Sometimes I hear a song and I only get about half the lyrics. And from that partial understanding, I assume the rest. I thought this was a more empowerment song based on the chorus, especially the line “It’s hard to dance with the devil on our back, so shake him off.” To me that is a great image for when I am feeling dragged down with worry and stress. I think of all that stress and such as the devil and I should just shake it off and rise above. This is how I heard the song. Another lyric that lead me to this was “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Which to me says “hang in there, its going to get better.” Combine this with the kind of fast pace of the song and the way it rises with a loud voice. It seems triumphant. It seems to say “You’re going to be okay. Just shake it off!”
In reading the lyrics, I am not sure that is really want the intention of the song is. It seems to be a tale of love gone wrong. That won’t stop me from belting out the parts I remember in the car after a bad day at work. Because this is the perfect kind of song for that. Its loud and it repeats. When you are trying to beat out a bad day, there is nothing better than a chorus that repeats the heck out of itself so even if you didn’t know the lyrics before you will by the end of of the first chorus.
The video is pretty odd. It reminded me for Annie Lennox and apparently I am not alone in that as the comparison is noted in the wikipedia article about the song.