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20 BTS Songs With Hidden Meanings & Ingenious Lyrics That Will Give You Goosebumps 

BTS songs

There’s no doubt that K-pop band BTS has revoluntionised the Korean music industry and brought it to a whole new level globally. While they are known to put out songs that you can’t help but groove along to, many of their songs lyrics are actually quite deep. Here are 20 BTS songs with meaningful lyrics that prove that their songs are not just your usual bop. 

1. 134340 – pain of being forgotten like planet Pluto

BTS songs - 134340
Image credit: BIGHIT MUSIC

While the title 134340 may be confusing at first, the hidden meaning within will help you understand why BTS songs are known for their intricate lyricism.

“134340” is the number that was assigned to Pluto when it was “demoted” from its position as a planet within the solar system to a “dwarf planet”.

BTS songs - BTS performing onstage
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

This song speaks about the pain of being forgotten, as the lyricist refers to themselves as Pluto, and their lover as the sun. It also talks about how, even though their significant other has decided to end things, they still like their life still revolves around the person, like how Pluto is still revolving around the sun.

2. Sea – song about BTS’s hardships 

BTS songs - bts song titled sea
Image adapted from: @triviatokyo

Sea (바다) is a hidden track on BTS’ fifth mini album, Love Yourself 承 ‘Her’, and it is only available on the physical album.

In an interview with Billboard, RM explained that Sea remains a hidden track as it is a song that is special to BTS and ARMYs, and only their fans will understand the true meaning of the lyrics. 

“Is this the sea or the desert?
Is this hope or despair?”

The sea and the desert are used as metaphors for hope and despair respectively, and the lyrics talk about BTS overcoming the challenges they had to face before they became famous. 

BTS songs - BTS song titled sea
Image adapted from: @hoesocktae

Another interpretation of the song is related to the symbolic meaning of the sea, which is pronounced ba-da in Korean, and is similar to 받아 (bad-a), which means to accept your situation. 

This could be interpreted as a representation of BTS’s feelings towards the hate and prejudice they had to endure when others didn’t believe in them in the past.

“In the end, we reached the mirage and it became our reality
The scary desert became the ocean with our blood, sweat and tears”

These lyrics seem to talk about how BTS eventually managed to turn their fate around through their hard work, as the desert has now become an ocean.

3. Whalien 52 – metaphor for BTS’s loneliness

BTS songs - BTS song titled Whalien 52
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

Whalien 52 is a song about the 52-hertz whale – a whale that only communicates in 52 hertz, a decibel higher than what  ordinary whales can hear. 

As such, it is dubbed as the “world’s loneliest whale”, as it is never heard or understood. The song is a metaphor for BTS’s own career and the loneliness that comes with it, as well as the anxiety of venturing into the unknown. 

BTS songs - BTS members
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

The lyrics “the attention on me is only there when I breathe above the water surface. A lonely kid under the ocean”, alludes to the isolation that BTS felt, and how they were not able to voice out their true feelings.

4. Trivia 承: Love – celebrating the simplicity of love

BTS songs - BTS RM
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

Trivia 承: Love is RM’s solo on Love Yourself 結 ‘Answer’, and it is a song that celebrates the simplicity of love. 

Over a jazzy instrumental, there is an assortment of wordplay on the words “love” and “human”, as RM believes that it is natural for humans to love, and that it should be celebrated.

BTS songs - BTS RM reading a book
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

The 2 words only differ by one consonant in Korean, “human” (사람) ends with “ㅁ”, and “love” (사랑) ends with “ㅇ”.

“I’m just a human, human, human
You erode all my corners and make me into love, love, love”

The wordplay is genius, and it also implies how love softens one’s hard edges and transforms them from being just a human, into someone who’s living with love.

5. Dis-ease – overcoming anxiety and fear

BTS songs - BTS song titled Dis-ease
Image credit: BIGHIT MUSIC

Dis-ease is composed by J-Hope, and co-written by RM, Suga, Jimin and J-Hope. 

The title of the song itself has 2 meanings. When the word “dis-ease” is joined together, it means sickness. When the word is separated with a hyphen, it can mean unease because of the definition of the prefix “dis-” in English.

RM also praised J-Hope for such a creative title choice, and we are all impressed too. 

BTS songs - BTS members
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

The album is premised on how BTS is dealing with Covid-19, and Dis-ease also relates to the members’ inability to relax. 

“With a sip of coffee, I swallow down my uneasiness
It feels like I should be doing something to the point where my body shatters”

The lyrics revolve around the anxiety they face, and how they feel like they don’t deserve to rest. 

Yet, this song ends on a hopeful note. “I’ve become stronger”, “let’s all keep calm and treat the diseases” and “throw away the fear” – lyrics that highlight their desire to persevere and venture into the future without fear or anxiety. 

6. Ddaeng – diss track for haters

BTS songs - BTS perfroming Ddaeng
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

Released as a part of BTS’s 5th anniversary celebration in 2018, ddaeng is a playful diss track that addresses the haters who have put them down in the past. 

The title is used in multiple ways throughout the song, which showcases impressive lyricism. 

BTS songs - BTS performing Ddaeng
Video adapted from: @ShiningVee

For example, there are multiple references to the Korean card game Seotda, as seen in the first line of the lyrics, “One-eight, one-three, three-eight, ddaeng.”

One-eight, one-three, and three-eight are the the best combinations in the card game, and BTS is comparing themselves to these ddaeng cards as they are now recognised as one of the most powerful forces in the music industry.

“Hip-hop? Ddaeng Rap style? Ddaeng
Just a rapper, ddaeng
Bangtan, Ddaeng”

In J-Hope’s verse, the “ddaeng” sound indicates a wrong answer, and it recalls the discouraging comments BTS received during the early stages of their career.

7. Spine breaker – commentary on teenage consumerism

BTS songs - BTS song titled Spine breaker
Image adapted from: BTS

Although Spine Breaker may seem like a fun and light-hearted song, it actually touches on the serious topic of teenage envy and greed. 

“With shoes worth a couple hundred, padded jackets worth a couple thousand,
The class system of the 21st century is divided into two. Those who have and those who don’t.”

BTS songs don’t shy away from addressing social issues. In this song, the group harshly criticises the failure of the South Korean education system by illustrating how teenagers are bent on getting their parents to buy them branded goods to fit in with their friends.

Back in the year 2009, padded jackets from the brand, The North Face, were all the rage, and not only did the garment become a fashion statement, but it also turned into a symbol of class division, as it was viewed to support peer pressure and bullying in Korean schools.

BTS songs - BTS members performing onstage
Image credit: @winterVerry1230

The phrase “spine breaker” comes from the Korean idiom “the spine gets bent”, which is used to describe how one’s back becomes bent when one works too hard.

Hence, BTS is trying to call out those teenagers who make their parents work so hard to get them the expensive clothes “spine breakers”. 

8. Paradise – reminder to slow down in life

BTS songs - BTS song titled paradise
Image credit: BIGHIT MUSIC

Paradise is the ultimate comfort song when life gets overwhelming as it reminds you that it is okay to slow down and take a step back. 

In RM’s verse, he talks about how we “borrow dreams from others”, referring to the pressure of facing society’s or our parents’ expectations, as we live our life trying to achieve these “borrowed” dreams. 

These dreams then become a burden to us, as they aren’t what we really want in life.

BTS songs - BTS performing paradise onstage
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

“It’s alright to stop
Now we don’t run without knowing the destination
It’s alright to not have a dream
All the breaths you breathe are already in paradise.”

These lyrics are a necessary reminder that it is all right to live in the moment, and that there is no need to overwork yourself even if you don’t have something you wish to achieve. 

9. Black Swan – fear of losing their passion for music

BTS songs - BTS song titled black swan
Image credit: BIGHIT MUSIC

Black Swan references a quote by the late dancer Martha Graham, “A dancer dies twice – once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful.”

This song expresses BTS’s fear of losing their passion for music and how it is akin to death. By being candid about their most profound fears, they create resonance and inspiration among other artists who feel the same way. 

BTS songs - BTS performing black swan onstage
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

Through the symbolism of a black swan, the idea that imperfection should be accepted is conveyed.

10. Pied Piper – expresses tough love towards fans

BTS songs - pied piper
Video adapted from: Peach Jelly

In the story of the Pied Piper, a piper goes to a village and uses his flute music to lure rats away. But the piper later ends up luring the children away instead.

BTS uses this story as a metaphor for the relationship between themselves and ARMYs. It’s a known fact that BTS songs have the ability to “lure” ARMYs away from our daily responsibilities.

BTS songs - BTS members for pied piper
Image credit: @bts_bighit

“Stop, now stop watching and study for your test
Your parents and boss hate me”

BTS playfully scolds ARMYs to prioritise their lives instead of focusing on the group’s every update.

11. Silver Spoon – criticises pressure placed on youths

BTS songs - BTS practising for silver spoon
Image credit: BANGTANTV

Behind its upbeat rhythm and playful choreography, the lyrics of Silver Spoon or Baepsae touch on a much deeper subject. This song criticises the Korean hierarchy and society for placing excessive pressure on the younger generation.

“Baepsae” refers to a crow-tit, a small bird with short legs. It is often used to describe youths who do not have the same resources and opportunities afforded to the previous generations, but yet are expected to produce the same results. 

BTS songs - BTS performing silver spoon onstage
Video adapted from: Bangtan’s Corner

“I have crow-tit legs, and you have stork’s legs
My legs are shorter, so how do you expect me to keep up?”

These lyrics come from the Korean saying “뱁새가 황새 걸음을 걸으면 가랑이 가 찢어진다” which translates to, “if a crow-tit walks like a stork, it will break its legs”.

BTS is trying to convey that those from the older generation should not have unrealistic expectations for youths, especially since they are not granted the same opportunities.

12. The Truth Untold – fear of insecurities that push away loved ones

BTS songs - BST performing the truth untold
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

The Truth Untold is based on an Italian tale about a hideous-looking man who shuts himself in his castle, and only finds refuge in tending to his flower garden. 

One day, a woman starts stealing his flowers, which infuriates the man. However, he then finds out that she sold them to make a living and tries to help her.

He decides to grow her a rare flower so that she can sell it at a high price, but he never shows his true self as he knows that she will be scared of him. However, the woman dies, and the man is filled with regret that he was not able to protect her. 

BTS songs - BTS performing the truth untold
Image credit: @bts_dumpling

“I can’t show you a ruined part of myself
Once again I put a mask on and go to see you
But I still want you”

This is one of BTS’s songs that conveys a sense of fear that stems from one’s insecurities, resulting in them pushing away the people they cherish and love. 

13. Young Forever – confession of their fears as artists

BTS songs - BTS for young forever
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

Young Forever is a song that represents BTS’s feelings as well as fears as artists.

“When the heat of the show cools down
I leave the empty seats behind
The thundering applause, I can’t own it forever”

These lyrics talk about how BTS knows that there will be a day where they’ll have to step down from the stage. 

BTS songs - BTS song titled young forever
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

However, even as these worries plague them, they promise to continue working hard to achieve their dreams. 

14. Magic Shop – song that comforts ARMYs

BTS songs - BTS performing magic shop
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

Magic Shop references a technique in psychotherapy where a psychologist takes on the role of a magic shop owner who attempts to exchange fear with more positive attitudes.

BTS describes the magic shop as a place where ARMYs can relax and find comfort, and where we can forget about our worries. 

BTS songs - BTS performing magic shop onstage
Image credit: @SamsungMobile

“You gave me the best of me
So you’ll give you the best of you”

This song expresses the members’ eternal gratitude towards their fans. They also hope that ARMYs will be able to reciprocate by becoming better versions of themselves.

15. Am I Wrong – calling out the political and social elites

BTS songs - BTS performing am i wrong onstage
Image credit: M2

Am I Wrong is a daring track that comments on political issues and corruption in Korean society, as it was released when there was a scandal about the corruption of the ex-president of South Korea, Park Geun Hye.

The line “We’re all dogs, pigs” in the song can be interpreted as a reference to the derogatory words of a Korean Ministry of Education official, who referred to the public as dogs and pigs. 

BTS songs - BTS members
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

Indirect references to the Sewol Ferry Tragedy have also been spotted by some listeners, especially through the lyrics “All right now give a shout MAYDAY MAYDAY”, as it is common knowledge that Mayday is a distress call used in life-threatening situations.

The Sewol Ferry Tragedy occurred under Park Geun Hye’s presidency, and it was poorly handled by her party. Through this BTS song, listeners are urged to stop turning a blind eye to corruption and instead try to fight for change.

16. Go Go – criticises consumerism

BTS songs - BTS song titled Go Go
Image credit: Mnet

With its cheerful and upbeat vibe, Go Go sounds like the song to be blasted at parties and weekend getaways. However, the song is meant to be intentionally satirical as the lyrics heavily ridicule those who spend money mindlessly as soon as they earn it. 

“Dollar dollar
Squandering it all in one day”

Phonetically, “dollar” in English and dallyeo(meaning run in Korean), sound very similar, and they are made to parallel one another to emphasise how money drives people to run mindlessly, or how the youth have run out of money due to their impulsive spending.

BTS songs - BTS performing Go Go
Video adapted from: @Mdarmy_bkj

The constant repetition of “YOLO” (acronym for you only live once) in the song erodes the term of its meaning, as it is illogical to live without any care for consequences. Ultimately, BTS is trying to dissuade youths from indulging in consumerism as it often leads to them wasting their money and abandoning their morals.

17. Fake Love – about the dark side of love

BTS songs - BTS song titled fake love
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

Fake Love is a song that reveals the toxic side of love, and how a relationship has to be ended because the love isn’t true anymore. 

“For you, I could pretend like I was happy when I was sad
For you, I could pretend like I was strong when I was hurt”

These lyrics describe how one has to put up a facade to hide the hurt that one has been going through just to try to sustain the relationship. But because this isn’t true love, everything comes to an end. 

BTS songs - BTS performing fake love
Image credit: Mnet

“I grew a flower that can’t be bloomed in a dream that can’t come true”.

The flower represents the love and emotions that the persona want to harbour, but then they realise that they have to let go of the love as it cannot grow anymore. 

18. 21st Century Girls – encourages young girls to be themselves

BTS songs - BTS performing 21st century girls
Image adapted from: M2

Not all of BTS songs are grim and gloomy, and 21st Century Girls proves just that. It’s an uplifting and inspiring song that encourages young girls to ignore what others say and focus on being their authentic selves. 

“Whatever other people say
Whatever this world tells you
You’re the best to me just the way you are”

Young girls today are pressured by society to fit into unrealistic beauty standards, as they try to alter their physical appearances through plastic surgery or extensive makeup.

BTS songs - BTS performing 21st century girls
Image credit: @guwoljk

“You worth it you perfect
Deserve it just work it”

This song wants to convince listeners not to seek approval from others, and remain true to themselves. 

19. Anpanman – about how BTS strives to inspire through their music

BTS songs - Anpanman
Image credit: Takashi Yanase, Froebel-kan

Anpanman is a fun, upbeat song that’s inspired by the cartoon character, Anpanman. 

Anpanman is a red bean bread man and the world’s weakest hero. Although he doesn’t have any superpowers like Batman or Superman, he is a kind hero who gives parts of his face, which is made out of red bean bread, to people in need. 

BTS songs - BTS performing Anpanman onstage
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

“But I still want to be a hero
All I can give you is Anpan”

By comparing themselves to Anpanman, BTS attempts to help people by giving them a part of themselves. Instead of bread, they are offering their music in hopes of uplifting them.

They also stay true to their message of self-love, with the idea that you can be a hero even if you’re weak.

20. Spring Day – song about loss and longing

BTS songs - spring day
Image credit: BTS (방탄소년단)

Spring Day is a song about longing for a loved one and BTS intended for this song to comfort those who are grieving. Many listeners have interpreted it to relate to the Sewol Ferry Tragedy in 2014. 

The Sewol Ferry Tragedy is about a disaster in which an improperly inspected and overloaded ferry capsized and killed 304 passengers. 

“I miss you
How long do I have to wait
How many nights do I have to pass
To see you?
To meet you?”

This song is especially heartbreaking as it conveys the pain that one has to go through when met with loss.

BTS songs - BTS spring day
Image adapted from: HYBE LABELS

“How much should my longings fall like snow
Before the days of spring return, friend?”

Snow is associated with winter, and winter represents hardships and is usually associated with death, while spring is a season of life and hope, where nature blooms after the snow and ice melt. 

Through the metaphor of the seasons, BTS is trying to convey that good days will come as spring will eventually arrive, and that they will be happy again. 

BTS songs that will enlighten you

BTS’ popularity isn’t unwarranted, and the deep meaning of their song lyrics is one of the reasons why they are so loved by their passionate fans.  

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Cover image adapted from: @jhsjoonie, BTS (방탄소년단)