I’m super excited to have been invited to join a blog group alongside three talented bloggers. Each week, one of us chooses a topic and we all post a blog entry on that topic, usually on Thursdays.
Here are the links to the other fabulous blogs:
This week, Merryland Girl chose our topic, and she asked: The song Let it Go from Frozen has been all over the place these days. So what meaning does the song have that can be applied to your life in some way?
Before I give you my take, here is a link to the lyrics (I had to look them up): Let it Go lyrics.
Lucky me, I’ve managed to avoid the craze that apparently is the Frozen soundtrack, or at least the song Let it Go. My daughters are all blissfully beyond the age of Disney brainwashing, and, fortunately, though my two young daughters saw the movie, they both vehemently hated it. I’ve managed to avoid ever even hearing the song Let it Go (despite Merryland Girl’s attempts to change that by sending me a link); I didn’t see the film, and I control the radio in the car, meaning we listen either to WGN talk radio or the Cubs game or else good, solid classic rock or pop (or Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke if I find it, but that’s an anomaly I don’t wish to
I checked out the Let it Go lyrics, and I’ll admit they’re pretty and I’m guessing they’re relevant and maybe even poignant as they relate to the movie Frozen. As much as I hold nothing but disdain for all things Disney (don’t get me started), I will admit the company has churned out a few good soundtracks over the years. Indeed, I still catch myself singing selections off the Beauty and the Beast album many, many years after the release of the film (I’m guessing the fact I own the soundtrack has played a role in enhancing my memory). I can’t say I “relate” to the songs on the Beauty soundtrack; I just like them because they’re catchy and cute and fun to sing. And that’s all.
Don’t get me wrong – the fact a song is catchy or cute or fun can be reason enough for me to like a song and maybe even to download it onto my iPod ( . . . and we’re back to Blurred Lines). And maybe that’s true for Let it Go. I don’t know. (I do know my brain is full up of enough earworms for one lifetime, so I’m not gonna do a test run to find out).
But Merryland Girl’s topic asks us to consider a deeper connection than just catchy lyrics or an up beat. And so I tried. Yet, as I studied the words, I couldn’t muster much of a link to my life. Clever? Yes. But they didn’t really strike a chord in me.
To a point, my lack of reaction surprised me. I’ve long connected with music, particularly lyrics, and that tie goes way, way back. In eighth grade, our English teacher told us to choose a poem to recite in front of the class. While classmates chose pieces penned by Robert Frost or Ogden Nash, I opted for the lyrics to The Trees by Rush. (The Trees lyrics.) My whole life, music has touched my very soul. Vivid images come back in quick flashes when I hear certain songs: play Still They Ride by Journey and I am again awkwardly holding the sweaty hand of a tousle-haired public-school boy named John, skating ‘round and ‘round and ‘round The Axle Roller Rink, the thin tail of his blue flannel shirt blowing behind. Night Owls by Little River Band puts me back in my friend Lori’s living room, snuggled into my crinkly red sleeping bag during a slumber party, ten girls forcing themselves to stay awake all night to talk about everything and nothing at all. When I was small, my Uncle Robert often brought his guitar to family parties and played Take Me Home, Country Road – and hell if I don’t think of those moments any time I hear John Denver. And the list goes on and on. (And we won’t even venture into sacred Jon Bon Jovi Land. That’s a post in itself. Or maybe even a book . . . )
I couldn’t live without music. And I wouldn’t want to. Many a day have I struggled with a mood, relieved only by a string of upbeat tunes – or else indulged by a set of darker songs. When I practiced law, I loved playing angry music when drafting a forceful brief: Psychosocial by Slipknot was a favorite. And when someone I love passes away, I always find a great deal of comfort in the songs so often played at Catholic funeral masses: How Great Thou Art or On Eagle’s Wings or Amazing Grace. My connection to the songs lies not in the religious nature of the tunes but instead in the contentment that comes from singing them again and again for decades. Of course, the words themselves offer a quiet power, and even non-religious me cannot deny the beauty of the portion of On Eagle’s Wings which goes: “And He will raise you up/On eagle’s wings/Bear you on the breath of dawn/Make you to shine like the sun/And hold you in the palm of His hand.” Beautiful. And in that beauty, peace.
A few weeks ago, after the passing of the father of two close childhood friends, I posted a link to the Chieftain’s cover of Stephen Foster’s song, Hard Times Come Again No More on the sons’ Facebook pages. (Hard Times Come Again No More.) After the funeral, one of the sons said he’d gone home after the wake and played the song for some of his friends; I told him I’d gone home and played the song, too, for myself. I know that song will always remind me of my friends and their dad. It will remind me – as the song says – of a time when we came together and paused in life’s pleasures and counted its many tears.
So perhaps the icy touch of Let it Go hasn’t gotten me. Maybe its clever lyrics don’t ring true for me in any way. That’s okay. My heart and head are full up with other meaningful music. And, if that bothers you, well, all I can say is (wait for it) . . . let it go.