deCODED: Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks



Currently holding the number 9 spot on the Metrolyrics 100, it's safe to say that Foster The People's "Pumped Up Kicks" is probably THE pop-rock song of the summer. Its super catchy chorus is essentially the focus of the hit tune, so we've never really sat back and taken a look at what the lyrics actually mean. Here's where deCODED steps in:

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

 It's fun to sing, right? Let's jump back to first verse, though...

Robert's got a quick hand
He'll look around the room
He won't tell you his plan
He's got a rolled cigarette hanging out his mouth
He's a cowboy kid
Yeah, he found a six-shooter gun
In his dad's closet hidden in a box of fun things
And I don't even know what
But he's coming for you, yeah, he's coming for you

Yipes! Looks like this light-hearted tune is about a homicidal youth? It could be about a kid playing cowboy with his friends for fun, but taking the title of the song into consideration, "Pumped Up Kicks" sounds a lot like a nickname for fancy Nike Air Force Ones. The cowboy kid, most likely an outcast, targets the trendy shoe-wearing coolsters because he wants revenge for being shunned. Check out this line in the second verse:

I've waited for a long time
Yeah, the slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger

Whoa, Foster The People —  you've mastered the art of a happy-sounding sad song!

Anybody think the song means something else?

~ A.H.