Take on Me is an upbeat synth-pop tune that features a variety of instrumentation, including acoustic guitar, piano, and percussion. After being released as A-ha’s first promotional single in September 1984, the Norwegian band experienced huge success in their native Norway with the song. Instantly successful, “Take On Me” peaked at No. 1 in eleven countries, and it’s the second song from the ’80s, to reach 1 billion viewers on YouTube.

Inspiration for Writing the Song

Although there can be multiple meanings pulled from the lyrics, A-ha’s Paul Waaktaar-Savoy’s relationship with a woman named Lauren Savoy is one of the main points of inspiration for the song. As an intriguing aside, Lauren and Paul did end up getting hitched in 1991. Interestingly enough with the band being from Norway, they are non native English speakers, with English being their second language.

Verse 1 Meaning

The musician is still reeling from the heartbreak he experienced during his last romantic encounter. She is easing up on the singer’s attempts at intimacy, and he does not know what to make of it. Singing basically that today is when he should try to learn new hobbies and interests of his girlfriend, the singer does it anyhow, despite his fears. He is adamant that he will stay put until his scheme succeeds this time.

Chorus Meaning

The song’s title conveys a sense of ease and convenience. In Norway, where the singer was raised, the phrase “Take on me” literally means “Touch Me” (ta på meg) when translated into English. Analysis of the phrase “Take On Me” in its two languages reveals two distinct meanings, with the two versions of the song producing completely different atmospheres. Take me on as a challenge of sorts or “Wear me” are two possible meanings here however it’s pretty clear that “taking on” refers to a pursuit of a romantic nature.

Verse 2 Meaning

The main character needs her to admit that this determination doesn’t have to be “cautious” if she wants to be with them. He is not begging for her forgiveness. The singer suggests she hold off on passing judgment until she’s had the chance to apologize to him. Just because she thinks it’s cute to experiment with being careful doesn’t mean she should apologize. “Is that genuinely the problem in a relationship?” A-ha asks, putting the famous phrase “better safe than sorry” to the trial.

Verse 3 Meaning

His sweetheart would urge him to stop living in the past by explaining what should have happened. Ultimately, he stays away from their past and accepts this girl as his wife. He wants to know if she plans to build her life around their fling and her assurances of everlasting or if she’s only with him as she can’t bear to see him hurt. He begs the girl to spend time with him while they have the chance.

Why It Remains as A Perfect Song

The song has been interpreted in numerous ways, and its roots are shrouded in mystery, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming an all-time classic that millions of people enjoy. No one can put their finger on the story it’s trying to tell, although it seems to have something to do with yearning, love, tragedy, and adventure.

It’s a dancing piece that is entertaining and eerily beautiful. It cries out to be noticed and hints at secret knowledge just waiting to be uncovered. There’s possible to spend a lot of time thinking about the significance of a single line of the lyrics, like it’s no safer to be secure than regretful, concluding that it implies something profound. This kind of song keeps you coming back for more since there are constantly new layers to explore. That’s why it’s so fantastic.


We’re talking away
I don’t know what
I’m to say I’ll say it anyway
Today’s another day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love, okay?

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
But I’ll be stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is okay
Say after me
It’s no better to be safe than sorry

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

Oh, the things that you say, yeah
Is it life or
Just to play my worries away?
You’re all the things I’ve got to remember
You’re shying away
I’ll be coming for you anyway

Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day

I’ll be gone (take on me, take on me)
In a day (take me on, take on me)
(Take on me, take on me)
(Take me on, take on me)
(Take on me)

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Magne Furuholmen / Morten Harket / Pal Waaktaar

Take On Me lyrics © DistroKid, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

This article was first published February 15th 2023 and last updated May 6th 2023.

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