BTS just dropped their latest album, Proof, as a homage to their past, present, and future, and with all the nostalgia and emotions evoked through the music, it’s safe to say that ARMYs around the world are struggling to hold their tears. While the music video for their title track, “Yet To Come,” is stuffed with references that ARMYs can see through the parallels to old music video sets and outfits, the lyrics of “For Youth,” the final track that closes out the album, seamlessly weaves together sentiments of past songs and new heart-touching lyrics into a beautiful masterpiece.
"I open my eyes and it's 10 years ago, when i used to walk around, when i cried so easily, and laughed so easily, when i looked back, after so many seasons, you always here with us together and every second was forever." ㅡ 220610, BTS 'For Youth' Lyrics pic.twitter.com/5m0oXcP9OP
— BTS Quotes Archive⁷ (@btsqtsarchive) June 10, 2022
“For Youth” starts with what sounds like an audio clip from ARMYs singing “Young Forever” at Wembley Stadium, a concert that marked a historical moment for BTS and the world. While it isn’t 100% confirmed, the most important thing is that ARMYs singing “Young Forever” alongside BTS is such an important memory to BTS that they immortalized it in “For Youth.”
armys suprising bts by singing young forever at wembley is so heart warming pic.twitter.com/7YWOoet6ZG
— Diksha⁷ (@Dikshubts7) April 21, 2022
The song then opens up with Jungkook and Jin pondering what their existence would be without ARMYs, who have been by their side for so long, “I miss you” is a habit. It might seem weird to think why the words “I miss you” becoming a habit would be a good thing, but if you’re able to freely express your love and longing for someone for years and years and that devotion never changes, that’s love. Also, in Korean, “I miss you” has the double meaning of “I want to see you,” which further reveals how those words are just as powerful as “I love you.”
jungkook saying “i miss you, i really miss you” pic.twitter.com/AHSwznZBFf
— random jk things (@randomjungkook) November 26, 2021
V then takes us all back to BTS’s trainee days, reminiscing how their emotions were unbridled by the judgments of the world when they were younger. Jin and Jimin then sing of how ARMY has stood by BTS’s side from the beginning.
When I look back after many seasons, you always here with us together, and every second was forever.
— Jin and Jimin
RM is next, and his words reflect how the despair of their past has turned into hope and confidence in the present. And as BTS has already written an entire song about ARMYs and BTS being a home, it’s clear how safe and at peace RM is with them.
My life was slipping, I didn’t want to wake when my head hit the pillow. Now here where you are, this is a new home for me.
“here is my true home” -namjoon ♡ pic.twitter.com/8mUA4cTm6z
— namjoon loops ❀ (@jooniesloops) March 10, 2022
The chorus of “For Youth” references “Spring Day,” and an opposite sentiment comes into play. “Spring Day” is a song dedicated to longing for a friend, hoping for a reunion that, within the song, never comes. But “For Youth” speaks of reuniting and walking with that friend forever. Perhaps “For Youth” is the answer “Spring Day” has been hoping for all these years.
You’re my best friend, for the rest of my life.
J-Hope and Suga deliver the next segment of the song, and the references are packed into their lines. The counting in J-Hope’s part alludes to BTS’s song “Two! Three! Still Wishing For More Good Days,” and of course, the “Spring Day” can’t be missed.
One, two, three, our sum, can’t forget every moment. Oh the flower that took care of my spring day, thanks to you I’m almost there.
2! 3! (Still Hoping For More Good Days) (2016). pic.twitter.com/CYvXch3eUf
— bts proof lyric videos⁷ (@uhmoonchild) October 7, 2021
Suga’s lines are also filled with references, with the ray of light being a line he also sang in “Blueberry Eyes,” and the “relief that it was you” parallels Suga’s poem from a Run BTS! episode to the members.
Everything around me was dark, and coming through, a ray of shining light, honestly it’s such a relief that it was you.
— Ri (@rolypoly97) May 31, 2021
Again, the following verse is a mix of references, both to “Run” and “Save Me,” but this time, ARMY and BTS are side by side instead of running and falling alone.
We run and we fall, we make each other rise up and we collapse too. Will you give me your hand? However many times I will get up again.
— Jimin, J-Hope, V
We end the song with V’s signature soothing voice, and with such a precious promise, ARMYs will have this song on repeat.
— 🎼 (@EHEHvocal) June 10, 2022
With “For You” being so full of hope and promise in a joyful way, it’s a stark contrast to the running sentiment of BTS’s HYYH, or The Most Beautiful Moment In Life, era. During that time, the lyrics were filled with a precarious hope stemming from the fear of being left behind. The HYYH era is beloved by all ARMYs for the beauty of the music and the vulnerability BTS showed, but there’s always a little sadness that comes with hearing about the emotional turmoil they were going through at that time.
Spring Day (2017) 🥲 pic.twitter.com/dJcja9Iu3f
— army film club (@0613frames) June 10, 2022
However, as BTS has grown over the years in the confidence of the love they deserve and the love ARMYs will forever shower them with, and as BTS has grown to love themselves fully and deeply without being swayed by others, their music has reflected their changed and matured mindsets towards life. The entirety of Proof is, well, proof of this: instead of wallowing in nostalgia or leaving the past behind, BTS is reminiscing the dreams of their youth and assuring ARMYs and themselves that pain has been replaced with healing, hate with love, and fear with courage.