"Pompeii" (CD single)

Music review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
"Pompeii" (CD single) Music Poster Image
British band's single about famous city's fall stays clean.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Although the song is superficially about the destruction of Pompeii, the insider perspective shows someone considering the mistakes of the past ("We were caught up and lost in all of our vices") and how the future can be changed ("How am I gonna be an optimist about this?").

Positive Role Models & Representations

Self-reflection and owning one's mistakes are hallmarks of a positive role model.


The song describes the destruction of Pompeii but in a very vague, nonviolent way.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bastille's catchy single "Pompeii" gives an insider view of the destruction of the historic city. With no iffy language, sexy stuff, or references to drugs or alcohol, the clean track is OK for tweens and up. The creepy music video also stays clean but may be a bit scary for younger kids.

User Reviews

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Kid, 11 years old May 19, 2014

Mr. Pompeii-dy and Sherman

My profile: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/users/epic-waffles
This is a catchy song that is about the destruction of Pompeii, it's not bad or anything, a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLovemuffin123 May 23, 2016

Review for whole Bastille album

Huge fan of Bastille so I'm writing a review for the whole album.
Things We Lost in the Fire: ok song. Not Bastille's best, one use of "and we su... Continue reading

What's the story?

POMPEII is the fourth single from the British band Bastille's debut album Bad Blood. The catchy song describes the fall of Pompeii from the perspective of someone living through the destruction. The music video shows the band's singer running through a city where everyone has become alien with black pupils.

Is it any good?

With a driving tribal beat and hypnotic "eh-eh-ohs" in the background, it's hard not to dance along with "Pompeii." It's incredibly catchy. But when you dig a little deeper, the song relies very heavily on cliches and loses some of its meaning after a few listens. It's a good song but probably not one that'll stay on your playlist for long.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the theme of the song. Why do you think Bastille wanted to write a song about Pompeii? Why is the town's history still so compelling today?

  • Do you think the music video goes with the song? Why, or why not?

Music details

  • Artist: Bastille
  • Release date: December 3, 2013
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Virgin Records
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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