Katy Perry “Roar” Lyrics Meaning

“Roar” is a song by Katy Perry, an American singer. It came out on August 10, 2013, through Capitol Records as the first song from her fourth album, Prism, released in 2013. Katy Perry wrote the song with Bonnie McKee, and it was produced by Dr. Luke, Max Martin, and Cirkut.

“Roar” explores the idea of self-confidence and not being tough on herself. The song reminds us that sometimes we can be our own toughest critics and encourages us not to hold ourselves back from success and good relationships.

In this article, we’ll dive into the meaning of the song’s lyrics.

“Roar” Lyrics Meaning

[Verse 1]

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath

Scared to rock the boat and make a mess

So I sat quietly, agreed politely

I guess that I forgot I had a choice

I let you push me past the breaking point

I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

In Verse 1, Katy Perry reflects on her past behavior. She used to keep quiet and avoid causing any trouble or disagreement. She would agree with others even when she didn’t want to.

She forgot that she had a choice in how she acted. She allowed someone to push her to the point of breaking, and she didn’t stand up for anything, so she ended up falling for everything.


You held me down, but I got up (Hey)

Already brushing off the dust

You hear my voice, you hear that sound

Like thunder, gonna shake the ground

You held me down, but I got up (Hey)

Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough

I see it all, I see it now

In the Pre-Chorus, Katy Perry is expressing her determination to overcome challenges.

She talks about how someone tried to keep her down, but she managed to get back up and brush off the difficulties.

She mentions that her voice is strong and sounds like thunder, indicating her newfound strength and resilience.

She’s had enough of being held back and is ready to face whatever comes her way with confidence and determination.


I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter

Dancing through the fire

‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar

Louder, louder than a lion

‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar

The Chorus is about Katy Perry’s confidence and her readiness to assert herself and be heard by the world.

This phrase “eye of the tiger” is a metaphor for having a fierce and unwavering focus, much like a tiger stalking its prey. It suggests that Katy Perry is determined and unyielding in her pursuit of her goals.

Katy is emphasizing that she’s like “a fighter” who won’t give up or back down. She’s ready to face challenges head-on and confront any obstacles that come her way.

Instead of being consumed or defeated by the “fire” of adversity, she is resilient and strong, as if she’s dancing through it with confidence. 

She declares herself a champion and asserts that her voice will be heard loudly, comparing it to a roar, which is stronger than a lion’s. 





You’re gonna hear me roar

In the Post-Chorus, Katy Perry is expressing a powerful and triumphant feeling. She repeats the word “Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh,” which represents a victorious and confident shout.

By saying “You’re gonna hear me roar,” she’s emphasizing that her voice and her strength will be unmistakably heard by others.

[Verse 2]

Now I’m floating like a butterfly

Stinging like a bee, I earned my stripes

I went from zero, to my own hero

In Verse 2, Katy Perry compares herself to a butterfly, which symbolizes a beautiful and free creature. She’s now “floating like a butterfly,” which indicates her lightness and grace.

When she says she’s “stinging like a bee,” it implies that she has gained the ability to defend herself and assert her presence, just like a bee’s sting.

In the lines “I earned my stripes, I went from zero, to my own hero,” Katy’s suggesting that she’s gained experience and confidence, moving from a position of having nothing to becoming her own hero.

Deeper Meaning Behind “Roar”

This song is Katy Perry’s lively declaration of moving forward in her life after her marriage to Russell Brand ended. In an interview with BBC Radio 1, she explained to DJ Scott Mills about the origin of the song: 

“It’s a bit of a self-empowering type of song. I wrote it because I was sick of keeping all these feelings inside and not speaking up for myself, which caused a lot of resentment. Obviously I’ve been through a lot of therapy since my last record and that’s what this is about.”

The word “roar” is used 16 times in the song, strategically placed at the end or even the beginning of chorus lines to make it catchy. It becomes almost like a mantra for those listening for empowerment, similar to Perry’s previous hit “Firework.” 

In the beginning of the lyrics, Katy talks about suppressing her voice and conforming to please others, using metaphors like “biting her tongue” and “sitting quietly.” She realizes she had given away her power and let herself be pushed around.

However, as the song continues, it marks her turning point. She’s had enough and finds the courage to rise after being held down. It’s a declaration of her determination to no longer let others dictate her life.

She claims to have the “eye of the tiger,” comparing herself to a fighter who faces life’s challenges boldly. This “roar” symbolizes her newfound voice, courage, and determination, louder than a lion’s, signifying her refusal to be silenced or held back.

In other words, Katy Perry uses the metaphor of a “roar” to convey her transformation from being passive and silenced to becoming assertive and self-assured. 

The song is titled “Roar” because the word “roar” represents strength, courage, and the willingness to assert oneself. It signifies a bold and confident expression of one’s inner strength and determination.

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