Bruno Mars, Grenade: the lyrics and their meaning

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Grenade is one of the first singles by Bruno Mars. Released in 2010, the song is often quoted about unrequited love. The singer explained the background and the story of the track, confirming this interpretation. This article will explore the song’s meaning and provide the complete lyrics at the end.

Dealing with a Breakup Motivation
Dealing with a Breakup Motivation

You can find the official music video of the song below.

Bruno Mars - Grenade (Official Music Video)
Watch this video on YouTube.

Grenade: inside the meaning of the lyrics

Grenade is a song about a breakup. The singer is still in love with the girl, but she doesn’t return this feeling and leaves. As a reaction, Bruno Mars wrote this song, expressing his mixed feelings about her.

The first verses are about awareness: the singer realizes that there were red flags at the beginning of the relationship, but he ignored them.

Easy come, easy go
That’s just how you live, oh
Take, take, take it all but you never give

Shoulda known you was trouble
From the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open, why were they open?

She appears as a selfish girl who only aims for her pleasure and cannot return what she receives. As a symbol of her cold heart, the song recalls the first kiss, when she kept her eyes open, indicating that she wasn’t involved enough.

The song’s chorus is dramatic: Bruno Mars exaggerates, explaining everything he would be keen to do to have her:

What you don’t understand is I’d catch a grenade for ya 
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I’d do anything for ya

I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for ya, baby
But you won’t do the same

They are all hyperboles of the extreme sacrifices the singer was keen to make for her. As the song’s co-writer Claude Kelly told in an interview with The Tennessean, all those lines come from a series of small jokes Bruno Mars was making one day at the studios while talking with a guy working there who went through a bad breakup. Bruno also had a recent split in those days: the song’s inspiration comes from how he related to that topic while listening to his friend Benny Blanco playing (Bruno Mars revealed it in this interview with Idolator).

The singer, though, knows she didn’t behave right with him. Therefore, although he still feels something for her, he accuses her of being a false woman who cannot love. And through a funny metaphor, he asserts that she comes from hell:

Tell the devil I said, “Hey,” when you get back to where you’re from

Bruno Mars said that writing this song was “therapeutic” for him. Indeed, we can see that the lyrics inside Grenade go from the love expressions of the beginning to the accusations in the second half. As long as the song goes on, we can feel the singer’s disappointment:

Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, yes, you did

Is Grenade a breakup song?

After all, that’s the question that many people ask, and the answer is: yes, Grenade is a breakup song. As Bruno Mars explained to Idolator:

It’s a heartbreaking, heartbreak song, and I think everyone can relate to that. You’re so in love with this woman and you don’t understand, ‘What am I doing wrong? What am I not giving to you? I’ll go as far as putting a bullet in my brain for you, and why can’t I get that kind of love in return?’

Writing the lyrics for Grenade was a personal growth path for Bruno Mars: he succeeded in recognizing the remaining feelings he had for the girl, but he managed to convert them into awareness. The song honestly describes how she misbehaved with him and didn’t deserve his love. The pain of unrequited love becomes the peaceful awareness that she wasn’t the right girl for him: a mature step forward that we all need when coming to terms with a breakup.

Read other popular song lyrics meaning on Auralcrave

The complete lyrics

Easy come, easy go
That’s just how you live, oh
Take, take, take it all but you never give

Shoulda known you was trouble
From the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open, why were they open?

(Ooh-ooh) Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
(Ooh-ooh) You tossed it in the trash, you did
(Ooh-ooh) To give me all your love is all I ever ask ’cause

What you don’t understand is I’d catch a grenade for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
You know I’d do anything for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)

Oh-oh-oh-oh
I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for ya, baby
But you won’t do the same

Black, black, black and blue
Beat me ’til I’m numb
Tell the devil I said, “Hey,” when you get back to where you’re from

Mad woman, bad woman
That’s just what you are
Yeah, you’ll smile in my face then rip the brakes out my car

(Ooh-ooh) Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
(Ooh-ooh) You tossed it in the trash, yes, you did
(Ooh-ooh) To give me all your love is all I ever ask ’cause

What you don’t understand is I’d catch a grenade for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
You know I’d do anything for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)

Oh-oh-oh-oh
I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for ya, baby
But you won’t do the same

(No) If my body was on fire
(No) Ooh, you’d watch me burn down in flames
(No) You said you loved me, you’re a liar
‘Cause you never, ever, ever did, baby

But, darlin’, I’d still catch a grenade for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
I’d jump in front of a train for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)
You know I’d do anything for ya (Yeah, yeah, yeah)

Oh-oh-oh-oh
I would go through all this pain, ha
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for ya, baby
But you won’t do the same

No, you won’t do the same
You wouldn’t do the same
Ooh, you’d never do the same
No, no, no, no, oh-oh-oh