I Bet My Life

Album: Smoke And Mirrors (2014)
Charted: 27 28
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The folk-tinged first single from the Imagine Dragons sophomore album, this finds frontman Dan Reynolds singing:

    I know I took the path that you would never want for me
    I gave you hell through all the years


    The song is about the relationship Reynolds has had with his parents throughout his life. "At times it's been strained and difficult," he said, "but in the end, 'I Bet My Life' celebrates the bond that we still hold on to."
  • This featured as the background track for a Sprite commercial that shows LeBron James' return to his hometown of Akron.
  • Dan Reynolds expanded on the song's meaning to Billboard magazine. "Like many teenagers, I really hit heads with my parents at times growing up," he said. "My mom and dad are from a really conservative background, so when I told them I wanted to be a musician, that obviously wasn't a thing that they particularly wanted to hear."

    "But my entire life I've been the black sheep in my family and been in and out of trouble," Reynolds continued. "So the song's about my relationship with my parents, but still celebrating through it all everything that we've been through. We try to see past our differences and celebrate the relationship that we have and that we still share today."
  • The song's music video stars Dane DeHaan, who is known for playing Jesse on the HBO series In Treatment and Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It was directed by Canadian filmmaker Jodeb, who also shot Zedd's "Clarity."

    The clip was filmed at the Roosevelt Dam in Arizona. "As the first video on our new album, it was especially important that we capture the emotion of the song," Dan Reynolds said. "Although it was written about my sometimes strained relationship with my parents, our director Jodeb had a powerful vision for how the feeling of the story could be portrayed. We were also lucky to have such amazing talent to work with in our lead actor Dane DeHaan."

Comments: 2

  • Anastasia from RussiaThis song sounds interesting. Also Dan's voice is beautiful as always. Love him and other dragons.
  • Kaden Vanciel from Visalia, CaliforniaThis song was also in that one reveal trailer for Microsoft Hololens and trailers for Max.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Rupert Hine

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular Music

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike + The Mechanics)

Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike + The Mechanics)Songwriter Interviews

Mike Rutherford talks about the "Silent Running" storyline and "Land Of Confusion" in the age of Trump.

Jethro Tull

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.

Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa CarltonSongwriter Interviews

The "A Thousand Miles" singer on what she thinks of her song being used in White Chicks and how she captured a song from a dream.

Bill Withers

Bill WithersSongwriter Interviews

Soul music legend Bill Withers on how life experience and the company you keep leads to classic songs like "Lean On Me."