Shawn Mendes Reveals 'Youth' Was Inspired By The Manchester Terror Attack

4 May 2018, 11:25 | Updated: 4 May 2018, 11:27

Shawn Mendes Khalid
Picture: Getty
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

'Youth' is the third song to be taken from Shawn's self-titled third album.

Shawn Mendes has released the lyric video for 'Youth', a collaboration with 20-year-old singer & songwriter Khalid. 'Youth' follows the first two singles, 'In My Blood' and 'Lost In Japan'.

Taken from his third album, Shawn Mendes, 'Youth' sees Shawn taking on a more socially conscious direction to his lyrics, reflecting the hopes and anxieties of his generation. "Waking up to headlines, filled with devastation again / My heart is broken, but I keep going", Shawn sings in the opening verse. Watch the lyric video below:

In an interview with Zane Lowe, Shawn explained that the inspiration for the song came while he was in London around the time of the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester last year (May 22nd) which was then followed by another terrorist attack on a bridge in London 12 days later (June 3rd).

Shawn had already been in talks with Khalid about collaborating, and so Shawn texted him to say he wanted to write a song about how the youth is feeling because "I think we have the voice to do that".

"I said when we get together, we have to make a statement", Shawn told Zane. "We have to move. We have to write about what’s going on in life and how the youth is feeling because I think we have the voice to do that.”

On the day of songwriting session, Shawn remembered, "I woke up in the morning and the whole thought of my youth trying to be taken away from me. Not my youth as in my age, youth as in my love, my happiness, my joy, my purity. You could be 50 and your youth is there. It's in you. And all of these horrible things happening in the world and all of the headlines, it felt like every day it was just being pulled more and more out of us and I was like, this what we have to write about."

The message of the song certainly seems to have struck a chord with people. David Hogg, a Stoneman Douglas High School shooting surviver and now a prominent activist for gun control since the attack, tweeted his approval of the song. Quoting some of the lyrics to the song, he wrote, "The young people will win". Amen to that.

Read the full lyrics to Shawn Mendes' 'Youth' below:

Here I am, stuck on this couch scrolling through my notes

Heart was broken, still not growing, nah

Waking up to headlines, filled with devastation again

My heart is broken, but I keep going

Pain, but I won't let it turn into hate

No, I won't let it change me

Never losing sight of the one I keep inside

Now, I know it, yeah, I know it

You can't take my youth away

This soul of mine will never break

As long as I wake up today

You can't take my youth away

You can't take my youth away

This soul of mine will never break

As long as I wake up today

You can't take my youth away

You can't take my youth away

It's hard to sleep at night, knowing what's outside

Feeling hopeless, I need focus

You hit me with words I never heard come out your mouth

To be honest, I don't want it, no

Pain, but I won't let it turn into hate

No, I won't let it change me

You can't take my youth away

This soul of mine will never break

As long as I wake up today

You can't take my youth away

You can't take my youth away

This soul of mine will never break

As long as I wake up today

You can't take my youth away

You can't take my youth away (can't take my youth)

You can't take my youth away

Oh, yeah

Pain, but I won't let it turn into hate

No, I won't let it change me

Pain, but I won't let it turn into hate

No, I won't let it change me

You can't take my youth away

This soul of mine will never break

As long as I wake up today

You can't take my youth away (youth away)

You can't take my youth away

This soul of mine will never break

As long as I wake up today

You can't take my youth away (oh yeah)

You can't take my youth away

This soul of mine will never break

As long as I wake up today

You can't take my youth away

You can't take my youth away

This soul of mine will never break

As long as I wake up today

You can't take my youth away

You can't take my youth away