"Grenade" (CD single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"Grenade" (CD single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Intense song from usually sweet crooner has dark imagery.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 56 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

The song takes the notion of protecting someone you love to what could be considered unhealthy extremes. Some of the imagery is violent, but it's more about the idea of an all-consuming crush/love than it is about danger.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although the song isn't meant to be taken literally, the idea of loving someone so much that you'd do literally anything for them isn't always the best example for impressionable teens.


Lyrics suggest self-inflicted violence: "I’d catch a grenade for you / Throw my hand on a blade for you / Jump in front of a train for you / I'd go through all this pain, take a bullet straight through my brain ... but you won't do the same."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this single features some violent imagery, with a guy describing all of the harmful situations he would put himself through in order to protect the girl he loves (who doesn't share his feelings in return). The song isn't meant to be taken literally, but the idea of loving someone so much that you'd sacrifice your own health and/or happiness for them (plus the descriptions of being shot, burned alive, and other violent scenarios) makes it somewhat intense.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDrDreVEVO April 18, 2011

Bruno Mars Keeps His Songs Clean

Brouno Mars keeps his songs clean , He is a role model because he ( in the music video ) walks all the way to his girlfriend and it shows try try and try , And... Continue reading
Adult Written byKay C. August 8, 2017

Great song

Parents need to stop being so critical. The violence is 100% metaphor-based, and it is not even that constant in the song. Overall, the song showcases Bruno... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byBig Fan August 6, 2018

Great song, but not quite for kids

I think this is a great song with good singing talent. But it’s probably best for teens. It’s not graphic, but it’s pretty intense. Anyway, it’s a really good s... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byThe Unibrow March 8, 2016

Bruno Mars Fans

I think that this is for children 9 and up because there is reference to " take a bullet to my brain for you" but the violence is to show how much he... Continue reading

What's the story?

"GRENADE" is the second solo single by Bruno Mars, the golden-throated R&B singer who often guest stars on other artists' songs. While Mars' first solo release, "Just the Way You Are," was a super-sweet love song, his second single is quite different. It tells the tale of a guy who's had his heart broken by a girl whom he would have given his life for -- and he describes all of the things he would (theoretically) endure for her, including being shot, burned, hit by a train, and more. Though the tune doesn't include any swearing, its dark imagery may be enough to give parents pause before they buy it for their younger kids.

Is it any good?

Even when singing a song like "Grenade," there's no denying that Mars has a vocal gift. His high, clear notes help this song stand out among the vast crowd of synth-pop tunes out there -- making a strong case for his continued success with future releases.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to handle the feelings of despair that often arise after a break-up. The solutions in this song aren't meant to be realistic; what can you do in that kind of situation?

  • Why do you think Mars, who usually makes upbeat songs, chose to do something darker?

Music details

  • Artist: Bruno Mars
  • Release date: November 9, 2010
  • Label: Elektra
  • Genre: R&B
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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