Single Stories: Paramore, AIN'T IT FUN

Monday, December 27, 2021
 Hayley Williams of Paramore performs onstage at KISS 108's Jingle Ball 2013>> at TD Banknorth Garden on December 14, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Harry Woods/FilmMagic)

As far as Hayley Williams is concerned, "Ain't it Fun" is the singer looking in the mirror and getting over herself. Thanks to the breakout success of her band, Paramore, Williams and company found themselves moving from their home base of Tennessee to Los Angeles to work on the group's eponymous fourth album, released in 2013.

"It was my first time spending a lot of time away from home, away from family and my close friends," Williams told writer Shannon Carlin in 2015. "When you get outside your bubble, you realize just how big the world is and that you kind of have to fend for yourself.

"The lyrics were my sarcastic way of realizing you can't be the king of the hill all the time," she continued. "It was a really good exercise for me as a human being—as a 23-year-old person at the time—understanding that life is so much bigger than your own perspective. It was a really fun song to record, but it was sort of me telling myself off... I was on my own for the first time ever, and it weirded me out. I felt like I was going kicking and screaming on my own. But it's funny, because I needed that. I needed a change of perspective to know I could do a lot of things on my own."

"Ain't It Fun" struck a chord with Paramore fans, despite the song's hard deviation from the band's usual sound. Released as the fourth and final single from the 2013 self-titled LP, the track was a hit on a wide variety of radio stations and personal playlists across America. "Ain't It Fun" peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of May 25, 2014. The tune reached #11 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart for the week of August 31, 2014.

"After we started writing weird stuff like 'Ain't It Fun,' we got nervous," bassist Jeremy Davis told the Guardian. "But that was a comfort. We've grown and we don't like the same music we liked, so why would [our fans] not? That idea kept us pushing ourselves."

"Ain't It Fun" was nominated--and won--for Best Rock Song at the 57th Grammys in 2015.