OneRepublic's hit song Counting Stars has a somewhat quirky music video. It features the band playing their song in a dilapidated basement with some sort of religious/therapy session simultaneously going on upstairs. But the inexplicable part is the alligator seen strolling around the basement for some reason.

Why is the alligator there? I can't find any meaning that connects all the elements on screen with the music and lyrics if I include the strolling alligator.

There is endless speculation about the song and the music video on the internet, from seeing inspiration to pursue one's dreams on one end of the spectrum, to seeing satanic messages on the other. So, I am specifically interested in whether there has been word from the band themselves or from the director of the music video James Lees about the meaning behind the alligator's presence in the music video.

  • 2
    It's in there so that everybody will watch the video till the end and then discuss it all over the internet :)
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Jun 9, 2020 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


The closest to the "word of God" that I am able to find is the following tweet from the band's official Twitter handle made when the music video was uploaded to YouTube:

"The Counting Stars video is live on Vevo now and youtube! a word of warning- don't try to make too much sense of it-it's a feel not a story"

Source: Tweet by ONEREPUBLIC (@OneRepublic). Published on 2013-06-01, 12:39 AM GMT. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/OneRepublic/status/340545538359431168 on 2020-06-12.

Based on that tweet, my guess is that the presence of the alligator is totally random.

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