocrisy and discrimination of substance users. Understanding that people resort to dire means of coping in trying times, “Shine’s” chorus is a call to let people be.

In today’s world, acceptance is hard to come by. Letting go of past mistakes and grudges is the only way to move forward. The chorus is a prayer or a song of hope for ourselves and our shortcomings. It is also a call for acceptance of others without judgment.


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Verse 2 – What Does It Mean?

My friends are so alone and it breaks my heart

My friends don’t understand we all are lost

Shine down a light on them and show a path

I promise you they will return if you take ’em back


With a shift in focus to close others, the second verse of Mondo Cozo’s “Shine” looks at the loneliness that prevails in the world. Expressing sorrow over friends who are alone in the world, the song shines a light on the loneliness of people who face life’s struggles alone with no one there to support them.

The line, “My friends don’t understand we all are lost” points to how every individual in the world is not without fault. People are always searching for the things they lose and the things they need. Life’s a journey with its fair share of struggles and no one goes through life without facing some difficulties. Everyone needs help and support and must reach out to others at some point in time.

In their worst struggles, people compare themselves and feel that there is no one out there who goes through what they are going through at the time. Like with the previous verse, there is a call to shine a light on friends and family to lead them out of dark times.

Verse 3 – What Does It Mean?

Come with me Mary through these modern lines

Stick with me Jesus til’ the end of time

Shine down a light on me and let me know

And take me in your arms and never let me go

Returning to religious imagery, Mondo Cozmo’s “Shine” lyrics’ meaning takes on the complexity of modern life. Calling on Mother Mary and Jesus Christ for support through “modern lines”, the last verse is a hope for a better tomorrow.

People need solace and comfort in trying times. The changes and complexities of the contemporary world can leave some people behind to fend for themselves alone. Faith in whatever one chooses to believe in is important. It is what gets people through when they believe they are looked out for and are not alone.


Mondo Cozmo’s “Shine” is both prayer and a song of hope. It is whatever people want it to mean for them, especially when they face difficulties and challenges in life. The song has been a source of inspiration for many.

Whether you are religious or not, “Shine” is inarguably an anthem of hope, acceptance, and communion in times of need.

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