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The Meaning Behind The Song: City of Stars by Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone

The Meaning Behind The Song: City of Stars by Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone

“City of Stars” is a beautiful song from the film, La La Land, which won six Academy Awards, including Best Original Song. The song is sung by the lead actors, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, and it was composed by Justin Hurwitz, with lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The song has a melancholic tune and lyrics, and it perfectly captures the characters’ longing for love and fame in Los Angeles. In this article, we will explore the meaning behind the song’s lyrics and its relevance to the film’s story.

The Lyrics

The first verse of “City of Stars” starts with Ryan Gosling’s character, Sebastian, saying:

City of stars
Are you shining just for me?
City of stars
There’s so much that I can’t see

This line emphasizes the protagonist’s feeling of being lost in the city and not being able to achieve his dreams of becoming a successful musician. He is hoping that the city is shining for him, indicating that he is looking for a sign to follow his dreams.

In the chorus, Emma Stone’s character, Mia, joins in and the duo sings:

City of stars
Just one thing everybody wants
There in the bars
And through the smokescreen of the crowded restaurants

The “one thing” that everyone in the city wants is success and fame. Whether it is in bars or restaurants, there is a constant hustle and bustle in the city to achieve stardom.

In the second verse, Sebastian sings:

City of stars
Are you shining just for me?
City of stars
You never shined so brightly

This line suggests that the city has given Sebastian a chance to achieve his dreams, and he hopes that this is his moment to shine. The city gives him hope that his dreams may come true.

The Relevance to the Film’s Story

These lyrics perfectly capture the essence of the film’s story. La La Land is a romantic musical, and the story revolves around two struggling artists, Sebastian and Mia, who aspire to achieve their dreams in Los Angeles. The city’s glittering lights and opportunities lure them in, but they soon realize that the path to success is not easy.

Mia is an aspiring actress, and Sebastian is a struggling musician who is passionate about jazz. The two meet and fall in love, but their respective careers get in the way, and their relationship begins to suffer. As they struggle to find success and happiness, the city becomes a symbol of their dreams and aspirations.

The song’s lyrics reflect the characters’ longing for love and success, and their hope to achieve their dreams in the city of stars. The song’s melody and lyrics perfectly capture the film’s bittersweet tone and help create a mood of melancholy and longing that resonates with audiences.

The Song’s Instrumentation

Musically, the song is a classic Hollywood-style ballad, with a simple yet beautiful melody that is easy to remember. The instrumentation is sparse, featuring a piano, a string section, and a muted trumpet. The trumpet adds a melancholy tone to the song, which is perfect for the film’s story.

The song was composed by Justin Hurwitz, who also composed the film’s other songs. He has a great ear for melody and knows how to write music that complements the story. The minimalist instrumentation of “City of Stars” works well with the song’s themes of longing and hope.

The Song’s Meaning to Fans

“City of Stars” has become a fan-favorite song due to its beautiful melody and lyrics, which resonate with anyone who has ever dreamed of achieving success or finding love. The song has inspired many covers and performances, and it has become a staple of modern musical theater.

The song has also become a cultural touchstone for the city of Los Angeles, which is known as the “city of stars” due to its association with the film industry. The song’s lyrics perfectly capture the city’s beauty and glamour, as well as its challenges and opportunities.

FAQs about The Song: City of Stars by Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone

1) What is the origin of the song “City of Stars”?

The song “City of Stars” was composed by Justin Hurwitz, with lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The music was written specifically for the film La La Land, and it was sung by lead actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

2) What is the meaning behind the song’s title?

The song’s title, “City of Stars,” refers to the city of Los Angeles, which is often called the “city of stars” due to its association with the film industry. The title of the song perfectly captures the city’s glamour and beauty, as well as its struggles and challenges.

3) What makes “City of Stars” a classic Hollywood-style song?

“City of Stars” is a classic Hollywood-style song due to its simple yet beautiful melody, sparse instrumentation, and bittersweet lyrics. The song’s theme of longing and hope is a classic Hollywood trope, and it perfectly captures the essence of the film’s story.

4) Why did “City of Stars” win the Academy Award for Best Original Song?

“City of Stars” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song due to its beautiful melody, poignant lyrics, and its perfect fit with the film’s story. The song’s message of hope and longing resonated with audiences, and it has become a classic musical theater song.

5) Who originally sang “City of Stars” in the film La La Land?

“City of Stars” was originally sung in the film La La Land by lead actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. The duo’s chemistry and vocal performances added to the song’s melancholic tone and helped make the song a classic.

6) What is the significance of the muted trumpet in “City of Stars”?

The muted trumpet in “City of Stars” adds a melancholic tone to the song, which is perfect for the film’s story. The trumpet represents Sebastian’s character, who is a struggling musician, and it adds to the emotional depth of the song.

7) What is the message behind the song’s lyrics?

The message behind the song’s lyrics is one of hope and longing. The characters in the film are struggling to achieve their dreams, and the lyrics reflect their desire for success and love. The song’s message is relevant to anyone who has ever had a dream that they wanted to achieve.

8) What is the cultural significance of “City of Stars”?

“City of Stars” has become a cultural touchstone for the city of Los Angeles, which is often called the “city of stars” due to its association with the film industry. The song’s lyrics perfectly capture the city’s beauty and glamour, as well as its challenges and opportunities.

9) How has “City of Stars” influenced modern musical theater?

“City of Stars” has become a fan favorite due to its beautiful melody and lyrics, which resonate with anyone who has ever dreamed of achieving success or finding love. The song has inspired many covers and performances, and it has become a staple of modern musical theater.

10) What is the meaning behind the song’s melancholic tone?

The song’s melancholic tone reflects the characters’ struggles and challenges in achieving their dreams. The melody and instrumentation of the song perfectly complement the film’s bittersweet tone and help create a mood of melancholy and longing that resonates with audiences.

11) How does “City of Stars” add to the film’s emotional depth?

“City of Stars” adds to the film’s emotional depth by perfectly capturing the characters’ longing for love and success. The song’s music and lyrics help create a mood of melancholy and longing that resonates with audiences and adds to the film’s bittersweet tone.

12) How has “City of Stars” become a cultural touchstone?

“City of Stars” has become a cultural touchstone due to its association with the city of Los Angeles and the film industry. The song’s lyrics perfectly capture the city’s beauty and glamour, as well as its challenges and opportunities. The song has also become a fan favorite, and it has inspired many covers and performances.

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