"King of Anything" by Sara Bareilles
© 2010 Sony Music Entertainment
In her recent hit “King of Anything” from the album Kaleidoscope Heart, Sara Bareilles shares her personal reaction to those who try to tell her what to do or who to be. Through this song, Bareilles seems to communicate her resistance to someone who tries to impose beliefs and opinions on her. She apparently believes that she is fine and does not need help in such a way: “I hate to break it to you babe, but I’m not drowning; there’s no one here to save.”
From her humble beginnings as a Catholic-raised, high school choir member and later as a participant in her college’s a capella group, Bareilles quickly gained massive fame. After releasing her debut album Careful Confessions in 2004, she watched as her smash hit single “Love Song” rose to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, her latest album Kaleidoscope Heart hit #1 at its release, with “King of Anything” as the first hit single from that album.
In a personal interview, Bareilles speaks about why she wrote “King of Anything.” She states that she wrote it with a defensive attitude towards her co-workers who offered their suggestions on how to change certain parts of her songs in order to improve them. However, the actual lyrics seem to communicate a different message—specifically, a typical postmodern message. As stated, she seems to be singing about her resistance to those who try to impose their beliefs and opinions on her. Whether they agree with her does not matter, because she is fine the way she is and does not need to change according to others’ opinions. She displays this attitude in the chorus:
Who cares if you disagree? You are not me Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be? Who died and made you king of anything?
Bareilles seems unwilling to follow somebody else’s beliefs; she sings that this person expects her to simply go along with his or her personal opinions and “ride off into [his/her] delusional sunset.” As long as her beliefs and opinions work for her, she is happy and does not need to please others by changing into the person that they think she should be.